Spending a few days in NYC doing store research and stumbled upon a gem today: Le Labo, on the corner of Elizabeth and Prince. Unique by its extremely interactive concept, Le Labo is a fragrance store that aims to disrupt the traditional fragrance market by proposing only exclusif and hand-made fragrances. The store carries no inventory; instead, the floor staff will mix up the perfumes in front of you once you’ve chosen your scents from a selection made by famous “noses”.
Le Labo presents itself as a “playground for your nose”; in reality, Le Labo is really more of a playground for your senses. By virtue of it being a fragrance store, your olfactory senses are immersed in the mix of soft scents as soon as you step into the door; the music consistently plays low key french songs, in line with the general atmosphere of the store; the vintage design of the store, achieved through vintage furniture and objects found throughout the store, a silver-gray embossed wallpaper and a high “worn-out” metallic bar create an original and consistent visual experience. The display of fragrances and candles in bell-shaped containers only add to the authentic feel of the store.
Most importantly, however, your senses of touch and smell are consistently appealed to. Since Le Labo made its mission to educate the public on fragrances, visitors can not only smell each scent that they own, but also touch and smell plants and flowers that are made to create those fragrances. This is one of the first stores I see that make the consumer not just a reactor, but also an actor in the shopping and learning process.
Le Labo, 233 Elizabeth Street, NY 10012
Le Labo also opened a new store in London: 28a Devonshire Street, London W1G 6PS
(all photos: Le Labo)