Saks Galleria was the luncheon setting for a small, select group of us that were gathered to have tasty treats of the South of France as we listened to niche perfumery owner, Fabrice Penot tell us of the process involved by he and his partner of 7 years, Eddie Roschi (both of which come from years of extensive experience at major brands such as Armani and L’Oreal) in developing their artisan-like fragrances, Le Labo Perfumes, exclusive to Saks Houston Galleria and soon to open this Fall in Saks NY.
He was here to launch their two newest fragrances that were two to three years in the making, Ylang 45 and Lys 41. These two floral based scents he described as “imperfect twins” as they matured at about the same time.
The interesting part for me was the time I spent chatting with the charming Fabrice, who is a soulful artist that feels every step of the process in a non-orthodox and creative manner. He spoke of just how the process works for his almost made-to-order perfumes. It can take years until a fragrance matures to he and his partner’s liking. This all began for them in Grasse, France where they studied and had just returned from the Grass Rose Harvest. He shared photos of this amazing time there where acres of Roses are selected for their Number One fragrance, Rose 31, which has its feminine side, but through the addition of pepper and other spices, this unisex fragrance works well for men as well.
Le Labo selection begins with the fragrances, which they create. The name of the fragrance represents the main ingredient and the number after, tells you how many other ingredients are included in that scent. No pre-bottled inventory is carried in the store, as the owners feel that the freshness of the scent adds much to its specialness and is a differentiation from more mass-produced fragrances. Once you have tried, sampled and fallen in love with the one for you, an in-store expert for Le Labo proceeds with the final formation of the perfume, mixes it right there, bottles it and labels each bottle with the info on the fragrance and your individual name. The end result is an experience that feels very unique and personal. For me it was Ylang 45, which is labeled “my redglasses” and I also loved Rose 31, which was more unisex, in spite of its name, that I thought that my hubby and I could share, hence labelled….The Pactors!
For sensitive skin there is a collection of alcohol-free oils which we have also shown below.
Another popular category that totally makes sense with this collection are their candles which are named for the fragrances but take on a somewhat different scent as they fill the room. Here, Santal 33, is their best selling candle and the fragrance is divine.
Receiving my bottles of fragrance after my purchase felt very special as well. Not only were they bottled and labeled right there for me, then specially wrapped and boxed in all natural Le Labo brown boxes. It should be noted that all products used in the making and packaging of this collection are environmentally friendly and are animal cruelty-free. The photo below of the packaging and of Selma Blair, one of their many celebrity followers, shows exactly how I brought my products from Saks to my home.
The experience was unique and special. I urge you to stop by the counter in Saks Galleria and try it for yourself. I have been wearing it and loving it more each day. It’s not often that you can experience a fragrance so special (only carried in 35 locations on the planet, says Fabrice). Also one where its creator said to us that in assuring that a scent is ready, he asks the question, “Is it going to make the life of my client more beautiful?” If the answer is affirmative, it’s ready!