Santal 33 by Le Labo was created in 2011. Aimed at the
unisex market, it is a unique scent built on three key aromatics; cardamom,
iris, and violet. The fragrance's name came about because the formula is made
up of 33 different ingredients, and santal means sandalwood, hence the name
Described as woody and musky, with a hint of sweetness, a
good quality dupe should closely match the scent by combining the three key
ingredients. However, smelling Santal 33 takes you on a journey of mixed tones
that begins with top notes of cardamom enriched with citrus-edged bergamot.
The journey moves on to the fragrance's heart with violet,
iris and ambroxan, giving the scent some depth and warmth. The trip finishes
with heady sandalwood, musk, and leather base notes.
High Notes: Iris, violet, neroli and bergamot
Mid Notes: Cardamom and white musk
Base Notes: Leather,
sandalwood and ambroxan
Right now the best scent match with decent staying power is Copycat fragrances 33.
Want to know more about Le Labo Santal 33?
Created by the nose of master perfumer Frank Voelkl for Le Labo, the fragrance reflects Voelkl's favourite signature scent combinations of florals, woods and sharp spices. The master perfumer has worked with other perfume houses, such as Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, and Hugo Boss.
His favoured use of woods, flowers and spices has led to a long-time beloved fragrance that, in his words, is subtle and present at the same time.
A popular fragrance since its release, Santal 33 creates an aura of sophistication with an underlying smooth and subtle sexiness that appeals to a unisex audience. It is a fragrance for both men and women that want to make an impact with their scent.
The bottle and packaging of Santal 33 are understated yet chic. The fragrance is sold in a matte-black bottle with a stylish gold-tone cap. The matte black label and gold letters are also understated, leaving the scent to speak for itself.
There are quite a lot of good clones of le labo santal 33 out there. There's a lot of terrible ones as well. The scent profile is quite difficult to match, but a few of our favourites have done it.
Inspired by Santal 33, this fragrance from Copycat has an excellent balance of sandalwood, leather and cardamom that is reminiscent of the original fragrance. Like other high-quality replica scents in their range, Copycat offers fans of Santal 33 all the benefits of wearing this rich, heady scent but without the expensive price tag.
Copycat 33 is a unique fragrance inspired by the American-made Le Labo Santal 33. Our fragrance testers were instantly impressed with the quality of distinctive notes found in this dupe, giving you the same 'first application' experience as the original.
We love the warm and spicy notes coming from the sandalwood, cardamom and leather, and the enriching notes of the florals help to lift the scent leaving you with a sophisticated and sexy fragrance that is very alluring.
Copycat 33 appeals to both sexes and is warm and subtle enough to be acceptable for work, yet enticing enough for a first date. Our testers found 33 to be a long-lasting scent that carried well from the office to a night on the town.
CopyCat is both the closest of the high quality Santal 33 copies, and it wins out head and shoulders above the rest largely due to it's staying power.
In terms of scent it is better than the essence vault competition, but not by enough that it would be the clear victor, seeing as it's a tiny bit more expensive, if it wasn't for the large difference in the time it lasts on the skin.
The top notes hold out well and even after about 6 hours of wear the side by side test had them as so similar you couldn't tell which was the original.
The Essence Vault 421 contains a range of notes that are similar to those found in Santal 33 and makes a lovely stand-alone fragrance by itself. The initial olfactory experience will have your head swimming in warm and woody scents, but it lacks the fresh floral edge of Santal 33 that cuts through the heavy wood overtones.
Nevertheless, Essence Vault 421 projects a high level of class and sophistication with its top note of Virginia Cedar, middle note of iris and warm base notes of sandalwood and amber. At a fraction of the price of Santal 33, you can enjoy wearing a fragrance that delivers a similar experience to the original, and our testers found it to be long-lasting with decent staying power, although it definitely falls second to the copycat version on that front.
We couldn't finish this Santal 33 dupe review without giving a third-place honourable mention to the Zara dupe: Mountain Woody Forest.
This is also a good quality dupe highly reminiscent of Santal 33. It has an excellent blend of warm and woody scents like the original, with a hint of floral violet that balances out the heavy wood tones.
Zara's Mountain Woody Forest is a delicious blend of warm leather, fresh pine, Guaiac Wood, heady incense, spicy nutmeg and fresh violet. It is a pretty invigorating scent that feels like you are breathing in fresh forest air on an early morning, yet the fragrance has a nice finish with the inclusion of the guaiac wood.