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ih8perfume

La Lugubre Gondola

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Golden amber, 7-year aged labdanum, and oudh.


Oh wow. First to review... gulp.

First Sniff from the bottle, fresh from the mail: This scares me a little, but I'm brave. The amber in this is of the powdery variety. Can't really make out anything else.

Skin Test: Oh good lord. As soon as this hits the skin and warms up, it is breathtakingly beautiful.

I wish that the amber were a little more Gelt 2012 and a little less Luvs Baby Soft, but whatever. Minor quibble. The amber seems to be kind of the anchor of this blend that keeps the incense ingredients from floating off to heaven.

The Oudh is so so - pretty? - in this. I am used to the dark, slightly sinister quality of the Japanese aloeswood (the same tree from which Oudh is derived) and Beth's Oudh has such an uplifting, almost faintly lemony? feeling, but with the same depth as the Japanese. When, O When will we see Beth's Oudh in a SN? I swear, I would die.

The Labdanum was my mystery ingredient. I had read everything from rubber tires to Breath of God. This definitely falls on the Breath of God end of the spectrum. It's got those luscious, crisp-sticky resin notes. If you've ever used rosin for a stringed instrument bow (or whatever other purposes it's used for), then you know what I mean. There's a smell in an evergreen forest when the sun warms up the sap on a summer day that is so primeval. Like... these forests have been here since long before you were born and they will return long after mankind has destroyed itself. And somehow, that's very comforting. That's the kind of Breath of God I'm talking about. Beth didn't make it, but she had the damn good nose to use it.

In short, this is an amber heavy blend. Extremely resinous as would be expected from an all resin blend, but with a bright, uplifting quality rather than a dark somber feeling that one might expect.

Hoard it.

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Amazing dark sticky incense. Very much like Black Taffeta. Will need a back up, as I spilled half the bottle on my bathroom floor last night :( Very excellent, despite the bottle being clearly possessed.

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This one surprised me, because it smells very close to the amber oil I make myself. The one I make has about 4 parts benzoin, 1 part labdanum, and a very small amount of vanilla. I had to pull out a bottle of my own to smell the differences. Mainly, Beth's blend has vanillic notes from the resins, but not the straight vanilla in my own blend. It's very nice. This amber does not turn powdery or high pitched at all on my skin. It's in the same family as Gelt, but not as sweet. I love it.

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Oh my freaking God.

 

This is...perfection. Golden amber is the King of Resins on my skin: delightfully dry and rich and lovely. The aged labdanum is smooth as silk, lending some depth and complexity without any sharpness at all. The oude just rounds it all out beautifully. A symphony of scents. How fitting.

 

Multiple bottle worthy.

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Oh my freaking God.

 

This is...perfection. Golden amber is the King of Resins on my skin: delightfully dry and rich and lovely. The aged labdanum is smooth as silk, lending some depth and complexity without any sharpness at all. The oude just rounds it all out beautifully. A symphony of scents. How fitting.

 

Multiple bottle worthy.

 

Save a small modification on the sharpness....this is how Gondola is on my skin. It's amazing. It's perfect...and it is causing a massive headache. :( BOO!!!

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This is a verrry nice amber but that's all I'm getting from it. I guess that's all I need! :-) very nice dark amber.

 

ETA: Actually...now, after letting the decant settle, there is way more going on than just amber. Nice amber infused wood with a bite that softens within minutes. This is quite lovely and I will cherish my decant!

 

ETA 2: and I had to buy a bottle last minute because it continues to mellow and resonate with me as it ages...wow. Definitely started out as a really nice amber and is aging into way more.

Edited by Herb Girl

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Dark reddish-brown oil in the vial. You'd think that an oil this dark-colored it's going to have a huge throw but unfortunately it's the opposite on my skin.

Wet: barely there amber.

Drying down: There's the oudh. It's taking a looong time to dry down.

Dry:The scent hasn't changed much. Cola-ish amber with a bit of oudh. I get very little throw.

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Primarily resiny sweet benzoin, with a helping of powdered herbal labdanum. Because the benzoin is so prominent, my experience was much the same as OctoberGwen's, in that it really stomped out the harshness labdanum can bring. Although it is still present.

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Sharp and scary in the bottle and for the first two seconds on your skin, and then it becomes sweet amber resinous harmony, all depth and sugar and beauty. Really well-blended - though amber is the main note, this is darker than plain old amber, and just hypnotic. I bought a bottle, and am wondering whether it should have been two instead.

Edited by LadyMedb

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Dark, rich, golden incense. Benzoin sweetens the amber, but overall this smells like THE BEST AMBER EVER.

 

Remember O? And how awesome O could be, if you didn't want honey.

 

This is like supercharged amber in O, and it takes center stage.

 

Amber lovers, take note.

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In the decant: A thick, dark reddish resin. The amber in this makes me think of The Lion (without some of the spice, though), and this is a good thing.

 

Wet: The amber seems to take the center stage. (I am not very familiar with labdanum, though.) This is a rich, resinous blend.

 

Dry: The golden amber remains as the dominant note, and the scent itself is a lot smoother now. The amber and the oudh are a nice combination.

 

Verdict: I am not sure if I would wear this often enough to warrant buying a bottle, but I will definitely keep my decant! I can see this going really well with the Post's Implacable Beautiful Tyrant hair gloss.

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ih8perfume mentioned "Love's Baby Soft" perfume.Sadly I'm amping a sharp screech-y,

expired drug store perfume-y baby powder blast. :(

My nose can't do any kind of baby powder I will start sneezing, it's headache inducing.. I wish I could pull more out of this but it's stuck on powder mode and won't budge. Sadly my decant will remain unloved.

Edited by Rshields

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I am so confused. I can barely smell this. :(

 

When I first apply it I can jam my nose right up to my wrist and smell a dusty, dry-grass and amber scent that actually reminds me of an "amber" oil I have from a company in Seattle.. Very brown smelling. And then *bam* it's totally gone, not a trace.. absolutely gone. I've never had a resinous scent be so light and fleeting on my skin. This should be amazing, but I cant really afford to get a bottle to see if aging helps at all.

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OMG this is absolutely beautiful!

 

This is definitely predominately amber-like - very reminiscent of the Lion which I enjoyed. However instead of being an amber SN like the Lion ended up being on my skin this blooms into a sweet, slightly musky, slightly spicy work of art. The labdanum and oudh do there wonderful slight incense-y thing on my skin to give the scent that edge of spice and incense. They support the amber and together make the most beautiful scent. It really feels like a piece of music - amber is the melody (probably a piano or a violin in most music pieces) and the labdanum and oudh serve as integral deeper instruments like percussion and cellos. It's absolutely gorgeous!

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It seems like lots of the amber from the Lab is pure baby powder for me. This is no exception. I want a rich, plush, golden scent and I get dusty, sneezy powder. Amber, why u no love me?? :cry2:

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Incredibly deep, golden, sun-warmed precious woods. This one will be a hard-to-find rarity, it's a simple poem in a bottle, so achingly evocative. If it was music it would be a master cello soloist.

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I think this may be my holy grail amber. As Beckie said above, this is very similar to the GC Lion, without the spices. This Gondola has a sweeter, more woody, rounded overtone. Seems to have less of a throw than the Lion, which is my only complaint. May just have to slather copiously. :wub2:

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I love amber. Just so everyone knows where I am coming from. :lol:

 

This just isn't doing it for me, though I'm not getting the baby powder that others are (I rarely get powder from amber in general). I'm getting something more woody and dense. It smells like old wooden furniture?! It isn't moldy or anything, just a heavy wooden drawer.

 

I much prefer The Lion for an amber blend.

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I will need a backup of this. I love amber, but sometimes it just seems a bit too much. I love how the other notes give it depth and complexity and temper some of the sweetness. I am also getting some deep woodiness in there, which I know will not please some, but it floats my boat.

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A straightforward but very satisfying rich, dark amber. It's a little powdery but not enough to scare me off. It's pretty similar to Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan minus the spices, and a hint of Hem's oodh incense (a deep but soft wood, one of my favorites). I like this one a lot. It's pleasantly sweet and easy to wear.

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Ok, this is my first Amber scent I've tried so I can't really tell the notes as I smell them.

 

In bottle: Sharp resin smell

 

Wet: I get the sharp resin smell for a little while

 

Drydown: It takes a while to settle into my skin when it does at first it disappears for while to reappear a bit later with a sweet smelling spicy wood. At this point it's a heady experience for me. Someone else mentioned Breath of God and I have to agree. This is bottle worthy in my book, I might break down and get 2 bottles since I have to slather it on to get the notes I want.

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Received in a decant circle ... was so intrigued by the notes that I ordered a few imps of this one.

 

IN THE IMP: Amber with a slight woody kick. Very sweet.

 

Dabbed on wrist and in crook of arm.

 

WET: Rich amber and wood with a slightly dark fruity note lurking in the background. There is also, oddly enough, the teensiest note of booze, like scotch? That might also be the wood. It's a round, rich and regal scent.

 

DRYDOWN: A fabulous drydown, much better to my nose than it was when wet. The fruit and booze dissipate and are replaced by the comforting amber scent and amping labdanum.

 

OVERALL: I had my doubts while this was still wet but five minutes into drydown I was sold. I am not sure if I applied it too lightly but there weren't a lot of "legs" here ... it had faded within an hour or two ... but next time I'll simply apply more lavishly.

 

On a scale of 1-5, a 4.5 and a keeper.

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In the bottle: A very sticky balsamic amber, a touch of a slightly sharp herbal note.

Wet on skin: Resinous, balsamic, sweet, sticky goodness! It's mostly amber and labdanum at first, but I'm starting to get the sweet woody notes of the oudh.

Dry on skin: I don't detect any sharpness, only the sweet and rich (almost dark) amber and the precious scent of the oudh.

Final thoughts: This oil is magnificent (and thick and sticky)! It had been a while since I had a real coup de coeur for one of the Lab's oils, but this one. THIS ONE. It's beautiful! The oudh adds a welcome woody side to this resinous perfume. If The Lion has been in my collection for a few years now, I've hardly worn it; whereas I've already worn La Lugubre Gondola multiple times since I've received it (and possibly ordered two more bottles). On me, La Lugubre Gondola has a medium throw and sticks for days to every scarf, cardigan and hat I wear.

Try if you like: The Lion, O, heavy amber notes

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Very amber-like. I wish the patchouli came out more. As it is, it reminds me of Jacob's Ladder, maybe a bit more mild. I'm going to try this one again, because amber is my friend, and I like all the notes here.

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In the imp: Sweet and sharp. I'm not entirely sure, but I think I'm getting the labdanum more than anything. It's a little like sweet patchouli.

 

Wet on skin: The oudh definitely comes out on my skin. The amber is, too, though I can't really "smell" it - it's blending into the labdanum.

 

Dried down: Mostly oudh and amber, with a touch of labdanaum.

 

Throw: Not a whole lot.

 

Verdict: **** This is very pretty, but I think I'll see if a bottle comes up on the secondhand market. It's not quite making me rave enough to splurge on one now. I am definitely keeping the decant, though.

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