Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Le Labo Patchouli 24

Patchouli 24 by niche house Le Labo seems to garner much praise on many blog websites, Basenotes, etc. I came to the Le Labo party quite late and to be honest, with the exception of Oud 27, none of the line has impressed me all that much. They all seem quite good, but lack inspiration, certainly to my nose.

The notes for Patchouli 24 are listed (not officially, as I don't think Le Labo likes to do that sort of thing) as patchouli, styrax, birch and vanilla. The comparisons with Bulgari Black are inevitable, as at first glance they seem quite similar. The opening starts quite brightly, with a brief burst of citrus, but within seconds a smokiness wells up quite strongly. The birch note is immediately apparent and the fragrance takes on a smoky leatheriness that lasts throughout most of the heart and early dry down. This is quite a sweet scent though and its not long before the smokiness becomes tempered by the vanilla note. At this point the comparison with Bulgari Black would seem most obvious. I can see why some people would think this, but for starters Patchouli 24 never has that rubber note that Black has, nor the tea accord. The smokiness is also far more pronounced in Patchouli 24. If anything, that hardcore birch tar note recalls Tauer Lonestar memories, at least for me, but less smoked-meat-and-leather. 

The dry down continues on the smoky, tarry, vanillic theme, rather sweet,  but it never becomes cloying, as the fragrance is well balanced and the edges do smooth somewhat later on. Overall this is an intense perfume, almost certainly the most masculine of the Le Labo line that I've tried. I can see this as a polarising scent - some will love it, others will despise it. I think after Oud 27 this is my second favourite of the line and I think fans of Bulgari Black or Lonestar Memories will like it too.

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