Smell Shopping: Le Labo is heightening its retail presence in Los Angeles. The Estée Lauder Cos.-owned fragrance brand is opening a store, its fifth in Southern California, inside popular shopping center The Grove in March. Le Labo has stretched to roughly 30 boutiques across the globe, according to its web site, and is available at Nordstrom, Barneys New York, Net-a-porter and Saks Fifth Avenue. Le Labo cofounders Fabrice Penot and Eddie Roschi unveiled the brand’s first store in 2006 in Manhattan’s NoLIta neighborhood, and Lauder acquired Le Labo eight years later. The brand’s product portfolio contains 15 fine fragrances, which come in various formats, including eau de parfums, body oils and lotions, solid perfumes, detergents and travel-friendly liquid balm rollerballs.
Along with Jo Malone, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle and Tom Ford, Le Labo contributed to fragrance being Lauder’s fastest-growing category for the company’s second fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31. During an earnings conference call, Fabrizio Freda, president and chief executive officer of Lauder, revealed high-end fragrances registered growth of nearly 30 percent during the quarter. “These luxury fragrance brands were primarily powered by strong new fragrance launches and social media,” he detailed. In its 2016 annual report, Lauder projected its luxury fragrance portfolio would grow more than 20 percent annually by 2020.