Liberty of London LBTY Perfumes

“Liberty is the chosen resort of the artistic shopper”. Oscar Wilde.

Oh, Oscar. You are the man!

I love Liberty. It’s not as huge as some other London landmarks; it doesn’t have every single department you could desire, as in Selfridges or Harrods.

But to my mind, it is the original – long before any ‘influencer’ came up with the label – perfectly curated collection of incredibly desirable stuff.

If I had to choose one department store in London and that was that, it would be Liberty.

Opened by Arthur Lasenby Liberty around 1875, the building has a Tudor vibe though it doesn’t date back that far. It’s tucked away off Marlborough Street (as if you care) behind Regent Street and very close to the Oxford Circus underground station. It is seriously a world away from the madness of cheap and cheerful recreational shopping you get on Oxford Street.

I think I said once before that if you are a shopper looking for a fix in London Liberty should be a destination. It has a very good perfume offer, a lovely makeup hall, loads of candles, the most incredible scarves, jewellery – all on the ground floor. There’s also a choice men’s offer, some women’s clothes. But beyond the ground floor stuff it’s the fabrics and housewares Liberty is known for. If you do visit, make sure you take yourself to the upper floors where all that goes on.

Anyway, after years of offering all kinds of hard to find fragrances Liberty launched its own brand recently, LBTY. Fine, whatever. These come in 100ml bottles EdP priced at £225 (there we go again with these eye-watering prices) with big caps wrapped in Liberty fabrics. The bottles are lovely, hefty glass, and they are meant to sit in the caps once you remove from the top of a bottle. Interesting concept. I have small hands and found that whole schtick unwieldy. I admit the look is attractive with bottle sitting in cap. I’m not convinced by cap on.

Anyway, here you go. Five fragrances. I only tried one on skin (see below).

Adelphi Sun. ‘Verdant, succulent, botanical’. Grapfruit, cardamon, golden fern, jasmine, linden, narcissus, neroli, sandalwood, boxwood, ambrox. Nose: Hamid Merati-Kashani. Good solid green citrus. Things like the jasmine, neroli and sandalwood are discernible on the blotter. A great warmer weather scent – and if this sort of things works on you.

Maze. ‘Crisp, tranquil, citrus’. Bergamot, Earl Grey tea, neroli, primrose, jasmine, honeysuckle, Dreamwood®, silver birch, hawthorn. Nose: Gabi Chelariu. Notes less individually discernible on this. Cool floral with something sour. Maybe whatever the Dreamwood thing is? If you can wear this sort of fragrance (I can’t) might be worth a sniff.

Tudor. ‘Bohemian, ornamental, woody’. Juniper, ginger, nutmeg, cypress, chamomile, cistus, myrtle, sandalwood, iris, amber. Nose: Pierre Negrin. This is a perfectly adequate woody amber. There’s a bit of rough from the iris. Maybe I get a bit of nutmeg and ginger.

Wild Rosinda. ‘Rich, mysterious, floral’. Black pepper, English ivy, wild currant, Bulgarian rose, saffron, geranium, guaiac wood, patchouli, amber. Nose: Hamid Merati-Kashani. This was the only one I tried on skin vs just a blotter because on the blotter it was just … wow. The opening (ie, on my skin) was this insane caramel rose. Just totally gorgeous. Given the notes I have no idea why it would do that but if there are decants around I can see a decant just to get that opening over and over. As it develops, the saffron is apparent, along with the patchouli. If you are a rose person, this is most definitely worth a sniff.

Zepherine. ‘Spiritual, luscious, amber’. Fig Nature Print®, cypress, clove, rose, patchouli, benzoin, suede, vetiver, cedarwood. Nose: Frank Voelkl. I don’t get this. It’s one of those things that dries down to those cedar boxes I bought as a kid on holiday down south US. The cedar was always a bit sour. On paper, that is what this is: a bit sour. I can’t really make out much else. To say this is my least liked of these would be an understatement.

The two I rate from the line are the ones by Hamid Merati-Kashani, Adelphi Sun and Wild Rosinda. He works with Firmenich apparently and has actually produced a fair body of work. Had never heard of him.

Anyway, I think these are definitely worth a sniff if you find yourself in their proximity. If they land on one of the sample sites here I will most likely get a decant of Wild Rosinda.

Anyone else tried these? Thoughts on the bottles? Been to Liberty? Love it down to your toes?

Pics: mine. Sorry they aren’t that great

  • Musette says:

    good grief! At this rate we won’t be reviewing many more perfumes – because we won’t be able to afford any of them!
    I’m glad Liberty has kept the normal store footprint – all other foolishness aside, I’m convinced that Barney’s incredibly stupid idea to put ‘impulse’ (perfumes/beauty/etc) in the basement! was a HUGE factor in their demise.

    • cinnamon says:

      I think less and less about buying full bottles — more about finding decants. It’s too bad because bottles can be beautiful etc etc. Bergdorf also put the makeup/perfume section in the basement. Isn’t half as nice now.

  • Dina C. says:

    Would love to visit Liberty of London. I’m a fan of their fabrics. Those note lists fill me with questions and doubts. Would have to sniff.

    • cinnamon says:

      Oh, Liberty is so much more than the fabrics, but that department is just wonderful. The scarves area is just great.

  • Tom says:

    Not needing even to try. Not at that price point. I might love one.

    And what’s with the (r) ingredient names? Do they really need to be trademarked?

    • cinnamon says:

      The marketing faff gets better and better. These did not make me go woooo except for that awesome into in the rose.

  • alityke says:

    Not sure any sound worth the price tag even if it is 100ml!
    I haven’t noticed much noise online about these, everyone seems busy hyperventilating about Star – Seren from Wales Perfumery. I would have thought LBTY would have got more interest

    • cinnamon says:

      No, I don’t think they are, but then I don’t think much is worth that kind of dosh. I’ve only seen them mentioned in one place and can’t recall what that was. I guess they are targeted at regular Liberty shoppers who aren’t that sussed about perfume.

  • March says:

    Meant to add: I think LBTY is a dumb name; I’m assuming they have “Liberty of London” trademarked, why not use that?

    • cinnamon says:

      Someone thinking they were being cute? Think you’re probably right about the trademark. And would think it wouldn’t be that hard to come up with a decent name that was a riff on Liberty.

  • March says:

    I dislike an unwieldy bottle but these sound like a fun sniff. I don’t think I’ve been to their shop? But I have a quiet passion for Liberty-print shirts; I probably have a dozen or more in various patterns, I find them so cheerful. Wore one yesterday and another one this morning.

    • cinnamon says:

      When you next visit the UK I recommend a visit to Liberty. It’s one of those places that make the mouth water.

  • Tara C says:

    Oh wait, I just searched on the name of the perfume hoping to find more reviews and lo and behold, they have a US storefront!

    $320 USD is steep but seems par for the course lately, alas.

    • cinnamon says:

      Interesting but weird on the pricing. $320 is significantly about the £225 here (around 260 sterling).

  • Tara C says:

    Wild Rosinda sounds fabulous! Sadly I am in the US and will never have access to these without going through heroic measures. The bottles don’t do anything for me but if the perfume is great who cares.

    • cinnamon says:

      That opening is astounding. After that it’s just really nice. I am not keen on the bottles, but in particular that weird cap.

      • MzChrz says:

        I am not familiar with U.K scent sample policies. but (to me) if you are charging so damn much for a scent, why not have a sample program? I looked all over the U.S. site (shout out to Tara C.) hoping to purchase a few samples. NADA.