Poivre 23 (2008)

Poivre 23 by Le Labo
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7.3 / 10     33 RatingsRatingsRatings
Poivre 23 is a perfume by Le Labo for women and was released in 2008. The scent is spicy-resinous. It is being marketed by Estēe Lauder Companies.

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Nathalie Lorson

Fragrance Notes

Labdanum, Frankincense, Indonesian patchouli, Gaiac wood, Bourbon pepper, Australian sandalwood, Vanilla absolute, Styrax



7.3 (33 Ratings)


7.7 (21 Ratings)


6.5 (22 Ratings)


6.2 (24 Ratings)
Submitted by TVC15, last update on 30.10.2018

Interesting Facts

Manufactured exclusively for London and only available there.

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Bottle 1.0/10 Sillage 9.0/10 Longevity 10.0/10 Scent 3.5/10
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Probably the worst since White Linen
I was pretty happy when the City Exclusives of Le Labo reached me. Besides the highlights there is also Poivre 23. In general every fragrance lands on a Kleenex, I found it strong, sweet but "interesting" and wanted to give it a chance. Whatever rode me that morning, I sprayed a splash on his neck and smelled it so intensely even with a headwind... it was holiday time, an autumn day and the temperatures allowed me to have breakfast outside. I made two attempts to wash down the scent in the toilet, I had the food wrapped up because I couldn't get anything down... the next course into a French pharmacy where I tried to make it clear to the saleswoman that I needed something with a lot of alcohol to get the stuff down. Alcohol-soaked disinfectant wipes were the salvation and it became much more irritating. Pepper: yes. Unfortunately paired with this intrusive sweetness. Not for the delicate.
Very helpful Review    3
Perfect pepper
One of the nicest Le Labo fragrances I have ever tried. And basically the first pepper fragrance I’ve ever liked. Rich but simple, realistic, straightforward, clean but dark, bold and unique despite featuring some really common notes ( “the devil is in the details”...).Basically, as the name suggests, it is a peppery fragrance, but an extremely clever, balanced and pleasant one. Pepper is quite tricky in fragrances; some tend to be really loud (Villoresi’s Piper Nigrum), some cheap or screechy, some are just boringly, artificially “woody-peppery”, or sometimes they’re just a monotone pepper litany. Well, Poivre 23 isn’t any of that. It brilliantly manages to keep pepper as the central note, yet with some really pleasant and enjoyable nuances that give some colour, some evolution and some vibrancy to the scent – both “bright” and “dark” nuances (or better say, warm-sweet and cold-balsamic). The palette of “colours” of Poivre 23 is quite nondescript actually, it’s just a really vibrant and shimmering fragrance which doesn’t smell like pretty much anything else. I get a lot of “curry” smell, especially initially; some subtle vanillic amber, maybe even something greenish-floral and slightly resinous.

The evolution gets eventually drier, a bit muskier, earthier, still with a perfectly detectable warm-ambery labdanum note, at the same time slightly more balsamic and green (in a dark, “fougère-like” meaning). And with a really pleasant whiff of crisp laundry musk. It feels like a “pepper soliflore” with distant, light echoes of other fragrances – from Etro Ambra to Le Labo Labdanum to many musk-vanilla scents, to (obviously) pepper fragrances like the abovementioned, and inferior, Piper Nigrum, finally almost reaching some really classic green-floral Chanel or Laroche scents – not sure why but I thought of both vintage Laroche’s Fidji and Chanel’s Cristalle at some point. I am not saying I smell them here, rather that their faint green-musky chypresque ghosts lightly “float” around on the background thanks to some really well-put subtle nuances that seem to recall them. Probably one of the most “dynamic” scents I’ve smelled recently, brilliantly keeping it consistent around pepper and cumin. I can’t explain myself better – it’s just a really catchy, fascinating and refined pepper-resinous-green scent, unique and vibrant, extremely enjoyable to wear. And that’s it. Bravi!

Bottle 5.0/10 Sillage 5.0/10 Longevity 7.5/10 Scent 8.0/10
Helpful Review    2
An Meditative Incense Pepper with Roxy Music Style, Never Mind The Sex Pistols
Poivre 23, Le Labo's London City exclusive is nothing like what I was expecting. I had envisioned a bracing gutsy slick scent to go along with London- sharp. Spiked hair and Sid Vicious. Hip. Sassy. Instead Poivre 23 opens with a deep and soulful incense note provided by sweet gum resin blended with an understated dose of come hither (or at least, follow me to the bar to ask my name)gaiac wood and a retrained pinch of Labdanum. I feel myself floating through a Japanese Garden into a peaceful Zen-like trance. I hear the faint song of a Balinese Gamelan instrument in the distance, I perceive the barometric pressure increasing and the impending release of a long and cleansing downpour of rain is assured. Poivre 23 is not without a touch of sultry vanilla and natural smelling Sandalwood planks. I am aware of a black pepper/pink pepper but there is not sneeze to follow, not one bit of irritation; is that a Curry house around the corner?

There is just a gentle slightly sweet melancholy and languid sensuality of temple incense, rain, damp wood, and dry vanilla. Is this my HG incense/spice scent? I think not, personally I love and then ignore Vanilla based scents with the phases of the moon- I guess, it's called fragrance A.D.D.; none-the-less, Poivre 23 is quite intriguing. This is very modern, unisex, slightly mystical and very calming- I can see this working as a year round signature scent on the right bloke or bird. It fades into a skin scent after about 30 minutes, but lingers in that state for 7-8 hours of earthy, woody, spicy lusciousness.

If you like the idea of pepper but find Lanvin's "Oxygen" (I find both the Men's and Women's version to be sneeze inducing)or Molton Brown's "Black Pepper" too biting and harsh...give this one a try, it's a kinder, gentler pepper with plenty of soft smooth jazz groove substance and depth under the umbrella.


Hermesh 2 years ago
Authentic peppery explosion fades quickly (without entirely to perish); spicy-woody, sweetish, slightly dry grassy warmth remains. Well done!
Bottle 7.0
Sillage 7.0
Longevity 8.0
Scent 8.0

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