Early this year, Le Labo launched Limette 37, one of its city-exclusive fragrances; this time, the city that inspired the perfume, and the only place you can buy it, is San Francisco.1 I live close enough to San Francisco (in “air miles/minutes”) that I don’t need much of an excuse to fly down, even for a day. Mostly, I travel to San Francisco for art; soon I’ll be visiting to see two exhibits: David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition at the de Young and (also at the de Young) Modern Nature: Georgia O’Keeffe and Lake George. As luck (the dates of these exhibits) would have it, that means I’ll have to go to San Francisco TWICE before spring! Woo-Hoo!
If Le Labo Limette 37 is really good, I can always grab a bottle at the Le Labo boutique on Fillmore Street.
Limette 37 opens with vibrant and delicious-smelling citrus notes (mostly bergamot at first…on the “warm” side); there are also glints of green leaf and crisp jasmine (not exactly clean jasmine, but certainly not indolic jasmine, either). Limette 37’s first impression makes me think — SUMMER.
After Limette 37’s opening, a pithy and dry lime note emerges; smelling it is like sniffing the inside of a lime peel — you can still smell the green-skin oils and some residual juice. Perhaps my favorite phase of Limette 37 is a lime-jasmine accord that ushers in the heart of the perfume, producing a “happy” sensation for me.
Other perky (and interesting) aspects of Limette 37: its lemon-lime sparkling-soda phase, with a hint of sweetness mixing with acidic citrus juice; the citrus-y vetiver in the base; and a petit grain “moment” that reminds me of the aromas of vintage Eaux de Cologne soaps from Spain. Limette 37’s musk, clove and tonka beans do not intrude on the citrus-and-flowers effervescence…those richer notes are almost put on “mute.” I have not even one complaint about Limette 37; though it does not remind me of San Francisco; it smells more like La Jolla or Malibu or Ojai.
My lack of complaint did not last long — I found out the price of Limette 37: $440 for 100 ml Eau de Parfum/$290 for 50 ml; SF tech gazillionaires: enjoy! At those outrageous prices I want more than Limette 37 provides. Limette 37 reminds of a few other citrus perfumes that don't justify their price (though I like them just fine): Tom Ford Private Blend Azure Lime and Neroli Portofino come to mind. Like those, Limette 37 stays close to the body and has average lasting power.
Le Labo Limette 37 is available at the San Francisco Barneys New York or Le Labo’s Fillmore Street boutique.
1. The notes include lime, bergamot, jasmine, petit grain, clove, vetiver, tonka bean, musk. Note that Le Labo also makes their city exclusives more widely available (at all of their counters and online retail stores) during one 6 week window every year.
Note: top image of Golden Gate via Wikimedia Commons.
Update: Le Labo Limette 37 was developed by perfumer Frank Voelkl.