Latest Loves and New Discoveries

Dear Scent Diary,

UnknownWhew, it’s been a long few of weeks with work. I find that when things get intense, my perfume habits become the most telltale, revealing more since my perfume choices are born out of a lower ranking on my priority scale than they normally do. What I reach for becomes a quick decision based on a sure thing – the last thing I need is a scrubber or something I’m meh about on a day when I need to be on top of things, or at least not underneath them. So here are the scents that qualify, based on my habits over the last few weeks.

Le Labo Iris 39 – Apparently, it’s what I want to wear when I need to get things done. Iris, fresh damp earth and a bit of soap (in a good way). Love.

Atelier Cologne Grand Neroli – A simple yet beautiful fragrance that I find uplifting and unobtrusive. I reached for it on several occasions, more than once to wear during yoga class of all places.

Il Profumi Chocolat – This has been a new discovery and perfect in moments when I needed a ‘pick me up’ or a distraction when I was stuck for ideas. Incredibly interesting and only mildly reminiscent of chocolate. Woody greenness misted with orchid and chocolate. Masculine but feminine at the same time. Ugh, I love it.

Juliette Has a Gun Lady Vengeance – I’ve taken to spritzing this on clothing I plan on wearing the next day when I need to be creative. The dry-down of this rose patchouli scent is to die for, and apparently inspiring.

Le Labo Rose 31 – Ugh, I need a full bottle of this. My decant is getting scarliy empty after these last few weeks. Loved forgetting what I put on in the morning then being struck by a beautiful spicey, woody rose later in the day and remembering that it’s me. (Update: The husband heeded my hints and bought me a bottle of this as well as Iris 39 for my birthday. I’m a lucky, lucky girl.)

Amouage Lyric Man – I have to admit I don’t love this (my heart is with Lyric Woman). But I do like its fresh, natural, dewy take on rose so I’ve been trying to make my decision to buy a used bottle, right.

Le Labo Labdanum 18 – Yes, it’s been Le Labopolooza around here of late. I found myself spritzing this after a bath at the end of the day for comfort and to celebrate the lack of thinking I’d need to do in the immediate future.

Chanel 31 Rue Cambon – I love the opening of this oh so Chanel fragrance. It’s quite sweet on my skin, powdery, woody and warm. Just when I think it’s quickly disappeared, someone mentions how good I smell.

Carner Barcelona D600 – I only wore this once during all the work craziness but boy did I enjoy it. The iris and (what I perceive as) almond combo had me smiling even when things were going to hell in a hand-basket.

Jo Malone Blackberry and Bay – Its crisp, crunchy, fresh zing was just what I needed on several occasions when I had to make presentations and sound like I know what I’m doing. Love it, and thank goodness for it.

Has anything rung your bell lately?


Spice 31? Cedar 31? No, Le Labo Rose 31.

Dear Scent Diary,

When I was in New York last summer, I happened to stumble into the Le Labo boutique in Nolita, unplanned. What. Stop looking at me that way. Fine, I stalked the place and made a deliberate trip. Sheesh. Anyway, I hadn’t had a chance to sample any of their fragrances beforehand, but I’d heard/read/watched quite a bit about Rose 31 and was eager to try it.


The store has an a beautiful ‘modern apothecary’ aesthetic which appealed to me right away. All the scents are lined up on tables to your left as you walk in, and divided up between ‘femme’, ‘unisex’ and ‘homme’. Rose 31 resides on the ‘unisex’ table, if I remember correctly. As a ‘femme’ who most of the time prefers ‘unisex’ and has been known on occasion to sport an ‘homme’ or two, I was appropriately intrigued.

46801On first spritz, I was slightly anosmic, which I know is not the experience of most people.  A few minutes later though, my nose began to catch on. The rose is present and accounted for, but it’s a dark, low-register rose doused in spices. Pepper, nutmeg, clove and cumin, all blended harmoniously, provide a counter to the floral note. Neither rose nor cumin haters should write this one off – the rose is miles away from anything ‘old lady-ish’, and the cumin is a part of a well-blended spice mix that works beautifully to juxtapose the rose. As things dry down even more, the woods start making an appearance. Cedar and a smidge of oud start to bloom and overtake the spices, giving things a very dry, aromatic impression. In the late stages of the drydown, there is a gorgeous ‘sweetening’ of all the spicy, woody, rosiness, lifting the overall feeling as it melds with your skin. At this point, there’s actually a cleanliness to the scent that carries on for hours.

In a strange turn of events that I can’t quite explain, I ended up buying a bottle of Labdanum 18 instead of Rose 31 that day. Call it travellers panic? I wasn’t quite ready to make a decision but our flight was the next morning and our dinner reservation was looming. Oh the strife! Anyway, I enjoy my Labdanum 18 and my husband loves it on me, so it wasn’t a mistake. But it does feel strange because of the two, I’d call Rose 31 my love of the line. One day when my decant is drained, I’m sure there will be an excuse to return to New York. Or at least to Barney’s.