Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Out of all the gourmand fragrances following in Thierry Mugler Angel ‘s steps, Lolita Lempicka is still the most innovative example. Even when viewed against the whole body of gourmand perfumes launched since 1993, its originality and memorable contrasted character make it stand out. If Angel and Coco Mademoiselle have the dramatic and bold presence of a blonde in a tight red dress, Lolita Lempicka is a mysterious stranger in a black gown. The cleavage is perhaps quite low, but the effect nevertheless remains elegant.
Created in 1997 by perfumer Annick Ménardo, Lolita Lempicka is a gourmand fragrance for those who want to eschew both the sugary prettiness and the cloying opulence of most fragrances in this category. Its main accord of gourmand patchouli derived from Angel is cleverly set against a herbaceous-violet accord which not only lightens the sweetness, but also lends Lolita Lempicka a striking sophistication. The brightness of green herbal notes, punctuated by the cool-spicy anise sets a radiant sensation that uplifts even the heft of the patisserie accord. The iris-violet chord likewise provides a soft, refreshing counterpoint, which elegantly bridges the earthy vetiver and dark balsamic notes of the base.
On the face of it, Lolita Lempicka with all of its candied cherries, pralines, caramels, and cotton candy, should degenerate into a sugar rush pastry fantasy. It is a testament to Ménardo’s talent that she was able to avoid it. This is perhaps not so surprising given how alluring Ménardo made the smell of rubber and smoke in Bulgari Black. Every time I wear Lolita Lempicka, I am amazed anew at its luminous, soaring quality that exists alongside its decadent and sensual aura. A pretty bottle and a gourmand list of notes should not scare men away from trying it, because like Angel, Lolita Lempicka can work surprisingly well as a sexy, masculine perfume.
Lolita Lempicka (fragrance family: woody oriental) includes notes of ivy leaves, anise, iris, violet, Amarena cherry, licorice, praline, vetiver, musk, benzoin, tonka bean, vanilla. Although it is closely related to Thierry Mugler Angel, Chanel Coco Mademoiselle and Prada, its fresh floral accord places it closer to fragrances like Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, Estée Lauder Pleasures Delight, Bond No.9 So New York, and Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy.