For my birthday my very dear friend Pearl, who I’ve known since we were teenagers, gave me some euros to buy something in Paris. Pearl has often bought me perfume for previous birthdays as she knows I love fragrance and so with my gift from her I knew I wanted to buy a special fragrance to remind me of Paris and my special birthday.
Le Labo is in Le Marais, just around the corner from Merci, but has stores worldwide. It’s a beautiful apothecary, with bare plaster walls lined with wooden shelves of exquisite oils, cardamom pods, frankincense and vanilla pods. In short all the delicious ingredients you need to make the most beautiful bespoke fragrances.
Audrey, the lovely perfumier spent ages with me asking me about my favourite smells and trying different fragrances with me. She was so knowledgable and had trained many years ago in Grasse, the home of perfumers. Eventually after much deliberating, I settled on Vetiver which is a mix of masculine scents containing top notes of pepper and cedar. Perfect for my nose, I love woody, earthy scents.
I was as much impressed with the shop design as I was with the fragrances. I love the mix of textures and materials, rough plaster, smooth concrete and wood and the vintage apothecary jars and industrial features. As well as fragrance they also sell scented candles in glass bell jars and concrete containers and smaller candles in crushed metal cans. When my perfume had been mixed, it was presented to me, continuing the industrial recycled theme, in a brown paper bag and box, designed with hand drawn images of perfume bottles and lab style labels.
It’s a lovely gift idea that I shall cherish for a long time. Le Labo also have an online store and purchases can be posted internationally. They also sell exclusively to Liberty London.
On the walk back to our apartment we stopped to look in some of the the lovely shops that line the streets of Le Marais district. There’s still so many traditional shop fronts in this part of Paris, which is something I love about France. They hang onto their traditions instead of trying to be like any other country.