chic or geek

a mildly aspirational blog of my life, times, and taste


want: The Laundress X Le Labo Santal 33

lifestyle, shoppingAnna KellerComment
le labo santal 33.png

Living in Vermont, we are woefully late to most major trends. Some may consider this is a positive thing, as we’re protected from consumerist whims, but I, as a futurist by trade and an early adopter by choice, feel left out from major trends that pop up on the streets of New York and in my Discover page on Instagram.

I have to get on a plane to participate in the latest meal-in-a-bowl craze, and scour the deep links of the internet to find a trendy shoe at a manageable price point. We don’t have many retail options up here, even in the “city” of Burlington, and we only get to participate in a major trend if it stands the test of time.

Trends are interesting beasts. the cycle from niche > aspirational > accessible > oversaturated is faster every year, and since it’s my job to seek out rising brands and products for work, I find myself lusting over niche products but having a hard time accessing them up here. I find myself wanting things as they shift from niche to aspirational, but can’t source a site with it in stock fast enough. Then an item moves into the accessible and oversaturated phases way too fast, and suddenly it’s on to the next thing. Or so the internet tells me.

About two years ago, I had my first experience with the intoxicating woody notes of Le Labo perfume. I was entranced by it, initially thrown off. In Vermont, you get called out for wearing overt fragrance. If you don’t smell like a combination of maple sap, Dr Bronner’s, and the great outdoors, it makes you different, a little uppity, and certainly vain. I’m perfectly fine being labeled any of those things, but the Le Labo fragrances are so pervasive, I knew that I wasn’t ready in to what I considered my first very adult fragrance decision.

I couldn’t shake the idea of it, though, no matter how hard I tried. Le Labo started popping up in Top Shelves and Instagram posts everywhere I looked. Walking down the streets of Soho, I would be hit by frequent waves of something I later identified as Santal 33. I loved it. it smelled so good, so expensive, and so different from my every day.

Maison Louis Marie candle at the OV Austin flagship store

I settled on Glossier You as my daily perfume when it launched, mostly because of the comparisons many made to it as a much more subtle cousin of a Le Labo fragrance. I picked up the Maison Louis Marie No. 04 Bois de Balincourt candle for the same reason (they were burning it in the Outdoor Voices Austin flagship store when I visited and immediately needed it).

Now, Le Labo Santal 33 has been declared basic. It’s hit mass saturation, and has lost its cult appeal the more popular it became. I even caught whiffs of it at my boyfriend’s company party. I was impressed and immediately wanted to be that wearer’s friend, mostly because it meant she and I had common scent preferences all the way up here in the fragrance-free Green Mountain State.

Since I yearned for it for so long, I’m not quite ready to let my dreams fade and say goodbye to it, even if I should be looking for the next thing. It’s how I feel about Ugg boots, or AirPods. The heart wants what the heart wants.

As a compromise to myself, I think I’ll purchase it in a slightly more unique format: as a laundry detergent. Spending $45 on a Tide-alternative isn’t basic, right? And maybe that’ll give me the push that I need to do laundry a little more often in 2019. With Santal 33 waiting for me in our linen closet, I can’t see myself waiting for my hamper to overflow too aggressively before solving the dilemma of dirty clothes with one chic bottle of detergent.

Loewe 001

beautyAnna KellerComment

If I were to pick out my perfume based on looks alone, the brand new Loewe 001 fragrances for both men and women would be #1 on my list. The minimal, heritage-inspired design has a touch of natural elements with its wood cap, and it would look at home on any Top Shelfie with a mix of Diptyque candles and Ceramidin cream

Alas, thanks to an abundance of Sephora samples and scoring some really good deals at T.J. Maxx, I have enough perfume to last me for at least a decade, so I won't be adding these to my shopping cart any time soon.

Nasomatto Perfumes

art, beautyAnna KellerComment

When I do my monthly peruse of Vogue or Elle, I usually find myself skipping the lengthy write-ups of new perfumes and histories of scent. Perfume is meant to be smelled, right? Without that sensory element, I'm bored and confused by their astronomical price tags and complex descriptions.

However, it seems to be a general rule that upscale perfume bottles are breathtakingly beautiful. And with a price per ounce that I'm pretty sure rivals cocaine, you're definitely putting your money where you can see it when you purchase gorgeous glass atomizers.

Nasomatto perfumes had this very effect on me. While I can't imagine what their Absinthe or China White scents actually smell like, I can definitely conjure up images of the whole line artfully arranged on my bedside table. Their use of natural elements and contrasting textures is just so pretty and chic. I'll never find myself ever spending a $200 on an ounce of perfume, but I have no problem blogging about these lovely little bottles - click on each to enlarge.