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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

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.

35 Comments:

Blogger boisdejasmin said...

I have to say that I cannot figure out what is mermaid related in L. It is definitely not the juice, which is a gourmand oriental. Just a bizzare disconnect between the marketing and the substance. I thought that it was nice, although it was not especially memorable. I much prefer Lolita Lempicka, although I would agree that they are not very similar.

1:26 AM EST  
Blogger Jenny said...

I love the bottle.

2:04 AM EST  
Blogger Trina said...

OK - *where* can I score this??? All I can think of from your description is the number in Disney's The Little Mermaid - "Part of Your World" - and how she was fascinated by everything to do with the "land" and the inhabitants thereof. So (in keeping with that theme) it would make sense that from the POV of the mermaid, this would NOT be an aquatic scent.

It helps that I watched the movie in its *entirety* while waiting for Chris to see the doctor after his recent car accident :~P

But (as you know) I LOVE F-bomb extreme! And I love this bottle, with its scrapbook/jewelry-findings air. It's very much like something Ariel would have kept in her little cave museum! So I may just have to snag a bottle of this. *Runs off to search*

5:30 AM EST  
Blogger Trina said...

Adding: OMG, I just saw your little pic/avatar! I must have at least subconsciously registered and been influenced by it before my post! LOL! I think I need to go to bed now.

5:39 AM EST  
Blogger Christina H. said...

Well,if this is like Flowerbomb,which I thought was nice,then by how you described this scent,I'll feel confident that I'll be alright with this one too,because I'm really just coveting that cute bottle!

6:00 AM EST  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

Hmmmm. . . .this certainly sounds worth a sniff. I imagine it's coming to Sephora? But I'm guessing that it won't be a favorite--sounds a bit too sweet for my tastes, and Flowerbomb never moved me. The only fragrance with a "sugared floral" accord that I've managed to put up with is Aimez-Moi (and I suspect that's largely because it's a Caron; I don't wear it very often, in any case).

7:56 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

V,
I am sure all this mermaid hoopla caused some confusion and lead to some wrong expectations. Though, the way Trina talks about it in her comment below...she actually made me look at it from another angle :-)

8:12 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Jenny,
I love the bottle too. Luckily, the scent is lovely too.

8:12 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Trina,
This makes sense to me. It makes sense more than their actualy advertising campaing.
I got my sample-where do you think? - one and only ebay, from a French seller.
I hope Chris feels better!

8:14 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Christina,
I think you will like this one! I am planing on getting a bottle at the first opportunity!

8:16 AM EST  
Blogger Patty said...

That bottle, aiiieeeeee! Must.have.now.

8:20 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Judith,
Somehow I can't see you liking this. You won't dislike it, but, as you said, it won't move you.
Aimez Moi is another anise monster that I cannot wear. I acctually think it is sweeter than L, but that's not a problem for me, the problem, like in original Lempicka, is that anise note I cannot stand :-)

8:21 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Patty,
I am sure that, even if you are not over the moon about the juice itsel, the scent will be priced reasonably, "department store" style, so...just get it for the bottle!
(I don't actually know how much it is going to be)

9:04 AM EST  
Blogger cjblue said...

I found myself saying "Yes...YES!" when you said you didn't have high hopes for this scent. I think the Lolita Lempicka bottle is glorious - a real stunner. And I so wanted to like the scent, but as many times as I tried, I just couldn't do it. And I can not tolerate mariney scents either. Good to know this one is neither. This bottle is lovely too, and I very much look forward to testing this one. Thank you for ensuring I don't completely pass it by. ♥

10:16 AM EST  
Blogger cjblue said...

PS - I only saw last night that you had tagged me. It's my next post. ;-)

10:16 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

R,
Don't pass it by, definitely. I am sure you won't smell and and think it is the most extraordinary scent you've ever tried... but it is very very pleasant.

I can't wait to read about your 5 "oddities"! :-)

10:49 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Once again I am odd man out, but I can't stand that bottle. I don't think I could bring myself to buy it even if I loved the juice.

1:11 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

R,
Is that the color? The shape? Too much bling? :-) I usually don't like stuff hanging from my bottles, like all the thingies on J.Lo's scent...but this one is just so pretty :-)

1:26 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Wait... isn't this the same name as the l-word perfume? By Apothia? What, no lawsuit? No, seriously. I think someone should use one of the other 25 letters. How about... M?

This actually sounds kind of delicious. I don't like the original LL at all.

4:13 PM EST  
Blogger Sexy Sadie said...

Privjet.

I do not think I will bother to try this one.

5:49 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

March,
was that pne L or L Word? I can't remember. I fully support your M idea. Malle could launch it. Or Montale :-)

7:28 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Privet Sadie,
L doesn't sound like your kind of scent? :-0

7:29 PM EST  
Blogger Cait Shortell said...

The bottle satisfies my need for glitz and glama. I know this L can't hold a candle to Yann Vasnier's L Eau de Parfum, yet I'm ready to get my hot little hands on it anyway. Thanks for the exclusive advance review.

8:49 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Cait,
And I must get my hot little hands on some of that other L perfume. :-)

9:13 PM EST  
Blogger Sexy Sadie said...

colombina, Dobri denj!

No I prefer my scents spicy, This becomes a bit to girlie for me.

2:28 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Sadie,
There is a tiny little spicy citrusy kick here in the very beginning, but after that, yeah- all girlie :-)

2:53 PM EST  
Blogger Ruxpin said...

I recently visited Paris and smelled L. Let me tell you .. it is addictive! I can kick myself, because I thought I could find it in the states. If I would have known it wasn't available here, I would have spent the 70 euros for it -- well worth it. I kept smelling my wrist over and over.

5:38 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

uiaumomWait, wait! Don't despair :-) Imaginationperfumery.com already has it! (unless they sold out)

6:02 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lolita lampika l, so does it for me, (except the bottle is annoying) as is the bottle of my long-time fave, bvulgri black, (a tough one to change). but for me anything that smells like yummy baked goods with a sultry powdery clean essence does it for me! btw, the original lolita smelled like bathroom cleaner to me! blecch

5:27 AM EST  
Anonymous Care Bear said...

I have tried this fragrance, and I love it. It reminds me of summers up north for some reason, well anyway it is such a clean, sexy sent. I'm picking it up tomorrow:)

11:00 AM EST  
Anonymous maisqueperfume said...

I wonder what is the connection to mermaids, oceans and cinnamon or gourmand fragrances....
besides, the design is somehow not new....
simone

8:21 PM EDT  
Anonymous Juliana said...

IT SMELLS LIKE A SALTY MERMAID...everyone is dumb...

8:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Petra said...

Hi, I just ordered a 2.7 oz bottle of this stuff, and the liquid is brown rather than the blue I have seen in all the pictures. Has anyone else had this issue / knows what might be wrong?

3:50 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to Marshalls yesterday which has the best rare perfumes at the best prices. So I tried this LL-L perfume on one wrist and another perfume on the other. This L perfume smelled so weird at first, and I thought, what is that smell?...then all of a sudden it changed on me, and I loved it. I did not buy it though. So my son wanted to go to another Marxhalls and I bought it...it is amazing I love it...I love sweet smells, but this is not that sweet which makes it extra good.

10:43 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have purchased this over and over
the bottle alone makes a lovely gift
for any woman...
my fave

3:54 PM EDT  

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