Chicago, Illinois – Review: Le Labo Baie Rose 26

Baie Rose 26 is exclusive to the city of Chicago and the most recent release in the Le Labo line.

Baie Rose means pink pepper in French. But I believe that name is also a play with words, because rose, the flower is also a player here. Pepper and rose, let’s see what Le Labo makes of that…

Baie Rose 26 was created by Frank Voelkl and includes notes of allspice (pimento) berries, pink pepper, aldehydes, ambrox, clove, pepper, rose, musk and cedar.

I had a hard time reviewing this, and truth be told, I probably wouldn’t have, were it not for the Le Labo exclusives week and the fact that this city-exclusive is available only in November.

Baie Rose 26 opens stringently (head-ache-inducingly) sharp with aldehydes and pepper. After the initial blast there is no doubt that anyone smelling it, is now wide awake. It is quite a crude and rude jolt to my senses that fortunately abates after a few minutes. (Long enough to leave me firmly settled with a headache though.)

The heart is an interplay of rose and pepper, which makes the rose segue into a carnation-like state now and again. There is a strong clove note intensifiying the carnation idea. The base is calmer, mostly resting on cedar and ambrox. Unfortunately the ambrox compounds my headache, as I often react to large doses of this material in that way.

Cloves are called nails in Austrian dialect - now my head knows why!

Let’s just say, I am fine with Baie Rose 26 staying in Chicago. I don’t seem to have much luck with Frank Voelkl’s creations for Le Labo, as Musc 25 was another no-go for me.

What about you? Are there any perfumes or notes that make you physically uncomfortable?

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37 Responses to Chicago, Illinois – Review: Le Labo Baie Rose 26

  1. lady jane grey says:

    Well, there is everything in there : clove, carnation, sharp aldehydes, rude & crude – those in usual make me not to try a perfume. But I don’t have to try everything, do I?

  2. andrea says:

    To be honest the Le Labo line does not sound like my cup of tea at all, I think as you advise above, I will let this one go. As for notes that I truly find hard to handle, I really dislike Oud and can not believe that Lavender is on my list to avoid (small quantities only for me) The one that is headache inducing for me though is incense, it reminds me when I was forced to go to Church as a child.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Lavender is difficult for me too, it can get so overwhelming and harsh. But sometimes, when blended right it is perfect!

      Le Labo is not really my line as well, there are some nice perfumes, but all in all, there are many more out there, I prefer over them.

      • andrea says:

        I am so glad that I am not the only person who finds lavender difficult, I keep trying Jicky but still find it is not to my taste but the blend in Bronze Goddess, to me is perfect.

        I will try Le Labo if I happen to be near the store in London, otherwise I will not actively seek it out, there are many other brands that hold more appeal to me. If only I could find a way get samples of By Killian without travelling to their nearest store.

        • Olfactoria says:

          Sign up on the By Kilian Facebook page in the Kilian Club, they used to send sample sets to members, I hope they still do!

          Best lavender blends are in Xerjoff perfumes (Lira and Esquel especially) and Vero Profumo Kiki (review to come soon). 🙂

  3. Tara says:

    “I am fine with Baie Rose 26 staying in Chicago” lol! Me too from that headache inducing list of notes. I didn’t know that Baie Rose meant pink pepper though so I’ve learnt soemthing.

    I have quite a few headache notes but “stabby” (so glad dee came up with this description as it’s perfect) synthetic musks are right up there.

  4. civava says:

    Honey in perfume makes me sick, although I like honey very much. Just not in perfume! Usually I can’t get rid of perfumes with honey, even showering and scrubbing myself with soap.

  5. Tatiana says:

    I have really enjoyed your reviews of the Le Labo exclusives. It is interesting to see how we differ in which ones we think are okay and which ones we really dislike. I was eagerly looking forward to these being available, but now after trying most of them, I must agree with you, Le Labo is probably just not my line.

  6. deeHowe says:

    Hmmm… Perhaps it’s just my perverse side, but you’ve piqued my interest! Not that I’m going to go out of my way to acquire a sample, but BR26 sounds pretty good! I do love a carnation note, and that saw-blade effect calls my name every time… Lol.


    • Olfactoria says:

      A closet masochist? How interesting? Lol. I would be very curious to hear how you like it, I think I know where my sample will go! (I’ll finally mail your package early next week, promise!)

  7. Anna in Edinburgh says:

    Perfumes that make me physically uncomfortable?

    Blinkin’ Eternity for Women – an ice-pick to the sinuses in a bottle. That was fun when everyone was wearing it.

    Usually Nothing else has that effect but the last time I wore “Lust” by Gorilla Perfumes/Lush, I really, really wished that I hadn’t. Something about it made my head throb alarmingly. Haven’t dared to return to it since: the sample may have become super-concentrated and super-lethal!

    cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

  8. Eva S says:

    Headache-inducing for me are large doses of heavy white florals like tuberose, orange blossoms, lilies (Fracas! Ouch!). Incense in large doses can have the same effect. It depends though on what shape I’m in that particular day-if I have a budding migraine I think I would go for something sheer by JCE 🙂 .Some perfumes don’t make me physically uncomfortable but it almost feel that way when you recoil in horror-Breath of God and Gucci Rush springs to mind!

  9. Vanessa says:

    I tried Baie Rose 26 in situ and couldn’t leave town fast enough! I’d much rather smell of the more famous deep dish pizza, frankly.

    I find brands as a whole can be headachey, as well as many of the individual notes mentioned especially indolic white florals and what Abigail pricelessly called SL’s “icky stewed things”. I struggle with JPG for example and a lot of Givenchys because of a plastic thing going on with those, while a number of By Kilians don’t agree with me, Beyond Love, Liaisons Dangereuses being the worst offenders. Love & Tears is fine though, and beyond lovely! And those Lush / Gorilla scents are hit and miss too on the headache front….

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi to Basel! 🙂 Glad to hear from you, V!

      Couldn’t leave town fast enough – lol!

      Serge Lutens perfumes do have an extraordinarily high headache potential, even the ones I like a lot, are easily overdosed and then dangerous.

  10. Undina says:

    Phew… I was affraid to open this review – what if you like this one as well? I’m relieved. I will smell it when I go to Le Labo counter for the exclusives testing but I’ll be very careful.

    Hard notes for me are tuberose (headache-inducer, which is really strange for me since I almost never get headaches – knocked on wood) and strong agarwood-rose combination (nausea-inducing).

  11. How disappointing it was to find out that my LL city exclusive is probably my LEAST favorite LL scent ever. I probably would have been happy with anything else. It’s a shame, because I adore Voelkl AND Le Labo- the recipe should have worked but I agree with you B, it just didn’t.

  12. Pepper is the biggest problem note that I can think of. Oakmoss is the next biggest one. A few other notes give me headaches in big quantities, but are okay most of the time.

  13. The smell of gardenias and lily of the valley make me run for cover. I find their scent to not only be gag-worthy, but just a quick whiff of their scent in perfume will actually aggravate my allergies! Thus, I avoid very delicate florals, or I steer towards rose or jasmine-based florals.

    I enjoy tuberose but I have to be quite careful with it – I fare better if the tuberose is heavily indolic.

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  17. ThENAuGhTyPrOf. says:

    Perfumes that make me physically uncomfortable?!?! Hmmmmmm…….., here goes:

    *Guerlain: Habit Rouge
    *Guerlain: L’Instant de Guerlain
    *Dior: Fahrenheit
    *Tom Ford: Oud Wood
    *Roja Dove: Diaghilev

    No hate on the houses tho!

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