lolita lempicka: 5 posts

Modern Classics Gourmands and Lolita Lempicka

Among some perfume lovers gourmand fragrances are the equivalent of chick lit, somehow seen as pleasant, entertaining but a guilty pleasure nonetheless. Although the fragrance shops are full of boring blends that smell like candy factories, this genre is far from dull and embarrassing. Not only do the sweet accords have a long tradition–visit the Osmothèque and ask to smell Parfums de Rosine’s Le Fruit Défendu, a banana sundae extravaganza from 1916, they also can be as complicated or as simple as a perfumer’s imagination allows. To defend this maligned genre, I bring to you the next installment in the Modern Classics series, Gourmands and Lolita Lempicka. My new FT column is all about indulgence and pleasure, without a shade of guilt.

Lolita Lempicka arrived in the wake of Angel in 1997. It is a perfume for those who want to avoid the jejune prettiness and cloying sweetness of many gourmand fragrances, while offering an indulgence. The heart of Lolita Lempicka is a clever pairing of patchouli (a nod to Angel) and iris. In a brilliant twist, the cool character of iris inflects all layers of the composition, rising like a soft mist over the confection of liquorice, Amarena cherries and praline. To continue, please click here.

The previous fragrance in the Modern Classic series was Serge Lutens’s Féminité du Bois.

Please let me know about your favorite gourmand perfumes. Do you have any sweet fragrances that are appropriate for the warm weather?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin.

Winter Lists : 5 Books and 2 Perfumes

There is nothing especially winter-like about my list of books (and perfumes). It’s mainly about enjoyment, with a dose of something high-spirited. Some may call it escapism, but I see it as a way to recharge and tune out the world long enough for me to find my balance and plunge back into the routine. Moreover, high-spirited, entertaining and fun, whether in literature, art or perfume, can assume many different forms. Here is my take.

winter-list

Jeffrey Steingarten The Man Who Ate Everything

“Whenever I have nothing better to do, I roast a chicken,” writes Jeffrey Steingarten. The food critic at Vogue magazine since 1989, Steingarten is also the author of two of my favorite books about cooking and eating, The Man Who Ate Everything and It Must’ve Been Something I Ate. Steingarten is witty, irreverent and passionate, an irresistible combination. His essays are full of interesting tidbits and recipes, but the main reason I enjoy them is because of Steingarten’s dry sense of humor. I don’t know how many times I’ve read “Kyoto Cuisine,” but the scene in which he tries to pry off the lid from a bowl of soup leaves me laughing out loud every single time. In the same essay, he also describes the exquisite flavors of Japanese cuisine, reminding his reader that as a bumbling tourist he may have missed many nuances. With Steingarten you can visit the Nishikidori market in Kyoto, run a scientific test of ketchups, grill sardines with Marcella Hazan in Venice, perfect fries, or try cooking from the back of the box.

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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.

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Lolita Lempicka : Perfume Review

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Lolita-lempicka

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.

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Lolita Lempicka L : Perfume Review

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Lolita_lempicka_l

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

The contrast between the glitzy ornaments bedecking the Little Mermaid-like flacon and its voluptuous oriental contents is enough to make the newest fragrance from Lolita Lempicka, L, stand out in the crowd of placid summer editions and flankers (which, as I explained to my friend last night, are the perfume versions of movie sequels, and are usually just as disappointing). The burnt sugar and bitter herb redolent immortelle forms the main accord of L, which rests on the plush oriental base of vanilla, coumarin and sandalwood. The immortelle does not make it debut particularly often as the main note, and I can only think of a few fragrances where it unfolds in its sun burnt intensity, namely Annick Goutal Sables, Gobin Daudé Biche Dans L’Absinthe, and Christian Dior Eau Noire. Therefore, it was a surprise to pick up a bottle of Lolita Lempicka L and discover a bittersweet breath of dunes inside it. …

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