Le Labo Santal 33 is a unique fragrance known for its prominent sandalwood scent, accompanied by hints of cardamom and a cool, slightly acidic aroma. It brings out a distinct leather note. As a classic sandalwood fragrance, it comes with a hefty price tag. After three years of continuous searching, I can share my experience on whether there are any alternatives.
Zara Energetically New York a dupe for Le Labo Santal 33
was immediately hailed as a dupe for Le Labo Santal 33 upon its release. Although I personally have no interest in Santal 33, I couldn’t resist the praise and decided to give it a try.
In conclusion, overall, I would say that Zara’s fragrance is about 60-70% similar to Santal 33, with the opening notes being at least 80% similar. Setting aside the layers, the initial impression and occasional whiffs are remarkably similar! However, there are some differences to consider.
The opening notes of both fragrances feature a combination of cucumber and fresh leather. While I have no personal preference for this aspect, in comparison, Santal 33 is noticeably crisper and fresher, while Zara’s fragrance remains more subdued throughout, which is a key distinction.
Furthermore, Santal 33 transitions into a distinct milky sandalwood note in the dry-down. I quite enjoy this aspect: the clean milky sandalwood gives off a slightly mature and scholarly vibe. Unfortunately, Zara’s fragrance lacks this milky note. Instead, Zara’s dry-down is more jasmine-centric, resulting in a slightly lighter woody scent compared to Santal 33, with a touch more floral notes.
Despite this, I must admit that from a distance, without being intimately familiar with the scent of Santal 33 and without careful comparison, it is difficult to distinguish between the two. It’s worth noting that even with the same fragrance, the scent emitted will never be exactly the same once it blends with an individual’s body chemistry.
To put it in abstract terms: ⚠️The following analogy might be too abstract, feel free to skip⚠️ Imagine two identical formula fragrances (with the middle notes around 0.4-0.5), Zara’s fragrance provides a lighter density (starting from around 0.1, without the freshest 0-0.1 part), with a hint of milkiness in the middle (around 0.5), before abruptly fading away. Meanwhile, Santal 33 continues to project continuously. The denser milky sandalwood note in the base becomes more pronounced over time.
In summary, Zara’s fragrance lacks the complexity of layers found in Santal 33, but considering the price, it’s still quite good. It doesn’t have the same longevity as Santal 33, but it lasts for about 6-7 hours. If you’re a fan of Santal 33, it’s worth giving it a sniff at the store.
Another option is No.62 Santal 33 by Imixxperfumes, which has been recommended by many influencers. When compared side by side, the resemblance is astonishing, with a focus on a creamier scent. This is definitely a top choice, especially for women who enjoy sandalwood but prefer a slightly less prominent woody note.
- No.65 another 13，2010 $39.00
- No.62 santal 33 $39.00
- No.63 baie 19 2019 $39.00
- No.64 ylang 49 2013 $39.00