By  on April 3, 2009

Niche fragrance marketer Le Labo is launching its first scent in three years, a fragrance called Oud 27, which was introduced Wednesday.

The number 27 in the name of the scent is a reference to the number of ingredients used to blend the fragrance. The project was a collaboration between Le Labo’s founders Fabrice Penot and Eddie Roschi and Firmenich perfumer Vincent Schaller.

It is described as a dark oriental and includes olfactive notes of Agarwood, cedar, gaiac wood, patchouli and frankincense. There’s also an accord of saffron, black pepper and nutmeg.

Oud, which is a fungus that grows on Agarwood trees in the Middle East — and the name of a musical instrument of the lute family of Asia and Africa — lends a pungent, smoky aroma in combination with Agarwood.

“We wanted to develop an oriental scent that is a pure oriental,” said Roschi during a recent interview. “Not because it has vanilla or is sweet but because we wanted something much darker.

“Pure Agarwood smells dark, animalistic,” he continued, adding, “it’s an, offbeat interpretation of an oriental wood.”

The scent, which is Le Labo’s 11th major fragrance, will be available in a 3.4-oz. bottle for $200 and a 1.7-oz. version for $130. There will also be a .5-oz. travel size for $52.

Discussing the process of developing the fragrance, Penot said, “It’s our first perfume in three years — we worked on many formulas, and only [this] one deserves a space on our table.”

Oud 27 will also come in a lotion form, 8 oz. for $60; a massage oil, 4 oz. for $60, and an alcohol-free balm, which is priced at $80 for a third of an ounce.

The addition of Oud 27, which may do $500,000 in first-year retail sales volume, could help push the firm’s annual turnover past the $5 million mark this year, according to industry sources.

Le Labo is carried in about 10 to 15 doors in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Its New York flagship is located at 233 Elizabeth Street, and the firm also has freestanding locations in Los Angeles and Tokyo. Penot and Roschi are looking to open a freestanding location in Paris this year.

In terms of the wholesale business, the brand is carried at four Barneys New York stores (New York, Dallas, Las Vegas and San Francisco), and Penot expects it to reach Barneys locations in Chicago and Los Angeles this year.

In Europe, Le Labo is carried in upscale specialty stores in London, Paris and Berlin, and the founders anticipate opening doors in Dubai in April and Australia in the fall.

In other news, the firm has partnered with an upscale laundry detergent brand called The Laundress for a co-branded detergent that is priced at $45 for 16 oz. and was introduced Wednesday.

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