Two weeks ago, I posted a picture of a post-spaghetti western, pre-Dirty Harry Clint Eastwood for an essay in which I compared the allure of foody/gourmand fragrances to a “fatal attraction”. The reason I chose Clint instead of Glenn Close, the notorious bunny-boiler from the 80s classic Fatal Attraction, was because I think Clint´s ill-fated encounters with Jessica Walter in Play Misty For Me are far more terrifying than Michael Douglas´ trysts with Ms. Close. However, Jessica Walter doesn´t harm any small defenseless animals with her butcher knife; just an unsuspecting housekeeper and a well-meaning police detective.
This week, I´ve fallen even deeper down the retro rabbit hole by digging up another “moldy oldie”: the song, “Lola”, by The Kinks. I´m not going to compare a ditty written about an encounter with a transvestite to a new fragrance, but ever since I heard about Marc Jacobs´ newest addition to his eponymous fragrance collection, there´s been an earworm of “Lola” wrapped around my brain, and images of Lady Gaga burned onto my retinas. Why I´ve chosen to associate the two is beyond my comprehension; especially since I am completely unfamiliar with any Lady Gaga material, save for her outrageous, drag-queenly attire.
There seems to be a number of retro redux trends gripping the world right now; I´ve been inundated with vintage images of Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5 for reasons I´m sure I don´t need to explain, as well as cheesy late night commercials for the “BumpIts” hair accessory, which promises to deliver a beehive hairdo that would rival Priscilla Presley´s, circa 1967. Along comes Jacobs’ newest scent, packaged in a bottle that can best be described as an homage to an Edible Arrangements bouquet, or Formica and vinyl furniture from the 1960s.
I´ve made no secret of my love for Jacobs´ Daisy fragrance; despite it being an innocuous, ubiquitous fruity floral. My love for it is augmented by the adorable bottle it comes in. I don´t often fall for scent packaging, but Daisy sits atop my list of best bottles, keeping company with Fifi Chachnil, the sweeping couture gown silhouette of Givenchy Organza Indecence (the 100 ml size), and many of the glorious Bond No. 9 bottles. I´ve compared the vinyl Daisy daisies to a kitchen table and chairs my parents had: a round white Formica topped table and vinyl chairs in a shade of green that could only be vinyl. In other words, don´t bother looking for it in nature because it doesn´t exist. Now we have Lola, circa now, and she certainly doesn´t smell like “cherry cola”.
I´m bringing up the rear in terms of a technical review of Lola. If you´re interested in the nuts and bolts, surf on over to Now Smell This or Bois de Jasmin. Robin and Victoria have done their usual bang-up jobs reporting on the who, what, where and why.
To me, Lola is a cheeky, playful little scent that pushes all the right olfactory buttons. It starts out all cute and fruity, becomes girlishly floral, and winds down with a nice bit of vanilla and musk. That description can be used for any number of scents currently on the market, and it makes me think of how I recoiled in disgust from Jessica Simpson´s Fancy the first time smelled it. Lola encompasses all the elements that make you want to avoid department store fragrance counters at all costs; but the one thing it isn´t is a doppelgà¤nger of all those fruit/flower/vanilla/musk mash-ups. It is exceedingly well done. And the bottle is spectacular. My Visa card floated out of my wallet as if on angels wings…right into the hands of the Bloomingdales SA; $85.00 for the 100 ml bottle. How could I not?
Thanks for hanging with me through my retro rewind mode. I recently read an essay written by one of my former professors about the concert Paul McCartney gave last month at the New York Mets´ new stadium, CitiField. It inspired me, and got me thinking about the British Invasion bands and how at the age of 42, I´ve managed to see quite a few of these musicians in concert. I never did see the Beatles together, but I did see McCartney at Giants Stadium back in the early 90s, and George Harrison as part of an ensemble in a benefit concert at Madison Square Garden in the mid 80s. I´ve seen Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, The Kinks, The Who and the Rolling Stones in concert. I´ve also seen Elton John on every single American tour he´s done since 1982. And I still have all the ticket stubs.
Once again, it´s your turn: Tell me what your favorite cheesy late night commercials are. And, which musicians/bands have you seen multiple times? Finally, to keep this on topic: Your favorite fragrance bottles.