Marc Jacobs Lola : Fragrance Review

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Marc-Jacobs-Lola

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Lola, the newest release by Marc Jacobs following his highly successful Daisy, was another surprising discovery of the season. Created by Calice Becker in collaboration with Yann Vasnier, the fragrance is an interesting study in contrasts. On the one hand, it is a girly pink cocktail of red fruit and warm musk, a contemporary refrain that is found in many successful (and not) new launches. Yet, to classify it in this manner is to underestimate the structure of this fragrance. Lola offers a number of surprising facets, hiding its retro glamour under an inviting and easygoing fruity-floral veil.

To begin with, Lola is a strikingly rich rose, the character of which seems reminiscent of various vintage roses, from the powdery flowers of Jean Charles Brosseau Ombre Rose to the baroque petally warmth of Chanel Coco. The rich and faceted quality of Lola’s roses attests to the beautiful raw materials that went into it as well as the expertise with which they are woven into the fabric of the fragrance. The oriental quality of the base accord lends a sensual twist to the rich floral piece of Lola. The luxury of its floral bouquet reminded me of Guerlain’s Jardins de Bagatelle, a decadent floral blend that simply drips with nectar. Of course, Lola is much more subtle, but its soft petally quality, unapologetic opulence and rich sillage make it stand an heir to the grand parfum tradition of the past.

Studying Lola in parallel on the blotter and on the skin was an interesting experience, since it is not a typical linear composition, but rather the one with a number of distinctive stages. These retro touches seem very appropriate for a Marc Jacobs launch, considering the designer’s fascination with the vintage fashions and appropriation of retro elements into his own designs. If I appreciate Daisy for its clever Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue inspired structure, while I do not feel any fascination with it, Lola is a fragrance I see myself wearing. It is a thoroughly modern fragrance, but its charm comes from the nod that Lola makes to the vintage glamour. Still, I wish it were more dramatic.

Finally, I love the latest trend of beautiful retro roses being featured among the new launches, from the big bouquet in Yves Saint Laurent La Parisienne to the lovely cameo in Guerlain Idylle.

Marc Jacobs Lola includes notes of pink peppercorn, pear, ruby red grapefruit, peony, rose, geranium, vanilla, tonka bean and creamy musk.

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23 Comments

  • Lavanya: Thank you for the lovely review, V. Roses, for me, have been a slow love, if that makes sense..I have always loved white florals. A single tuberose makes me infinitely happier than a dozen roses. However, since my husband prefers roses to white flowers, I started giving roses a chance, and found that I could love them- and nowadays crave rose fragrances especially dark, boozy ,spicy or incensey roses (or dewy roses reminiscent of rose petals in a bowl of water).
    Lola sounds beautiful (as do the YSL and the Guerlain).I have been favoring retro , ‘perfumey’ perfumes the past year- so will definitely try this. July 23, 2009 at 11:48am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: Lavanya, it was a surprise for me. The top notes were so pink and bubbly that I almost did not give it a chance, but once I did, the roses unfolded beautifully. Plus, the drydown is quite rich and suave.

    I gravitate towards white florals too, but give me a beautiful, velvety rose, and I am swayed! July 23, 2009 at 11:56am Reply

  • Sveta: Sounds very nice! Too bad there are no Bloomingdales around where I live. July 24, 2009 at 12:18pm Reply

  • Clara M: I’m going to Bloomies today, so I’ll report back when I sniff it! July 25, 2009 at 1:50pm Reply

  • Tammy: I disliked the top notes because they were too sweet for me, but the drydown hooked me. I need to live with it longer. Of course, the store had no samples for me to take home. 🙁 July 26, 2009 at 1:20pm Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: Sveta, it will come to lots of other stores soon! July 27, 2009 at 9:40am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: Clara, I look forward to hearing your thoughts. July 27, 2009 at 9:40am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: AAS, yes, the bottle is quite beautiful, very quirky. July 27, 2009 at 9:41am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: Tammy, I hear you! Nordstrom and Sephora are the only two places where one can reliably get samples. July 27, 2009 at 9:45am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: Patrice, it certainly was better than I anticipated. July 27, 2009 at 9:46am Reply

  • Mike D: Well, that bottle is so eye-catching, almost gaudy! July 28, 2009 at 11:19am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: Mike, it is, and that is the charm of it. 🙂 July 28, 2009 at 12:08pm Reply

  • armellide: Is there a boisdejamin book in the works? If not, there should be so we can buy it and enjoy such reviews lounging in bed and sniffing things around. July 28, 2009 at 3:49pm Reply

  • scentaddict: Dear V,

    I love,love the perfume bottle! the great Helena Rubinstien once said “merit lie not in pretty jars and containers but in what they contain”.

    However the conbination of a great scent in wonderful bottle is always so seductive!

    I would love to sniff this especially with the realisation that the name Lola is actually a Lady’s name in Nigeria!

    perfumers can be intuitive about upcoming trends at times and feeling drawn to create rosy compositions in recent times – i feel after the white floral trend has spent itself we would probably see more and more re- interpretations of the rose.What do you think? July 29, 2009 at 11:32am Reply

  • scentaddict: Dear V,

    I love,love the perfume bottle! the great Helena Rubinstien once said “merit lie not in pretty jars and containers but in what they contain”.

    However the conbination of a great scent in wonderful bottle is always so seductive!

    I would love to sniff this especially with the realisation that the name Lola is actually a Lady’s name in Nigeria!

    perfumers can be intuitive about upcoming trends at times and feeling drawn to create rosy compositions in recent times – i feel after the white floral trend has spent itself we would probably see more and more re- interpretations of the rose.What do you think? July 29, 2009 at 11:32am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: Armellide, this is such a lovely comment! I want to write a book, but I am not sure if I want to write a book of perfume reviews. We will see though what the future will bring. July 29, 2009 at 12:19pm Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: Scentaddict, I also feel the same way. As much as I love white florals, I am glad to see other accords getting their share of attention, rose, violet, magnolia…

    To what kind of perfumes do women in Nigeria gravitate? This topic (of regional scent preferences) always interests me. When I was in the Middle East, I was tempted to follow ladies and ask them where they bought their perfumes. They were so beautiful! July 29, 2009 at 12:22pm Reply

  • scentaddict: Dear V,

    was quite busy,hence my not posting for a while.

    Nigerian women generally like anything very sweet.It is almost an obsession!.The white floral trend here is also big.I have a fragrance – fresh Love – white floral scent partly inspired by Estee lauder’s beautiful love.It is such a hit with the young ladies

    In the northern part of the country,the population is predominantly moslim – so the influence of oriental fragrances is there.their preference is very heavy and rich – preferably with lots of patchouli!

    Would be nice to visit us sometime- lots of interesting fragrant local plants. Would write you more about my work sometime soon.

    Cheers August 10, 2009 at 12:26pm Reply

  • scentaddict: Dear V,

    was quite busy,hence my not posting for a while.

    Nigerian women generally like anything very sweet.It is almost an obsession!.The white floral trend here is also big.I have a fragrance – fresh Love – white floral scent partly inspired by Estee lauder’s beautiful love.It is such a hit with the young ladies

    In the northern part of the country,the population is predominantly moslim – so the influence of oriental fragrances is there.their preference is very heavy and rich – preferably with lots of patchouli!

    Would be nice to visit us sometime- lots of interesting fragrant local plants. Would write you more about my work sometime soon.

    Cheers August 10, 2009 at 12:26pm Reply

  • Sebastian: A remarkable bottle with a terrific scent. The floral design gives off an immaculate expression of beaty and femenism. Classy, floral and delightful! September 9, 2009 at 11:04am Reply

  • Cris Rosa Negra: Hi Victoria,

    Lovely review! You captured the essence of the fragrance in a beautiful way, as always, joining the extremes features of the fragrance. I really think behind youthful blend of red fruits so pink so candied teen, there is a real intelligence in this composition including capturing classic retro style, much more daring than Daisy structure. I am completely mad about getting this bottle… absolutely! Thanks for the review, regards from Brazil.
    Cristiane September 12, 2009 at 7:27pm Reply

  • Gina: I’m curious, why “Lola”? September 28, 2009 at 12:55am Reply

  • Juliabrown2605@yahoo.com: Do not buy the Oh Lola gift set if you are flying. The airline SECURITY will destroy it because it contains a lotion of 150ml. When I emailed Coty to tell them of their product blunder they sent me a disparaging email to take it up with my airline! What has my individual airline have to do with global airport security?!
    DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT. Coty will be rude to you when your Marc Jacobs Oh Lola gift pack is destroyed. January 12, 2012 at 2:46pm Reply

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