An Experience in Blending With Noble Vines “The One” & Le Labo Fragrances
By Alison Blackman
Why are Wine and Fragrance Similar?
Both appeal to your senses, although in very different ways.
You drink one and wear the other, but the smell of both can be intoxicating.
Wine and fragrance are both are organic although there may be chemicals included in the blend.
Wine and fragrance and both affected by light, heat, age, even time of day, month, year, and mood. Stored incorrectly, your wine or your fragrance will “turn” and may disappoint you!
Wine and scent can affect your mood. Both are associated with special occasions and with romance, with making memories.
Both wine and fragrance have distinct notes. Whether you like a particular wine or fragrance can be highly subjective. Whether you like it has a lot to do with your personal sense receptors, your personality, and many other factors that are unique to you.
There is another reason both wine and fragrance are similar: Both are made unique through the power of blending.
Editors learned this lesson first-hand at a wine tasting and blending event Noble Vines held to showcase their newest red wine blend called “The One Black” at a unique fragrance boutique, Le Labo Fragrances at 233 Elizabeth Street in Nolita.
Attending an event at a fragrance boutique where the shelves are literally lined with perfume bottles is already a heady experience. We were easily coached through the first couple of wines by “The Wine Coach,” sommelier Laurie Forster whose moniker is: “demystifying wine, one glass at a time.” She was not just informative, she has a user-friendly approach that puts you at ease. The tasting was a lot of fun!
Noble Vines The One Black Is A Bodacious Blend!
Ms. Forster explained how important our noses (and aroma) are in assessing and enjoying both wine and fragrance. Then we tasted some of Noble vines red and white wines from California. All were pleasant and well priced for parties and for everyday drinking.
Then it was time for the “guest of honor” which was Noble Vines The One Black. No one knew what the price point was, and as someone who drinks a lot of pricey wines, I assumed this one was at least $50.00 a bottle.
The One Black is a stunning ruby red in color (I only wish there was a nail polish in this color). It is smooth and meidum bodies. It has that California ready to drink and fruity formula, but it’s not over-oaked and over the top. The tannins are there but under control. A hint of pepper and spice comes through. I’m not much for discerning individual fruits, but I did get dark black cherry.
If I remember my tasting notes the blend is Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. This is truly a wine that you can sit down and just drink without food. But I think it would work well with just about anything. When we heard the price there was an audible gasp. The retail is just around $12.00! It’s a STEAL!
After we got over our surprise at the value of this wine, we were invited to try our hand at blending our own version of Noble Vines The One Black.
Have you tried blending wine or fragrance? I’ve done both several times with fairly decent results using good ingredients, but blending is a skill that doesn’t come immediately or naturally to most people. My blended wine was “ok” but a bit too heavy on the Zinfandel. The Noble Vines version we took home in the bottle was definitely much better!
Blending Fragrances at Le Labo and Your Personalized Bottle:
The way Le Labo fragrances are blended and crafted is truly unique.
When you buy a fragrance normally, it is already bottled and sealed in the box, but when you purchase a Le Labo fragrance you pick your fragrance essence and it is mixed with the rest of the ingredients right there in front of you, sealed, and then you get a personalized label with your name, the date, and even the name of the individual who compounded it for you. The outer carton has that personalized information plus information about T how to store your fragrance.
Le Labo Oud 27:
I wasn’t asked to blend my own fragrance. All I had to do is choose my favorite.
Without hesitating, I chose Le Labo OUD 27 eau de parfum spray ($260.00 3.4 fl. oz.) compounded for me that evening in Nolita by Stephen.
What is “Oud?”
For those who don’t know what OUD is, it’s Agarwood. It’s quite distinctive, incense-y, smoky, exotic and intense. There are about 15 species of Agarwood (it might be the most expensive wood in the world) and without going into too much detail Agarwood or oudh forms as a reaction to fungal or bacterial attack on the wood, and the resulting resin in the hardwood. Each type of Oud is very different and some can take up to 35 years to become the rare essence that is used in rare fragrances.
Le Labo Oud 27 just any old agarwood however. Oud 27 also has Cedar Atlas, Incense, Patchouli, Black Pepper, Safran, and Gaiac, plus 20 more notes that Le Labo isn’t sharing. The Le Labo Oud 27 is a unisex scent and it’s very sensual. It also lasts for hours on your skin. It might not be for everyone, but as I mentioned in the begining of this article, what makes both wine, and fragrance so special, is how you react to it on an individual level.
Le Labo is Eco-Friendly:
Not only does Le Labo have a lot of very unique and beautiful fragrances, they are a “green” company and they also don’t test anything on animals. The company uses clean energy, recycles shipping boxes, produces recyclable packaging and always try to print out as little as possible. They will also let you refill your bottle in all their stores and if you choose to do this, your refill is cheaper than buying a new bottle. Given the cost of the larger sizes, this is a savings you will want to consider!
You can get Le Labo fragrances in Nolita or in Barneys, Nordstrom and other places around the globe. Or just go to the Le Labo Fragrances website!