Patchouli 24 is a perfume by American brand Le Labo that appeared in 2006. It is part of the original collection with whom Fabrice Penot and Eddie Roschi opened their first perfume boutique in New York. The first Le Labo collection included twelve perfumes, and Patchouli 24 is the darkest and least understood of them all, despite being created by genius Annick Menardo, one of my favorite perfumers, responsible for some of my favorite perfumes: Bvlgari Black, Dior Hypnotic Poison, Fendi Palazzo, Lolita Lempicka, as well as many others. The massive popularity of this house happened after the release of Santal 33 perfume, which launched Le Labo in a stratosphere. In the Western world, and especially America, everything (Le Labo makes scented candles) and everyone smells like Santal 33. Fabrice and Eddie, although grateful, speak of this with a bittersweet feeling, as many other perfume creations are unjustly ignored due to the success of Santal 33, and this includes Patchouli 24, as well as Iris 39, Vetiver 46 and Fleur d’Oranger 27.

patchouli 24

This is what Le Labo says about their fragrance Patchouli 24:

Even though it is vital to the olfactory shock this perfume generates, Patchouli is not easy to detect in this formula. The smoky, leathery character of birch takes over in the first few seconds, making this signature absolutely unique and difficult to situate. Fortunately, a touch of vanilla comes in to calm this little world, bringing peace, sensuality and softness to these violent animal notes. A scent filled with danger for those of us who like to walk on a tight rope…

The perfume composition of Patchouli 24 is a woody chypre, dominated by notes of leather and charcoaled birch wood. The opening of the perfume is heavy, dark, almost suffocating. Not something we expect from a perfume with the dominant peaceful, hippie note of patchouli. I have read many reviews about this perfume, even though people went the extra mile to show and prove their openness to the twisted, potentially anti-perfume creations like this one, I can not say that I was convinced. There are many fragrances, especially in the niche world, but also in the commercial, designer like Gucci Guilty Absolute, which has the same theme, and similar executions like Patchouli 24. However, something is special about this one. Patchouli 24, or rather Annick Menardo, succeeded in a magical way to resist the laws of physics and high perfumery and made a perfume, a microcosm with specific, self-contained laws. It’s a known fact that light, citrus notes are the first to be felt in the perfume, they last about fifteen minutes, then give way to the heart notes that serve as a clutch of the upper and lower notes and last for about an hour (most often floral notes), followed by base notes, heavy, dense, which can last for days on the skin. In the case of Patchouli 24, the thing is entirely inverted. Heavy notes are those that are dominant at the beginning, and as the time moves, the perfume becomes lighter, warmer, smoother, and more transparent. A note of leather, patchouli, and birch give way to the sensual vanilla, which comes as a reward for the effort made. I do not know how this worked, but Annick Menardo showed once again that she deserves to be at the very top of the perfume world. Incomprehensible and magical!

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT LE LABO PERFUMES: the bestselling Santal 33.

[Fragrance notes] leather, birch, vanilla, patchouli.

[Fragrance group] woody chypre.

Perfume creator is Annick Menardo.