Perfume Review: Lolita Lempicka L de Lolita Lempicka
Nine years after the launch of the first Lolita Lempicka fragrance, the second scent, L, was created for the company by perfumer Maurice Roucel (Musc Ravageur, Shalini, Tocade). The perfume was built around an idea of a mermaid; this concept is quite evident in the aqua-blue pebble-shaped bottle created by designer Sylvie de France, embossed with a starfish and decorated with a sparkling letter L. The key ingredient of the scent itself is also suggestive of the sea. It is the coastal-growing gomphrena flower, which allegedly has never been used in the perfumery before. Apart from gomphrena, the notes also include bergamot, bitter orange, cinnamon, vanilla and musk. I must admit that my expectations of L were very low, despite the fact that it was created by Maurice Roucel, one of my favorite perfumers. The first reason is the fact that the original Lolita Lempicka, with its incredibly sweet licorice accord, tops the list of my most-disliked fragrances. The second (a little less irrational) reason is that, based on the marine theme of the packaging and the concept, I expected the scent to fall into the scent category I abhor, the aquatic.
As it turns out, Lolita Lempicka L is in no way similar to Lolita Lempicka the original and does not have a single aquatic accord in its “fresh oriental” composition. It starts with a citrus burst of bergamot and orange, sweetly spiced by cinnamon. A greener, fresher, almost earthy note enters the scene, reminding me vaguely of an immortelle note in Dior’s Eau Noire (one of the lists of notes for L does mention immortelle), but before one can assume that the scent might go in the cologne direction, it suddenly changes its course. The sweetness returns and a soft floral accord appears, with jasmine, perhaps some orange blossom and something vaguely tropical (frangipane?) being the flowers I smell the most. Along with the delicately spicy, citrusy beginning, this, to me, is the best part of the scent. At this point, I can only describe L as smelling of candied flowers. The gentle, sweet floral accord with a hint of vanilla is absolutely delectable. As the scent progresses, vanilla becomes more apparent, somewhat overtaking the scent. The drydown is practically all vanilla with just a smidgen of woods. This vanilla-heavy drydown is my only gripe with the scent.
L by Lolita Lempicka is not earth-shatteringly original. The fans of Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb Extreme might recognize the sugared floral accord. Those who like Susanne Lang’s Black Orchid might also smell some resemblance, especially in the earlier stages of drydown, when flowers are still there and vanilla is already gaining prominence. Both groups are practically guaranteed to enjoy this scent. I, for one, definitely see this incredible blue bottle in my future. L is pleasurable, pretty, subtly gourmand and very well blended. My humble prediction is that, when it is finally launched, it will be as popular as (perhaps even more popular than) its purple predecessor.
The scent will officially launch in most European countries and the Middle East in March; it is expected to arrive in the US in the later half of 2006.
*The review is for Eau de Parfum. According to Cosmeticnews, the Parfum will feature the additional notes of neroli and patchouli.
**The first and second images are from aeroportsdeparis.fr. The third image is from cosmeticnews.com.
Tomorrow – Nuit Noire by Mona di Orio.