le labo's kyoto store welcomes visitors inside a preserved machiya

le labo's kyoto store welcomes visitors inside a preserved machiya

inside le labo kyoto machiya store

 

New York-based fragrance house Le Labo welcomes its latest store in Kyoto, tucked inside a traditional wooden townhouse known as a Machiya. The interiors gracefully embody the brand’s long-standing practice of slow perfumery, simplicity, and raw materiality, inviting clients to wander freely through raw ingredients and genderless packaging to discover and forge an intimate, olfactive connection with the scent itself. Once they do, they may watch their perfume freshly blended before them, personalized in their name.

 

Le Labo’s Japanese roots date back to 2007 with the Daikanyama lab in Tokyo, its first location outside the US. The team has expanded its presence across the country since then, eventually finding a new home in the shape of a traditional Kyoto Machiya nestled in Shimokorikicho, Nakagyo-ku. ‘Since our inception, elements of the Japanese culture have moved us: the desire to find awe in the everyday, the outmost respect for craftsmanship, the humility in the face of time and nature. At the heart of our deepest inspiration: wabi-sabi,’ shares the team. 

le labo's kyoto store welcomes visitors inside a preserved machiya
all images courtesy Le Labo

 

 

reviving and embodying japanese heritage and crafts

 

Within the walls of the meticulously preserved Machiya, dated back to 1879 and once a revered sake family brewery, Le Labo’s newest Kyoto lab is an ode to Japanese heritage and craftsmanship. More than a year ago, the fragrance house embarked on a journey to restore and enrich the historical space, preserving and repairing original features — from floors to walls to framing to sink — using centuries-old materials and partnering with local artisans. In the process, the team infused its utilitarian vintage aesthetics and slow perfumery needs across the Machiya, even building its fragrance lab booth in Japanese reclaimed wood instead of the usual distressed steel. 

le labo's kyoto store welcomes visitors inside a preserved machiya
inside Le Labo Kyoto Machiya store

 

 

On the second floor, in two traditional tatami rooms, Le Labo invites for an experience uniquely focused on some of its core values. A fragrance organ displaying hundreds of essential oils reveals the true habitat of a perfumer at work. The other chamber, built as an homage to Japanese know-how, operates like an open atelier, welcoming local craftspeople and artists. Connecting the main house with the back, the original garden, with its stones, restored statues, and native plants, offers a tranquil retreat where visitors can enjoy coffee, teas, and vegan pastries from our tiny café shop built behind historic heavy wooden doors. Even after these subtle touches, the entire space still bears the scars of time with an unspoken dignity, embodying an unwavering commitment to the slow, the quietly beautiful, and the enduring.

le labo's kyoto store welcomes visitors inside a preserved machiya
preserving and repairing centuries-old features

 

 

As eternal students of wabi-sabi, we’re continually guided by the Soulful beauty that comes from moving slowly […] Kyoto has long been a source of inspiration, connection, and embodiment of our deepest values. Its lineage of craft and preservation, of time-honored skills, are beacons for how we seek to pay tribute to the language of the senses from a place of greater consciousness,’ concludes Deborah Royer, Le Labo’s Global Brand President & Creative Director. 

le labo's kyoto store welcomes visitors inside a preserved machiya
one of two tatami rooms focused on the brand’s core values

le labo's kyoto store welcomes visitors inside a preserved machiya
fragrance booth made of reclaimed Japanese wood

le-labo-kyoto-machiya-designboom-full

le labo's kyoto store welcomes visitors inside a preserved machiya
visitors get to wander freely and explore the products in the most intimate way

le labo's kyoto store welcomes visitors inside a preserved machiya
Le Labo Kyoto Machiya still bears the scars of time

le-labo-kyoto-machiya-designboom-full-2
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