I knew I wanted to visit the Le Labo shop when I was in New York City two years ago. One of my favorite beauty websites had highlighted their perfumes several times, discussing their bespoke blending process and collection of unique scents. As we stepped into the inconspicuous NoLIta location, I was hit with not only a wave of beautiful scents but an understanding of Le Labo’s experience, complete with vintage-looking dark wood shelving, industrial light fixtures with Edison bulbs: an apothecary’s secret hideaway.
As I perused the assortment of perfumes, a girl who spoke with a soft French accent asked me a couple of questions to help determine what kind of fragrance would suit me. Do I prefer floral, woodsy, sweet, or spicy notes? I think I described the scent I was looking for as floral but not too sweet (the smell of jasmine reminds me of so many fond memories), with some musky, natural notes like sandalwood and amber. She had me sample several perfumes to see if any struck a chord, and I landed on Lys 41, a blend of jasmine, tuberose, lily, noble woods, Madagascar vanilla, and musks. And as much as I would have liked to purchase the perfume right then and there, I held out, knowing that I had spent a decent amount of money already on our visit to New York (I know, responsible, right?). I confessed to the French girl that I was not going to be buying today, and to my surprise she prepared a sample of Lys 41, handed it to me, and slyly replied, “We don’t usually do this, but take this sample. Wear it and see how it smells on your body throughout the day.” Well, maybe I wasn’t one of the only people who had ever gotten a sample from Le Labo, but my gosh it worked! I wore Lys 41 during the rest of my trip, and when the sample ran out, I couldn’t stop thinking about owning a bottle for real. Luckily Le Labo has a shop in Santa Monica, and several months later, I happily added Lys 41 to my beauty routine. I don’t wear it every day, but when I’m in need of a little luxury, a few spritzes do the trick.
Do you have a signature perfume or scent? Lemme know!