An Oriental Powder for a Beauty of the Evening or When Le Labo went to Anthropologie


Anthropologie isn’t my style. Over years I bought a couple of items there but mostly things they sell leave me cold. What I do like about that chain is what they’re trying to do regarding perfumes.

I’m not a huge Le Labo fan: while I like and enjoy wearing several perfumes in the line, most of their creations (and those from the city exclusive line in particular) are not worth their price for me. Nevertheless, I went and tried all five perfumes “By The Creators Of Le Labo” once those were released as their collaboration with Anthropologie in 2010.

I didn’t dislike them but none of them made me reach for my wallet. They were nice, they were much more reasonably priced ($62 for 2 oz bottle), they were available … and as a result much less desirable. Once in a while I’d stop by the store, smell them all again, try Belle Du Soir that I liked the most and think that I should get it eventually.

Two years later when I finally decided to add Belle Du Soir to my collection it was too late: it was gone from both the website and the closest store. Judith (unseen censer) who was more decisive (or just more spontaneous?) sent me a decant of Belle Du Soir from the bottle she’d got.

Le Labo Belle Du SoirAnthropologie site describes Belle Du Soir as “musky and rich, neroli, water lily and gardenia float above notes of cedar, sandalwood and patchouli (SPICE).” It’s not a phenomenal creation; perfumistas do not rave about it. But I noticed that since I got that decant I wore Belle Du Soir more often than some of my most favorite perfumes. Once or twice I thought that Belle Du Soir smelled more masculine than I cared for but all in all I like it and especially in the drydown.

In the opening statement I stressed “trying” part because there are aspects of the Anthropologie’s perfume business with which I disagree.

First of all, not only the assortment of perfumes varies from store to store but in different locations perfumes are usually scattered all over the place so it’s not easy to figure out if the store actually carries a brand you’re looking for. Asking SAs proved to be fruitless since they were barely aware of the fact that there were any perfumes in the store.

In addition to that, most stores where I tried to test perfumes had no test strips anywhere in sight. I understand that the younger demographic they cater to has no problems spraying a random perfume they’ve just smelled from the nozzle all over themselves but I have to be creative every time finding a napkin in my purse or just spraying it into the air and smelling it this way.

And finally, Anthropologie tends to phase out perfumes after a while. It’s not a big problem in case of the established brands that just move their offerings to different venues. But in case with such special editions they just go away – and they’re gone.

Good part about it is that before disappearing those perfumes go on sale and then you can get some of them almost free (and I’m not talking in $100-new-free perfumista terms).

During one such sale in addition to Belle Du Soir I also got Poudre D’Orient – my second favorite from the line. Poudre D’Orient is described as “exotic aromas of violet leaves, patchouli, vanilla and suede musk (FRESH).”

Le Labo Poudre D'OrientHave you tried any of the perfumes from the line? Do you think they “smell like Le Labo”? Do you like bottles design?

I want to share two 5 ml decants (one of each perfume) with one reader. The conditions are simple: I’ll mail it anywhere in the world if you’ve previously commented on my blog; for new followers I want to limit participation by the U.S. Just let me know in your comment that you want to be entered into the draw. You have until 23:59 PDT, August 27, 2013 to enter.

I liked these two reviews by Brian (I Smell Therefor I Am) and by Shera Pop (Il Mondo di Odore). If you haven’t tried these perfumes read the reviews to see if it’s something you might like.


Images: Anthropologie website