New York’s skyline is synonymous with water tanks – those hulking metal and timber vessels that sit on top of many of the city’s rooftops.
Made-to-order New York fragrance label Le Labo has decided to use the reclaimed redwood timber from some of those towers to make its new Santal 26 home diffuser.
Handmade in Brooklyn, each diffuser is unique, with individual marks in the timber from nails and girders, and a patina from decades of exposure to harsh winds, rain and snow.
The base features a built-in nebuliser that breaks down the fragrance oil into a fine, highly diffusive mist – rather than diluting it with water or heating – which the perfumery says preserves its olfactory qualities. You add a couple of drops of Santal 26 oil into the diffuser bulb, and there’s a knob on the side to adjust the intensity of the mist flow according to the size of the room.
Santal 26 has a gentle smoky, leathery aroma, with notes of vanilla, cedar, musk and sandalwood. It’s the precursor to Santal 33 – the best-known scent in the perfumery’s fragrance collection. When the founders launched Le Labo in 2006, they had 10 fragrances and one sandalwood-scented candle, Santal 26, which would later morph into Santal 33.
The diffuser pack isn’t cheap – it’s $530 – but you also get the oil. Le Labo scents are made to order, so when you buy it, a shop assistant blends the scent, compounding eau-de-parfum oil with an ethanol component, and sometimes a little water, to give the freshest possible result. The final touch is a personalised label with your name and the name of the person who made it.