Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Elegant hippy: Patchouli 24 by Le Labo

Once a hippy, always a hippy? I do have pictures of me wearing purple, hand died dungarees, a Palestine scarf and about 2 dozen badges showing all my caring for the world's problems. I used to burn a lot of incense, drank gallons of vanilla flavoured tea and liked patchouli. Still do. These days my patchouli just has to be a bit more sophisticated. And Le Labo's creation certainly delivers on the sophistication front. 

My visualisation of Patchouli 24 by Le Labo

What I mostly get from this fragrance is a smokiness that manages to be both wet and dry, stays away from the churches AND the BBQs, and is harsh and soft in pretty equal measures. My friend Nick described it once as sexy bacon, and while I agree that there is an edible element to this, for me it's not bacon. I hate the smell of fried bacon! This perfume far more evokes the image of smoked chestnuts. And because there is a strong leather element coming through it feels like holding a bag of hot chestnuts in a leather gloved hand. Not that the perfume actually smells of chestnuts. That's confusing, I know, sorry for free associations running wild. Patchouli 24 pops up on my skin with a surprisingly herbal patchouli note. A very short Bang! From then on the note stays very silently in the back. Leather, resin and burned woods take over. Wet leaves in autumn fires is another image that comes to mind, and right now, with autumn finally in full swing, is a great time to wear this perfume. It has earthiness and elegance in perfect balance, and that is what autumn very much means to me. A time for long walks in the countryside but also the best season for indulging in fashion. I have worn P24 during a 4 hour walk in a damp forest in Kent and it did work splendidly on slightly sweaty skin.  The perfume finally settles in a vanilla, which is a tiny bit too sweet for the entire composition, I find. For once, I had wished for the woods to continue. It has remarkable staying power, over 10 hours on me, which doesn't happen all that often. This will probably smell quite different, but nonetheless most delicious on a man.  

How and where to wear:
Guy Fawkes night, here we come!

P.S. I had my finger on the purchase button for a 15ml bottle of this from the Le Labo website. £37.50 isn't cheap for such a small amount, but at least they do offer bottles under a 100ml..... But, dear LeLabo people, do you think it's clever to add the VAT sneakily at the very end, when all the form filling and credit card numbering is done? It's not


  1. Lovely post, Sabine.

    P24 really is perfect for autumn - and Guy Fawkes night! I was tempted by the oil roller ball for a while but unlike you, I actually like the drydown best and might struggle with the tar until then.

    I'd like to have a scarf that smells of it.

    I hate that VAT at the end of checkout thing. It feels like they're tricking you.

  2. Thank you , Tara. I might still buy it, begrudgingly...
    What 's your view on Charogne, which also featured in Nick's skanky presentation? On me the dry down is similar to P24, but there I really love it because it doesn't feel like an easy way out, but comes very naturally. Does that make sense?

    1. Sorry, I can't recall Charogne now but I know what you mean - the drydown feels more in keeping with what came before, rather than a cop-out. Makes sense to me.

  3. I remember reading Luca Turin's review of this - didn't he compare it to a musty cupboard in the chemistry department of a university or something? Anyway, I remember being quite scared to try it but it was definitely interesting and more wearable than I expected. As you say, perfect for autumn, and I wouldn't mind the vanilla at the end, though I can't quite bring it to mind now. ;)

    1. I will have to look that up now, of course. Musty cupboard is a good image for it. And he would know all there is to know about chemistry departments...