I never really thought of Shamrock Shakes as sexy, but daaamn–this is a guy’s gourmand done right.
A milky mint confection spiked with orange flavored gin–(Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla is a pretty nice one)–that elevates it out of after school detours for fast food and into high end pastry shops with a liquor license.
Lolita Lempicka’s trademark syrupy-yet-powdery vanilla musk, here turned into sweet green teasing shadows, drifts in and out of intimate space all day, whispering invitations to drinks and dessert. Yum.
I grabbed this one this morning, a test to see how much I’ve recovered–and I definitely pass! Maybe not with the highest marks–I had to douse myself in it to get everything I know is there–but my schnozz is working, and sniffing this one is like hugging an old friend.
The top notes all come through, a gorgeous thirty-minute-long opening: sweet anise and violet powder blast, with a bit of cool green ivy to keep it wild and fey. Then the middle blooms, a foot off the skin for three hours: licorice candy, dessert cherries in almond amaretto, dusted with iris flour so everything stays light. Settles soft, to clothes and hair until the wash: vanilla ice cream, the almond end of tonka, and sugar musk, a brush of vetiver to keep it dry.
Delicious, iconic. The lighthearted gourmand that exchanged Angel‘s chocolate edible underwear for lace fairy wings, and made fantasy haute couture affordable. I wore it for a decade.
I’d enjoy this as cake frosting–buttercream vanilla with peach nectar and orange extract, and L.L.’s signature licorice footprint on the bottom–but it’s way too sweet for me to wear, and too young. I miss the cinnamon bite of L de Lolita, that lifted the same citrus vanilla notes out of ingenue debut giggles and pushed her to center stage billing, full on drama queen belly laughter.
But if you’re wanting a pure gourmand, this one will make you crave iced pastries for hours, and fill a room with longings for dessert. Just make sure you’ve got a good dentist.
This one bridges the gap between Lolita Lempicka L’Eau en Blanc and the original first scent, but somehow loses the vibrancy of both parents.
Pretty mixed-up berries in the beginning that eventually decide they’re black currants, then aniseed hits with the usual LL violet-iris notes before it settles in close with pleasant white musk and sandalwood powder.
(Paillettes are spangles, the dangling sequins on shimmering gowns.)
Fairy dust potion. Seriously, this is what Tinkerbell sprays all over folks so they can fly.
My favorite L.L. bottle ever, filled with the most magical, silky, pink frosted liquid, scented with a light powdery version of the original.
This came out in 2001, but it’s worth nabbing second hand. The scent is lovely, of course–violets and aniseed and sheer musk–but the body shimmer feels and looks so amazing on the skin. (Especially dark skin! The only time I ever broke my no-perfume-in-costume rule was for the actress who introduced me to this beauty. She looked incredible under the stage-lights.)
I was the only kid who loved getting the little boxes of Good & Plenty licorice candy while trick-or-treating. Lolita Lempicka smells like they taste, so maybe that why I enjoy it so much.
This guy can dance, and knows how to choose a drink for someone else based on what shoes they’re wearing, but he’s got a dark gleam in his eye, and won’t hesitate to get you drunk.
Opens with Sambuca–aniseed liqueur–with a touch of absinthe to make it herbal, then gets almondy with an amaretto chaser for happy hour. Sandalwood tones the sweetness down, then the evening ends on smooth and smoky vanilla single malt scotch.
You let him take you home.
One of my favorites from Lazaretto. Definitely not smooth.
A beach wedding. Opens with grapefruit, sugar and a silver spoon, then the frangipani* kicks in. Waxy flower leis, festoons of them everywhere, sweet and heavy, lovely, but overdone. The bride carries orchids, but you can’t smell them.
Hours later there’s breezy musk on dunes, and driftwood drying in the sun. The next day, an odd amber citrus still clings to the skin, like sand in unexpected places.
*(Does anyone else think “fancy-panties” when they read the word frangipani?) (Only me?) (This is awkward now.)
This is NOT a wedding song, even with the deceptively easy beach vibe–