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Santal 33


Launched in 2010 by niche line Le Labo, Santal 33 quickly became a cult classic. One you wear it, you’ll understand why.

A small caveat: the name and number of all Le Labo fragrances refer to the ingredient with the highest concentration – in this case sandalwood - which means that the name of the fragrance might bear little resemblance to what the fragrance smells like. The number refers to the number of ingredients in the fragrance.

This makes breaking their fragrances down note by note is challenging (as it can be for most fragrances truth be told) as it’s the way the ingredients are blended, and how they react on the skin, that tell the story, but I’ll give it a go.

On me Santal 33 opens with the metallic, green scent of violet followed by a dry, woody jolt of Australian sandalwood. I smell cardamom. Its spiciness warms the wood. There’s smoke, sensual and hypnotic drifting over the smell of soft, worn leather. Just when I think this is getting a bit masculine in tone, powdery iris adds a sophistication to the fragrance that changes my mind. Cedarwood extends the woodiness and adds a beautiful, balsamy scent. Ambrox, musky and animalic adds a richness to the blend.

The drydown is like nothing else I own. It has an understated sensuality that beckons and pleases for hours.

Notes: Australian sandalwood, cedarwood, cardamom, iris, violet, smoke, ambrox and leather accord.

Type: EdP

Parfumeur: Frank Voelkl


Price: $8.00