A Lab on Fire seems to be one of those polarizing perfume houses. Most seem to either love or really dislike their creations....the only one I have experience with is What We Do In Paris Is A Secret. Very sweet, but really lovely.
I got samples of their new releases, Made in Heaven and Paris/LA. I am going to say, right of the bat, that these are not without merit. The notes, when I initially read them, confused me. I tried them with some trepidation.
The first one I tried was Made in Heaven. When reading the notes, this one was the one I thought I would gravitate to. Notes from Luckyscent are as follows:
Safran, magnolia, mandarin, jasmine sambac, tuberose,
orange flower, cereal accord, orris, natural vanilla bean.
It's fair to say that I'm a bit of a saffron freak, and I like sweet scents so this sounded like a win. When I tried it, I was almost knocked over by the sweetness. It wasn't positive for me and literally caused me to go 'oh. oh no.' However, I did let it settle down and it was easier to maneuver through.
The first breath is of powder and HUGE white flowers. Every white flower imaginable. If you love white flowers, this is a good thing, but the intensity of them actually gave the impression of being able to taste them. The saffron does hang around the edges giving it a warm aspect but at no point does this become a saffron scent. The flowers are very, very strong through the life of the fragrance.
About 5 minutes in, a curious cornflakes and warm milk accord comes through. This may sound off putting, but it actually comes as a relief as it pours over the florals and give you something curious that I find myself seeking out. The vanilla is quite strong as well, over time the florals, though still evident, fade to the background.
If you found What We Do In Paris to be too sweet, you likely will find this one so as well. I think it's a nice find if you really like white floral gourmands. For me, it's a little over the top.
Next up, Paris/LA. Notes are key lime, ginger, cola accord, neroli, coriander, thyme, macaron accord, amber, and musk.
This one has a more intriguing opening. The key lime and ginger are evident and add an interesting twist to the cola. It reminds me of squeezing a lime into a rum and coke. Very quickly, the bright notes of lime juice fizz out and it becomes a dry, sweet, spicy lime rind. This part of the development is very enjoyable and pleasantly unisex. Coriander adds another dimension to the spice and somehow starts leaning the fragrance to what I consider to be a Caribbean spice feel, when all of a sudden is takes a startling turn to sweet pastry. The drydown on this one has the same feel as the drydown for Made In Heaven. What surprises me about this fragrance is the name. I don't feel any urban landscape or experience in connection with this fragrance, unless the former is drinks in NY, and the latter is pastry in Paris.
Both of these are interesting and I'm sure they will have their share of fans. They are definitely worth testing even if they're not your thing, they definitely are worth the experience of trying.