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 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?)
(This is awkward now.)
This was my first lesson in flankers. I’d mistakenly bought it thinking it was a back-up bottle for my LL Midnight Sun.
LL Stardust Midnight is sharper and sweeter, closer to the original Lolita.
It opens with bright hot anise and settles down to licorice candy and sugared violets, then lingers on skin and clothes and sheets with an effervescent vanilla.
I loved this passionately for three days–a torrid affair of chocolate tangerine jellies and peppery flower bouquets boldly stolen from the neighbor’s garden at noon–but then the ashtray dust and sweat socks became too hard to ignore, and I broke it off.