A Lab on Fire Liquidnight ~ fragrance review

A Lab on Fire Liquidnight and Carlos Benaïm

I'm slowly but surely catching up with A Lab On Fire, a New York-based "niche" line that hasn't always been easy to find, even in New York. Liquidnight, developed by perfumer Carlos Benaïm, was released in 2012. It was inspired by "the hidden depth of the night in New York City" and it includes notes of bergamot, lime, saffron, sage, lavender, hinoki wood, incense, vanilla and musk.

I wanted to try Liquidnight because I'm very fond of some other fragrances from this line and because I like the nighttime-city concept; it's not the type of thing I usually review (no rose or violet!), but I'm glad I've given it a try. Liquidnight unfolds smoothly and logically from an slightly bitter citrus-herbal opening to a very contemporary lavender note. I like lavender in masculine-leaning fragrances, and this one (almost aromatic) is no exception. The heart of the composition is some clean incense paired with a slightly spicy take on hinoki wood. (I first realized that I liked smelling hinoki notes when I tried Six Scents #087, another fragrance outside my usual feminine-floral comfort zone.) 

Just when I think Liquidnight might be a little too masculine for me to pull off, its base notes change my mind. There's a warm, non-foody vanilla in there that feels comforting and sophisticated at the same time, and the musk meshes beautifully with my skin. Liquidnight has mild sillage and above-average staying power. It's not as "me" (i.e., floral-sweet and traditionally feminine) as What We Do in Paris is Secret or Rose Rebelle Respawn, but I enjoyed experiencing its evolution and spending several afternoons (and nights) in its company. 

A Lab on Fire Liquidnight is available in 60 ml ($110) Eau de Parfum. For purchasing information, see the listing for A Lab On Fire under Perfume Houses.

Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy


Leave a comment, or read more about commenting at Now Smell This. Here's a handy emoticon chart.

  1. monkeytoe says:

    Thank you for the review. have you smelled the CdG x Monocle Hinoki? If so, how do they compare?

    • Jessica says:

      Hi, M-toe — it’s been a little while since I sniffed the CdG Hinoki, but I remember that one as being more cedar-woody, where this one has the lavender and the subtle vanilla and incense smoke.

  2. floragal says:

    I’m still peeved off at myself for purchasing off eBay 15mls of Rose Rebelle having mistaken it for Rose Rebelle Respawn, the one I love.
    Got it yesterday and I’m smelling my wrist completely perplexed until I looked it up and saw my mistake :(

    I’d like to try Liquidnight – great name and I do appreciate lavender notes.

    • Jessica says:

      Darn — all those permutations of 100% Love/RR/RRR *are* confusing!

  3. poodle says:

    I love lavender and non foody vanilla. I’ve wanted to try this but like you said its not a line that’s easy to find. It does sound like it leans a little masculine but maybe layered with something a little more floral would make it more you.

    • Jessica says:

      I bet some of the decanting services would have samples available by now…? It’s been available online for a while (Luckyscent, etc.) but I’m spoiled and I like to smell things in actual stores. :)

    • flannery says:

      Have you tried Brecourt’s Mauvais Garcon? It is a lavender/vanilla scent.

  4. Elisa says:

    I had a small sample of this at one point that I used up in one go. I recall really, really liking it but I think it veered sweeter and less masculine on me.

Leave a reply