The raw, in­dus­trial de­sign of a per­fumery re­flects the soul be­hind its uni­sex fra­grances

Real Living (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

A cult per­fumery’s raw de­sign mir­rors its soul

THE WORD “CULT” IS THROWN AROUND A LOT IN BEAUTY, but when it comes to Le Labo, any other word just seems… un­wor­thy. Launched in 2006 by French co-founders Edouard (Ed­die) Roschi and Fabrice Penot – in New York, no less – the ar­ti­sanal fra­grance brand dis­rupted the per­fume in­dus­try back when it was still dom­i­nated by big-name de­sign­ers and celebri­ties (Britney Spears’ Fan­tasy, any­one?). Le Labo’s points of dif­fer­ence? No ad­ver­tis­ing, no mass dis­tri­bu­tion and no as­signed gen­ders. There isn’t a “for him” or “la femme”, just a tight edit of beau­ti­ful fra­grances to be en­joyed by all. “The gen­der thing never res­onated for me,” Ed­die says. “I know we’re all fa­mil­iar with it and think of it as nor­mal, but for some­one who loves per­fumery, it’s hard to un­der­stand why a fra­grance would be specif­i­cally for men or women.” The Le Labo ethos trans­lates to the brand’s de­sign aes­thetic, from the glass bot­tles to the cus­tom la­bels and brown pa­per pack­ag­ing. The bou­tiques are also de­signed to re­sem­ble lab­o­ra­to­ries rather than stuffy per­fumeries. Take the Le Labo Wil­liams­burg store, with its rows of la­belled jars, hand basin and fil­ing draw­ers. En­com­pass­ing an of­fice space and cafe, the rough-hewn fa­cade and in­te­ri­ors feel at home in the neigh­bour­hood, which was scouted by the founders who like to choose lo­ca­tions they con­nect with. This au­then­tic­ity, and the fra­grances that tran­scend time and gen­der, are what make Le Labo the beauty zeit­geist of our era.

Em­brace im­per­fec­tion In 2017, Le Labo opened its Wil­liams­burg lo­ca­tion, which in­cludes an of­fice space up­stairs (op­po­site). The in­dus­trial light­ing, dark wood, ex­posed brick and un­fin­ished tiling re­flect the brand’s raw take on beauty and true crafts­man­ship.

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