Glass has a nose at Le Labo’s latest fragrance, inspired by the Marlboro Man
There are many things to admire about Le Labo, not least for its ability as a perfume brand to side-step both the mass-market as well as its dubiously “edgy” counterparts whose scents are often based on bodily secretions. Instead duo Edouard Roschi and Fabrice Penot have created a range of understated and unique fragrances, which yet allow their wearer to feel as elegant as did the luxury perfumes of yesteryear. What’s more, each scent is made to order, allowing for maximum shelf life and ensuring the ingredients are at their freshest and most potent, with the client’s name printed on the bottle as a final personal touch.
Its newest fragrance Santal 33 is based on the iconic advertising campaign featuring the Marlboro Man on his horse, with central notes of leather and smoky sandle wood. Created for both men and women and inspired by Santal 26 - Le Labo’s popular candle scent - Santal 33 packs a strong peppery punch when first applied, after which its warm heart notes of papyrus, cedarwood and iris gently announce themselves, indicating a softer side to this initially brash character. It’s “no frills” bouquet reminded me when as a child having to spend the odd weekend with my father in the leafy suburbs of North London. Being the sole occupier of his small flat, the only scents were of mountains of paper, chopped wood (from his DIY endeavours), leather shoes and the faint waft of trodden-in grass - and where life seemed to move at a blissfully slow pace. Similarly Santal 33 is not a necessarily ‘pretty’ scent, yet its rich, musty and leathery personality endures and - like the rest of Le Labo fragrance family – refuses to run with the crowd.
by Viola Levy
Le Santal 33 is £90 for 50ml, available at Le Labo, 28A Devonshire Street, London W1G 6PS