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5 de out de 2011

Labdanum 18 - Le Labo English Review

Notes: Labdanum, Castoreum, Civet, tonka beans, vanilla, patchouli, musk (probably some vetiver too)

As part of the first range of fragrances launched when the brand started, Labdanum 18 may be one of the most intriguing ones of Le Labo. And this is probably in part due to the perfumer behind it, Maurice Roucel. Maurice transport here the of his composing style and produces for Le Labo a complex fragrance, one with two contrasting sides that seems to play a game with skin and nose. Labdanum 18 is not mainly about the labdanum, like most of le labos that doesn't have a strong dominance of the material that names them. It seems more a reflection of the duality in a oriental themed composition: the tension between the sweet, innocent, romantic side and the sensual, raw, dirty, animalic one. Labdanum 18 is both sides of an oriental, with a different dominance of each one according the warmth of the day. On colder days the sweetest side comes upfront and the overall aura is sweet, slightly powdery, musky and creamy - the tonka bean comes to the center, anchored in a vanillic background where the labdanum works as a second actor to the vanilla and musk. But on other days, warmer ones, Labdanum 18 is more about the civet and castoreum, that brings the animalic, dirty musky facet of this oriental fragrance to the stage, softening it with the sweeter notes but don't letting them become evident at the early stages, decreasing the sweet and almondy aura of labdanum 18. As a counterpount balance there is a woody background that is noticeable at the end of evolution at both cases, showing an abstract vetiver and patchouli mixture that is dry, slightly leathery and works very well to finish the composition. Labdanum 18 is like, most of Maurice Roucel works, a study of constrasts, a complex fragrance that has to be tried with attention and to be appreciated with time, cause it's not a obvious one and maybe a love or hate case.You may, like me, starting hating it, but if you give time to appreciate and understand it you may end loving it.

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