Sexy As Hell – Review: Le Labo Labdanum 18

By Michael

How do you decide which perfumes to test?

Where possible I like to explore a whole line or brand at a time.

It helps me understand the style of the fragrances and identify the house notes, if they exist.

So, a couple of years ago, I decided to turn my attention to Le Labo.

le labo labdanum

Labdanum 18 is one of my favourite Le Labo’s but it didn’t start out that way. Initially I thought Labdanum 18 was just pleasant and no more and I filed my sample away.

Fast forward a couple of years: now I’m hooked.

Labdanum 18 is a fragrance created by Maurice Roucel for the house of Le Labo in 2006.

From what I can discern, from various sources, Labdanum 18 contains the following notes:
birch tar, castoreum, cinnamon, civet, gurjun balsam, hawthorn, musk, labdanum, patchouli, resins, tonka bean and vanilla.

Labdanum 18 opens with a mild orange citrus over an animalic and vanillic hazy backdrop.

Right from the start you’re wrapped in the most comfortable yet intimate smell you can imagine.
There’s a certain powderiness to the fragrance but it’sultimately furry and warm.
Labdanum 18 puts me in mind of the classic Shalimar and in particular, the savoury vanillic oriental drydown.

Labdanum 18 wears fuzzy, furry, softly animalic and as comfortable as old sweaters.

It’s equally happy as a comfort scent or a sexy scent or as pretty much everything else.

I feel like the secret to enjoying Labdanum 18 is repeated wearing. For me at least, it plays a little peek-a-boo. One day it’s all classic powdery vanilla oriental and the next, it’s animalic and naughty. On another day it might lean toward being a resinous classic amber and on others it’s almost a gourmand.


Labdanum 18 is rich, complex and versatile but ultimately it’s sexy as hell.

Have you tried it? What is your take on Labdanum 18?

See Olfactoria’s review here.


About Olfactoria

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This entry was posted in Amber, Fragrance Reviews, Le Labo, Resins, Vanilla and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Sexy As Hell – Review: Le Labo Labdanum 18

  1. judith dm says:

    Everything I love in a bottle!!!!

  2. Sandra says:

    Michael you are certainly tempting me with Le Labo! Will try this one when I get a sample.

  3. Lady Jane Grey says:

    I can’t remember this one at all – it might be one which doesn’t win you over for the first sniff.
    Since it’s “furry and warm” I will have to give it a second sniff at Liberty on Friday 🙂

  4. Tara says:

    I admire your methodical testing approach, Michael. I tend to go with whatever grabs my attention.

    Like Lady Jane Grey, I can’t recall why this one didn’t grab me but I will test again now you’ve tempted me with this review.

  5. LeSputnik says:

    I had a sample of it and I am i thunderous agreement!:I am really craving more of Labdanum 18 in a “real size” bottle! Between Ambre Sultan, Shalimar Ode à la Vanille and Ayurvedique (Sultane de Saba), it would be a magnificent complement to my amber-vanilla-patchouli growing collection!

  6. Another bottle I own, unopened…….
    Maybe when I unpack?
    Portia x

  7. cookie queen says:

    Hi Honey.
    I have never tried a single Le Labo. I don’t like the bottles. You do make it sound very tempting though. So I might, you never know. Bussi CQ

  8. Nemo says:

    I have tried it exactly once in the summertime, and my response was probably similar to yours (very pleasant, but nothing too unusual). However, I have been thinking about about it ever since then, and your review has only reinforced my need to try it more throughly! Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  9. Kandice says:

    Funny but like others I tried it, and it didn’t leave a lasting impression. However your review made it sound so wonderful I must get it out and try it again. Thanks for prompting me to revisit it!

    • Michael says:

      I’m with you Kandice. If I didn’t by chance take a sample of this on holidays I would never have worn it repeatedly. It also garnered compliments which doesn’t happen too often.

  10. Ines says:

    I couldn’t agree more. 🙂 I think it’s sexy too. 🙂

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