Strange Invisible Perfumes is the Venice authority on prestige organic fragrances. New York–based Le Labo is known for its sophisticated, hand-mixed scents. And now--for the first time ever--Strange Invisible’s romantic, earthy sensibility and Le Labo’s minimalist bent can be enjoyed side by side, because these two companies just opened shops next door to each other on Abbot Kinney, creating what they’ve dubbed a Perfume Commune.
We’re grateful that both perfumers reject today’s personality-driven fragrance frenzy--after all, who really wants to smell like Lady Gaga?--focusing instead on small-scale editions and hand-crafted production.
Strange Invisible layers essential oils in its 31 scents (starting at $135). We especially like Čtrange, a sexy blend of floral, ginger and seaweed, and the intoxicating Heroine, with its notes of tuberose and cedar. There’s also a new line of hydro-distilled lotions ($60) and body washes ($35). Plus, for upwards of $1,000, you can have your own fragrance designed.
Le Labo, meanwhile, blends its 12 scents (half-ounce bottles begin at $58) individually at the time of purchase, for the freshest fragrance experience possible. Standouts include the buoyant Bergamote 22 and the aldehydic L.A.–exclusive blend Musc 25. For a personalized touch, your name goes on your just-blended bottle.
The best part of the Perfume Commune? If you don’t find your perfect scent at one, staffers will send you next door to sniff out another.
Strange Invisible Perfumes, 1138 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; 310-314-1505 or siperfumes.com
Le Labo, 1138 1/2 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; 310-581-2233 or lelabofragrances.com