The World’s Best Smelling Coffee Shop Opened in Brooklyn
When you think about it, a parfumerie to coffee shop crossover makes an awful lot of scents (pun intended). Both businesses require meticulous mixing of ingredients, leaving customers with a potion of magical properties to help them get through the day as confidently as possible. Le Labo Fragrances, a cult favorite in the artisanal perfume world, has successfully bridged this arbitrary industry divide with the opening of Le Labo Cafe in Williamsburg earlier this year.
Le Labo Fragrances emerged in 2006 as a counter-movement to the rise of sickeningly sweet celebrity perfume lines and designer brands lacking any real aromatic personality. Fabrice Penot and Edouard Roschi, the company’s founders, were eager to create richer, longer lasting scents that can be personalized to the customer, using all natural ingredients free of preservatives and animal testing. Le Labo’s 15 fragrances and 9 room scents have since garnered a massive international following, the unisex Santal 33 scent, in particular, earning “it fragrance” status among celebrities.
Penout and Roschi launched their first of many boutiques at 233 Elizabeth Street in Lower Manhattan, and have now opened their inaugural coffee shop across the East River at 120 North 6th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Le Labo Cafe’s brews may not have hand-picked roses from Grasse, France like some of their scents, but the coffee shop is committed to its founders’ adherence to premium ingredients, with exclusive blends made in collaboration with La Colombe.
“Coffee blending is, we discovered, pretty close to the art of perfume blending, so we partnered with our favorite coffee craftsmen at La Colombe in Philadelphia to create a custom organic blend from 3 origins: Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico,” Le Labo shares on their website.
The cafe is located in an assuming brick building a couple blocks away from the water, perfect for a quick coffee run before heading over to East River State Park or one of the neighborhood’s countless nightlife options. The ambiance is Williamsburg at its industrial chicest, heavy on natural light, clean lines, and the intersection of wood and metal decor. Christian Watson, a renowned artist from the 1924us collective, provided many of the drawings lining the shop’s walls.
Le Labo Cafe is open from 7 am – 7 pm Monday through Friday, and 8 am – 6 pm Saturday and Sunday. Even if you’re caffeine free, the olfactory experience alone is well worth the trip!