L de Lolita Lempicka and a musing

by Hester


I knew L de Lolita Lempicka (not the Fleur de Corail version, the original) to contain vanilla and, vaguely, immortelle. After struggling mightily with my new mini’s stopper, I discovered to my delight a more wearable, cuddlier Shalimar! Much as I love Shalimar, I could not wear it often, so something which reads this close to it yet is friendlier is a delightful find. And yes, as many reviews note, there is an enchanting brackish dune vibe to L. That rare thing, a blue, marine-themed bottle that contains equally lovely juice!

So upon smelling this happy surprise, I immediately run to the interwebs, as we do, and was delighted to find a number of references to similarities between L and Shalimar or one of the Shalimar Lites there’ve been. (On Basenotes the lone reviewer of L’Occitane Honey and Vanilla mentions Prada Candy, Shalimar and L de Lolita Lempicka as scents with similar vibes to the L’Occitane, which I’ve enjoyed in-store – and the other two scents I own and adore. I clearly like this style.)

I’m so glad I didn’t read much at all about L before smelling it, because the nerd in me simply loves that AHA!! when I discover that my nose and brain have colluded to experience a chemical composition in much the same way others do. I think you guys know what I mean.

This got me thinking. Isn’t this funny, I thought, that we should find such satisfaction in a little moment of SNAP! over something as minor (and surely to be expected?) as smelling a perfume in the same way as others smell it. But then, isn’t that the function of art, to give us opportunities for moments of connection? When we are reading and a passage inspires that YES-that’s-exactly-what-it’s-like!-feeling. When we stand in a truly awe-inspiring cathedral, whether we’re religious or not, and get teary-eyed along with hundreds of other tourists, or look up at the end of the aria to see our theatre companions also sniffling away, or when we go AHA!! upon reading a like-minded perfume review . . . That is what art is for. Only connect.

Also, L de Lolita Lempicka just plain smells mighty delicious.

  • Elizabeth Watson says:

    I had a bottle of the first Lolita Lempicka (in the adorable purple apple bottle–the little gold stem was the sprayer). Unfortunately, I couldn’t stand the licorice note so I traded it away. But I would consider trying this one. Yes, it is gratifying when one can identify notes without having to look them up. 🙂

  • Kirsten Scranton says:

    Yep! That, “YES-that’s-exactly-what-it’s-like!-feeling” is why I value my girlfriend chats so much. It keeps us all connected! And I have a FB of L. Love that stuff!

  • Poodle says:

    Okay, now I want this stuff. I saw the bottle at TJ Maxx last week and did not buy it and now I’m hoping it’s still there. It sounds wonderful. I love when I smell what other people are smelling too. It sure beats not smelling it at all which is the case for me and Bottega Veneta. So frustrating to hear someone rave about a scent and then I sniff it and all I get is…nothing. I like Lolita Lempicka but never tried L.

    • Hester says:

      Oooooh I’m so jealous of this TJ Maxx place you guys keep mentioning (I’m not in the States), it just sounds like an absolute treasure trove!

      • Elizabeth Watson says:

        Hester, don’t be too jealous! The TJ Maxx where I live rarely but rarely yields a good perfume find. More often, the shelves are laden with celebuscents that just don’t make the grade.

        • Hester says:

          We have something possibly similar called Dischem, same story: mostly absolute trash, but now and again you’ll find some Kenzo Summer or something at a bargain-basement price. They stock most major labels and some things you can’t find elsewhere in South Africa, but usually prices are only about 10% cheaper than department stores.

  • FragrantWitch says:

    Shalimar is one of my HG’s, I love Dune and enjoy Prada Candy so I MUST sniff this! Thanks for the review as I would probably never have sniffed this otherwise as the the bottle and juice are blue which makes me think Marine=urgh and the original Lolita is too sweet for me. But salted caramel? Ho yus!

  • Dionne says:

    My favorite SNAP! moments are when I can identify notes in a fragrance without checking it out online first. It doesn’t come naturally to me to parse out a fragrance, so it feels great when I discover that I really am learnin’ stuff.

    • Hester says:

      Or when you finally figure out just which exact note it is that keeps bugging you in perfume after perfume!

  • Ann says:

    Hester, thanks so much for a lovely review. Our shared love of fragrance and those great “A-ha!” moments really do make our hobby a wonderful one. I, too, love L, but haven’t worn it in a while so need to go dig mine out. I also have the mini of it and it’s just so darned cute!

  • Hester, I wish you daily AHA’s in the fragrance world, and the other,
    I am sure there’s an L sample here somewhere, now all I have to do is find it….
    Portia xx

  • rosarita says:

    I am a big fan of L. It smells cuddly in winter and I love that salty caramel note in summer. I recently obtained a decant of Prada Candy and am delighted to find that it smells (to me) like a lighter version of L. I’ve been enjoying both this summer. I’ll have to give L a sniff with Shalimar in mind!

    • Hester says:

      I’m actually going to try the two together at some point. Today I’m wearing L for replying-to-comments purposes, and I’ve layered with a quick store-spritz of Kenzo Amour, and yeah. I smell insanely good.

  • Ines says:

    I keep thinking of L as a little hidden gem. Everybody around me who smelled it, loved it (men and women both).
    I’m very glad to see you got an AHA! moment out of it. 🙂 I love those when it comes to perfume (that’s where I get most of them anyway).

  • Ramona says:

    I did a blind buy of this lovely fume when I found it on a shelf of discounted perfumes at a local t.j.maxx. I had read a few reviews and thought it might be something I would like and it turned out better than I hoped- one of my top favorites! I live in Florida- a place of staggering heat and humidity and this is gorgeous and refreshing when so many other perfumes become nauseatingly thick. Glad you had an “oh!” moment with it!

    • Hester says:

      It’s deepest winter here, but I can’t wait to try it in the heat, I imagine that would be just lovely!

  • nozknoz says:

    I adore the L bottle so it’s odd that I’ve never tried it – based on your review, I’ll have to rectify that!

    The points you’ve made are beautiful, too. I’ve had a number of hobbies over time, and perfume is special because my my love of perfume is enhanced by perfume blogs and the shared AHA!

  • Violaine says:

    Beautiful, simple & so true 🙂