Le Labo’s Santal 33 is one of those fragrances that stalked me until I bought it. It followed me from every rooftop bar in New York, boutique in Los Angeles and salon in Melbourne until I finally caved. I actually bought a very similar ‘dupe’ called Book by Commodity Fragrances but honestly despite my review when I first bought it, my love for it still was overshadowed by my obsession with the OG Santal.
When I realised that I had exactly $270 to spend to keep my spend level as a Mecca Loop member I knew that it was a sign that I should finally bite the bullet and get it. OMG AND IT WAS SO WORTH IT. The top notes smells the same as BOOK but my oh my do the differences begin to appear after a few hours. I would say with BOOK, I got an average of 4-5 hours wear before it gets kind of dull and with Le Labo I find the different notes come out at different times. You definitely start with a huge hit of sandalwood for both but when I shower or smell my clothes after work I find BOOK tends to smell kind of spicy but Santal smells like a damn Birkin (incredibly expensive leather).
Something about that little bit of difference makes Santal so much better than BOOK for me. Now that I have both I’ll use Santal for an evening out or on my frequently worn blazers and sweaters but I’ll use BOOK if I’m just stepping out a few running errands (edit. I’ve started wearing it to the gym too). I also really like to spray my perfume in my hair just because I love the way the scent gets thrown around again when I toss or flip my hair.
The whole buying experience for Le Labo fragrances is as decadent as the scents themselves. You probably know by now I’m an absolute sucker for a customised product. I got my perfume at Mecca in Myer Bourke St and I was able to get the label and packaging customised with my own message/name and I also asked for the date changed to my birthday. During the packing process I also noticed the SA spray copious amounts of the perfume all over the box and the tissue paper padding as well, no expenses spared!
Unfortunately up until now, Mecca Myer and Armadale were the only places you could get the customisation done. HOWEVER! It was just announced this week that Le Labo will be opening a flagship store in Melbourne in the coming months. The store will stock all of the scents in all its forms, perfume, oils, candles and ever laundry detergents (I aspire to live the kind of life that deserve an $80 bottle of sandalwood laundry detergent. Perhaps one of the best elements of the flagship is the perfume mixologists on hand to mix your chosen scent for you on the spot and of course all labels will be customised. Unsurprisingly, the new store will be on Gertrude Street in Fitzroy, an area is seriously becoming the East Village of Melbourne.