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How to Use Le Labo Samples to Smell Amazing But Not Go Broke


Le Labo samples are a great way to buy this trendy (BUT EXPENSIVE) perfume without breaking the bank! It’s also a great way to narrow down which scent you want to buy a larger bottle or candle of.

Box holding a Le Labo discovery set on a table.
Give high-end fragrances a try without breaking the bank when you try a Le Labo Discovery Set.

I am super picky about what perfume I wear. The wrong fragrance can irritate me and give me a headache.

I love the Le Labo brand but they’re super pricey. I didn’t want to buy one and end up hating it (and myself for spending so much on perfume).

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Le Labo Fragrances

Le Labo is for cool people. They have unique fragrances that are unlike anything I’ve smelled with other brands. They carry a variety of products from perfume, candles and bath products and now home fragrances.

The first time I learned of it was at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. They were burning a candle (the Santal scent) and it smelled amazing.

It’s how your house would smell if you were part hipster, part hippie, part I don’t care what you think of me, and part OMG! I hope everyone knows what my perfume is so they know I know what cool is.

I kid. A little bit. I think it has a little bit of a cult following. And they’re based out of Brooklyn so… But they do smell REALLY good.

I don’t love sweet fragrances and I was really wanting to find a nice musky, almost unisex scent. I remembered the Santal scent so headed to the local store (Newport Beach) so I could smell it in fragrance form. 

Le Labo Home Creations

Recently I noticed they’ve added “Home Creations” to their site. There are about 12 scents and they are made to make your house smell amazing.

These Le Labo fragrances come in candles and also what I am guessing is a bottle with a spray top to mist the scent into the room.

These are over $100 so I’m super glad I found a copy cat scent!

Le Labo Santal Dupe

Close up of an oil that is the santal scent for home diffusers.

Before we go any further, I need to share the Le Labo Santal dupe I found recently. While it’s not my favorite scent to wear, I do love the smell in a room. But, again, a Santal candle is over $80.

I found this oil to use in a diffuser, and it’s so good! It’s very potent, which means a little goes a long way and will last for a long time.

This would fill the whole house if you are having a party and want it to smell like a chic boutique.

Le Labo Perfume

While Santal might be known as the best Le Labo scent, I have two other favorites that you should know about. And as I mentioned before, trying out the perfume before making a large financial commitment is a wise decision. The best way to do that is with a Discovery Set

Le Labo Discovery Set Options

Love Le Labo fragrances but don't want to spend the money? Try a sampler!

This shit is expensive. Like, between $80-$270.

A Discovery Kit, however, is $35 and features its top 5 fragrances including Santal. Boom. This is the perfect gift for yourself. I’m loving it.

I started with the Classic collection. They used to sell these on other sites but it appears they only sell them on their website and in stores.

Yes, the bottles are freaking tiny. But these fragrances are on the heavy side so a little goes a very long way. This would make a great gift idea for someone who you think has everything.

They also do a sampler that is 17 scents for $105 (which is the whole fine fragrance Classic collection), or they have a great (expensive) gift idea where you can buy the sampler plus it comes with a gift card for a bottle of whichever perfume they like best (available in 2 sizes).

But a bottle of perfume runs $83 – $280. Yowza.

And they also now have two Discovery Sets that are larger bottles so you get more perfume. For more money, of course.

Again, I don’t wear perfume every day but the one Discovery Set lasted me for at least a year.

The Classic Collection Scents

Santal 33 | This one is unisex but not a dark, woody smell. If you read their description on the site, it is supposed to be woody and tobacco-y but I don’t get that at all. I get a tiny bit of citrus without the acid if that makes any sense.

And I get something green without being grassy. Wow, this description is not going to help you at all…It’s really nice. And I totally would want my house to smell like this.

But by the end of the day, most of these smells are gone and it smells mostly like the alcohol base it’s made in.

The Noir 29 | This one smells like a rich old lady who was fashionable and a trendsetter. I really like it. It’s heavy and complex and exactly what I was looking for!

Bergamote 22 | A musky floral with a note of citrus. I am REALLY in to this one. It has a brightness while still feeling a little moody. So good. I feel like this was the sleeper hit. I kept passing it by and once I used it I was like, WHOA! LOVE!

Rose 31 | I am so pleasantly surprised by the rose! I almost skipped it because I’m not a fan of rose-scented anything. But this one is super subtle. It’s paired with something hearty, almost peppery, that makes it really good and not sweet or soapy smelling.

Vetiver 46 | I expected to love this one since I use vetiver essential oil (along with some other oils) every night to help me sleep. It’s usually a really grassy smell, but this fragrance is not.

It smells the most masculine of the other 4 scents. It’s nice but probably not one that I will wear all the time. But it is very fresh and clean. I think I’m going to gift this one to my 12-year-old son.

To me, the best Le Labo fragrances are Rose 31, The Noir 29 and Santal 33 (for the home).

Santal 33 Sample

Le Labo perfume sample from their sampler pack.

I really thought Santal was going to be my scent. And I’m so grateful I bought the samplers to take these for a test run first (and not spending way too much on something I ended up not liking).

I don’t like the way Santal smells on me after a few hours. In the beginning, it’s great.

But by the end of the day the scent has changed and I don’t love it. I’m super into The Noir. That’s my jam. And I’m pleasantly surprised by Rose!

Also, these are great for travel! I hate traveling with a full-size bottle and finding a travel size can be hard! These are legit tiny. Praise hands emoji.

If you don’t want to buy a full Discovery Set, you can purchase a sample for $7. I have only run out of them once over a several-year period (which shows you how often I wear perfume).

You can choose any of the perfumes you’re interested in and buy those individually to test out.

And when they put out a new collection (they do some limited edition stuff), the samples are $12+. It’s still expensive for the tiny bottle but not too over the top. 

Tips and Tricks

You really do need to spray them on yourself and wear them for the day to get a true sense of the fragrance experience. The samples are a great way to do that!

That being said, these scents are HEAVY. A half spray is enough. It will also help your sample stretch a little longer.

You HAVE to go read their scent descriptions. Someone worked long and hard on them. They are very dramatic.

Where to Buy Le Labo Perfume Samples

Buy yourself a Le Labo Discovery Kit online. These perfume samples are the perfect size to try out a new scent or take them with you when you travel! 

Or shop in-store. They have shops in Newport Beach, CA, Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY.

Some Nordstrom locations have in-store Le Labo services. Check out the Nordstrom site to see which stores have it.

Also, weirdly, Walmart.com sells random hotel amenity-sized bottles of Rose 31 and Santal 33.

How to Get Le Labo Free

On my last few Nordstrom orders, I have been offered free samples. I think, depending on how much you spend, you get to choose 3. They offer a Le Labo sample (it was a new scent – you couldn’t choose which scent you get)!

Just follow the directions as you are placing your order to take them up on the offer.

The free sample is smaller than what you get in the discovery kit. But it is still a great way to try out an expensive perfume for free!

Also, some nicer hotels use it for the amenity. Hotel Joaquin does so I make sure I take them all home with me when I leave.

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