Lolita Lempicka Sweet : Perfume Review

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I am what you might call an optimist. So when I read a fragrance description like “a cherry-cocoa lip accord, exquisitely transgressive, outrageously musky”, I decide to look for a sample.  The quote refers to Lolita Lempicka Sweet, and depending on your attitudes towards smelling like lipstick and chocolate covered cherries, it could be either ghastly or delightful.  I doubt you can have a noncommittal opinion about this fragrance. It will bully you until you make up your mind.

Sweet-Lolita-Lempicka

What you smell is what you get–a dark raspberry-rose accord reminiscent of retro lipstick and a dollop of chocolate sauce. This kind of directness is what attracted me to Lolita Lempicka in the first place. There is no pretense to aspire towards rarefied sophistication or sucked-in-cheeks elegance. The story isn’t about a precious Laotian resin transformed into a caramel candy. Lolita Lempicka also doesn’t mistake its press release for a philosophical treatise on happiness. No. Leave all of that to Viktor & Rolf Bonbon, Prada Candy and Lancôme La Vie est Belle. Sweet doesn’t take itself seriously, and as a result, you get an utterly charming fragrance.

Sweet was created by Anne Flipo, the same perfumer responsible for the wispy florals at L’Artisan (Mimosa Pour Moi, Violette Verte, La Chasse Aux Papillons). With Sweet, Flipo plays with mouthwatering, gourmand notes and comes up with a fragrance for a pinup. It has a sense of humor.

Despite the name, the sweetness isn’t overwhelming. Likewise, the “outrageously musky” part is mostly marketing copy puffery. Sweet is a gourmand, but instead of loading up on cotton candy and caramel, it gets its sugary notes from dark fruit and flowers–raspberry, violet, rose, and cherry. When the cotton candy and vanilla appear later, they’re kept in line by woody musk. This is not a subtle perfume by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s well balanced.

At first, Sweet smells like violet bonbons and rose makeup, and it even manages to evoke a sticky sensation of lip gloss. I can’t understand why I find this combination so compelling, but I do. On a grey, overcast day, it’s the equivalent of starting my morning with a piece of cake. When the chocolate cherries appear later, they’re not the artisanal, hand-dipped Pierre Marcolini variety, but the kind you get in a cheap red box at Walgreens. In other words, cherries and chocolate on steroids and equally satisfying in their artificial, gooey richness. One needs this sort of thing at times.

In case you’re worried, the chocolate-cherry is an interlude, and the rest of the story is occupied by dark raspberries, caramelized woods and musk (cashmeran is a musk with amber and cedar nuances, expensive, gorgeous stuff). Some parts of Sweet remind me of Chanel Misia (violet bonbons), others of Délices de Cartier (chocolate and red berries), and yet others of Lancôme Juicy Tubes.

True to its pinup heart, Sweet is a sillage bombshell. You’d do your fellow humans a favor by applying it with a light hand. If you want a fun gourmand that doesn’t smell like the rest of the sugary crowd, it’s a good contender. Just don’t buy it blindly, even if the red heart-shaped bottle melts your resistance. It’s a terrific fragrance, but it makes a statement. For some, that might be too much.

Lolita Lempicka Sweet features a cherry-cocoa lipgloss accord, iris, cashmeran and musk. 30ml/47,90€ (60 and 80ml bottles are also available).

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69 Comments

  • Eleebelle: I was so excited when I first heard about Sweet. I didn’t like the licorice in the original Lolita Lempicka but absolutely loved the cherry note and this seemed like it would speak to me… despite my worries that it might be too juvenile. Thanks for the reminder that I need to sample this! After all, who could dislike cake for breakfast? October 9, 2015 at 7:44am Reply

    • Victoria: Cake for breakfast is one of the best ways to start the day, as far as I’m concerned. 🙂

      I don’t find Sweet too juvenile. It’s a gourmand, but because the accent is on rose and raspberry, the effect is more like a rose macaroon than say, cotton candy. Above all, it’s fun. October 9, 2015 at 11:59am Reply

  • Therése: Ah, this sounds like such a fun perfume! October 9, 2015 at 8:45am Reply

    • Victoria: It really is! I didn’t expect to like it, but it really hits the spot these days. October 9, 2015 at 11:59am Reply

  • orsetta: i have tried it, loved it and happily agree with all your statements, Victoria 😀

    and you are so right – it’s so refreshing, this lack of pretentiousness! 😀 October 9, 2015 at 8:53am Reply

    • Victoria: Glad to hear it. Yes, the lack of pretense, decent quality and distinctive character all make it a very nice perfume. October 9, 2015 at 12:01pm Reply

  • Figuier: Gosh this sounds fun! And as someone who loves La Petite Robe Noire Couture’s raspberry & rose I’d definitely like to try it. Though the unashamedly brash artificiality might be an issue. That said I do enjoy Alien, where the strong (and I guess natural?) jasmine is amplified to the point of feeling loudly synthetic. Is this in the same ball-park in terms of volume? October 9, 2015 at 8:56am Reply

    • Victoria: I can’t wear Alien for that reason, but Sweet doesn’t have that kind of volume. Also, it’s a very smooth perfume overall. October 9, 2015 at 12:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: It just occurred to me that the best volume comparison is Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose. Sweet is much more gourmand and less polished, but the volume is similar. In terms of sweetness, it’s close to Parfums de Nicolai Kiss Me Tender. October 9, 2015 at 12:05pm Reply

      • Figuier: Thanks, those comparisons really help – I do very much admire Lipstick Rose and Kiss Me Tender, though I haven’t tried them in a long time. Neither, as far as I recall, struck me as too heady…so now I’m even more tempted 🙂 October 9, 2015 at 5:03pm Reply

        • Victoria: They’re big and fairly sweet to my nose, but they’re well-balanced. This is hard to do, especially when working with such strong materials.

          If you like the scent of retro lipstick, it’s another reason to give Sweet a try. October 9, 2015 at 5:23pm Reply

  • Lena L: I am no fan of any of these notes – cherry, raspberry, chocolate, but I’d still like to experience this soon. I like Lolita Lempicka better than Angel or Flower Bomb anyway.
    I had to giggle when you mentioned other sweet fragrances that are somewhat pretentious. Like you said, “sweet” doesn’t need to be masked with powdery philosophy as long as it’s well balanced, and yes, we do need it at times! 🙂 October 9, 2015 at 9:31am Reply

    • Victoria: A little bit of sweetness goes a long way, especially on cold, grey days. 🙂 October 9, 2015 at 12:03pm Reply

  • Emma: As much as I love Alaïa’s new fragrance, and bought a bottle, Sweet is everything I hate about today’s perfume industry. Well if I was 12, I’m sure I’d love it… October 9, 2015 at 9:42am Reply

    • Victoria: Different strokes for different folks, etc, etc, etc. October 9, 2015 at 12:04pm Reply

      • Emma: It’s more about the sugary gourmand of the perfume industry since Angel. You disliked how LPRN Couture was overly sweet and I totally agreed with you. It was unrefined and lacking as a Guerlain. All those brands have turned the page once and for all on elegance and sophistication. I’m glad there is La Panthère and Alaïa but as a perfume lover, I wish there was more high level perfume launches of that caliber on the market. Sweet is just another sweet generic thing out there that i believe is nothing more than commercial xxx. October 9, 2015 at 4:34pm Reply

        • Victoria: “La Petite Robe Noire Couture, a sophisticated variation on Guerlain’s original little black dress, is my sweet perfume of choice.” A quote from my review. I did like it. October 9, 2015 at 4:57pm Reply

  • Wendy: I’m wearing LPRN Couture today and it sounds like this is a perfume after my own heart. I happen to enjoy perfumes that don’t take themselves too seriously, and I love sweet, fun and flirty! I’m not always a fan of fake chocolatey notes though, especially when paired with fruit, so I wonder how I’ll like this one. October 9, 2015 at 10:45am Reply

    • Victoria: The chocolate part isn’t too strong here, at least on me. Raspberry, almond and cherry are much stronger. Oh, and also the violet accord. October 9, 2015 at 12:06pm Reply

  • Sandra: What a lovely review. Now I am in the mood for chocolate. But it doesn’t take me much! I will give it a try if I happen to see it.
    I love gourmets perfumes. Love by Killian is very sugary. I also enjoy Noir pour Femme for vanilla sexy sweet scent and Noir de Noir for some chocolate dipped roses

    On to raid the cabinets for something sweet.. October 9, 2015 at 11:22am Reply

    • Victoria: I just made a batch of dough for chocolate chip cookies, because all of this talk of gourmands made me crave something sweet. 🙂

      I love your description of Noir de Noir as chocolate dipped roses. October 9, 2015 at 12:11pm Reply

      • Sandra: Cookies! I will be there in a NY minute 😉 October 9, 2015 at 2:13pm Reply

        • Victoria: You’re most welcome! I made a large batch. 🙂 October 9, 2015 at 5:06pm Reply

  • Debby: This sounds divine! I am a big fan of gourmands though not so much the new super sweet rash of scents. Lolita Lempickas are always wonderfully done I think. I look forward to trying this, I’m in the mood for something new. October 9, 2015 at 12:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: Lolita Lempicka is one of the few brands that do gourmand scents with interesting twists and a sense of humor. This one is so much fun. October 9, 2015 at 4:59pm Reply

  • Aurora: Your light-hearted review about a new gourmand couldn’t be more a-propos as I have brought out of summer retirement my 2 Maison de la Vanille and have kept right up front of the cabinet the coconut-citrus L’ L’Aime de Lolita Lempicka which is my big favorite these days and is so well-balanced just as you mention is the case for Sweet which I can’t wait trying – well, your reviews do that to me. October 9, 2015 at 1:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: I smelled L’ L’Aime de Lolita Lempicka briefly and I need to revisit it. I believe Elisa liked it too. Which Maison de la Vanille do you like? They now have quite a few fragrances in their collection. Vanille Givree de Antilles sounds particularly interesting with its blend of tangerine, lavender, rose, vanilla and opoponax. October 9, 2015 at 5:04pm Reply

      • Aurora: Oh, I’d be curious on your thoughts about it once tried, the citrus of the candied variety layers the coconut in a very good way and prevents it from being overpowering.

        Now for la Maison de la Vanille: I have Vanille Divine des Tropiques and Vanille Sauvage de Madagascar, the latter has turned out to be the most versatile with a nice blast of bergamot upfront and for us lovers of lavender the note is quite pronounced and lingers. It leans unisex and lasts really well on my skin with a medium projection, the bottles are heavy metal cylinders stamped with a sell-by-date (2020). Vanille Givree des Antilles sounds lovely and I’m not familiar with opoponax – off to see if you have a post on the subject. October 10, 2015 at 11:07am Reply

        • Victoria: You’ve sold me on Vanille Sauvage de Madagascar! The combination of vanilla and lavender is one of the best in perfumery. Well, in desserts too! October 11, 2015 at 1:10pm Reply

  • Julie: Does anyone know where I can request a sample from? I live in a very rural part of the Midwest, limited launches here. Thank you!! October 9, 2015 at 1:17pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’d check Surrender to Chance. They sell samples of many different fragrances, and Sweet must be among their offerings. October 9, 2015 at 5:05pm Reply

      • Julie: Thank you!!! October 10, 2015 at 10:49am Reply

        • Victoria: I wanted to add that I’ve ordered samples from them myself before, and I always had good experiences. October 11, 2015 at 1:08pm Reply

  • maja: So curious about this one since day one mostly because of the gorgeous bottle and the honest name 🙂
    Being a fan of Lolita and LPRN will have to try it soon. Somehow.

    ps. I have a “permanent”” log of chocolate peanut butter cookies I keep in the freezer. It takes a moment to slice and bake a dozen. 😉 October 9, 2015 at 3:54pm Reply

    • Victoria: The bottle is stunning. That red is simply irresistible.

      If you like LPRN, you might enjoy Sweet too. It’s less fruity and cotton candy-like, though, which is a good thing for me.

      I often freeze tart pastry and crumble toppings, but cookie dough is a good idea too. October 9, 2015 at 5:09pm Reply

  • Aisha: I’m craving dessert now. 🙂

    This sounds like something I must try. Violet candy is one of my favorite scents because it reminds me of my maternal grandmother.

    I love the original Lolita Lempicka. This newest one isn’t too cloying, is it? I trust your judgement because, if I recall correctly, we have similar feelings toward Amarige. October 9, 2015 at 9:42pm Reply

    • Victoria: Have you ever tried the combination of candied violets and candied chestnuts? You just take bites, alternating them. They’re sweet, no doubt about it, but the flavor is amazing. I wish there was a perfume like it.

      I don’t find the new one cloying, but it depends if you don’t mind a little powderiness (this comes from the violet/raspberry part). October 11, 2015 at 12:54pm Reply

  • Kandice: The raspberry, rose accord grabbed my attention right away. I’m a little wary of chocolate notes in my perfume, and I avoid most gourmands but this goes on my “to try” list just beacause your review is wonderful. Could you recommend any other perfumes with raspberry notes that aren’t too powdery or gourmand? Thanks! October 9, 2015 at 10:00pm Reply

    • Victoria: This is a bit tricky, because raspberry is a powdery and sweet note by its nature. Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir has a delicious raspberry note, among other things, and it’s not powdery. October 11, 2015 at 12:59pm Reply

  • Lavanya: If I was drinking coffee, I might have spit some out laughing when I read this : ” Lolita Lempicka also doesn’t mistake its press release for a philosophical treatise on happiness”..

    LOL

    I always think I am not attracted to very sweet fragrances but come to think of it, I do enjoy gourmand perfumes (from time to time) – Hypnotic poison was probably my first perfume love as a teen (though I prefer it dabbed than sprayed)..
    But I do not like cherry notes, yet you make me want to try this..lol. I do like when the sweetness comes from fruity notes like raspberry so I am curious to try this- it seems so lighthearted and fun!

    Oh and I would always be game for some chocolate cake for breakfast..:-D October 9, 2015 at 11:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s good to know what you’re getting without any discourse on unrelated matters. 🙂 But the interesting part of Sweet is that it’s actually quite a clever and interesting perfume and it has a number of surprises. If you like Hypnotic Poison, it’s a good contender. I wear just one spray, and it’s enough.

      I need to make brownies, because all of this talk of chocolate cake and my recent foray into the chocolate chip cookie making is leaving me with cravings for the American classics. October 11, 2015 at 1:03pm Reply

  • girasole: “sucked-in cheeks elegance” – another wonderfully apt phrase! You’ve sold me on this fragrance for sure; I love retro lipstick scents so I’ll have to sniff out a sample. October 9, 2015 at 11:32pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’d be curious to know what you think. (It’s ok if you end up hating it; it might be one of those polarizing perfumes.) October 11, 2015 at 1:03pm Reply

  • solanace: ´Precious Laotian resin transformed into a caramel candy´ LOL…

    Being a fan of both Lipstick Rose and the original LL, I can barely wait to try this. The gorgeous red bottle does not hurt, either. October 10, 2015 at 7:55am Reply

    • solanace: BTW, I keep returning to the latest book thread since it is so interesting, and I´d like to second Nora Szekely´s idea, which I find awesome. I´d be willing to look for English translations of Brazilian literature and share with BdJ readers anywhere. October 10, 2015 at 8:24am Reply

      • Victoria: Shipping books is going to be very expensive, but I was thinking, why not have a thread with recommendations for books from our particular countries, regions, hometowns, etc.? October 11, 2015 at 1:05pm Reply

        • solanace: Super awesome idea, Victoria. But anyways, I would be thrilled with such an opportunity to give back to this generous, kind, witty and fun community. My country might be Perfume Mordor, a forgotten land with no Shalimar or Estée Lauder, but we have some really good, interesting writers. October 11, 2015 at 7:24pm Reply

          • Victoria: You really do! Your legacy in literature is so impressive, and the best part is that it keeps on growing and developing. October 12, 2015 at 2:57pm Reply

    • Victoria: LL does some of the best gourmands on the market! October 11, 2015 at 1:04pm Reply

  • Karen: Sounds yum yum yummy and that sounds good to me! And I am all for cake for breakfast, brings back good memories of breakfast in Sicily! Fun review for what sounds like a perfume perfect for a comfy evening in (while wearing those cashmere sweatpants and maybe a mohair sweater?) or a dressed up night out. October 10, 2015 at 9:18am Reply

    • Victoria: Sicilian breakfasts–granita in a brioche–are the best inventions of humanity. 🙂 But the Turkish breakfast is my all time favorite–fresh vegetables, cheese, olives, eggs, bread.

      Every time you mention cashmere sweatpants, I start laughing out loud. October 11, 2015 at 1:08pm Reply

      • Karen: Double yum for Turkish breakfasts! Just saw your photo on Instagram and smiled as that’s what we have on weekends, too! Something so perfect about a good feta cheese, bread, olives, tomatoes, cukes and (for us) eggs with sujuk. October 11, 2015 at 5:46pm Reply

        • Victoria: The best weekend breakfast, especially when you have time to do a proper layout and trim all of the vegetables nicely. October 12, 2015 at 2:55pm Reply

          • Karen: It’s so pretty, all the different colors and textures – plus, of course so delicious! October 12, 2015 at 4:25pm Reply

            • Victoria: And filling! It’s like having a selection of tapas for breakfast. October 12, 2015 at 4:34pm Reply

  • elisa p: I think the whole Lolita Lempicka aesthetic is fun and whimsical without being tacky and I love and have the original, L, and a mini Si. And their bottles…. I never tended towards gourmands until I started reading your blog and learned to appreciate some in a new way. I guess my notion of them was what I smell when I walk into my 14 y.o. niece’s room: a cloud of some cloying body spray from PINK(which she rocks, btw). Your description of this reminds me of Histoires des Parfums Moulin Rouge which to me is a fun, well-blended synthetic lipstick fit for a burlesque performer or pin-up girl. I love this as a contrast to “sucked-in-cheek elegance. I’m definitely going to hunt this one down. October 10, 2015 at 12:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: You described exactly why LL is so appealing overall. Its perfumes have a point of view, they don’t feel like they were made for a focus group and they’re fun. I also realized over time that I like some gourmands more than others. The combination of overly tart fruity notes with cotton candy can seem too sharp and jarring (this is the most popular combination for gourmands, though), but I love dark balsamic, gourmand notes and anything with violet, raspberry, stone fruit. On the other hand, I’m game to try something new and revise my opinions. October 11, 2015 at 1:16pm Reply

  • rickyrebarco: I like the Lolita Lempicka Le Minuit series and I had been wanting to try this one, I love those Walgreen’s chocolate covered cherries, not sophisticated, not complicated, but SO good you can’t stop eating them! This is now a must try. Thanks for a great review! I really appreciate the fact that you review many mainstream perfumes and not just niche. Some niche reviews can be overwhelmed by purple prose and an abundance of “preciousness.” October 10, 2015 at 4:49pm Reply

    • Victoria: Le Minuit series are really well-done, and the packaging is beautiful. I was impressed with the red bottle, since this color is very hard to get right in glass. It really looks like a jewel.
      I also think that there are many good fragrances outside of niche too. October 11, 2015 at 1:22pm Reply

  • Amer: Great description. A statement making fragrance doesn’t happen too often in the mainstream these days. Reading about it reminded me of Ramon Monegal’s Cherry Musk. Am I wrong in thinking they might be similar?

    PS: Is cashmeran pricey? I thought they use it a lot in laundry softeners because it doesn’t wash out and therefore assumed it to be cheap. October 10, 2015 at 7:12pm Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t tried Cherry Musk, so I can’t compare. Based on the descriptions, Cherry Musk sounds less floral and less sweet.

      Cashmeran is pricey, yes, but you don’t need much to have a big effect, which is why functional perfumery can afford it. October 11, 2015 at 1:23pm Reply

  • hajusuuri: Have you tried Guerlain French Kiss? How do they compare? October 10, 2015 at 9:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t, but it’s on my list. I hope that someone else has tried it and can chime in. October 11, 2015 at 1:25pm Reply

      • Karen: I have a generous sample of French Kiss, but haven’t tried Sweet. French Kiss reads like a light fruity floral on me, not a gourmand at all and is quite light (at least for me). A pretty and easy fragrance that would work well for someone in an office or who wants to wear a scent that won’t “bother” anyone, and doesn’t want anything that makes a big statement. Does not sound like it has a lot in common with Sweet. October 11, 2015 at 5:55pm Reply

        • Victoria: It doesn’t sound similar at all. Sweet is more of a floral oriental, and the fruity notes are of raspberries (in other words, they smell dark and thick) and cherry (the perfumery speak for almond). October 12, 2015 at 2:56pm Reply

  • MaureenC: Not my usual fare but I’ll have to give it a try after that review! I have some samples of two Hildi Soliani perfumes on a chocolate theme ciocorosissimo and ciocospesizissimo which I dig out if I’m in need of a chocolate/rose or chocolate/herb liqueur blast. Have you come accross them? October 12, 2015 at 3:11am Reply

    • Victoria: I love these names! 🙂 No, I haven’t tried them, but I really should. October 12, 2015 at 2:58pm Reply

  • mayfly: Sweet sounds wonderful!, like many others, Lipstick Rose and Lolita Lempicka are among my favourites, i have recently descovered that powdery,and vintage lipstick notes are among my favourite’s in perfume. Kiss me tender intense is also on my to sniff list.
    As you said Victoria, nothing is better on cold, grey days for lifting the spirits! October 12, 2015 at 5:30am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, it’s the kind of perfume that feels like a hug. 🙂 October 12, 2015 at 2:58pm Reply

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