Sep 28, 2012
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Le Labo opens olfactory showcase in Paris

Sep 28, 2012

"Born in Grasse, raised in New York" — such is the tagline of Le Labo, a fragrance brand created in France's perfume capital Grasse, launching with a first store in New York in 2006.

The brand is the brainchild of the duo Fabrice Penot and Edouard Roschi, who just opened their first French store in Paris at 6 rue Bourbon-le-Château in the sixth arrondissement, right off the Boulevard Saint-Germain. The 40-square-meter space is a cross between a chemistry laboratory and a cozy loft in New York and in which the label's twelve unisex fragrances stand center stage (along with other olfactory creations for the home). These are perfumes with names that sound like chemistry formulas: Rose 31, Santal 33 or Bergamot 22 (around 115 euros for 5 ml).

The Le Labo boutique in Paris

Because for Le Labo, what counts is the fragrance. No extravagant packaging: the bottles are rather simple so that the fragrances — their pedigree hails from the classical French perfume tradition — can make a statement and especially tell their story.

"When we created Le Labo, we first wanted to tell a story. The perfumes naturally came about but only afterwards," said Edouard Roschi, a chemical engineer by training who has worked at Firmenich, then at L'Oréal for Armani fragrances where he met his partner Fabrice Penot. "We had the opportunity to attend catwalks and the most interesting ones were those that happened behind the scenes," he said.

And "backstage" is precisely what Le Labo stores are all about, because it is on the floor where the perfumes are actually created, the oils mixed, the alcohol and water combined — all right in front of the customers who can then customize the bottle labels.

It is a "formula" that has proved to be a great success. Le Labo now has corners in major department stores like Barneys and a dozen stores worldwide in New York, London or Tokyo with plans to open soon in Russia. The brand has also developed exclusive fragrances dedicated to some of its store locations, such as Vanilla 44 for Paris.

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