Ylang 49 
Le Labo (2013)

Average Rating:  11 User Reviews

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Ylang 49 by Le Labo

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About Ylang 49 by Le Labo

People & Companies

Le Labo
Fragrance House
Frank Voelkl

Ylang 49 is a women's perfume launched in 2013 by Le Labo

Fragrance notes.

Reviews of Ylang 49 by Le Labo

There are 11 reviews of Ylang 49 by Le Labo.

Ylang 49 is a floral chypre in the new style with ylang-ylang paired with a dry-down of patchouli, oakmoss and a touch of benzoin. While it smells great on paper and on skin, too, at first, it eventually turns sharp-screechy-synthetic by the hour mark on skin. I've had a similar reaction to The Noir 29, so it could just be the brand itself.


Piercing at first. Ylang & gardenia together, howl at me. Patchouli begins to scream to be heard. Then, something lightly sweet and smoky. Voices settle to a steady hum. Intriguing.

This is much more noisy close to my skin, as it settles. Sillage reveals a steady sweetness, a sugary-floral patchouli. There is more here - it's too mashed together to figure it out. Mostly my nose picks out the ylang ylang and patch. They seem to dominate. This fragrance seems disjointed. I like it anyway. Though I wouldn't buy a full bottle...

You're a gardenia flower, standing upright in a mostly dead garden of cucumbers and weeds. You're a millenial, tired of the hashtags, rebelling against your Instagram feed and spilling your bottle of Santal 33 by Le Labo all over the ground as you stand in a garden of white flowers. You're a chef salad (without the croutons) minding your own business when suddenly a teenager spills Coca-Cola all over you. Ylang 49 by Le Labo.

The initial blast is very bright, and reminds me of Plum Japonais (Tom Ford) and Pomegranate Noir (Jo Malone). If Ylang 49 were a color, it would be fluorescent lavender! It opens very feminine, probably due to that gardenia, but eventually gets smokier, and might be able to pass as unisex. Overall, Ylang 49 is bright and distinctive. But after wearing it awhile, all I smell is the gardenia! And, sadly, this prominent gardenia note is the reason I can only “like” this and not love it.

Genre: Chypre

Given Le Labo's propensity for misleading labeling (well-documented by perfume critic Luca Turin), you can imagine my surprise upon discovering that Ylang 49 actually smells strongly of ylang-ylang. Somebody call Le Labo right away – whoever let this one slip by needs to be fired!

Potent, sensuous ylang-ylang leaps right out in the top notes, and remains dominant for much of the development. As Ylang 49 ages the headline note attaches itself to an earthy, animalic patchouli, in an accord that is equally noteworthy for its effectiveness and its structural clarity. A subtle, yet convincing gardenia reconstruction softens the central ylang-ylang/patchouli accord, while deft touches of moss and amber add depth to the background. The benzoin, patchouli, and vetiver drydown feels rich and sumptuous. This is among the most enjoyable fragrances I've smelled from this sometimes frustrating house, and certainly one of the few, alongside the delightful Iris 39, (also by nose Frank Voelkl,) that seem worth the money. Truly lovely, but for consistency's sake they should have called it Muguet 49.

Perhaps the highest compliment I can pay Ylang 49 is that it smells as if it were created more than 40 years ago – it has nothing to do with the fruity floral dreck that has cheapened perfumery, nor does it go all aggressive in trying to claim its space. No, this is showing how it should really be done.
This nectar-like creation (it is supremely sweet but never overbalances) is like being in the soft-bosomed clasp of some kind and beautiful creature – one feels safe and treasured. The gardenia-ylang pairing (with the softest patchouli imaginable) rises like a cloud of abstracted loveliness, like the best aldehydic offerings of yesteryear. It is substantial no doubt but it is also sprinkled with sparkles and is light on its feet. The drier chypric elements are restrained – this does not have the severity and ramrod straight backbone of classic chypres, opting for a much more supple and tender effect. I can't get enough of this magical haze.

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