I stopped by Barneys yesterday to check out Le Labo’s new scent: AnOther 13, a musk mixture made for AnOther Magazine. This was the first new fragrance from Le Labo since 2009’s Oud 27, so I was excited. But when I sprayed AnOther 13 on a strip of paper, I couldn’t smell a thing. Maybe something faintly…paperlike.
This wasn’t the first time I’d been frustrated by a fragrance. Every once in a while, something will foil my usually (very) sensitive nose and escape detection altogether. Usually, I’m totally dismissive of fragrances that are too faint to my nose. Now I’m thinking I ought to take notice in order to learn which notes I’m missing.
“Maybe you’ve got that thing,” said the Le Labo rep. “What’s it called? It’s the scent equivalent of color blindness.” Maybe. After all, my girlfriend could smell it (although she said it was quite faint after two generous sprays).
The Le Labo rep took us through three of the 13 ingredients individually. One was very faint. Another, a synthetic animal musk called ambroxan, was mildly repellent but interesting. The third, ambret seeds, was mildly pleasant. According to Le Labo, the fragrance was built around the ambroxan, which AnOther’s editor, Jefferson Hack, liked when he was taken through some individual notes in Le Labo’s New York lab.
Once I smelled those three individual notes separately, I had an easier time smelling the finished scent. Unfortunately, that combination of scents to me was barely there. Now I have to figure out why.
AnOther 13 is a limited edition of 500 bottles and only comes in the 100ml size ($200).