One Thousand Scents

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Redux: Le Labo Labdanum 18

I like powdery scents. I like sweet scents. I like animalic scents. I love amber scents. Labdanum 18 by Le Labo has all these qualities in abundance, and yet somehow it is just on the verge of nauseating, as if you had eaten an entire canister of baby powder.

I really wanted to like it: on paper it sounds like the perfect thing for me. (I ordered a bunch of samples from Luckyscent last month, and this was the only Le Labo I chose, because of all of them it seemed like the one I was most likely to enjoy.) On my skin, though, it starts out with a huge blast of sweet powdery musk and it just does not let up. It resembles Louve, with hints of cherry pipe tobacco, though not as noxious, but like that scent, it has an assaultive presence, even in very small quantities. The sample vial is sitting on my desk a couple of feet away from my nose, and though I didn't spill any and there can't be more than a small clutch of molecules at the rim of the vial, the scent is pretty much blanketing the nearby air with its sweet animalic powderiness.

There is a slow development; it's not quite linear. But by god there is a lot of powder there, and a lot of sweetness, and it will stick with you for an entire day, and if you try to wash it off, it will laugh at you. In fact, if you try to cover it with another scent, it will batter that scent into submission and reassert itself, so don't even try. Once you have applied Labdanum 18--the number refers to the number of elements the scent has--you are going to be wearing it and nothing else for a long, long time.

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