Baie Rose 26 by Frank Voelkl for Le Labo 2010




Hi there Niche Nerds,

Todays fragrance was released as the Le Labo Chicago city exclusive. You may remember that I find the Le Labo adventure somewhat wankerish. The whole, we’ll mix it for you in store so it’s fresh shit doesn’t wash for me. Just because the ingredients haven’t been blended yet doesn’t make them any fresher, AND it takes months for the damn fragrances to settle properly after you buy them. It’s all a big fat GRRR for me.

Nevertheless when Le Labo get it right they do make some fairly spectacular frags.

One of my mates was doing a decant cleanout and I was lucky enough to buy this baby from them. There’s only about 2-3ml left in a 15ml so it has been well loved.

Baie Rose 26 by Le Labo 2010

Baie Rose 26 by Frank Voelkl


Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Rose absolute, Pink pepper, Musk, Cedar, Aldehydes, Ambrox, Clove, Pepper

Victoria from Bois de Jasmin taught me something in my reading today, “baie rose means pink pepper in French”. AHA! So not only is Le Labo doing its usual name it something and have it smell like something else trick but there is also a pun in action. Clever. Funnily, both the pepper and rose are front & centre for most of the scent.

So here we smell the interesting by-play between rose and pink pepper.

The opening is all rose and metallic sparkling aldehydes shimmering over the pink pepper. It’s a meaty, thick and dense scent that also manages to feel lightweight and airy. Haughty and powerful are the two words that keep coming to my mind while wearing Baie Rose 26, also masculine (which is weird because I try not to subscribe to frag gender unless it punches me in the face wit it).


Baie Rose 26 is cool, in both the frosty and fun refinement explanations. It has a space age feel about it and a metallic twang, the best way to present roses in my mind.

I get fleeting correlations to other roses CK Contradiction Woman, Amouage Opus X and Oriza L. Legrand Royal Fillet. Not same obviously but there are resemblances.

The musk, ambrox, wood dry down is far less exciting that the first hours of Baie Rose 26 life. It doesn’t implode into banal but it isn’t a showstopper. A comfortable, safe scent that lasts and lasts with a hint of rose.


Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Non Blonde

Did you ever get to try this beauty?
Portia xx

Musc 25 Los Angeles by Frank Voelkl for Le Labo: City Exclusives 2008





I’m off travelling again soon! Yay for holidays!

Last year I reviewed Le Labo – City Exclusives Poivre 23 London just before I visited that majestic city. Just in case, you know, I fell in love and needed a bottle. These things can happen! So I thought I’d give the City Exclusives, Musc 25 Los Angeles a run through before my trip in April. Which, I’ve got to say, I’m really really looking forward to.

Musc 25 Los Angeles by Le Labo: City Exclusives 2008

Musc 25 Los Angeles by Frank Voelkl


Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Aldehydes, patchouli, musk, vetiver, lily-of-the-valley, cedar, rose and ambergris

The weirdest thing happened on first sniff. I instantly thought of Kingston, Ontario, Canada where my family spent a year. I don’t know what it was that triggered the reminder. Musc 25 opens with a heavy white musk, so maybe there was something environmental? A washing powder? House hold detergents? No idea. At any rate it was a one off, but interesting.

So, yes. Bam! White musk and quite a light, green-grey ozonic aldehyde which turns soapy in around 10 minutes. The white musk, to me, is cold and austere, a light grey colour. It’s one of my least favourite scents, I must admit. So soapy aldehydes and white musk aren’t really doing it for me however there are hints of concrete, plants and roses layered nearly imperceptably behind this, which makes me think it does needs a bit more skin time.


At around 2 hours I’m still sniffing my arm closely trying to get more than white musk out of this as it’s swamping it for me. There’s a hint of funky animalic saltiness. I notice ambergris listed in the notes but it’s missing the waxiness that I associate with that smell. I’m seeing in my mind’s eye perhaps a reflection of my Airbnb searches – up above the city of Los Angeles, a residential area on the Hollywood Hills. Once formal gardens have been left to go wild so there’s a bit of shrubbery and strangely some pink azaleas. Huh. That is a weirdly specific image……

At about 4 hours as a skin scent the florals die back but the pinkness increases as I start to pick up another softer musk which has the effect of drawing your attention inwards rather than looking out over the horizon of the city. As I know I’m anosmic to a lot of musks it makes me wonder if there’s more in there I can’t smell.


Further reading: Perfume Smelling Things and Perfume Posse
Le Labo in Venice (1138 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA) or a couple of other spots in LA
Surrender To Chance has samples from $6/0,5ml

I’ve worn Los Angeles Musc 25 a few times now and I’m a bit conflicted. It’s really not my kind of thing but it’s still been interesting to wear, if that makes sense? It is really the heavy white musk which is my issue but otherwise the mix of concrete, ozone, saltiness, shrubbery, roses, and the softer musk in the dry down leaves me intrigued. Will I buy a bottle? Perhaps not but I’d like to wear the fragrance in the town it was created for to see whether there is an enhanced sense of place.

Do you have any memories of a place having a particular smell?

Till next time,
Tina G

Something Blue by Frank Voelkl and Ann Gottlieb for Oscar de la Renta 2013

Something new kids!!
When I was a squirt bitch back in the late 80’s and early 90’s I was on the counter that housed Guerlain, Worth, Nina Ricci and Oscar de la Renta. His fragrances sold equally to Guerlain and the women that bought them were more often than not very well put together. They looked professional, tailored, hair neat and a lot of chignons and they were busy. Oscar de la Renta must have been doing some great aspirational marketing at the time because they’d come in and buy big bottles, often a soap and body moisturiser and not even look at their receipts as they swished out with their purchases. They were the easiest customers ever and my figures looked excellent because of them. I have ever since had a fondness for Oscar de la Renta and his fragrances.
SomethingBlue FragranticaPhoton Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Linden blossom (lime blossom), mandarin
Heart: Stephanotis
Base: Musk, vanilla
Have you tried Something Blue yet? What did you think? I can’t wait.
Till tomorrow big kisses and a smooch.
Portia xx

Oscar De La Renta Something Blue Fragrance 2013 Ad Campaign

Stolen from the blog art8amby

Craig McDean photographed the latest campaign from Oscar De La Renta‘s Something Blue fragrance line featuring model Iris Van Berne.

Image via TFS.