Le Labo Benjoin 19 is the Moscow City Exclusive, the newest of the Le Labo City Exclusives. Released shortly after they concluded their City Exclusive free-for-all where you could buy them all in the United States, we look like it will be a long wait until this becomes a little more available locally. Finding anyone in Moscow and getting something shipped is, um, daunting. I briefly considered a little trip to Moscow – a city I’ve always wanted to see – took one look at my checkbook and crossed that little fantasy off the list.
There was a bottle floating around a while back that got split up, and I swapped for 3 mls from a lovely fellow blogger, Waft by Carol, and I’ve studied it off and on for about a month. She did not like it as much as I do, but I have to say it has grown on me slowly. Notes are amber, musk, olibanum ( frankincense ) and cedar.
Like all the Le Labo fragrances, the name on the bottle isn’t necessarily what the fragrance is exactly about. Le Labo Patchouli is about birch tar with a smidge of patchouli to set it on fire. Le Labo Vanille 44 is a lilting woody somewhat vanillic fragrance. What I’ve always found true about Le Labo fragrances is they have a gorgeous lilt to them that nets me more compliments than any other fragrance line. I went to Kansas this last weekend, and my mom went a little nuts two days in a row when I went swanning by wearing Le Labo Ylang, wondering what I had on. She’s so used to me stinking up the joint with all sorts of things, it always surprises me most when she comments and really likes something I’m wearing. Le Labo Patchouli mixed with either Guerlain Double Vanille or Le Labo Vanille 44 is a revelation, and both have a stunning fragrance trail. My nephew used to wear Patchouli out when he was single for a while, and would wind up with women burying their nose in his neck just to smell him. Well, he is cute too, but he did smell divine in it.
Le Labo Benjoin 19 isn’t exactly about benzoin. It is incensy, lovely woody amber base. There is a little bitter that singes the hairs on my nose when I bring it in close, but like a lot of good art, Le Labo Benjoin 19 is better at a distance. This thing has amazing lilt as you walk. It is very much like Le Labo Vanille 44. I sometimes lose the plot on it, but as soon as I walk from one room to the next, I smell nothing but this gorgeous fragrant wake following me, enchanting me far more than studying it on my hand, sorting through some of the medicinal bitterness. Sum of its parts perfume, and I’m pretty far gone in love with it.
So you know, sometimes you gotta go with what works. Now for the long wait to find the right combination of who you know to get a bottle transported over. In the meantime, I do have a wee bit that I can share for two very lucky commenters. Have you found a City Exclusive to love, or have you tried any yet? Just drop a comment either answering that question or chatting about anything else you’ve found interesting lately to be entered. Are we all watching Downton, or are you avoiding it? I hooked my mom, my sister and one of my sons on it the last two days, and they are joining the other umpteen people I’ve talked into watching it. Lovely soapy highbrow series.