Look, I'll be the first to admit that Le Labo's iconic Santal 33 scent smells really good. Besides owning a bottle myself, the fragrance has become so wildly popular over the years that it's practically a calling card for in-the-know millennials. In essence, if you know, you know. But the Brooklyn-based perfume brand has much more to offer beyond its best-seller in the form of oil-based unisex scents, and I'm here to guide you on where to begin.
It's easy to see why the brand is so popular. Each fragrance is layered with an intoxicating blend of notes, and because they're oil-based, one spritz can last you all day. I know they can be pricey, but in my opinion, the cost per wear makes them well worth the investment. For my own fragrance mission (and yours too), I asked Le Labo to send me samples of its best-selling scents, and the brand kindly provided its Discovery Kit which contains 17 sample-size spritzes. Over the past few weeks, I've been switching up my scent every day, mostly because I enjoy wearing perfume even if I don't leave the house just to feel something, but also because I wanted to give you my honest opinion on the best Le Labo perfumes.
Since fragrance reviews can be difficult to understand with their technical descriptions of all the layered notes in a scent, I approached each fragrance with a more user-friendly description of perfumes. Here's my opinion on how each fragrance made me feel, the mood it evoked, and the occasion I would wear it for. Keep scrolling if you're intrigued, and be sure to read all the way to the bottom for what I consider the best Le Labo fragrance.
#9: Neroli 36
Fragrance Family: Floral
Key Notes: Rose, musk, mandarin orange
My initial impression of Neroli 36 was how incredibly refined it made me feel. I could envision myself wearing this soft and delicate floral fragrance as the epitome of a mature, put-together version of myself. It's a lovely floral aroma that's clean, light, and mildly sweet, without being overpowering.
Customer Review: "Such a lovely scent. When first applied the aroma smells like a floral clean scent. As the day wears on the scent changes & warms up & moves into a more fruity scent. Really enjoying this fragrance."
#8: Jasmin 17
Fragrance Family: Floral
Key Notes: Jasmine, musk, sandalwood, vanilla
I don't normally wear floral scents as they don't feel like me, but Jasmin 17 drew me in instantly. It offers something more complex than your typical floral scent, thanks to notes like sandalwood and musk, while still being light and lovely—overall a well-balanced scent. It's perfect for spring, and it makes me want to throw on my favorite puff-sleeve dress and sandals for a walk.
Customer Review: "I love this scent. It’s so smoothly floral, very light yet fragrant enough to notice. It’s sweet and youthful."
#7: Fleur d'Oranger 27
Fragrance Family: Floral
Key Notes: Bergamot, petitgrain, lemon
Although I typically lean towards musk scents, I have to say that Fleur d'Oranger 27 is a delightful exception. It's a true orange blossom fragrance that's rich, creamy, and surprisingly long-lasting, outlasting the other floral scents I tested. It only began to fade after about eight hours of wear, which was impressive.
Customer Review: "Le Labo's Fleur D'Oranger 27 is elegant. This fragrance includes notes of orange blossom, musk, bergamot, petit grain, and lemon."
#6: Ambrette 9
Fragrance Family: Aromatic
Key Notes: Ambrette seed, citrus
It's difficult to describe this fragrance because of its delicate and subtle nature, but it has a captivating quality that draws you in. The best way I can explain it is this: Imagine someone you know who always smells amazing, but it's not necessarily because of a fragrance they're wearing—it's just their natural scent. That's Ambrette 9 in a nutshell. It's similar to that fresh and clean feeling you get when you step out of the shower. It's an immediate yes from me.
Customer Review: "Lovely bottle and fragrance; Light, natural, soft scent. Great for times when you don't want to wear a strong perfume but still something pretty."
#5: Bergamote 22
Fragrance Family: Citrus
Key Notes: Bergamot, amber, musk, grapefruit, vetiver, petitgrain, vanilla, orange blossom, cedar
Bergamote 22 is the ideal scent for the height of summer. It's a refreshing citrus scent that's reminiscent of a freshly squeezed cocktail made with bergamot and grapefruit, revitalizing you from the sweltering heat.
Customer Review: "This perfume stays on all day long! I get compliments every time I wear any Le Labo product! I mean; I have 11-hour days and by midnight I still smell as if I'm ready for a night out. Love it!"
#4: Baie 19
Fragrance Family: Fresh
Key Notes: Patchouli, juniper berry, ozonic notes, musk, green leaves, ambroxan
Fresh and clean with hints of spice, this would be a great everyday scent to wear, as it's incredibly versatile.
Customer Review: "A very classy and clean scent. Has a feminine touch to it. Will wear it to work and a casual night out. Very nice!"
#3: Another 13
Fragrance Family: Musk
Key Notes: Ambergris, ambrette, musk, pear, amyl salicylate
Perhaps I'm biased because I've been wearing this scent for a few years, but I recognize that it may not be everyone's cup of tea. With the creation of Le Labo and Another Mag, this scent was incorporated into its permanent line, unlike the brand's city-exclusive fragrances, making it accessible all year round.
When my mom took a whiff of it, she told me that she thought it smelled unpleasant. Nevertheless, others have classified the scent's minimalistic aroma as "industrial," which might have been intentional. It's one of those unisex fragrances that will undoubtedly earn you compliments if you can carry it off.
Customer Review: "Le Labo's AnOther 13 is a very lovely, delicate floral scent that has an extraordinarily lasting presence on your skin. I've discovered my signature scent! Thank you Le Labo."
#2: Rose 31
Fragrance Family: Floral
Key Notes: Rose, cumin, vetiver, cedar, oud, musk, guaiac wood, olibanum, labdanum
Rose 31 is a rich, earthy rose scent, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It's a departure from the excessively sweet and girlish perfumes of my teenage years. This fragrance is so captivating that you'll find yourself wanting to smell it every five seconds—it's that good!
Customer Review: "I cannot say enough about Rose 31. I get so many compliments and I wear it all the time. I admit I am a scent snob and have other fragrances however this is my go-to. It’s the perfect scent and worth its price."
#1: Thé Noir 29
Fragrance Family: Woody
Key Notes: Bergamot, fig, bay leaf, cedar, vetiver, hay, tobacco
I initially discovered this fragrance when my friend Sam was wearing it; he's one of those people who exude coolness without effort, and I think that perfectly describes the scent. It has a deep intensity to it that is somewhat mesmerizing, much like Santal 33. It's a one-of-a-kind and elegant fragrance that would be ideal for a date or dinner, particularly at night.
Customer Review: "[Thé] Noir 9 has such a complex woody yet fresh scent that I can’t describe besides saying it smells like I’m having dinner at sunset on the beach during early autumn. That’s it. It’s that good."