Despite the lack of advertising and celebrity endorsement, Le Labo has solidified itself as one of leading fragrance houses on the scene today since launching in 2006.
With the focus on the best quality ingredients and unique combinations, the founders Fabrice Penot and Eddie Roschi have successfully gone against the demands of the market by focusing on traditional perfume making that evokes emotion. Their unique approach has won them a cult following around the world and although Santal 33 has become a poster child for the brand, the duo has proven with their expansion into hair and skincare that Le Labo is a brand you should firmly keep on your radar.
We discussed all of this and more with co-founder Roschi.
Founders: Fabrice Penot(left) & Eddie Roschi (Right)
How has the world of Le Labo evolved since 2006?
A: Less than we thought it would. The spirit is the same and the people running are always the same passionate souls that are demanding in everything they do. We are present in more locations but other than, that the show is going on!
What emotions does fragrance making bring out in you?
Every scent brings out an emotion in you and the objective of developing a perfume is feeling an emotion that we hope will be felt by others as well. Fragrance making in itself generates satisfaction, but it is the perfume itself that is emotion in a bottle.
Le Labo has achieved a global status with no advertising, what is the secret to the brand’s success?
Making incredible perfumes with no compromise in artistic and ingredient quality. Our clients then become our best ambassadors. This transpires in the brand which sets the bar high on all issues. It believes in something and stands for something.
Talk us through the choice of ingredients used in Cuir 28, the scent dedicated to Dubai.
Cuir 28 is based on leather, wood, musk and vanilla. It’s a strong polarizing point of view on a leathery note that packs no compromise. Ultimately the choice of ingredients is not the point where – what is important is the result and the emotional response it creates.
All of your fragrances are unisex, do you think placing a gender on a scent is out of touch?
Perfumery has always been genderless. Gender was added when fashion houses started developing perfumes and it was a great marketing opportunity to segment the field. Your level of confidence (and your capacity to shield yourself from marketing or what people tell you what to do) is the only limit to wearing any perfume on the market.
Creating a fragrance can take years, has it taught you patience in other parts of your life?
Absolutely not. Impatience is genetically inscribed in my genes and that’s that! I don’t even consider it a flaw anymore.
What is your favourite smell?
I don’t have any romantic Madeleine story and I don’t have favourite smells, movies, or music as I believe that depending on your emotion you can connect intensely with different things. My favourite smell on Monday might not be the one on Tuesday.
What are your tips to in-store perfume blending if we haven’t tried it before?
Don’t talk and listen.
What haven’t you done at Le Labo yet that you’d love to do?
Despite our great existing efforts and growing awareness, we can always do more to defend the values of the planet. For instance, we are actively working to minimize our carbon footprint even more and reduce it to the lowest possible level.
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