Thursday, August 25, 2011

Le Labo Aldehyde 44

Le Labo's city exclusive perfumes are a concept that send many of us into fits that are equal parts rage, jealousy and scheming. Many perfume lovers consider this particular business practice to be worse than Serge Lutens non-export perfumes. After all, it only takes a trip to Paris to get your paws on any of Uncle Serge's bell jars. But the crafty people of  Le Labo have placed these gorgeous treasures all over the globe, not letting us buy the preciousness unless we go in person to locations such as Tokyo, Dubai or Dallas.

Dallas. Home of probably many things this East Coast girl knows absolutely nothing about, and Le Labo Aldehyde 44 which I adore.

Aldehydes are those fizzy opening notes more common in classic perfumes than in contemporary ones, which makes Aldehyde 44 even more remarkable. Sniffing and wearing Aldehyde 44, the creation of perfumer Yann Vasnier, you never think "vintage". Not in a million  years. It smells thoroughly modern and abstract with just a hint of retro charm. It's the aesthetics of mid-century modern style art and decor, not necessarily the perfumes of that era. Clean and open lines, new color combinations, organic shapes and an industrial touch even when using warm natural materials. That's how this Le Labo perfume smells to me from its champagne-like opening (that would be the effect of aldehydes) to an abstract sunshiny flowers and then a very distinct narcissus/hay note,  my absolute favorite part here.

Just from looking at the notes one might expect Aldehyde 44 to be a white flower bomb that can be smelled from space. It's not. Your nearest and dearest will definitely be aware of it in your personal space, but more than anything this is a musky veil that maintains an intimate relationship with the skin. I think it blooms beautifully in the heat, stays clean and crisp while feeling unmistakably feminine and sexy.

Anybody going to Dallas?

Notes: aldehydes, tuberose absolute, narcissus absolute, jasmin sambac, musk, woods.

Le Labo Aldehyde 44 is exclusive to Barneys Dallas. My sample was sent by Le Labo.

Vintage fashion photograph from The Nifty Fifties on Tumblr
Le Labo store display by Adam Sinding of Le 21ème Arrondissement for Trendland.


  1. My best friend lives in Dallas! i had no idea Le Labo created store-exclusive scents like that.

    And I've always wondered what aldehydes were! Great explanation.

  2. Yes, actually, I'm drivingup for Labor Day weekend. Do you need me to mule for you? I've done it before!

  3. I live in Houston and have never once, in the 18 months I have lived here, been tempted to visit Dallas.

    Until now!

  4. Gaia, You KNOW you want some =) coming in Nov.... *hint hint*

  5. Dallas actually has a lot of things to recommend it. There's great food, great retailing, and thanks to several world-class museums in the DFW area, tons of great art. And the people, once you get past the hairspray and tans, are lovely. It's no Austin, mind you, but it's easy to spend a long weekend there and have a really great time.

    Gaia, if you'd like me to procure for you, e-mail me at shine AT austin DOT rr DOT com. I'm happy to do it.

  6. I am not going to order this because I can drive to Dallas and buy it, but I have been wearing it for the last three days. I get a big, heavy soap-balm in the opening before the aldehydes start to really sparkle. It is growing on me, although I like the "middle" best. Yesterday a waitress came over to our table after seating us & getting us drinks and said, "I don't know who, but one of you smells AMAZING."


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