Libre is the latest perfume by Yves Saint Laurent to hit the shelves of perfumers and influencer’s Instagram stories around the world in the fall of 2019. I must admit that I was looking forward to the moment when I would have the opportunity to test it because the announcements were pompous. ”One of the best perfumes this year”, ”Something brand new and unexpected”, ”Finally something noteworthy” are just some of the words that have burst from all digital meridians. After all, it’s Yves Saint Laurent, the brand that made some of my favorite perfumes: La Nuit de l’Homme, Cinema, M7, Manifesto, Opium – masculine and feminine, Rive Gauche – also masculine and feminine, and even and my favorite perfume of all time – Kouros.
But first of all, let’s what YLS says about Libre:
Libre Eau de Parfum is the new fragrance of freedom, a statement fragrance for those who live by their own rules. A reinvention of the floral perfume, it combines Lavender Essence from France with the sensuality of Moroccan Orange Blossom, for a unique floral fusion complemented by a daring note of Musk Accord.
Libre means free. It is a celebration of freedom: a fragrance for those who do what they want and dare to be who they are. The bottle is a couture statement featuring a black asymmetric cap like a sexy couture dress, gold chains around the neck that are reminiscent of the iconic YSL it-bags, completed with the timeless Yves Saint Laurent logo.
And then recently that magical moment happened, when Libra and I, under the watchful eye of a saleswoman from Sephora. She scanned me from head to toe over and over again with a facial expression that was a mixture of facial paresis and the sudden realization of standing in a bugbear, which I must admit made this moment even more magical. I took a beautifully designed bottle in my hand, aboundingly sprayed it twice on my forearm, caused another mini-shock (“Sir, but it’s a woman’s perfume …”). I thanked the saleswoman and headed on foot to home, hoping to experience a unique fragrant adventure with the much-praised Libre.
The trip home was an adventure, not because of Libra, but because of a group of stray dogs that made me company after feeding them with dog treats I always carry in my bag. Impression on Libre? Meh, OK. But this is not the reaction that perfume should incite. He is flaky…already seen, mostly in the character of Mon Guerlain, but still pretty. But look at it this way. You tell your friends about the date with a new girlfriend, and they ask you what she is like. Well, she’s pretty. Great, and what were you talking about. Well, she’s pretty. Alright, and does he have any hobbies, what is she doing in life? Well, she’s pretty. Then an unpleasant silence ensues. It’s Libre, the awkward silence after a bubbly impression.
The perfume composition of Libra is a prosaic, already seen, and quite a cheap mixture of musk and flowers, which can be tolerated because of the fragrant note of lavender. I tried to figure out exactly what flowers are present, but I failed…it is a cheap synthetic mix that screams “Sale in all our shops worldwide, all perfumes for ten bucks”. Later it turned out to be correct because the official site states there are only ‘’flowers’’ in the formula. Not rose, jasmine, carnation…just ” flowers ”. It is incredible to me how they manage to make a formula that in reality costs no more than one euro per bottle of perfume, and sell them for 130 euros, and quite successfully, judging by the labels in Sephora stores. Libre is the third bestselling perfume of the season.
To summarize. If all you want is to be pretty, Libre is the perfume for you. If you want to smell cheap, vague, Libre is the perfume for you. If you wish to be a girl just for one night…Libre is the perfume for you. But if you’re always looking for more from yourself and fragrance, you’re going to let the Libre go with a whirlwind, like all the Instagram snaps we’ve been challenged with whose only argument was Libre is hot. It’s not.
Perfumers are Ann Flipo and Carlos Benaim.