There’s been an obvious resurgence in craftsmanship over the past few years in everything from jeans to cigars to food. It’s become a buzzword of sorts for advertising and it’s hard to tell who is truly embodying the term and who is really just a sham. There are so many smoke and mirrors these days in the production process of our goods, that when I walked in to purchase my first bottle of perfume in person from Le Labo (Santal 33 club member here), I was taken aback when a lab coated mixologist took to blending up my bottle right there on the spot. It truly is what I imagine chemistry class was like…. had I ever actually attended. And I guess if my chemistry class had been about how to make semi-couture fragrances, well dang, I probably wouldn’t have skipped so much.
With an aura of an antique apothecary,the store here in Soho is an experience all it’s own. Forget the sensory overload you get at a department store or Sephora, this little store slash laboratory is calm, welcoming and painfully chic in every way possible. The French just have a way of doing that so effortlessly. Ugh. Anyways, the staff are incredibly knowledgeable and you are encouraged to try anything and everything your heart desires. A retail note I hadn’t noticed until working at Warby, it makes such a difference to not feel like you’re in a museum surrounded by judging and watchful eyes. Try this and smell this! Yes, please!
Besides the amazing experience it lends a customer to have their perfume mixed up and personally labeled upon purchase confirms that they are actually in the business of crafting fragrance as it was intended to be. Thanks to my lab coated mixologists chemistry lesson, he informed me that as some things get better with age (wine, leather, George Clooney) perfume is not one of them. As a perfume hoarder myself (save the good stuff for special occasions, ya know) this was hard to hear. So why Santal 33, I asked? Well, each of the 12 scents is named after its primary natural essence (Santal 33, Rose 31, Iris 39 ), the numbers indicating the amount of combined ingredients in the resulting fragrance. Which is all basically pure magic for your nostrils. I have seriously never given much thought to where or how my perfume was being made. It's a pretty incredible, thoughtful and meticulous process.
It's Santal 33 for my daily scent, Rose 31 for laundry detergent and Santal 26 for candles. They literally have everything available to be sure your whole life just smells divine. So don’t be a stranger, they are generous with samples if you’re able to stop into the store, or you can also order samples online directly to try out at home. Brilliant!