Perfume Review – Le Labo Ylang 49

Le Labo Ylang 49Ylang 49 is one of three new scents released last month, in May 2013, by Le Labo. Two of them — Lys 41 and Ylang 49 — will join the permanent collection and won’t be exclusive to any one city. As always with Le Labo, the perfume name (and the number that corresponds to its purported number of ingredients) does not give the full picture. Ylang 49 is a ylang-ylang fragrance, but it is also a chypre — and one with a heavy amount of very fruited patchouli.

I will be honest and confess that it bored me. It bored me to tears and, even worse, felt like an utterly exhausting slog that I just wanted to end. To my surprise, my favorite out of the two new Labo fragrances was the delicately ethereal lily fragrance, Lys 41, while Ylang 49 was barely tolerable. I’m in a distinct minority on that point, however, as Ylang 49 has received endless raves with one highly experienced blogger, the fabulous Non-Blonde, declaring that it may be her favorite out of all Le Labo’s floral scents!

Ylang 49 was created by Frank Voelkl and described on Le Labo’s website as follows:

Ylang 49 is a chypre floral, where Pua Noa Noa (gardenia from Tahiti) completes the floral voluptuousness of ylang ylang… Patchouli, oakmoss, vetiver, sandawood [sic] and benjoin follow to tip the blend into darker sensual undertones…

Ylang 49 is a walk in the woods, a lush floral bouquet in your hand, listening to G. Gould’s well-tempered clavier and realizing that a floral composition can go beyond flowers, in the same way a fugue in D minor is way beyond the D…

Out of the perfume’s 49 notes, the only ones we know about are:

ylang ylang, Tahitian gardenia [or pua noa noa], patchouli, oakmoss, vetiver, sandalwood, benzoin.

Ylang-ylang. Source:

Ylang-ylang. Source:

Ylang 49 opens on my skin with a definitely old-school, classic chypre profile: citrus notes (probably from one of the hidden, secret ingredients) infused with patchouli and oakmoss. The oakmoss is interesting because it has that dry, slightly mineralized greyness of the real thing, while simultaneously feeling a little fresh, green, bright and rich like the more patchouli-infused modern sort. Seconds later, hints of ylang-ylang and the coconut-y characteristics of Tahitian gardenia start to emerge. They’re subtle at this point, especially the gardenia, and add just an amorphous “floral” touch to the chypre opening.

"Purple Velvet Gold Flakes" by *Will3style at

“Purple Velvet Gold Flakes” by *Will3style at

As the minutes pass, the floral tones in Ylang 49 take more shape and become more distinct. The ylang-ylang takes the lead, but the gardenia dances around the edges. The flower has brief flickers of coconut, but it’s also a lot more gardenia-like than I had expected from the Tahitian variety. I keep getting images of a thick pile of dark green and purple velvet, perhaps because the patchouli is so prominent. It’s very hearty and veers dangerously close, in my opinion, to the purple patchouli that I dread so much. It infuses the ylang-ylang in particular, turning it into something so jammy, velvety and rich that it almost feels like a beefy, meaty, red damask rose. The normally white ylang-ylang flower has taken on the same sort of darkly liqueured undercurrent — to the point that Ylang 49 strongly calls to mind how Amouage‘s Lyric Woman manifested itself on my skin. (Unlike most people’s experiences with Lyric Woman, on me, it was predominantly a very beefy, liqueured, ylang-ylang fragrance.)



Ylang 49 doesn’t morph substantially in the hours that ensue, shifting only in degree as to which note undulates to the top of the heap. Namely, the patchouli which turns stronger, heavier, richer and more painfully fruited. Ylang 49 is essentially just a plush, heavily fruited, ylang-ylang perfume atop a strong patchouli base that is lightly flecked with oakmoss. Occasionally, the fragrance will throw off flickers of coconut or gardenia like a warm ray of light, but its fundamental essence unchanged. The most noticeable thing after a few hours is a softening of the patchouli element, but it’s just an incremental drop and a question of degree. Still, it serves to make the ylang-ylang feel slightly more custardy, buttery and floral in nature, and a little less fruited. It’s all relative…

At the start of the third hour, the flower’s creamy undertone is matched by an equally creamy, beige wood note that subtly adds even further depth to the ylang-ylang. The wood accord is undoubtedly from the sandalwood which feels like a synthetic, Australian, or generic cousin to the rare, spicy, rich Mysore wood that is now almost extinct. Here, the sandalwood is bland and rather nondescript, but I suppose it serves its uses in adding that extremely subtle, amorphous, beige, creamy “woodiness” to the base. At the start of the fifth hour, Ylang 49 turns into a creamy floral fragrance that is somewhat ylang-ylang in nature but also, increasingly abstract. The overall bouquet is infused with the endless (and still fruity) patchouli and hints of oakmoss atop a base of dry, generic sandalwood. The floral part is pretty, but I truly can’t stand the patchouli at this point. I’m also not enthused by the sandalwood which smells faintly sour, a little burnt, and a little too arid to my nose.

As time progresses, Ylang 49 turns more nebulous and vague; Now Smell This accurately describes it as a “hard-to-pin-down presence,” though they notice it after the third hour. It happens to me much later, but particularly around the eighth hour when Ylang 49 becomes a wholly abstract patchouli “floral” with musky overtones and some of that bland, slightly unpleasant, totally unimpressive “sandalwood.” In its final hours, Ylang 49 ends up as an amorphous, dry, slightly bitter woodiness.

All in all, the perfume lasted 13.25 hours on my skin with the patchouli wearing me out for almost the entire length of time. (So much patchouli, and always of the blasted fruited kind!) Ylang 49 had great projection for the first hour, but it dropped soon thereafter. The fragrance started to inch closer to the skin midway during the fourth hour, though it was still very potent if you brought your arm right up to your nose. It became a true skin scent on me around the eighth hour. As a side note about longevity, I obviously have wonky skin because Ylang 49 is said by many to have astounding longevity, with some saying it lasts all-day and overnight. They said the same about Lys 41 which never lasted more than 6 hours on me — and that was with a large dose. Still, for me, Ylang 49’s duration is phenomenally high at 13.25 hours, so I have no doubt it probably could 24 hours on normal skin. (I’m remain unconvinced about the Lys 41, though.)

I suspect that my overall prose about Ylang 49 reeks of flatness and a general lack of bouncing enthusiasm. I can’t help it. I’m trying very hard to be fair, but I’m truly so bored, I can barely write. Much has been made of how the perfume harkens back to a lost, golden, magical time when chypres were really chypres, when classique perfumery had depth, luxurious richness and elegance. Take CaFleureBon whose admiring description of the perfume ends with the words: “Ylang 49 feels like something found at an estate sale in an unlabeled crystal flacon.” Or take the rapturous review from The Non-Blonde which reads, in part, as follows:

Ylang 49 may be my favorite out of all the Le Labo flower perfumes. It has  a lot of warmth and a substantial base that surround the tropical flowers and make them more abstract and mysterious. The yellow blossoms are rich and enticing, but they’re also restrained and wonderfully elegant: this is what they mean by calling Ylang 49 a “modern chypre”. I was ready to protest and request that the label “chypre” be retired as were the true perfumes in this category, but you won’t find me kvetching this time. Ylang 49 is as chypery as it is modern. It moves from floral to a recognizable oakmoss-patchouli base; there’s  a hint of chypre soapiness, a  touch of roasted tea, and instead of the  animalic base of yore you get the familiar Le Labo sandalwood enriched with benzoin.

Perhaps CaFleureBon and The Non-Blonde are right. I grant you that Ylang 49 is a very heavy, rich perfume that — if you’re feeling really charitable — is a little like the chypres of yore. (Or it would be, if the old chypres were based primarily on patchouli.) Still, that doesn’t mean Ylang 49 is a great chypre and, in all honesty, I don’t think it is.

For me, ultimately, Ylang 49 lacks the layers, range, or complexity of a good chypre — of any era — because, on my skin, it was primarily a mundane mix of 3 main notes: fruited patchouli, predominantly abstract white florals, and slightly dry oakmoss. You can’t create a stunning symphony with three notes drummed continuously on the same boring cadence. What made the classic chypres so great wasn’t simply the now-regulated oakmoss; it was a hell of a lot more than that.

I can give you a list of places to start if you’re looking for truly good, complex chypres that have ylang-ylang. Check out any of the following fragrances on Fragrantica before heading to eBay to find them in vintage (and only in vintage) form: Ungaro‘s stunning, spectacular Diva by Jacques Polge (now of Chanel); Dominique Ropion‘s famous Ysatis for Givenchy; and either Paloma Picasso‘s Paloma Picasso or her Mon Parfum. They may not be centered solely around ylang-ylang, but that’s because they are not 3-note perfumes (with endless, painful patchouli). As for wholly modern fragrances that are easily available today, Amouage has some stunningly sophisticated chypres. (On my skin, Lyric Woman manifested itself more like a chypre than an oriental, and it was primarily ylang-ylang in nature, though it is generally seen as a spicy rose fragrance. And I think one could argue that Amouage’s ylang-ylang fragrance, Jubilation 25, has some definite chypre attributes as well.) In terms of other houses, Tom Ford‘s Arabian Wood is a gorgeous chypre that has ylang-ylang, along with other florals and significantly better sandalwood.

Interestingly, Now Smell Thisreview of Le Labo’s Ylang 49 specifically warns that some perfumistas will be underwhelmed by the fragrance which it concedes is not “especially challenging[.]” (That’s an understatement.) NST writes:

Although Ylang 49 isn’t an especially challenging perfume, a brand new perfumista might not take to it right away. It’s not overtly pretty or sexy or delicious. It’s not about flash and décolletage. If you’re moved to order a sample of Ylang 49 and on smelling it think, “It’s all right but nothing to get excited about,” I urge you to put the sample away somewhere cool and dark and come back in another year. Keep smelling, keep paying attention. You may never love Ylang 49 — or you might! — but I bet you’ll at least respect it.

I would argue that it has nothing to do with perfume experience or the lack thereof. Perhaps, Ylang 49 actually is much ado about nothing. But if this is what we’re now stuck with in the current IFRA/EU world of oakmoss restrictions and the slow death of the chypre genre, then I suppose Ylang 49 is nice. It’s certainly a scent that would appeal to both men and women, is versatile, and ….. Oh God, it’s too boring to continue. Try Ylang 49, I guess.


Cost & Availability: Le Labo Ylang 49 is an eau de parfum (though it is really extrait or pure parfum concentration) and comes in a few sizes, the most common of which are: 1.7 oz/50 ml for $145; and 3.4 oz/100 ml for $220. (There is also a 15 ml mini and a giant 500 ml bottle available from the company’s website.) Le Labo Website Options: Ylang 49 is available directly from Le Labo which says that it personally makes and customize the bottle for each customer: “all Le Labo products are personalized with labels that bear the client’s name.” The company has a variety of different country options for the website, from North America to UK to France to International. On its North American website,Ylang 49 comes in Eau de Parfum and perfume oil, with the usual accompany products like body lotion, shower gel, massage oil, etc., to come later in the fall. The prices are the same as listed above: 1.7 oz/50 ml for $145; and 3.4 oz/100 ml for $220. They also offer a tiny 15 ml bottle for $58. I’m assuming they ship to Canada, too, given the website name. On the UK website, Ylang 49 eau de parfum costs £95 for the small size and  £138 for the larger 100 ml bottle. Other sizes are also available, including a small 15 ml/0.5 fl. oz bottle for £40. On the International Labo website and the French website, Ylang 49 costs €110 and €170 for the 1.7 and 3.4 oz bottles, respectively. Le Labo also offers perfumes in a Travel Refill Kit of 3 x 10 ml bottles (of your choice, and which you can mix or match) for $120. Ylang 49 is one of the options listed. Lastly, Le Labo also has a Sample Program: “Our sampling program comes in two forms – a Discovery Set of 3 x 5 ml  (0.17 fl.oz.) glass rods with spray and cap and a personalized label with your name on it, ideal for hard core testing of 3 different scents before making up your mind, and a standard (yet beautiful) sample of 1.5 ml (0.05 fl.oz.), available for all scents and ideal for more cost conscious clients who fall in love at first whiff.” I think the individual samples cost $6. As for their shipping prices, I’m afraid I can’t find any pricing information. Le Labo World Boutiques: Le Labo has store locations from New York to London and Tokyo, as well as retailers in a ton of countries from Australia to Italy to Korea. You can find a full list of its locations and vendors hereIn the U.S.: Ylang 49 is currently available from Barneys and LuckyscentOutside the US: In Canada, Le Labo is carried by Toronto’s 6 by Gee Beauty, but not on their online website for direct purchase. Call to order by phone. In the UK, Le Labo is carried at Harrods’s Designer Department on the First Floor, and at Liberty but Ylang 49 is not yet listed on their website. Again, the UK prices for Le Labo, are £95 or £138, depending on size. In the Netherlands, you can find Le Labo products and Ylang 49 in specific at Skins Cosmetics which sells the Eau de Parfum for €111.85 or €172.90, depending on size. In Australia, Le Labo is carried at Mecca Cosmetica, but I don’t see Ylang 49 listed yet on the website. In general, Le Labo prices in Australia range from AUD$198 to AUD$308, depending on size. Samples: I obtained my sample from Surrender to Chance which sells the Eau de Parfum starting at $4.25 for 1 ml vials.

52 thoughts on “Perfume Review – Le Labo Ylang 49

  1. Brilliant review! Right from the start I was much more interested in testing Ylang 49 than Lys 41. I will eventually try both if I’m lucky but if I will have to chose between, I want to try Ylang 49 first.

    • I’m surprised you liked the review. My dear, you do realise that I trashed this perfume, right? *grin* But since we are Scent Opposites, I suppose that bodes well for you. LOL! 😉 😛

  2. I really wanted to try this. Now I’m not so sure. You’ve actually made me think I need to just revist my old friend Ysatis instead.

    • Ysatis is different in the degree of its notes (not to mention the aldehydes in the beginning), but it’s a great example of a chypre with ylang-ylang that has huge complexity, nuance and body. It’s not just the same boring 3 notes drummed out incessantly. Do you still have any of your old bottle left? If not, as Mr. Hound’s example shows, it’s not hard or expensive to find vintage Ysatis on eBay. lol

      • Don’t I wish… I blew through multiple bottles of the stuff. At the time that was MY scent. Then it had a bad memory attached to it so I stopped wearing it. Now enough time has passed and I think I could appreciate it again. Even if I don’t, there’s lots of other perfumes out there, right?

          • LOL!! Thus speaks a man in the throes of addiction. *grin* Have I mentioned lately how much joy I get from having you fall so hard down the rabbit hole? And to think that I actually hesitated as to whether I should send you the Ysatis out of fear that you may find it stuffy!! BTW, did the vintage 24 Faubourg ever work out for you? I think it is (or feels like it is) more concentrated than the current 24 Faubourg, but I wonder if some of the top notes in mine haven’t evaporated a little after all these years. I think that last bottle of mine is 18 years old!

          • I like the Faubourg, it’s lovely. But to me is not on par with Ysatis and Opium. Wow, and 18 years old? I must have been 5 when you got that then 🙂

        • I think it’s definitely worth a try to see if you can create new memories to associate with Ysatis. Then, if that doesn’t work, yes, there are plenty of other fish in the sea. 🙂

  3. I’m sorry this one was disappointing after your positive review of Lys, but I do love that you gave some alternative vintage recommendations! 😀

    • You’re very welcome, but please know that they’re nothing like Ylang 49. Yes, they are chypres that have ylang-ylang in them, but they also have so many other notes that they’re not *primarily* and solely ylang-ylang. But, for that reason, they also have substantial depth and range. Diva, in particular, is an old favorite and a legendary classic. I think you’d love the Ysatis as well.

      • Guess who tried vintage Ysatis (yes, I’m easily influenced!). Very pretty indeed! Glad I have it now, and I’m pretty sure it’s vintage formulation. Diva is very widely available, but it seems very difficult to determine whether or not it’s vintage as the packaging appears to be unchanged…It’s cheap enough that I may just take a gamble!

        • How great you got Ysatis! It’s a fragrance that grows on one quite a bit, though the very dry, grey, mineralized pungency of the real oakmoss can take some getting used to at first. To be honest, at this point in my life, I prefer Diva, but at one stage, I wore Ysatis a *lot*! Mr. Hound seems to prefer it in the stronger, smoother concentration, eau de parfum (I don’t think there was ever a pure parfum, but I can’t be sure), so you may want to give his review of it a look. 🙂

    • If I could have limited my entire review to those 2 sentences, I would have! *grin* Please know that this was the *kind* version of my review, as my first draft was significantly less so…. 😉

    • Heh. At one point, the review actually had the subtitle: “Boring Chypre Redux.” Then, I thought the indirect callback to “Apocalypse Now” might be a little unfair. 😉 😛

      • I went straight to the Non Blonde after your review, and I love her take in general, so am intrigued, and yet at the same time, having known some seriously beautiful vintage shit I am very wary to say the least.

        Your review will make me head to the Tokyo boutique in any case (if it still exists)

        • The Non-Blonde is fabulous! I think her reviews are superb, and she seems beyond lovely as a person, as well. We also seem to have extremely similar skin and, usually, almost identical feelings about perfumes. This time, however, I take the dissenting view. It doesn’t happen often. 🙂

          I think the Tokyo store still exists. It’s listed on their site, if I recall correctly. So, you’ll have to let me know what you think when you try it. I’m dying of curiosity, especially since you DO have a vintage sensibility and extensive knowledge of the field. Honestly, I think that knowledge will spoil you and lead you to be less enthused about Ylang 49. I tried not to have vintage colour my view of the perfume in any way and to review it in a vacuum, but it does have to have some influence, indirectly at least. I think NST’s warning is true only in the converse degree: *experienced* perfumistas may be underwhelmed, not novice ones. But that still doesn’t explain to me the huge gushing and love from so many super-knowledgeable bloggers over Ylang 49. I guess I just don’t get the specialness of the perfume. That puts me firmly in the minority position, but…. eh. *shrug*

  4. Actually, the way you describe this makes me want to try it even though it didn’t work for you… all of the notes sounds yummy to me. I have yet to try any Le Labo perfumes yet…primarily because I don’t want to buy perfume in a bottle that looks like it holds medicine.

    • You know, I’m rarely swayed or influenced by bottles, but Le Labo’s may be the one exception. I can take even Montale’s “Axe” Fire Extinguisher, but the Le Labo ones make me think of vaccination vials, the sort that doctors inject syringes into before they jab you. It totally puts me off!

      • Exactly!!!! And those Montale bottles are horrible too, I agree. Someone told me once that they are housed in the aluminum because it keeps the fragrance from the light and therefore helps to preserve them longer. I always feel that the Montale’s are so artificial that I don’t think light could break down the chemical compounds!

        • Hahaha, it was me who told you that, quoting from Chandler Burr. He specifically cited Montale and Robert Piguet as the best examples of perfumes that will keep because of the bottling. BTW, I snorted up my tea at “I always feel that the Montale’s are so artificial that I don’t think light could break down the chemical compounds!” Lord knows, that certainly applies to the ghastly Aoud Lime which remains the worst thing I’ve ever smelled.

  5. Considering how easy I am to please when it comes to fragrance I think I would probably either love this or at least find it likable, since I only have a strong dislike for sweaty, urinous or otherwise body odor scents. I don´t think this would be easy for me to sample, but right now I´m quite excited since I discovered yesterday a store with natural scents, either fruit, floral, incense, spices everything they use is natural and I´m so happy, that I will at least buy two perfumes from there, I guess this is slightly similar to how niche fragrances must smell like considering they use real ingredients as opposed to commercial fragrances, and I can tell you I can definitely detect the huge differences between the two. Sadly this didn´t seem to impress you, but I´m sure you have many fragrances you love like Lys 41. The only think I personally dislike is the bottle, it looks like medicine or a chemical, they need someone for the design department to make a more aesthetically pleasant presentation, but I guess perfumistas don´t mind the way the bottle looks like 😛 .

    • On another note I want to know why everyone hates purple patchouli? I am so used to it by now that I even associate that smell with perfume in general since so many commercial fragrances have it…

      • I can only speak for myself but purple patchouli has a smell that is even more synthetic than many synthetics. It doesn’t feel warm, rich, almost spicy or earthy like some types of patchouli. It’s not smooth but, instead, intensely sharp, shrill, unnatural smelling, extremely cloying and massively sweet. It’s popular in commercial fragrances because it creates an ultra sweet, fruity scent and that attracts a younger market.

        I avoid commercial, mainstream fragrances *because* they are so centered around fruity, hyper syrupy notes that are done in a very artificial, very fake, synthetic way. And, I suspect that purple patchouli — along with some other super popular synthetics like the commonly loathed calone or the clean, white musks that smell like dryer sheets — are why many perfumistas won’t go near commercial scents and really look down on them. I know that I do. And I know others have many of my same issues too with things that, for example, smell of Tide laundry detergent or that have the calone/water/melon note.

    • Le Labo’s bottles are the only ones that I actively dislike — and normally, I’m wholly indifferent on the issue of packaging. As for the natural scent store you found, HOW EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!! YAY, I’m so glad. Do they have natural oils or essences? That would give you the chance to learn the more concentrated version of a note. But even if they blend things together, it will still be a huge step up from commercial, department store fragrances. I’m SO glad you can detect a huge difference between the two types. This is all really, really great news, Vicky! You’ll have to keep me updated on some of the things you learn and what you end up liking the best in terms of types of notes, etc.

  6. Of the two, I remember gravitating more towards Ylang 49 than Lys . . . what was the number again? I don’t have a head for these numbers. Now I want to try them on my skin more than ever. One of my favorites from Le Labo is their Vetiver 46, which Voelkl also did.

    However, I will spritz conservatively! 13.5 hours? I am not surprised that you were fatigued! Like running a fragrance marathon. Also, purple patchouli is one of my most dreaded smells. In any case, will report back!

    • To hell with the numbers. LOL. I think the scents are easy enough to remember if you just go by the main ingredient; they’ve smartly avoiding have two Roses, two Patchoulis, etc. etc.

      As for Ylang’s longevity, I actually didn’t apply a huge amount at all! Just my standard dose which is probably less than it would be if I sprayed it on. On someone with glue-like skin, I have no doubt that even a conservative spritz would yield monstrous longevity. It’s all because of that synthetic purple patchouli. It has the lifespan of an elephant. God, I hate it so much and I’m relieved to know that I’m not alone on that point!

  7. Dear Kafka, I’ve tried this on paper blotter several times, once at Barneys and the other time with dear Baconbiscuit at the Le Labo store in SoHo. Both times, Ylang 49 was the one I was drawn to when I compared it with Lys 41. i bet scent twin Lucas will like this one, too. Of course, I can only make a “fair verdict” only after I try on skin which may be a while…among other things, I have to first acquire a sample 🙂

    • I’m curious, have you found paper tests to be accurate (early) indicators of how you’ll like a scent and, more importantly, how it will develop over a number of hours? For me, how a perfume smells at first isn’t as important as how it may smell in the 6th hour or so, and I don’t think blotters can reflect that, even if you keep the paper and sniff it hours later. I’ve been unable to accurately judge how a perfume will be hours and hours later just by the paper, and the first 10-20 minutes don’t count or are misleading, so I’m always impressed by those who go by blotter strips even for first impressions. 🙂 I mean, yeah, one can tell the perfumes that one won’t stand under any circumstances (like you and Opus VII), but liking the full range of a scent is another matter. I’m probably not explaining myself well, since I’m rather exhausted, so I hope my questions made sense and didn’t come across the wrong way.

      • Your question is absolutely clear, dear Kafka. I 100% agree that using the paper blotter test does not allow one to accurately determine how a perfume develops over time…in fact, 49 out of 50x, I do not bring home the paper blotter to smell it later (digressing for a just gave me an idea to carry baggies so that I can saturate a paper blotter and bring it home without fear of contaminating my purse with the perfume whether good or bad).

        I use the paper blotter to:
        – eliminate [Opus VII as you pointed out :-)]
        – compare several perfumes in succession during a limited period, specially if I am in the mood to purchase something but have not decided on one prior to visiting the store.

        For me, the first impression is the deal maker or breaker. If I don’t like the beginning, the perfume stands little to no chance of joining my collection!

        • I’m glad my questions weren’t gibberish. You definitely clarified one thing for me: that you don’t take them home to sniff later. (I do, though why I bother, I haven’t the faintest clue. Mostly, it just ends up as something to add aroma to a drawer. lol). But I’m still confused on the comparison uses of a scent. Surely you don’t buy something just on the basis of how it is on the blotter? So, if you’re in a mood to purchase something but are undecided, and you compare several scents on paper in quick succession, then what? Do you actually do a blind buy based solely on the opening notes on the blotter??!?! :O *bug-eyed stare* LOL 😉 😛

          • It looks like we have a different definition of blind buy. To me, a blind buy is purchasing a largish decant (at least 5 mLs) or a FB without first sniffing it once. The moment I consciously smell something, even if on paper blotter only, it is no longer a blind buy. Vintage perfumes from eBay are always blind buys. I’ve had my share of FB blind buys at various price points :-X

  8. I haven’t remotely liked any from the Le Labo range thus far because I can never get over how they never smell like their name, so perhaps it might change with Ylang 49. That said, I think I’ll probably end up agreeing with you that the vintages of perfumes such as Paloma Picasso (j’adore beaucoup!) will speak to me more because I’m the classical sort. And again, you write beautifully even when describing the boring! 🙂

    • Awww, thank you, Smelly Vagabond. And it’s lovely to see you again. I hope you’ve been well. 🙂 Can I say that you are one of the only people I’ve come across in a while who knows, let alone loves, Paloma Picasso?! A sadly under-appreciated vintage line, in my opinion. As for the Ylang 49, you’ll have to let me know what you think of it. For me, Lys 41 was much more impressive, but it is not a chypre and I suspect that it will be less popular with people because of the tuberose and the fact that it is a simple white flower bomb.

  9. I loved Paloma so Ylang I expect, will be a letdown. I want to get a small sample of Lys though. It intrigues me, white flowers or not, enough to try.

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  11. Ylang 49 has become my summer staple scent, I think it’s brilliant, from the floral bomb start to the CLASSIC Chypre base notes finish. There is a tropical weather system feel to this juice, sappy leaves and florals in a hot, and humid environment. IMO, the best release this year.

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  14. I like it well enough as a gentle scent for morning office wear and I need to find a blandish floral. Mostly goes on bit of Ylang for a few minutes and then vanilla comes up with a tiny dash of patchouli. Le Labos barely last 2 hours in total on my skin, so unless I am spraying clothes heavily (or unless it is Patchouli 24, something I love for the birch tar and vanilla and staying power) … it is a brief pass through with some things that are not too unpleasant. Then I can change for after meetings.

    • Your praise is so…. hahaha…. ambivalent. “Blandish,” barely lasts, conveniently brief in its “not too unpleasant” qualities. ROFL!!! Le Labo scents are not really my thing, either, due to their thinness, wishy-washy nature, and sillage/longevity issues, so I found this really hilarious to read. 😉 😀

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  16. Sorry I’m late to the party but I’ve just tried Le Labo Ylang 49 and of course started to look for reviews on it to see what others were saying.

    I have to say that I have read a few positive reviews and I am so relieved to read your review because I agree completely with you with respect to all of your feelings on this so-called chypre perfume. If this is a New Age ylang chypre, count me out. I’ll stick with classic feminine floral chypre beauties like Ysatis or continue to be impressed with more modern ylang floral aldehydes like Chanel Eau Premiere. The Le Labo Ylang IS a boring chorus of the three notes–ylang, oakmoss and patchouli as you rightly suggest but it is mostly about a strong and unwelcomed (in my case) dose of uber-patchouli. I also find it on the masculine side. Yuck.

    I read on other blogs how Ylang 49 was similar to Iris 39 and so I was excited to try the Ylang 49 because I so love the Iris 39. I don’t find ANY similarities between the Iris and the Ylang and am wondering if I am living on the same perfume planet as some of these “knowledgeable” bloggers who claim such similarities? Oh well, I guess as always the perfume experience is a truly individual/subjective one and that’s ok as it would be a boring world if we all liked the same perfumes.

    In any case, you are spot on with your insightful comments about Ylang 49 IMO. Thanks for your witty and humorous review (“the patchouli has a lifespan of an elephant”, lol.)

    • Welcome to the blog, Karen, and thank you for sharing your experiences with Ylang 49. It’s been a long time since I tried Iris 39, but I don’t recall any great similarities, either.

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