Guest Post by Madeleine
Aldehyde 44 by Yann Vasnier for Le Labo 2006
Hello fellow perfume lovers!
I hope you are well and have had a terrifically fragrant time since my last post. Today I want to share my thoughts on Le Labo’s Aldehyde 44. Aldehyde 44 is part of Le Labo’s city exclusives range and is only sold at Barney’s in Dallas, Texas. However, news came out late last month that since the Dallas Barney’s is closing, the fragrance is to be officially discontinued as of March 31.
I find this sad news as this is such a unique and exciting fragrance. The perfume has conjured up so many images and feelings in my mind that, news of its discontinuation aside, I felt compelled to write about it.
Unlike some of the Le Labo offerings, Aldehyde 44 stays true to its name, and if you don’t like aldehydes, this is one to stay clear of. But if you love aldehydes, get your hands on some of this juice before it disappears completely.
Photo stolen Fragrantica
Aldehyde, musk, jasmine, tuberose, woodsy notes, narcissus, neroli, vanilla and ambrette (musk mallow)
In contrast to other aldehyde-rich fragrances, such as Chanel no 5, Baghari by Robert Piguet or Serge Lutens La Myrrhe, the aldehydes here aren’t tempered by any floral notes on first whiff. These are aldehydes pure and clear. The effect is more effervescent and glowing than the sparkly, champagne-like effect in the aforementioned fragrances.
The opening is sharp and bright, bringing to mind the effect of dropping an alka seltzer in water and that searing nostril effect you get from the fizzing lozenge as it dissolves. Images also come to mind of the heat mirages over searing bitumen roads in the outback or the white light-type effect one experiences when entering the bright sunshine on a hot summer’s day from a darkened room: retina piercing, hot, clean and white.
In fact, Aldehyde 44 for me is a story of white. I wore it one weekend recently when Mr M and I went to see a Neo Impressionist exhibition in Melbourne. The Neo Impressionists technique of pure colour juxtaposition and pointillism in their works gave the white on the canvas a distinct luminosity and enhanced optical brightness. The feeling of this perfume on skin is much the same.
All this may make Aldehyde 44 sound a bit quirky, but the fragrance is still supremely elegant. The soft white florals give depth to the composition and add to its overall radiance. The jasmine, tuberose and neroli are so well blended here that it is hard to identify individual notes, but their subtle nuances add a smoother, gentler sensation, akin to that of silk on skin. The drydown is all about musk which rounds out the overall clean glowing feel.
If Chanel No 5 and other aldehyde perfumes speak of the classical elegance of a well-cut black suit or the nipped-in waist of the post- World War Two era, then Aldehyde 44 is all about the modern, fresh take of 1960’s fashion. When wearing it, I’ve been reminded of the Courreges fashion line and its bold, futuristic elegance. The house was all about geometric shapes, new materials such as PVC and rubber, miniskirts and also, a little white dress.
Aldehyde 44 is the perfect olfactory equivalent.
Due to its discontinuation, Luckyscent
has Aldehyde 44 stocked until the end of March, starting at US$290/50ml.
Have you tried Aldehyde 44? What are your favourites from the Le Labo line?
Until next time!