Le Labo

Le Labo

Photo: Cititour.com

Neighborhood: NoLita
Type of Place: Perfume


I’m not a big perfume type of gal. In fact, when I stroll past the cosmetic counters in major department stores, I typically hold my breath and snub my nose at all of the scent-samples thrown at me. I won’t even date a guy who wears cologne – most fragrances give me headaches and make it hard to breathe.

That’s why I am stupid-silly to have stumbled upon a little-known bottle of mystic in NoLIta called Le Labo. I’ll spare the yuppy-alluring details (in short, the shop emanates an industrial, Bauhaus-inspired air: that un-refined, minimalist motif that today’s hipster subsists on). I will let you know, however, that the place smells like out-and-out magic. If you’ve never been tickled in the olfactory region, step into Le Labo and take a nice, deep breathe – being greeted by a salesperson in a lab coat with tickle your senses, too.

The chem lab-like depot currently holds around 30 stock scents including popular ones like Fleur D’Oranger 27, Vanille 44, Jasmin 17, ad Ambrett 9. Side note for Le Labo laymen: the name of the product is the fragrance, while the number represents how many elements it is composed of. After a recent excursion to Southern Italy this past summer, I was seduced by Le Labo’s Bergamote 22. It brought me back to the Calabrian shore where I often sunbathed, sipping bergamot-infused spritzers. The best part is, when I sampled the product, it didn’t feel like I smelled edible and the scent was not overbearing – rather, I felt flamboyant and refreshed.

Le Labo offers most of their products in perfume, body oil, shower gel, body , massage lotion, balm, travel-sized, candle – and even detergent forms. To boot, all products at Le Labo are vegan and animal-cruelty free.

The potions you will find in this lab are pretty pricey. On average, most perfumes range from about $58.00 (for 15 ml/ 0.5 fl oz) to $700 (for 500 ml/ 16.9 oz), oils are $120.00 for 30 ml/0.9 fl oz, and gels and lotions are around $60 for 8 fl oz. Candles run about $70, and home fragrance oils run about $125. If you want go even more high-end, you can have Le Labo’s odor-aficionados create a customized blend - and personalize labels - for you. On the other hand, the store does offer some enticing – and more doable – deals like a Discovery Set of thee-5 ml bottles of scents (you can even have the labels personalized) for about $60.

Please don’t let the costs deter you. The quality, uniqueness – and freshness (a perfume from Le Labo will not grow stale as quickly as fragrances purchased at larger chain stores) are well worth the money. Even if you’re not ready to purchase now, I definitely recommend following your nose to Le Labo – the experience will undoubtedly titillate your senses.

  - Janice Bevelacqua

Le Labo
233 Elizabeth St
(Houston & Prince St)
New York, NY 10012
(212) 219-2230