People of the Labyrinths Luctor et Emergo

According to my diary (which is absolutely not Star Trek-themed and definitely does not have the words “Captain’s Log” on the cover), I had four New Year’s resolutions for 2015. They were: attend my brother’s graduation, maintain a healthy weight, open Arielle Shoshana, and blog every weekday. You’ll never guess which one I didn’t keep!

(In case you were wondering, my one and only resolution this year is to teach Zelda to walk on a leash. It’s the perfect New Year’s resolution, because it’ll take at least a year!)

"Did you just say leash?"

“Did you just say leash?”

New Year’s 2016 was spent at a 24-hour Korean bathhouse called Spa World. As I doggy-paddled, surrounded by women much braver about mandatory nudity than me, I thought about what I was hoping for from the next year. What eventually came to me was “new”. New, different experiences. When my brother was first hospitalized, I sort of depended on familiar things. I re-read the same books, re-watched the same movies, over and over. I guess it was comforting to know exactly how the story would end. Two years later, those safe, familiar things don’t have the same effect anymore. I’ve gotten everything I can get out of them, I think.

Released in 1997, People of the Labyrinths Luctor et Emergo isn’t new at all, but it’s new to me! In five years of perfume blogging, I had somehow never tried one of niche perfumery’s most celebrated cult classics. The fans declare this “evocative and fascinating” fragrance “a vat of childhood memories”; the haters cry “cough syrup” and “Play-doh”. For me, Luctor et Emergo is a beautifully smooth blend of almond and sweet incense. It doesn’t smell like Play-doh, and it doesn’t smell like my childhood. The most common comparison seems to be Serge Lutens Rahat Loukhoum, which I find much more sugary. Carol’s Daughter Almond Cookie is closer, although less complex. My wonderful friend Daisy says that Luctor et Emergo is what the original Pearl River Mart in Chinatown smelled like- wood, incense, dried fruits.

Disclaimers: This post is not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links. My sample of Luctor et Emergo comes straight from the bottle of the lovely Gaia

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14 thoughts on “People of the Labyrinths Luctor et Emergo

  1. The combination of almond and incense sounds like a dream. The comparison to Rahat Loukhoum and Almond Cookie has my mouth watering… but honestly, this is coming from the grown up version of a kid who thought Play-Doh [in minor quantities!!!] tasted good (don’t tell anyone… I’m reasonably confident that had no lasting effects on my body).

    1. Genuinely considering tasting Play-Doh now. I hope you’re happy, E.
      I’ll keep my POTL sample in the shop so you can try it the next time you stop by! It’s gorgeous stuff.

      1. I’ll most definitely stop by sometime soon! Plus, I’m going to need ongoing updates on Zelda’s leash training. We tried it when we got babycat, thinking a controlled exploration of the outside world would keep her from trying to slip out the door when we got home. Totally adorable, but it turns out her personality was bigger than our will. I hope you’re infinitely more successful than we were.

  2. Let us know how the leash thing goes. The farthest Rusty and I went was about 20 steps away from the door (I carried him there ad then he almost ran back to the house – but on a leash! 🙂 )

    I tried Luctor et Emergo for the first time last year (it was a part of one of the subscription boxes that I tested) and I thought that I liked it. Not enough to buy and wear but as the testing goes, it was nice.

    Happy New Year, Ari!

    1. Happy New Year, Undina!! Being the most photogenic cat in the perfume blogosphere must leave Rusty too exhausted for leash-walks. I promise to keep you updated. The vet may have used the word “chubby” at our last visit, so Zelda needs the exercise!

  3. Congratulations on achieving those three big goals! As for the blogging 5 days a week, no need as long as you post the occasional Zelda picture. And speaking of Zelda, good luck with the leash thing. i have seen one cat on a leash in my lifetime and I suspect it was trained in kittenhood. The most remarkable cat behaviour I saw was the cat who would contentedly wrap her/himself around the owner’s neck when they were walking outside or sitting at an outdoor table. I have seen a ferret on a leash 🙂

    1. Thank you very much, LL! And thank you for introducing me to the exciting world of ferret leashes- I will be spending the next hour watching adorable ferrets on Youtube. There was a Top Chef contestant (the charming Fabio) who walked his TURTLE on a leash. They seemed like rather leisurely walks 🙂

  4. Happy New Year, Ari. I thought I did not have any resolutions but now I do…go visit you sometime in 2016! I can’t imagine “walking” a cat so a cat on a leash is…well…good luck.

    1. Oh my goodness! I’m so excited about this resolution! Zelda and I can’t wait to host you!
      Was it Josephine Baker who walked her cheetah on the Champs-Elysees? There’s precedent, Hajusuuri!!

  5. Ari, I am loving the photo of you and Zelda. I see that you are holding her like the little bundle of fur-joy that she is, and I don’t see any bite marks or claw marks on you, so I assume she stopped biting. Did she? By the way, I haven’t gotten over to the other side of the Potomac yet, but I’m planning a visit to Arielle Shoshanna soon. I can’t wait to see the store and try some new things! Happiest of New Years to you and Zelda!!

    1. Happy New Year, dear Zelda1947! Zelda continues to bite just as enthusiastically as she did the day I brought her home 4 years ago, but she does tolerate certain cuddling indignities. Our apartment building is right next to the shop, so whenever you make it in (I can’t wait!!!), I would be thrilled to introduce you two! (She never bites strangers, I promise!)

      1. I also can’t wait to meet you and Zelda-the-Cat! I’m dying to see the store “in the flesh” — the pictures look great, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be blown away by the actual space!

  6. You most definitely need to keep us updated on the leash training. We’re going through it here too. Stella just pulls with all her might and now that she’s about 30lbs she’s a strong little monster. Good luck to you and Happy New Year!

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