Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SOTD: Le Labo Patchouli 24

While I love "tea" fragrances, they never actually smell like tea to me. They smell like the idea of tea, of something refreshing and liquid and slightly bitter, but they don't actually smell like tea. I never get the feeling that leaves were involved.

Patchouli 24 makes me feel like leaves were involved. It smells like tea - to me. I get a vision of an old-fashioned square metal tea tin. I'm just opening it and getting a faceful of dusty, smoky, tea-soaked air that's been caught in there for months.

Oddly, the consensus of reviews seem to be, no, that's not leaves, that's not even patchouli, that's birch tar.  Hmph. To me, it's tea.

Which separates this fragrance, for me, from the whole patchouli vibe. This isn't what a sixties flower child smells like, it's something that would be in Miss Marple's pantry. It's crumpets, not flowers. Linen napkins, not protest signs. Tea chests in ships' holds, not backpacks at Grateful Dead concerts. If I want the other vibe, I'm going to have to find a different patchouli.

I might do that sometime, but meanwhile I'm very happy with my quiet, smoky, just barely exotic "tea" fragrance.

Review Roundup: PereDePierre and Perfume-Smellin' Things and Now Smell This and I Smell Therefore I Am and Grain de Musc and Eiderdown Press and Confessions Of A Perfume Nerd and Nathan Branch and Perfume Patter and Basenotes and MakeupAlley and Perfume-Smellin' Things again and Fragrantica and Perfume Shrine (very brief mention) and Notes from Josephine.

Edited to add to the Review Roundup.

Photo: Laurel F., Wikimedia Commons. Click for details.


  1. anything that smells like something Miss Marple would have in her pantry is something I need to sniff!

  2. Hiya, Friday! Yes, try it. I'm torn over whether to buy a full-fledged bottle, but I promptly bought a decant, and I don't want to be without it.