First Mondays with Anne McClain and Le Labo

Word on these workshop will spread fast. That said, here’s the details.

Called “First Mondays in the Lab,” the course will take place every first Monday of the month starting March 1st from 7pm to 9pm at Le Labo. Led by perfumer Anne McClain, students will learn the fundamentals of perfumery, and become equipped with a basic understanding of standard perfume vocabulary and concepts.

Through the lens of three of Le Labo’s signature fragrances, the workshops will cover how the inspiration for a fragrance is developed, how harmonious blends are made, and Le Labo’s approach to creating some of the most original and daring fragrances on the market. Throughout the course, natural and synthetic ingredients from the perfumers’ palate will be sampled, and their origins, properties, and uses will be discussed. Students will also take home a 5 ml sample of a Le Labo fragrance presented in the class.

Sign-up is available on a first-come, first-serve basis by RSVP-ing to Class size is limited to 18 students and the cost is $75 and must be paid in advance.

Le Labo – Nolita boutique – 233 Elizabeth Street, NYC

Act fast!

Februry 24, 2010

After posting the info about the workshop, I decided to reach out to Anne and ask her a few question. She was nice enough to grant me a interview and here it is:

What made you choose Le Labo as a venue for the workshop?

I’ve always admired Le Labo’s style, even before I began studying perfumery formally. I could sense that they had a unique take on perfumery and was pushing boundaries with its scents.

A couple of years ago I met one of the founders of Le Labo, Fabrice, and we really clicked philosophically about perfumery, the creation of it and how we saw the industry.  I’ve been an advocate of bringing the craft and art of perfumery to more people, i.e. teaching people about perfume, and how it is made. It turned out that Le Labo also wanted to expose people to that through workshops, so a partnership naturally worked out.

With the classes being 2hrs, what are you hoping attendees will take away from the experience?

Two hours gives me enough time to give a general outline of what knowledge perfumery involves. I will go over some standard vocabulary used by perfumers, talk about olfactive families and how ingredients are classified, and we’ll compare ingredients such as rose oil from Turkey vs. Bulgaria, or vetiver oil from Haiti vs. Java. We will even show how synthetic ingredients compare to their natural counterparts.

I am working on creating a level two class that will go deeper into the study of ingredients, which I believe is the basic building block of perfumery, and eventually a level three class where we’ll start blending; that will be really exciting.

How soon can fragrance lovers find your creations?

Earlier this month I released the Humanity Fragrance with Trust Art. The Humanity Fragrance is a fundraiser for a public fountain I am working on, and 100% of the proceeds from the fragrance will go towards the building materials. Each bottle was handmade and is based on an anatomical heart.  The fragrance, which is blended by hand in my studio in small batches, is based around Indian white lotus, sustainable sandalwood, and maté tea. You can find the fragrance at Humanity Fragrance online at and at Sigerson Morrison. I am also working on my own line of scents, MCMC fragrances.  I’ll be debuting with three scents later this spring and am so excited to share them!  The names are a secret for now, but I can tell you that my line is based on stories and memories that have been romanticized and interpreted into scents, with a large emphasis on choosing the most beautiful natural ingredients.

What is one of your most memorable Fragrant Moments?

Two summers ago I was on the island of North Haven off the coast of Maine. I spent the whole afternoon sitting in a sun drenched field surrounding by pine trees and fresh air. Towards twilight I took a walk down to the beach with its icy Maine water and dried seaweed. I came across a pink beach plum rose and the smell of it there, in that environment, on that day, just took my breath away.



4 responses to “First Mondays with Anne McClain and Le Labo

  1. Are you taking the course? Looks fantastic! Stan

  2. Sounds great! Thanks.

  3. Thank you so much for this Sharon!

  4. Pingback: Meet Ann McClain – MCMC Fragrances |

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s