What We Do In Paris Is Secret (2012)

What We Do In Paris Is Secret by A Lab on Fire
Bottle Design: Jan Håkon Robson
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What We Do In Paris Is Secret is a perfume by A Lab on Fire for women and men and was released in 2012. The scent is sweet-gourmand. It is still in production.

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Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesBergamot, Honey, Lychee
Heart Notes Heart NotesHeliotrope, Turkish rose, Vanilla
Base Notes Base NotesAmbergris, Sandalwood, Tolu balm, Tonka bean



7.4 (103 Ratings)


7.7 (68 Ratings)


6.7 (72 Ratings)


5.7 (81 Ratings)
Submitted by Kankuro, last update on 17.10.2018
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Warm shawl for winter time
It's a good choice for cold season, because of warming effect. Sweet, powdery notes are like warm shawl which give a sense of comfort and well-being when wind and rain pricking your bones. The scent is plushy, caramel. I agree that beginning is a little bit disappointing. But it is changing and finally we are staying with very interesting powdery niuances. Maybe thanks to tolu balm which gives such silky softnes.
When sb likes warmness and sweetness in perfumes (honey, vanilla) can buy without sampling
Bottle 2.5/10 Sillage 5.0/10 Longevity 5.0/10 Scent 6.0/10
Some Things Should Remain Secret...
What We Do In Paris Is Secret opens with with rose-like lychee before quickly transitioning to its early heart accord of light rose and slightly almond-like heliotrope florals melding with dominant powdery vanilla and slightly sweet tonka bean from the base. During the dry-down the rose vacates as the powdery vanilla slowly recedes, unveiling smooth relatively sweet tolu balsam spiked sandalwood in the base. Projection is on the low side of average and longevity is average at about 7-9 hours on skin.

Being the Dominique Ropion fan that I am, it was with great anticipation that I tried What We Do In Paris Is Secret. It is with equally great disappointment that I quickly came to realize the composition was not going to impress. While I love rose compositions in general (and the Ropion composed Portrait of a Lady in particular), powdery vanilla has proved problematic for me, and unfortunately the rose near immediately couples with the powdery vanilla to form what can only be described as a baby powder-like accord that is relatively generic and completely unimpressive. If the development stopped here, I would be completely slamming the composition as a major dud. Luckily things *don't* stop there, instead the powder finally recedes and a beautiful sandalwood and Tolu balsam tandem takes over as the starring accord through the late dry-down, with the composition turning rather smooth and appealing late. The bottom line is the $110 per 60ml bottle What We Do In Paris Is Secret is far from groundbreaking and starts off unappealing, though finishes strong earning a "good" rating of 3 stars out 5. While I ended up liking the composition, I find it difficult to recommend as you have to wait a solid three hours before getting to "the good stuff," and that is a lot to ask of the prospective wearer.
Bottle 5.0/10 Sillage 5.0/10 Longevity 5.0/10 Scent 4.0/10
What We Do In Paris is Play with Dough and Cherry Chapstick
I may yet eat these words...not literally, but my initially take on this one- wet dough, a little bit salty and then a rather chewy jammy cherry that seems to be going to the moon- a HG of cherry marzipan until suddenly more wet uncooked dough and a waxy note. This is 'cute' but the name set my expectations in another universe. There is really no need to be secretive about making marzipan tarts at 5 am in the morning. Would I ever wear this on a hot date. Not really unless layered with something nutty, smoky or spicy. Would I wear this to work in a corporate environment- Jamais (never!). This brings up memories of Strawberry Shortcake dolls and plastic pre-school toys. Perfect gift for your favorite local Kindergarten Teacher or 5 year old daughter- with high end niche tastes. It's the salty doughiness, btw. The cherry note on this is luscious, gewy, delicious, deep and excellent, I must admit. But now that we know what it is that they are really doing in Paris...baking cherry marzipan filled pastries for school children, the patisserie secret is out! It's not so intriguing or sexy. I keep waiting for the hidden joke to manifest here. Non. Il n'est pas ici. This is Sunday school innocent and edible and sweet. Sacre Bleu! Saints Preserve Us!
Sillage 7.5/10 Longevity 7.5/10 Scent 7.0/10
Ingenious? I think not ...
A ridiculously long winded name for a fragrance that could have been really special, but unfortunately just makes it to the "nice" category. The usually incredible M.Ropion has dropped the ball a little here for me ... but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't wear What We Do In Paris Is Secret.

I feel the need to substantiate that statement by saying that even though I feel slightly let down by this creation, the work of someone I consider to be a master perfumer, I do "get" it. I also rather like it and I suppose it's unfair to compare it to masterpieces like Carnal Flower and L'Elephant ... no one really knows what the circumstances of it's creation are. What disappoints somewhat is that What We Do In Paris Is Secret is rather conformist ... from a house that blatantly advertises it's ingenuity.
Nevertheless, the combination of Rose and "nutty" notes like Tonka and Tolu here are lovely, giving this frag an Almond-like feel on my skin. I detest too much fruit in fragrances so I was very wary of the Lychee in the top. It is, however, well controlled and doesn't hamper this fragrance as I thought it might. WWDIPIS is rather sweet and creamy ... no doubt a testament to serious lashings of Vanilla and Sandalwood. Does it conjure up Paris for me? No ... not in the sense that YSL's vintage Paris does, but I guess that is a Paris of yesteryear ... whereas this fragrance does lean towards the gourmand aspect of a fabulous modern patisserie. Une tasse de café à la vanille et un croissant aux amandes quelqu'un?
In it's favor, What We Do In Paris Is Secret does carry the Ropion hallmarks of superior sillage and longevity.

I'm not sure why drinking a cup of Vanilla coffee accompanied by an almond croissant would have to be kept secret, unless of course one was cheating on a diet or sharing said libation with an affaire! I do recommend trying What We Do In Paris Is Secret tho' ... it may just be surprising!
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Sillage 7.5/10 Longevity 7.5/10 Scent 5.0/10
Helpful Review    3
A Dominique Ropion Oeuvre de Vieillesse?
I have to confess that I am rather disappointed by A Lab on Fire WHAT WE DO IN PARIS IS SECRET, which I have worn now a couple of times. The perfume opens like a dozen different sandalwood-vanilla designer frags. Shockingly banal, actually. It does get better, but the memory of the opening is a tough hurdle to clear. I kept thinking of the slogan of which the name of this perfume appears to be a permutation: "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."

I took a look at the house's website, which introduces itself thus: "We are an ingenious niche limited-production fragrance house..." Huh. Not sure that I accept their self-ascribed ingeniousness--certainly not based on this creation, by the usually masterful Dominique Ropion. Even the subtitle of the name of this house, "The Unlikely Company" sounds like a rip-off of The Different Company. I wonder whether this house is like Linari: designer frags made with expensive ingredients for people with squeamish physiology?

In any case, as WHAT WE DO... dries down, the tolu balsam and ambergris become more pronounced, at which point there is quite a bit more depth. The honey adds a nice touch, but never does this perfume approach the brilliance of Ropion's Kenzo JUNGLE L'ELEPHANT. Désolée.
1 Replies


Lexa 24 months ago
I like it! Powdery honey almonds and amber,brings Mugler's Alien mixed with Carner's Tardes to my mind.Gourmand and sweet,lovely!+2
Bottle 8.0
Sillage 8.0
Longevity 8.0
Scent 8.5

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