Le Labo, Poivre 23

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.

12 thoughts on “Le Labo, Poivre 23

  1. That’s no good. 🙂
    I do wish you hated it, but I was completely sold once I read through ambre/vanilla, labdanum/styrax. I love perfumes smelling like that and really enjoy the right kind of pepper (this one seems to be the one).

    1. I was planning to hate it from the outset (Le Labo kinda annoys me), but the first spritz on the husband’s arm on Friday had me singing a different tune!

      It’s going on the Official Wish List, in position five. Things rarely get crossed off that list, so it may be a while before I have my bottle… but one day I will!!!

      The pepper note is fun, and next to L’Ombre Fauve (probably my favorite amber/vanilla, labdanum/styrax combo ’till now) P23 is the Boston Philharmonic next to a singer/songwriter (pick your favorite). There’s a fullness of development, buildup, and finish in P23 that you don’t always get in amber-heavy frags.

  2. That sounds very good, I am glad you are enjoying it. I refuse to be sucked into wanting anything right now, though. I am using all my willpower. Yes I am (autosuggestion works!). Lovely review. 🙂

    1. Oh… um, no! Poivre 23 is terrible! You don’t want to smell it, I’m sure you would hate it. Probably be a scrubber for you.


      Did that help?

  3. Yes, thank you that does help. Could you do a special review section just for me in the future that takes my no-buy situation into account? That would be very considerate of you! 😉

    1. I love textures! Velvety and silky, and cashmere and wooly textures, I meet those all the time. But sandpaper? That’s novel! I’m already rationing my 15mLs…


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