Yours truly was one of the lucky winners of Victoria’s recent Le Labo draw on Bois de Jasmin—and I received my new 15mL bottle of Poivre 23 this past Friday. This Extrait de Parfum, exclusive to Liberty, London, is something that on my own, I probably would never have smelled. It’s uber expensive, and my track record with Le Labo is hit or miss. Since this post title doesn’t begin: “Things I Hate,” you’ve probably guessed by now that Poivre 23 is AWESOME.
The potent initial blast of pepper is beautiful, but short lived. What remains is a sensual, dry, smokey, amber-vanilla with that labdanum/styrax combo that so effortlessly rings my bell. There’s incense in the base, and P23’s incense is smooth, but gritty, like the kind of sandpaper used for finishing a project. The sillage is stunning at mid-range; when I turn my head, or walk about, I inhale a powerful waft and think, “by gods I smell good!”
But a pepper of wonder; the sort of pepper the first traders must’ve sniffed and felt the wingstrokes of angels in the rhythm of their fast-beating hearts. It shocks, it makes the familiar strange. Fruity, alcoholic, nuanced with rounded spicy accents, I did a little gasp (truly, I did) when I smelled it.
—Lee @ Perfume Posse, Oct 2008
This is one of those perfumes that I’d say leans masculine, but is perfect for just the right kind of gal. If I knew how to tango, this is the perfume I’d wear to do it.
Final verdict: Worth tracking down.