Lys41 Le Labo


There seem to be quite a number of  perfumistas  who take issue with French perfumery Le Labo. Whether it’s their unusual naming system, with the name of the most prominent ingredient followed by the number of ingredients, or the About Us on their website  (I actually like their “Manifesto”), there are many out there who think the brand tries a little too hard to be hip. While I get that, I think that they have created a number of top notch scents that are interesting and highly wearable, unlike some other niche perfume brands.

Fabrice Penot, co-founder of Le Labo, believes that the typical experience of trying new scents is similar to speed dating. In an article for The Huffington Post, he says: “It’s like you meet a guy and for the first 15 minutes he’s perfect. But after a week, the guy has no substance; there is nothing.” According to Penot, many of the brand-name fragrances fall short on delivering a long-lasting, high quality experience. He attributes this to the fact that many popular brand name fragrances have explosive top notes which seduce us right away but leave us with very little once this has worn off. Just like that hypothetical guy.

Fabrice and his business partner, Eddie Roschi, started Le Labo in 2006 with a mission to revolutionize a saturated commercial perfume market.

I’ve visited Le Labo boutiques in Venice, CA and Elizabeth Street, NYC and it is a totally different experience than visiting a Sephora or department store. Small bottles line the dimly lit store and the potions are prepared and bottled right in front of you. The staff is gracious and helpful in making suggestions. If you make a purchase, they allow you to personalize the bottle with a name of your choosing.

In the case of Lys 41, I knew that there was going to be lily somewhere in there since lis is french for lily. There is a heavy dose of lily in the top notes along with lily’s large and in charge sisters,  jasmine and tuberose. It is a bold and beautiful white floral opening, breathtaking in its light and joyous disposition. Not surprisingly, tuberose eventually takes center stage as she is known to do. As the top notes fade, it turns into a pale woods and light musk scent until eventually settling into a warm and cozy vanilla. Not the kind of vanilla that makes you think of food, but a comforting, Madagascar vanilla.

This fragrance was released in 2013 and was created by one of Le Labo’s iconic noses, perfumer Daphne Bugey. She also created the noteworthy Bergamote 22.

I just discovered Lys 41 last month at Le Labo at Elizabeth Street in NYC and it was instant love.  I ended up buying it in the 7.5 ml liquid balm which I’ve named “The Journey”. It’s just the kind of warm and cheerful fragrance I’ve been looking for and is now tied with Child perfume oil as my go-to when I need a pick-me-up.

Lys 41 is available in Le Labo boutiques and on their website ( Some department stores such as Nodstroms also carry the Le Labo line of fragrances. A 1.7 fl.oz. bottles is $175, 3.4 fl.oz. bottle is $260 and a 7.5 ml. bottle is $90.


  1. NemiraB says:

    Hi, thanks for introducing Lys 41. There so many perfumes in the world that sometimes we stick to the familiar ones.

    I like the scent of jasmine. It reminds me the house of my grandparents. They had plenty of bushes of jasmine around. Heavenly scent, I associate it with early summer and vacation.

    I like musk too. I guess that is towards the masculine side but it is okay. It gives the sense of adventure and strength.

    I would like to smell a sample first because I am not sure about vanilla. Overall, it sounds as sophisticated perfume. Who can resist French charm? Not me.


    • Erica says:

      Hi Nemira,

      I consider this to be more of a happy, upbeat white floral blend, but the woodsy/musk/vanilla make it really interesting. I also love musk and some of my favorite scents have it lurking in the background. I always recommend trying a sample before buying any perfume.

      Thanks for dropping by:)


  2. Vanessa says:

    Lovely article about this brand. I’ve never heard of them before. I haven’t explored niche perfumes as they are out of my price range and because I have 5 perfumes to finish up (if I ever do, yikes). I used to own over 40 perfumes and I sold all but those 5 I mentioned (it was a 2 year process).

    One of the reasons why I downsized was as you mentioned, mainstream perfumes are created with explosive notes that seduce you right away but they don’t have any true substance underneath it all. I was so fed up that these perfumes had no character so they didn’t suit me. Fortunately, the ones I have left do especially Thierry Mugler’s Alien which is so unique that there isn’t anything not remotely close to it in the mainstream market.

    Do you know of a niche perfume that smells similar to my beloved Alien? If so, I would interested in checking that out.

    • Erica says:

      Hi Jessica,

      I’m glad that you made the decision to downsize. Much better to have a handful that you love than a massive collection that are just so-so. You are far from the only person who loves Alien, that lovely scent that reminds me of the 90’s the way Giorgio Beverly Hills reminds me of the 80’s. I’ve read that Katy Perry is also a huge fan of Alien and I think her new perfume Purr is somewhat similar to Alien. You might also try Elie Saab Le Parfum.

      Thanks for commenting:)

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