It’s that time again – New York-based indie fragrance par excellence Le Labo has made their coveted City Exclusives available for purchase globally until September 30 at selected Mecca stores and online at Le Labo. And not a day after. 

Le Labo
Le Labo’s City Exclusives are back for September. Image: Le Labo.

The annual City Exclusives access has become a much anticipated event for fans of the cult fragrance brand. Usually, these 15 scents are only available in their respective locations of inspiration, meaning you’d normally treat yourself while travelling. Of course, that ain’t happening right now making this month is the only month you may get your hands on what some call a perfume unicorn.

Joining the line-up this year is the latest Le Labo destination – Cedrat 37 Berlin, an uplifting citrus and ginger accord that slowly reveals a soft dry down of muscs and light woods. Not what you expect from a fragrance named after one of the world’s most infamously hedonistic cities?

Le Labo
Which City do you miss the most? Image: Le Labo

If  there’s one thing that Le Labo know how to do, it’s psychological misdirection. The City Exclusives aren’t simply capturing a landscape. It captures a feeling that founders Eddie Roschi and Fabrice Penot experience then aim to bottle up. For Berlin, this is freedom – uplifting, optimistic, a little bit sensual and light as air. And who isn’t craving every one of these things right now as we peer out of our windows and wonder “when are we ever getting our lives back”?

Making something as covetable as the City Exclusives line available one month of the year may seem like the opposite of a good business decision. But that would be missing the maverick nature that has underpinned the company’s creative process from the beginning. I once had the opportunity to ask someone from the Le Labo team why they limited access to a line of fragrances that are clearly desired and the response was enlightening: they do this as their way of thumbing their nose at increasing globalisation of luxury experiences. And with a starting price of $200 for 15ml, the Le Labo City Exclusives are definitely a luxury. Even for the most die-hard noses.

If you’re lamenting lockdown and missing the feeling of waking up in a new city with its accompanying barrage of sensory overload, this month might be your only chance in a while to recapture that feeling. Le Labo City Exclusives will be available online at Mecca and Le Labo until the September 30.