Brands We Love: Le Labo

Over the last decade, Le Labo has grown from a newly launched line of 10 fragrances based out of a storefront in Nolita to a worldwide brand with 16 boutiques across 9 cities and a huge cult following. The magic of Le Labo lies in the artisanal way the unique fragrances are made and the high grade ingredients used. Cade 26 has been my house scent ever since I discovered it at the Gramercy Park Hotel.  Santal 33– you know it, people– has been lauded by Olivia Kane for The New York Times and Alina Gonzalez for Byrdie as one of the most ubiquitous (and intoxicating) scents in New York and LA.

Le Labo 2

The brand is the perfect New York story: no one wanted to invest in the brainchild of co-founders Fabrice Penot and Eddie Roschi when the friends and former Armani alumni wished to interrupt the fragrance market in 2006. Their goal was to sell 4 bottles a day with a personalized perfumerie experience but investors were uninterested. The market was oversaturated, they said, so Penot and Roschi were on their own. Together they contributed $200K of their own funds and borrowed another $120K from friends (one of whom sold his car to help the partners). They even did their own Wabi-Sabi-meets-Apothecary design and construction for the Nolita store’s interiors. These start-up trials and tribulations turned out to be a good thing; from day one Penot and Roschi were unbeholden to investors and were therefore able to manifest the purest form of their vision. It wasn’t long before they were selling not 4 but 70 bottles a day. Instead of spending money on marketing, Le Labo allocated funds towards sourcing the highest quality ingredients. Fast forward 10 years and the pair now have 15 signature and 9 limited edition scents meant to capture the essence of the city after which each is named. They also create perfumes for the likes of The Plaza in NYC and The Savoy in London.

Le Labo 3

If you haven’t already fallen in love with a waft of Santal or any of their other intoxicating aromas, visit one of their New York locations to experience Le Labo for yourself. Be sure to also visit their secondary Instagram page, @overheardlelabo where you can read about personal Le Labo experiences including one fan who asks, “Does Santal 33 have pheromones? Since I started wearing it quite a few men have been trying to drag me into their rooms and do very naughty things to me. These boys would rarely give me the time of day before, but since Santal… Thank you for helping a 6 land 9s and 10s, it’s like some crazy love potion.” Also check out their site’s FAQs to learn everything you didn’t know you didn’t know about perfume.

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