Le Labo Gaiac 10 is so overrated

bigtyivier2k2

Well-known member
May 7, 2011
This scent sells out in a day every year here in New York and I cannot understand why. It is beyond skin scent. You can barely smell it thats how light it is. What is so special about this?
 

cacio

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Nov 5, 2010
Agree in general about the city exclusives. Too pricey and overrated. Relative to the city exclusives, I find Gaiac to be one of the most interesting (which of course isn't saying much). I assume that what people like is exactly the minimalistic style. Neutral woody, low hum, it comes and goes. Probably it's the same people who like molecule 01.

cacio
 

ultravisitor

Well-known member
Nov 4, 2014
What is so special about this?

It's a style of fragrance that requires patience; either you get it or you don't. It took me a few tries to get it. You don't have to like it or get it. For those of us who do, it's really beautiful and amazing.

Le Labo is a niche brand. By definition, it's not for everyone.

There are plenty of screaming, brutish, loud fragrances to announce yourself as THE COLOGNE GUY for those who appreciate that kind of thing.
 

Andy the frenchy

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2018
This scent sells out in a day every year here in New York and I cannot understand why. It is beyond skin scent. You can barely smell it thats how light it is. What is so special about this?

Because it's New York. One has to have the 'last thing' because it's the last, not because it's good. And all these 'exclusive' brands understood it very well.
Not a surprise that exclusive brands mostly target LA, NY and the middle east: it is where the big wallets are, and many have lower than average cultural level, and think that one becomes elegant or refined by buying expensive and exclusive stuff..... (aka basic new rich bro and daddy's boys).

Back to Gaiac 10: I would simply state that I think that the whole house of Le Labo is so overrated. What they sell, it's the experience in store, more than scents. I personally own 3 decants: Patchouli 24 (that I will sell soon - way too feminine), Vetiver 46 (it's ok, but not at that price point), Oud 27 (the only one of the 3 decants that I will keep).


It's a style of fragrance that requires patience; either you get it or you don't. It took me a few tries to get it. You don't have to like it or get it. For those of us who do, it's really beautiful and amazing.[...]

Pretty much the opposite experience for me actually. Several 'wow' in store, and after wearing the samples (and couples of decants) a few times, it's just flat. Maybe who doesn't get it is precisely who already have sniffed a lot of fragrances, pays attention and expected more.
 

TRBeck

Well-known member
May 27, 2008
Back to Gaiac 10: I would simply state that I think that the whole house of Le Labo is so overrated. What they sell, it's the experience in store, more than scents. I personally own 3 decants: Patchouli 24 (that I will sell soon - way too feminine), Vetiver 46 (it's ok, but not at that price point), Oud 27 (the only one of the 3 decants that I will keep).

I agree. I have tried to love a bunch of Le Labo scents over the years, but even the ones I think are okay are inferior to others in their category. Vetiver 46, for instance, has little sillage and less longevity than CdG 2Man, which is a very similar - but superior - scent. Many niche houses are emperors with no clothes, and Le Labo is sort of the poster boy for that fact.
 

Andy the frenchy

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2018
Oh right. Those of us who like it just don't have much experience with fragrance and have low standards. That must be it. You're so right.

During my first wine sommelier class, that told us right away: 'this degree will give more technical knowlegde, the bases to explore more, and might make you become picky. That said, for the ones of you who intend to work in high end restaurants, you should be cautious when advising customers, because some might have a better overall vision of the world of wine, not because they are smarter or more knowledgeable, but simply because they have tasted more wines than you do.'

Same goes for fragrances. When I started my journey, I was very impressed and loved some fragrances that now, after having smelt 1500/2000 fragrances, I don;t care about anymore. Because indeed, my nose wasn't trained. (call it low standard if you want).
I cannot believe that someone who has tried a lot of fragrances would still pay attention to Le Labo. There might be a few exceptions, but Gaiac is definitely not one of these. That doesn't make really sense to me. I'm not talking about tastes, but about the structure and creativity of fragrances, compared to what is available around.
I just try to find a reasonable explanation... that's it.


I agree. I have tried to love a bunch of Le Labo scents over the years, but even the ones I think are okay are inferior to others in their category. [...]

That was my point. OK/good scents, but not the best in that category (has one would expect at that price point).
 

ultravisitor

Well-known member
Nov 4, 2014
I cannot believe that someone who has tried a lot of fragrances would still pay attention to Le Labo. There might be a few exceptions, but Gaiac is definitely not one of these. That doesn't make really sense to me. I'm not talking about tastes, but about the structure and creativity of fragrances, compared to what is available around.
I just try to find a reasonable explanation... that's it.

Right. Why would someone pay attention to a fragrance from Annick Menardo? Clearly, she is a terrible nose, an absolute amateur who doesn't know what she's doing. The only reasonable explanation is that you must simply know more than any of those people. They're all just beginners.
 

Andy the frenchy

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2018
Right. Why would someone pay attention to a fragrance from Annick Menardo? Clearly, she is a terrible nose, an absolute amateur who doesn't know what she's doing. The only reasonable explanation is that you must simply know more than any of those people. They're all just beginners.

What does it mean??? Most of the fine fragrances are blended by famous noses, does that mean that everything that is on the market is great and full bottle worthy??? Even the best creators have done some forgettable stuff (and a lot)... and here it's a school case. The creative director is as important, maybe more than the perfumer... Gaiac 10 is wearable, even nice, but definitely not $350 nice FOR MY STANDARD. You like it? Good. I think it's a waste of money. And apparently I'm not the only one in here to think so.

Your answer confirms what I thought. Have a nice day!
 

freewheelingvagabond

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2012
Right. Why would someone pay attention to a fragrance from Annick Menardo? Clearly, she is a terrible nose, an absolute amateur who doesn't know what she's doing. The only reasonable explanation is that you must simply know more than any of those people. They're all just beginners.

Annick Menardo is a great perfumer, but the brand matters a whole lot more than the perfumer. If Annick Menardo made an oriental for Malle in mid 2000s I would buy it at retail without even trying.

Le Labo is a very different story.
 

ultravisitor

Well-known member
Nov 4, 2014
What does it mean??? Most of the fine fragrances are blended by famous noses, does that mean that everything is great???

No...but "great" is a subjective term, and you're positioning yourself as being above subjectivity when just about everything involving perfume enjoyment involves subjectivity. The idea that only an absolute amateur could possibly enjoy Gaiac 10 is laughable for many reasons, including elitism.
 

ultravisitor

Well-known member
Nov 4, 2014
Annick Menardo is a great perfumer, but the brand matters a whole lot more than the perfumer. If Annick Menardo made an oriental for Malle in mid 2000s I would buy it at retail without even trying.

Le Labo is a very different story.

I actually told Frederic Malle once that I really wanted him to have Annick Menardo make something for his line. He seems to really admire her based on his response to me.

I definitely understand what you're saying regarding Le Labo: it's nowhere near as consistent in quality with its releases as Frederic Malle has been. A friend of mine actually teases me a lot because I hated Le Labos for a long time. I did not get them at all; I just thought they smelled like light, pleasant chemicals. I'm not sure what happened, though, as I really came around on a couple of them. Most of the rest I still can't be too bothered to pay attention to.
 

Brian5701

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
May 28, 2009
I've never loved any of their fragrances. A lot of them just don't seem sexy or even uplifting to wear. More room scents than personal scents. They are also simple scents, and in boutiques, they recommend "layering" them. Like I'm going to buy 2+ mediocre but pricy scents just to get one decent one...

I also think their "aesthetic" is dated. It was hip 10 years ago. Very SoCal/Venice,CA/Abbot Kinney hipster. Rustic minimalism. De-saturated photos. Courier typeface and distressed wood things. Old rusted sinks, etc. "Apothecary"

At some point, they need to turn out scents that are worth the cash.
 

Andy the frenchy

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2018
No...but "great" is a subjective term, and you're positioning yourself as being above subjectivity when just about everything involving perfume enjoyment involves subjectivity. The idea that only an absolute amateur could possibly enjoy Gaiac 10 is laughable for many reasons, including elitism.

Great for ME. I stated FOR MY STANDARD in capital letters. Please do not cut my quotes without adding a [...] sign.
On a side note: you are the only poster in this thread who said something good on Le Labo... so I don't think that I'm really 'subjective' on that one.

No, not elitism. Experience. As I said with the wine example, not because one has a wine sommelier degree does it make this person knowledgeable. Only when sampling a lot, will a sommelier be. Thinking that one knows of wine because he tried 50 expensive wines would be just laughable. It's sad to say, but only one who has access to a lot of sampling can become so... that mean or ultra wealthy people, or high end restaurant sommeliers, or wine dealers....

Same goes for perfume: not because one has a huge collection of Creed, Malle or Roja Dove (to cite a few of the blockbuster luxury brands) does that make that person knowledgeable. That makes that person a good customer of luxury dept store, that's it. Only the high number of sampling will. And like for wine, it's sad to say, but only one who has access to a lot of sampling can become so... that means a wealthy person who blind buys a lot, or someone less wealthy that buy a lot of samples online, or someone that has the luck to live in a major city where there are well stocked luxury department stores, but most of all independently owned perfume stores, where the real (current) gems lies...


[...] I just thought they smelled like light, pleasant chemicals. I'm not sure what happened, though, as I really came around on a couple of them. Most of the rest I still can't be too bothered to pay attention to.

So basically you agree with the majority opinion (as well as mine) on Le Labo, but you were just trying to troll me to generate a fight. I see.
 

freewheelingvagabond

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2012
I’m completely anosmic to this one. Can’t smell it at all.

I'm anosmic to some of their scents, and the ones that I'm not anosmic to turn too sharp/screechy/synthetic on my skin after about a couple of hours.

I've never loved any of their fragrances. A lot of them just don't seem sexy or even uplifting to wear. More room scents than personal scents. They are also simple scents, and in boutiques, they recommend "layering" them. Like I'm going to buy 2+ mediocre but pricy scents just to get one decent one...

I also think their "aesthetic" is dated. It was hip 10 years ago. Very SoCal/Venice,CA/Abbot Kinney hipster. Rustic minimalism. De-saturated photos. Courier typeface and distressed wood things. Old rusted sinks, etc. "Apothecary"

At some point, they need to turn out scents that are worth the cash.

Agree regarding the argument about aesthetics.
 

imm0rtelle

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2021
Back to Gaiac 10: I would simply state that I think that the whole house of Le Labo is so overrated. What they sell, it's the experience in store, more than scents.
I have to agree that a big selling point is the whole aesthetic and lifestyle of the brand. I haven't had a very good first impression of the fragrances, but the brand aesthetic is appealing to me. Perhaps candles would be how I can involve Le Labo into my life.

When I started my journey, I was very impressed and loved some fragrances that now, after having smelt 1500/2000 fragrances, I don;t care about anymore. Because indeed, my nose wasn't trained. (call it low standard if you want).
I cannot believe that someone who has tried a lot of fragrances would still pay attention to Le Labo. There might be a few exceptions, but Gaiac is definitely not one of these. That doesn't make really sense to me. I'm not talking about tastes, but about the structure and creativity of fragrances, compared to what is available around.
I just try to find a reasonable explanation... that's it.
Are there other brands that try to copy the Le Labo aesthetic, or what's the next hipster thing?

Right. Why would someone pay attention to a fragrance from Annick Menardo? Clearly, she is a terrible nose, an absolute amateur who doesn't know what she's doing. The only reasonable explanation is that you must simply know more than any of those people. They're all just beginners.
What a poorly executed deflection that got shot down immediately. People who put perfumers on a pedestal believe they are beyond criticism. Thinking that perfumers are solely in charge of the final product is both delusional and disrespectful to the creative director of the fragrances.

Annick Menardo is a great perfumer, but the brand matters a whole lot more than the perfumer. If Annick Menardo made an oriental for Malle in mid 2000s I would buy it at retail without even trying.

Le Labo is a very different story.

Precisely my point. The brand, budget and creative direction matter much more than the perfumer.
Be careful, you just triggered all the people who think the infallible perfumers have final say on how the fragrance smells like. Apparently creative directors are all just twiddling their thumbs and contribute nothing to the final product. They believe that the creative director can be replaced by anyone and the fragrances launched would have been the same.

No...but "great" is a subjective term, and you're positioning yourself as being above subjectivity when just about everything involving perfume enjoyment involves subjectivity. The idea that only an absolute amateur could possibly enjoy Gaiac 10 is laughable for many reasons, including elitism.
Unless people are giving literal facts, everything said is literally a subjective opinion. You're so heated because your ego got bruised by Andy's opinion. You're just digging yourself into a deeper hole, maybe it is best you learn to let it go.

I've never loved any of their fragrances. A lot of them just don't seem sexy or even uplifting to wear. More room scents than personal scents. They are also simple scents, and in boutiques, they recommend "layering" them. Like I'm going to buy 2+ mediocre but pricy scents just to get one decent one...

I also think their "aesthetic" is dated. It was hip 10 years ago. Very SoCal/Venice,CA/Abbot Kinney hipster. Rustic minimalism. De-saturated photos. Courier typeface and distressed wood things. Old rusted sinks, etc. "Apothecary"

At some point, they need to turn out scents that are worth the cash.
Yeah, I'm thinking maybe I would like their candles better. What's the new hip aesthetic nowadays?

So basically you agree with the majority opinion (as well as mine) on Le Labo, but you were just trying to troll me to generate a fight. I see.
He has a history of this type of behaviour. On some level, I kind of feel bad for him.
 

cheapimitation

Well-known member
May 15, 2015
I think the general public likes it because they aren't aware of ISO E and its properties. I bought it maybe 6-7 years ago, I liked it so much I wore a 50ml and refilled it. I don't really like or look for compliments, but it's the only fragrance I've ever worn that got compliments every time I wore it. The first time I wore it, I couldn't smell anything. But as I got used to it I noticed it easily lasts 24 hours.

I thought all this was quite magical and no wonder it costs so much if it has these magical properties. Well... these are the properties of ISO E and wearers of Molecule 01 report the same responses. I think most people don't know this is a pretty cheap and widely used molecule, so they are super impressed by the magical powers of Gaiac 10 and think it's worth the money.

Now, it doesn't just smell like Molecule 01, it is better and has a few flourishes like a wisp of incense and probably some other woody chemicals to give it more dimension. I like it, but I'm not sure when I'll ever finish my half a 50ml because whenever I revisit it I find it lacking and wish I had chosen something else to wear that day.

The price makes me angry, and the amount of influencers shilling it is really irresponsible because it just ads to the hype that it doesn't deserve and encourages consumers who don't know better to go out and spend way too much for a simple pleasant fragrance. If I ever met the director of Le Labo, I'd like to chuck my remaining bottle at him, I think that would be the best use of it.
 

cheapimitation

Well-known member
May 15, 2015
Now let's be nice and not make sweeping generalizations about someone's character, I like ultravistor and his posts. And we all know Andy is also very argumentative because he is French. Let's try to get along and make sure this thread doesn't become about Hedi Slimane.

*trying to make fun of everyone in one foul swoop so it's fair, please don't hate me lol

He has a history of this type of behaviour. On some level, I kind of feel bad for him.
 

Andy the frenchy

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2018
[...] And we all know Andy is also very argumentative because he is French. [...]

* because he can't handle the absence of logical reasoning (aka nonsense), nor views that are sweating of I-know-it-all-but-actually-I-know-nothing, and he calls it out. And I wish more people would do so.
Nothing to do with citizenship and if we want to get all get along, let's not throw things that are irrelevant in this discussion, nor refer to stereotypes.

(I know you said it as a joke, but at the end of the day, no one knows where members are from - Grant does not check IDs for registration, and pseudo and flags are chosen by users - you assume I'm French...).
 

deltasun

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2017
Because it's New York. One has to have the 'last thing' because it's the last, not because it's good. And all these 'exclusive' brands understood it very well.
Not a surprise that exclusive brands mostly target LA, NY and the middle east: it is where the big wallets are, and many have lower than average cultural level, and think that one becomes elegant or refined by buying expensive and exclusive stuff..... (aka basic new rich bro and daddy's boys).

...

* because he can't handle the absence of logical reasoning (aka nonsense), nor views that are sweating of I-know-it-all-but-actually-I-know-nothing, and he calls it out. And I wish more people would do so.
Nothing to do with citizenship and if we want to get all get along, let's not throw things that are irrelevant in this discussion, nor refer to stereotypes.

(I know you said it as a joke, but at the end of the day, no one knows where members are from - Grant does not check IDs for registration, and pseudo and flags are chosen by users - you assume I'm French...).

But your statement above is exactly that - a stereotype. You generalized what you perceive to be the stereotypical demographic who like brands like Le Labo.

Anyway, I get both sides of the argument here. Le Labo is definitely overpriced and uses (I'll just say ingredients here) ingredients that can be polarizing. I'm the same as ultravisitor in that I'm very curious about the "love" for the brand (I know you won't find much in this thread, but they're out there) and makes me more curious to see what I'm missing, if any. I like a few of their offerings, but find the price and availability a deterrent. I don't have access to the city exclusives and no way I'm blind buying them.

In the end, it all comes down to ultravisitor's main point - taste is subjective. You might think the composition is great or bad, the materials are great or bad...but it all comes down to how your nose/brain perceives it and thus, if it's enjoyable to you or not and worth the money they're asking for. But to start judging how green someone is or how novice their tastes are is irrelevant and don't belong in the thread. Attack the fragrance/house, but no need to put a fellow member down because he disagrees with you.
 

Andy the frenchy

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2018
But your statement above is exactly that - a stereotype. You generalized what you perceive to be the stereotypical demographic who like brands like Le Labo.
[...] Attack the fragrance/house, but no need to put a fellow member down because he disagrees with you.

In view of the price point of $350 per pop, and the statement of ultravisitor that the bottle are sold out in one day, as well as the status of NY being the capital of finance, my statement is way closer from a reasonable guess than a stereotype. A BN member privately messaged me today telling me that indeed I was telling the truth, but I had to be ready for some 'geniuses' to make a mess. And here we go: the usual dude has landed. This remind me of another genius that got definitely banned from the other platform.

I don;t know what fellow you are referring to. Ultravisitor is not the OP, I don't know where ultravisitor lives, I didn't quote him in the post where I cited NY, LA and the Middle East as being the main sources of money on Earth, and I never had tensions with him. That deosn;t make any sense, and you are making this up to create a mess and try to get me in troubles. Again. because you have a problem with people who are too honest.

But with you, I indeed had tensions. Many times in the past when you just step-in already adcvanced threads with the sole purpose of generating fights with me by throwing oil on fire, without bringing vauable points to the discussion, without even having read the full thread (it is clear here) taking advantage of the situation and 'team-up' with who disagrees. Many agreed that Le Labo is not a great house in this thread (including ultravisitor - excpet for a couple of frags), but interestingly, you only quote me - despite you know you should refrain of doing so by order of the mods.
Maybe it would be about time that you take accountability if you want to personally attack me.

Anyways, thank you for having killed this thread, the mods will now step in.
As far as I'm concerned, I wish you a warm welcome on my ignore list.
 

imm0rtelle

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2021
Anyway, I get both sides of the argument here. In the end, it all comes down to ultravisitor's main point - taste is subjective.

It's a style of fragrance that requires patience; either you get it or you don't. It took me a few tries to get it. You don't have to like it or get it. For those of us who do, it's really beautiful and amazing.

Le Labo is a niche brand. By definition, it's not for everyone.

There are plenty of screaming, brutish, loud fragrances to announce yourself as THE COLOGNE GUY for those who appreciate that kind of thing.
 

gerbick

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2009
I own it. Can't say that I've tried to sell anybody on it, but I really like this scent. Subtle, clean, fits my style.

AnOther 13, Santal 33, The Noir 29 are the only other scents from this house that I own. All are varying levels of hype, but I like those the best.
 

woodnotes55

Well-known member
Oct 27, 2016
Let's try to get along and make sure this thread doesn't become about Hedi Slimane.

*trying to make fun of everyone in one foul swoop so it's fair, please don't hate me lol

hear hear!! Would rather wear gaiac 10 then read anymore messianic quotes on that...
...
I’m completely anosmic to this one. Can’t smell it at all.

I hear if you tell them that in the boutique they will sell it to you for only 15% extra......
 

NighthawkAtTheDiner

Well-known member
Dec 29, 2020
What a train-wreck of a thread, needless stereotyping and subjective opinions flung around as facts.

Getting back to the topic, agree, Gaiac 10 is a polarising scent, but mostly because of the price. I think it smells really good, but not sure if it's $350 for 50 ml good. And I feel likewise for quite a few other Le Labos - but they definitely have some really interesting stuff too though like Patchouli 24, Tabac 28, Vetiver 46, to name a few.
 

NighthawkAtTheDiner

Well-known member
Dec 29, 2020
View attachment 161857

*sips tea*

So how about them Le Labo fragrances? They sure are something aren't they?

Seriously, Oud 27 is the only one I think I've had any desire to buy, and that's the one most counters don't have.

LOL!

Regarding Oud 27, checked at the Singapore store recently and the SA told me it's discontinued. Hope it's just limited distribution and not discontinuation as it still shows up on the website.
 

Varanis Ridari

The Scented Devil
Basenotes Plus
Oct 17, 2012
LOL!

Regarding Oud 27, checked at the Singapore store recently and the SA told me it's discontinued. Hope it's just limited distribution and not discontinuation as it still shows up on the website.

A lot of Western niche/designer Prestige brands are giving up their more animalic ouds and going to the saffron velvetly rose MFK style ouds because that's what the jet setters buy. Dior dropped Leather Oud, Gucci dropped most of its ouds, Le Labo now sacking Oud 27 too, so it looks like we'll have to go back to Middle Eastern houses for the stank lol

There was a Thé Noir fragrance from Le Labo I kinda liked too, but I forget the number. Guaiac 10 is just completely beyond my capacity to care though if it sells out faster than Nike shoes on the SNKR app
 

Foamywax

Well-known member
May 2, 2013
They don't sell le labo fragrances here and the only experience I've had with their fragrances, was smelling Santal 33 on a friend from Germany last year.
I think it's a fantastic scent reminded me of Bulgari black.
The sillage was monstrous. So performance wise I'm pretty sure they deliver. I thought their fragrances were in the 200 dollar range not 350.. Sorry but if I'm gonna spend that kind of money on a perfume it will need to be something really special
 

Nastka

Well-known member
Mar 6, 2011
I have a partial bottle of Rose 31, and smaller decants of Bergamote 22, Labdanum 18 and Santal 33.

Rose 31 has been neutered for sure and isn't as heavy on the spices as it used to be, but it's still a great scent.

The rest, whilst nice, I can take or leave at the price points they are selling at (though Labdanum is really tempting me - it could be great in perfume or body oil format).

I never sampled the rest of the range purely because it's not readily available where I live, and I can't justify spending the money on the samples. A single 1.5ml sample is £8.00 each for the city exclusives and £4.00 for the regular line, which in my opinion is mental.
 

NighthawkAtTheDiner

Well-known member
Dec 29, 2020
They don't sell le labo fragrances here and the only experience I've had with their fragrances, was smelling Santal 33 on a friend from Germany last year.
I think it's a fantastic scent reminded me of Bulgari black.
The sillage was monstrous. So performance wise I'm pretty sure they deliver. I thought their fragrances were in the 200 dollar range not 350.. Sorry but if I'm gonna spend that kind of money on a perfume it will need to be something really special

No, you're right, their regular collection is $200ish. It's the City Exclusives which are $350, but rarely ever worth the price, which is a shame because they have a few in that collection I wouldn't mind paying $200ish for.
 

Mark.B

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2020
I always chuckle when i read any thread involving Le Labo.

There is always such heat and anger with this brand.
And yet most people end by saying there is one or two of the scents they love, but they dont like the rest - and it is overpriced etc,

But isnt that exactly what a niche brand should do - provide one or two scents that hit the mark with you, and the rest you can ignore - because they hit the mark with other people?
none of the scents are blatent "cash cow" scents that everyone will like but never love. Fair play to them or that, Even their most popular bergamote 22 has a woody/spice and musk dry down that is more complicated and less popular than the mainstream citrus freshies out there.

I like it that there are only one or two that appeal to me, and I encourage them to continue to produce their lines. The fragrance world would be poorer without Le Labo.

If anyone is interested my favourites are Bergamote 22, and Tabac 28 (one of the best tobacco scents in hot weather there is).
 

Staff online

Latest posts

Latest News

Top