London, England – Review: Le Labo Poivre 23

Poivre 23 has the distinction of being the one Le Labo city-exclusive I have ever seen in person. At the freestanding Le Labo store in London as well as the counter at Liberty’s.

And you know what: once it is there and readily available, these things kind of loose a bit of their luster. At that moment in Liberty’s, I did not care so much for Poivre 23, exclusivity be damned, it was just one more perfume in a sea of others.

So I guess that locale-specific marketing idea does seem to work – especially for those NOT in those cities…

Poivre 23 was created by Natalie Lorson and includes notes of cistus labdanum, incense, patchouli Indonesia, gaiaic wood, pepper Bourbon, Australian sandalwood, vanilla absolute and styrax resin.

In the privacy of my own home, with less distractions and more cravings back in place, I tried Poivre 23 again and it became swiftly apparent why it is my friend Dee’s holy grail.

Poivre 23 starts super-peppery, for once doing justice to a Le Labo name, but takes a turn into a warm and cozy oriental soon. A trace of incense makes the gorgeous labdanum and vanilla on wood base, truly addictive.

When I smell Poivre 23 a very eloquent hmmmm comes to mind, and I almost want to leave it at that. If not eloquent, that hmmmm is at least very expressive.

Poivre 23 is dark and resinous, unsweet and warm, a bit masculine leaning and rough around the edges. I find myself reminded of sitting in front of a fireplace, feeling the intense heat on my face, and the cold in my back. Watching the dancing flames, bathed in orange light, the darkness watching and waiting just beyond the small radius of light.

In other words – hmmmmm.

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29 Responses to London, England – Review: Le Labo Poivre 23

  1. lady jane grey says:

    Hmmmm, an exquisite scent, indeed.
    Poivre 23 is definitely my favorite LeLabo scent, and even more so on my fairy-like friend Ch. – on her thin wrist it produces notes they never come from my muscular paws… Anyway, this is also one of my perfumes which is different by every use – playing games with me, but nice games every time. It’s my chameleon scent.

  2. Sigrun says:

    I’ve been so busy lately I’ve not been catching up on my blogs as I usually do, but I made this promise to myself. If I managed to sell my appartement while the city exclusives were still being sold in Le Labos webshop, I’d get them all (or, actually I don’t want them all, but I’d get the ones I’m interested in). And yesterday we did sell the appartement, so now I’ve done that internet ordering 🙂 Thank you so much for reviewing them 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      Congratulations on selling the apartment! What a good deal you made!
      (And I mean the Le Labo deal of course, I hope the deal on the apartment was just as well! 😉 )
      Which ones are you thinking about?

      • Sigrun says:

        Haha, I didn’t make any megabucks selling the appartement but we did get about as much as we had expected, which is a good thing considering the state of uncertanity the real estate market here seems to be in. For the Labo exclusives I’ve ordered all except Musc and Tubereuse. The two of them just seemed so boring. And I’ve also ordered Oud, Vetivier and Jasmine from the regular lineup. I’m most excited about the Gaiac, mostly because I, very unexpectedly, have fallen madly in love with Santal 33, so I want to try more of their woody fragrances.

  3. Tara says:

    Oooh, I love that sitting-by-a-fire metaphor! I’ve only tried Poivre 23 once a while ago and really enjoyed it until the drydown. It’s hard to remember exactly what went wrong but I think it turned sour on me. However, pepper is one of my favourite notes and dee is one of my favourite people, so I will definitely give it another try!

  4. masha7 says:

    This is the only Le Labo I like and have worn, the only one! I prefer Caron’s old Poivre and Coup de Fouet, but Poivre 23 is worthy of their company. It’s one of the nicest spicy incense perfumes around now.

  5. deeHowe says:

    I would love to smell Caron’s Poivre, even if I have a difficult time imagining a better Poivre than P23!

    Despite having a cabinet full of gorgeous offerings, P23 is one that I could easily be content with were I restricted to just one. It doesn’t answer all of my cravings (I like a little green, don’t ya know), but it perfectly answers the craving for Spicy Oriental; my favorite category!

    I am always glad when you warm up to a favorite of mine— I feel much more confident in my taste! 🙂

  6. Suzanne says:

    Hmmmmm, you make this sound pretty damn fine. I love that contrast you describe of feeling like you are sitting in front of a fire with the intense heat on your face and cold on your back. And I’m further intrigued by what Lady Jane Grey said about it and the fact that it’s Dee’s Holy Grail. I finally ordered a sample of this and some other things you’ve got me craving … can’t wait until they arrive!

  7. Undina says:

    You know, Birgit, how I say that I like your reviews and that influence me? You and Dee did it again! After reading this post (and comments) I signed up for a split of this scent unsniffed.

  8. Vanessa says:

    Another commenter who likes the sitting by the fire image! I have not tried this one and am now very intrigued, notwithstanding its rough edges. I do like L’Ombre Fauve after all, whose opening is dog rough! On the “to try” list it goes….

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh, this is not half as rough as L’Ombre Fauve, so I think you might like it. And you are another lucky Brit who isn’t that far from London, so no November rush for you and Poivre. You have all the time in the world… 🙂

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