Have you been searching for the ultimate beast mode vanilla fragrance? You will meet your match in Karma from the Colombia-based fragrance house, The Lab Perfumes.
This isn’t a typical fragrance purchase for me. It was actually a birthday gift for Jeremiah so he could have a nice fragrance of his own and not a couple of cheap semi-used bottles I’ve passed on to him from time to time. He graciously agreed to let me try it out, however, for a review.
The Lab Perfumes, as mentioned above, is a Colombian fragrance house founded by Mario Galindo, who also serves as perfumer and product designer. Galindo learned about perfumery during a stint in the United States, and then brought his skills back to Columbia, with his first fragrance premiering in 2016.
Now – I mentioned a vanilla fragrance? That’s Karma.
Vanilla, oakwood… well, again, let’s focus on the vanilla.
This is a nuclear bomb of vanilla. I’m talking a T-Rex from Zoologist, you will wear this forever, vanilla.
That’s not to say it’s a harsh, synthetic punishment of a scent. The vanilla note smells very elegant, and it’s tempered with a nice hit of oakwood that keeps it at sweet, and not nauseating. I can tell the ingredients are quality because vanilla is typically one of my death notes, and even though this is the vanilla to end all vanilla, it didn’t turn on me when on skin.
Projection is very strong, but stops short of hitting screechy like, say MFK’s BR 540 Extrait. Same with sillage. People will know when you walk into the room, but for most of them you probably won’t gas them out. My advice, a little Karma goes a long, long way, and do not overspray this.
Honestly, my main complaint with this is the packaging. If you visit their Instagram, you’ll notice they used to send their (very nicely designed) bottles in custom wooden boxes. Now, they come in leather pouches, which are still nice save one problem. The corners at the top of the fragrance bottle are pretty pointy, and the drawstrings for the top of the pouch, when open, settle right at the perfect place for the corners to catch and hold on when trying to actually take the bottle out of said pouch.
It was difficult enough that I dropped the bottle once it went flying out. Let me tell you, nobody wants a smashed bottle (a birthday present to boot!) breaking before it can even be sprayed. Am I still cranky about that mini-heart attack? Maybe. I’d rather just have a plain white thin carboard box than an obstacle pouch that might cause an accident just trying to get the bottle out.
Now here’s the thing with fragrances from this house… there’s no website. While there are stockists in Mexico and in South America, you’re not going to find this house easily on English sites, nor will you be able to order from one. You’ll need to contact them via direct message on their Instagram to order. This runs at $230 for a 100 mL bottle, or you can get a sample set of all fragrances (15 mL) for $210. Yes, this is pretty steep, but I will mention that this $230 also included taxes and came with free shipping, so for the quality you’re getting, it’s still a pretty good deal. You’ll also need to pay via Paypal.
Customer service was also extremely responsive as I’d contacted them randomly on a Sunday and they’d responded within minutes, had it shipped out the next day, and stayed in contact with me while my order was shipped. They contacted me again to make sure I had indeed received it. I cannot state enough how impressed I was with the customer service and the attention from them to make sure I received my order.
Overall, if you’re a vanilla fan, I would definitely keep Karma on your radar if you can afford it. Just remember to be careful when taking the bottle out of the pouch!
Note: Make sure you don’t confuse this with The Lab Fragrances, a Singapore-based fragrance house!
The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.
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