The Le Labo City Exclusives window is now open …

Hooray (sort of)! It’s that time of year again (or rather, every other year) when Luckyscent has done a round of pre-sampling and is now offering all the Le Labo City Exclusives scents for sale on their site for a limited period (through the end of September, I think).

city exclusives 2 The last time this wondrous event occurred, I missed the boat somehow. And then I swore that the very next time, I would get on board and one of my fave City Exclusives would be mine, all mine!

But not this year.

For the 290 smackeroos that would net me my beloved Tubereuse 40 or delectable Vanille 44 have cruelly been siphoned off this year for (among other things): a new starter for my car, a new blower fan for said car, and double-whammy colonoscopy bills. (All I can say is Wowza! Who knew the anesthesiology bill would be even bigger than the already plenty whopping bill for the procedure itself?).

So once again, my dreams of owning a refillable, sleek glass container of Le Labo lusciousness go down in flames. Le sigh …

OK, enough of my little perfume pity party. I realize how petty it might sound in the whole scheme of things, and I am grateful and blessed beyond words for good health, a dependable, though aged, vehicle and so many other things.

And truth be told, when it came right down to it, I’m not sure that I would really be able to pull the trigger on a bottle. I tend to have a bit of a guilty conscience these days about spending so much on myself. Of course, at the rate I’m going, I may never be actually put to the test, ha!

So what about you? Have you already gotten your hot little hands on a bottle, or do you intend to later this month? Or do you plan to plot, save and scheme for the next City Exclusives go-round (I’m guessing 2015)? Are you still peeved that Aldehyde 44 is no more? Or do you just feel “meh” or worse about the whole concept?

This is interesting too!


  1. I love Vanille 44 but am fairly indifferent to the others, and wouldn’t tend to bother with a company that tries to make their product harder to get than is necessary. There are too many other great vanillas to be bothered. City exclusives? It’s rather like saying “you can only kiss me under very specific conditions” in that it’s rather pointless and even laughable if the person didn’t especially want to kiss you in the first place.

    • Too funny, lady! You make a very good point — in fact, I can almost see that scene playing out in an old Hollywood B&W movie, or a comedy with Doris Day and Rock Hudson or something, can’t you?

  2. I got a sample of Vanille 44 but don’t need a full bottle of anything from Le Labo, so I guess I’m good until 2015…

    • Howdy! I think I am, too (or will have to be). Heaven knows I have samples and decants of my LL faves and could always obtain more. But there’s just something about owning a full bottle of a scent you love; plus, I can’t help remembering what happened with the Indult line (specifically Tihota), where suddenly you just couldn’t get any more.

  3. I have a little road trip to Virginia that I am leaving for tomorrow and have to pass on this one. For one thing, I cannot fathom a reason to drop almost $300 on something that I have never sniffed. I am debating on weather to get myself no 5 in extract form or maybe a Coach bag. I will have to see about that when I come back from Virginia and what the damage is to my credit card. I have to be up super early and still can’t decide on which perfume(s) to take. Vintage and current Mitsouko are being pushy along with no 5 and now Frapin 1270 is starting up. 1270 is the one I’m not really sure because it smells like I’ve had a ton to drink.

    • I agree — not having sniffed these definitely means $$$ saved; and that’s always a good thing. Have to laugh about Mitsouko being “pushy” and the others following suit. Yes, perhaps best to leave the boozy 1270 behind. Hope you have a great trip!

  4. Think I’m kind of over Le Labo. The hoop-jumping business is annoying. I do wish I’d had the opportunity to try Aldehyde 44, but oh well! I made a substantial perfume investment last month (pulled the trigger on a fb of Mito), so I need to rein myself in.
    Did you all just catch that episode of Breaking Bad??

    • Hey, Caroline! I agree, it is rather annoying, and would ignore all the hoopla in a heartbeat if I didn’t adore two of their scents with an ever-lovin’ passion. I’ve not been watching “Breaking Bad,” but with everyone on here raving about it, maybe I need to start. BTW, congrats on the FB of Mito — lovely!

  5. Gaiac 10 and Vanille 44 are my two most treasured scents, I wear Gaiac at least three days of the week (when I work a long day), and vanille gets a lot of play time, HOWEVER, this year I went into Le Labo to smell Dubai and san Francisco, I decided that if I was blown away by one, I would get 100ml, and add another city.
    I first smelled Limette, nice citrus, but 440? nah, then on to Cuir, this is the Vetiver fragrance of my dreams, if you’ve ever wanted a Parfum version of Sycomore, this would be very close, except, the leather breaks it from it’s Chanel counterpart, it adds another layer and feel later in the development. no brainer, Dubai it was, walked out with a bottle, and a sample of Limette, I wore the sample three days later, what a mistake! it was spectacular, shimmering, dry, citrus, wearing this lifted my mood and gave me energy, and it went on, and on, even after I showered I could smell it on my skin, but, it’s never loud or annoying, it’s perfect for any occasion, including gym.
    To say the least, I was bad this year , but I now have a great citrus and Vetiver in my collection, I’ve had a rough year,and my finances are in ok shape, I didn’t want to wait two more years.

    • Wow, John! You have really hit the LL jackpot! I, too, love the Vanille and the Gaiac, and even enjoyed the Limette quite a bit. But the Cuir had that metallic undertone that just does me in every time. But glad it works so well for you. Finding a fragrance of your dreams is pretty wonderful — congrats!

  6. ” Are you still peeved that Aldehyde 44 is no more?” You rang? Yes I’m still peeved! I adore that scent and wish I’d pulled that trigger when I had the chance! Oh well….Everything comes up on EB eventually.

    • Oh, Rina, it is so aggravating! Maybe we should get together a virtual petition or something and send it to LL so they’ll understand how much it is missed. I don’t see why they couldn’t just offer it all their stores (it would still have a bit of exclusivity, if that’s what they’re worried about). Or even better, bring it back and put it in the main line — how nice that would be!

    • try to score an empty bottle, refills will always be available. sometimes people sell them on ebay for a hundred, refills are about 350, so you’ll basically be paying for a new bottle.

      • I’m on it, John! I had one come up last month but it didn’t sell (I missed the end) and the seller won’t return my email inquiry on if she will re-list. I even put an ad in Dallas Craig’s List, LOL! If it’s meant to be, it will find me…

        • That’s a great idea, John — thanks for sharing it with Rina and all of us! And Rina, here’s wishing you the best of luck on your LL bottle. I’ll keep my eyes open for you, too.

  7. I know exclusivity is designed to fan the flames, but here in Oz it just means impossible. And meh.

    Now if you mention the word Discontinued to me…whole other story!

    • Hi, Jackie! You make a good point. Exclusivity can be a double-edged sword; it can fan the flames but it also can just as easily sweep the scents completely off your radar. And yes — ouch — just hearing the word “discontinued” makes me feel panicky. 🙂

  8. Definitely meh, if only because they’re so hard to sample that I rarely get a chance to sniff them……

    • Howdy, Lisa! Money saved is always a good thing. Alas, thanks to the decanting sites, the bug has bitten me for several of these. But samples and small decants will keep me going, and it’s not like we don’t have a gazillion other scents to love in the meantime.

    • Hey, Portia! Can’t remember which ones, you say? Oh, dear, you are cracking me up! Do let us know which scents, when you remember, OK? 🙂

  9. I think I’ll treat myself to a sample or two, because I don’t want to miss the window and I’m probably a sucker for the exclusive experience.
    I’ve previously tried Poivre 23 because of all the hype and was very disappointed,
    and Vanille 44 which is one of the better vanillas I’ve come across, although I’m not sure I love it.
    All in all, I like Le Labo, a lot.

    • Elia, I think treating yourself to a few samples is great. See if anything blows you away, and if it does, you could always get a decant to further help you decide if you need a FB. I’ve been getting by on samples and decants for quite a while now.

  10. Meh for me, i’ll spring for a couple testers but otherwise can’t afford it. I have my first grandbaby on the way.I have to say one of the samples will be central park west that i know.

    • Oh, how wonderful — congratulations!! When is the baby due? You’ll have a ball shopping for the new addition, won’t you?
      BTW, do treat yourself to a sample or two, to enjoy just for you.

      • Baby due at the beginning of april next year. Maybe we will find out today if it’s a boy or girl. Yes we have picked out paint colors for the babies room already. Possible baby names are- if it’s a girl Rose Abella for a boy she wants to name him Liam haven’t decided middle name yet. What to you think about the names? I will choose a soft delicate fragrance to wear when i first hold my new grandchild.

        • So happy for you, and so much fun ahead for you. Both of those names are lovely, and Rose Abella sounds perfect for a future perfumista, don’t you think?

  11. My DH bought me a small bottle of LL Iris 39 a few years ago. I love that one for its earthy, rooty iris and patch combo. I don’t think I’ve sniffed any other LLs. John’s description of Cuir above makes me twitch my ears, though, because I love Sycomore.

    • Mmmm, Dina, just tried that iris recently and think it is lovely as well. I did try the Cuir and though it most definitely wasn’t for me, I can see a bit of similarity to Sycomore, so go for it! One little sample couldn’t hurt, could it? 😉

  12. Thank you John for killing my lemming for Dubai! I don’t care for Sycomore and am off vetiver, so there’s lots of money saved! I previously bought Gaiac, Vanille and Poivre so I am set on exclusives. My current favorite is Ylang.

    • Tara, love your phrase “off vetiver.” Maybe I am, too, as I see it in a lot of compositions that don’t agree with me. Lucky you to have those three exclusives; they are great. On me, the Ylang came up too dark and dense for my taste, but I’m happy that it sings for you.

  13. Yeah, I am in the meh category. Too much trouble, I feel patronized by the company for their demands that I, as a consumer, have to go to so much trouble to find their products, and waaaaaaay too much $$ imho. To be honest, I’m in a place where I am questioning the whole concept of perfume pricing and necessity to my life. Too early in the morning to be so philosophical, but my priorities are definitely changing. Samples and decants usually take care of my perfume desires and the need to chase has all but vanished; there are so many things to choose from.

    • Hi, lady! Reading your comments, I was definitely nodding along to many of them. If you’re planning to spend that amount of money, you really ought not to have to jump through so many hoops to do it. Also, I’m with you on samples and decants — after all, I’ve made it this far with them and very few FBs. And so many of us already probably have more perfume than we could ever wear in our lifetimes.

  14. I agree with rosarita (above). Too much trouble, patronizing attitude, and WAY overpriced.

    I live in a place where shopping for anything in the “niche” category is Very rare and borders on being an impossibility — except for online, of course.
    When the topic of Le Labo comes up, I tend to shrug my shoulders. I understand the concept of “exclusive”. However, I think some things are taken to a new extreme of “exclusivity”, when perfumes are nearly impossible for the “general masses” to even have a sniff of one and when the price borders on outrageous.
    I suppose “outrageous price” is entirely subjective, but for ME, as I weigh the things that are really important to ME, I’m not sure that a $$$$ bottle of perfume is high on my priority list.
    Do I spend a significant amount of money on perfume? Yes, I do. But there is always a “cut off” place above which I refuse to venture.

    I’m very happy for the folks who love Le Labo and the mystique created there.
    I say “Enjoy”! I just won’t be attending the party, but I appreciate the invitation. 🙂

    • Thanks, Gwenyth! I hear you — it’s taking exclusivity to a nearly absurd level. As I mentioned above, I mainly get by with samples and decants, but a part of me does fantasize about having a full bottle to spray with abandon. But I have a strong suspicion that I’ll never actually pull the trigger, and deep down, I’m really OK with that.

  15. i dropped by the le labo boutique here and tried the exclusives – only vanille 44 stood out to me – it’s very different from other vanillas i’ve tried. but the price is staggering.

    of the non-exclusives i like santal 33 very much, but even the non-exclusives are far too pricey for me!

    • Julia, that Vanille 44 is one for which I sometimes get a bone-deep craving, but guess I just need to pull out my decant and sample sprays and get my fix that way. I’ve not tried the Santal, but it does sound nice.

    • You are so right, but you end up putting up with it when you’ve fallen hard for one (or two) and want a FB. The more I think about it, though, my samples and decants will get me by.

  16. There are a few Le Labo perfumes that I would love to sample (some are exclusives) but I’m also ok with not smelling them. If I did like one (or more) and want a full bottle, I, like you Ann, would have a hard time spending the $ on myself. So, at this point I’m happy not knowing if I’m missing something special or not. 🙂

    • Hi, lady! You make a great point — sometimes ignorance is bliss (or if not bliss, then at least partial contentment). Surrender to Chance (and other decant services) offers samples of nearly all the City Exclusives and if you found one you loved, you could always spring for bigger decant which might be enough to get you by. That’s what I’m trying to hang onto myself 😉

  17. I’ve been meaning to get back to Saks and check out the city exclusives. I know I couldn’t afford them if I liked any, but there are always decants. But really, very few Le Labo scents have really clicked with me, so I’m not expecting to fall in love with anything. It’s mostly just to satisfy curiosity. I wouldn’t mind having some more Ylang 49, though… and maybe some Lys 41 too.

    • Howdy, Jennifer! Decants are looking like the way to go for me, and that’s fine. It seems like Le Labo’s Ylang and Lys are pretty popular. The Lys did better for me; I so wanted to love the Ylang but it was a bit heavy and muddied on my skin. But I appreciate that it’s an interesting and well-done scent. Lucky you that you wear it well!

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