Short But Sweet – Review: Le Labo Labdanum 18

Le Labo Labdanum 18 is a sure-fire winner for everyone loving Shalimar. If you like Musc Ravageur as well, then there is nothing you won’t like about Labdanum 18. Only maybe it might seem a little redundant…

Labdanum 18 was created by none other than Maurice Roucel (who also created Musc Ravageur) and includes notes of labdanum, tonka beans, vanilla, castoreum and patchouli.

Labdanum 18 is easy to love, easy to wear and something that doesn’t take much thought or a particular mood for me to wear it. (Ines sees this rather similarly).

It is not so often the case that I find I have said all I have to say about a perfume in under a hundred words, but as much as I wrack my brain, Labdanum 18 can be sufficiently summed up for me in just four words:

Comfortable, warm, familiar, feline.

Nothing wrong with that, is there?

My cat Otti, who was perfectly warm, comfortable and familiar, looked exactly like this…

Which four words would you use to describe Labdanum 18?

Image source:, Black Cat by Diego Cervo via

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42 Responses to Short But Sweet – Review: Le Labo Labdanum 18

  1. “Comfortable, warm, familiar, feline” – Now that’s my kind of ‘fume! I love Shalimar and I love Musc ravageur. So this is clearly a must try.

    Thanks for the heads up!

  2. Ines says:

    Wow, you really summed it up well.
    And thank you for the mention. 🙂

    Btw, it might not be redundant, at least not from my perspective. I’m not really comfortable wearing Shalimar to work (it might be too much in a company climate) but I have no problem putting Labdanum on.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thanks! 🙂
      Ha, that is was just my thought when I replied to CPB! I totally agree. Labdanum is the most “harmless” of the three. The Parental Guidance version. 😉

  3. Tara says:

    Vanessa was kind enough to give me a decant of this and a lot more wearable than Musc Ravageur for me too. Your four words describe it perfectly.

    It’s a softly purring perfume to snuggle up with.

  4. Alexandra says:

    Oh this sounds good, Shalimar and Musc Ravageur are two of my absolute favourites. Oddly though I have never got round to buying a bottle of Musc Ravageur, and now I find myself very tempted by the nice 15ml Labdanum 18 bottle… 15ml bottles are a very good idea!

    • Olfactoria says:

      They are indeed! And this is a perfume where a little goes a long way too.
      Let me know how you like this one, Alexandra! Although I can’t imagine you not loving it, when the two others are among your favorites.

  5. GeM says:

    One of the Guerlains/of the FM’s I can’t wear… 😦
    I completely figure out when you say ‘feline’!!! Shalimar smells a bit cat piss to me…

  6. Suzanne says:

    The lovely Asali sent me some of this, and I’d say your four words sum it up nicely. 🙂

  7. Vanessa says:

    I am not a fan of Shalimar (though the light versions are fine!) but I do like Musc Ravageur and also L’Ombre Fauve, which is the scent Labdanum 18 also reminds me of. Definitely feline, also barnyard springs to mind, and of course vanilla. Feral farm cat drinking cream in a barn?

  8. Alexis says:

    Huge fan of Musc Ravageur – need to check this out next time I’m at the Le Labo counter at Barneys. Also, question for you…I see Labdanum a lot and was wondering how exactly would you describe it as a scent? I’m still learning as you can see!


  9. Amy Bella says:

    Mmmmm- Labdanumyumyumyum! I love Katie Puckrick’s image of this scent as a Godzilla sized baby destroying everything in it’s path with warfare grade talcum powder! I adore it, and it is one of my winter go-to perfumes. For some reason, Musc Ravageur pulls too sickly-sweet on me, but Labdanum 18 is purr-fect!

    I can’t improve on your four words.

  10. Warum says:

    My four words: amber, comfortable, similar(to)….. expensive!!! 🙂

  11. kjanicki says:

    I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m hoping it’s “Shalimar without the bergamot” because it’s the lemon note in Shalimar’s beginning that I can’t stand.

  12. deeHowe says:

    You can count me as both a Shalimar lover, and a MR lover (which M insists smells like a “less sexy Shalimar). Labdanum 17 is a must sniff!!! 🙂

  13. bloody frida says:

    Vanessa’s generosity = my appreciation

    (okay, this is really hard to describe in four words! )

  14. Jules says:

    Yep, “feline” really does sum up L18 perfectly. … On first smelling Le Labo’s oeuvre it was immediately L18 that stood out as a favourite. (Later, I also really liked Poivre 23, though did not think it quite worthy of it’s “exclusive” pricing.) … And as much as I still do luv L18, I sometimes wish it didn’t end up quite as powdery.
    So my four words would be : elegant, smooth, cozy & powdery. (Though I’d definitely add the purrrfect “feline” as my fifth too. :))

  15. Alexis says:

    I finally get it! I tried this on today and yes, I’m feeling feline and sassy! I may have to get the travel size of this.

  16. Stefan says:

    But isn’t MR much more stronger with its overwhelming spices? For me L18 is a perfect “remake” of the former Helmut Lang scent which is not longer produced, but was a great “New” scent 10 years ago… Musky, clear and clean, however with a certain sexy twist which always made me feel comfy… It’s one of those scents which One might consider only at 2nd smell….

    • Olfactoria says:

      Helmut Lang Eau de Cologne was also a Roucel creation and therefore the similarity is surely there. MR, L18 and HL are all cousins, each with its distinct features but there is a strong family resemblance none the less.

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