LouLou by Cacharel

Hey Posse! LouLou is the scent of some of my girlfriends in our formative years. That bottle was the most desirable Birthday or Christmas gift by far. Sometimes arriving at drama classes after fashion school I’d be met by a wall of LouLou scented friends ready for some acting. We were a beautiful, privileged, fun bunch of teens who have now spread across the globe and found ourselves in the most diverse industries, relationships, circles. Here’s a pic of us taken by my then girlfriend Bec Jones (I’m somewhere 15-18 in the pic).

Every now and then we bump into each other or seek each other out and it’s like no time has passed, conversation flows. Updates, anecdotes, histories and adventures all intermixed with nostalgic memories. So, as you can imagine, LouLou is not just a spectacular scent it also hold memories dear and wonderful. I love a sneaky spritz to remind me of the girls I grew up with.

LouLou by Cacharel 1987

Jean Guichard

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Aniseed, Iris, Jasmine, Cassia, Lily, Mimosa, Plum, Violet, Cinnamon
Heart: Heliotrope, Orris root, Orange blossom, Pot marigold, Tuberose, Ylang-ylang
Base: Benzoin, Musk, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Frankincense

A sweet but not candied aniseed, plum and mimosa drizzled over violet, heliotrope and creamy white flowers. Brazen and flirty, LouLou is a vivacious fragrance full of the joy of youth but with a very knowing wink. Grounded by the vanilla/amber/resinous base and a very healthy what of dry iris root. My skin tends to amp the mimosa, which also gives the whole fragrance a soft green-ish hue.

What is so outrageous now is that this was considered a dainty fragrance at the time and especially for young girls as yet unready for the big guns of Opium, Giorgio and Poison. Isn’t that weird? Wearing it now it feels every bit as large and obstreperous as those others.

Much attenuated since the early days yet still very wearable in its current form too. It is a bit more screechy on open but settles nicely into itself, or a not bad impression of itself.

Want to relive the LouLou memories? Surrender To Chance has samples.

What are your LouLou memories?
Portia xx




Portia also writes for Australian Perfume Junkies

  • hczerwiec says:

    Ahhhh! I was just thinking about LouLou the other day! In the ’80s I had a teeny bottle — a flattened turquoise octagon with a burgundy spike of a cap on top — I think it was part of a set of miniatures that also included Anaïs Anaïs, L’Air du Temps, Oscar de la Renta, Opium, and something else. Paloma Picasso’s signature? I remember loving the bottle, but thinking the scent was WAY too sweet — even in the ’80s, I tended to gravitate toward Orientals — Coco, Charles of the Ritz, Safari. But that bottle is unforgettable.

    • hczerwiec says:

      Also, that pic of you is adorable and looks like it should be a Benetton ad!

      • Portia says:

        HA! Thanks. The gritty B&W pics of our youth eh? All taken on big, heavy SLR cameras. We all had them and looked down on anything less. GAWD! We were such asses.
        Portia xx

    • matty1649 says:

      I think that I had that set of minis. I don’t remember what happened to it. I probably used them all up

    • Portia says:

      Hu Hczerwiec,
      Oh yes, that little bottle! I had a larger one with extract inside for a while. Now I tick with the big bottle of slightly older that is here and there might be a back up lying around somewhere (SHHH!)
      Portia xx

  • Brigitte says:

    Oh yes I do have Lou Lou memories! In college an older student in my English Lit class wore this as her signature scent. It took me the entire semester to get up the nerve to ask her what she was wearing. And then a bottle was mine-LOL! I have not smelled it since 1991……

    • Brigitte says:

      OMG !!! Portia! That photo of you! Gorgeous!

      • Portia says:

        Thanks Brigitte. It’s so weird looking back and remembering what was important to us then and just how incredibly lucky wee were. It wasn’t the perfect childhood but it was full of sunshine and enough of almost everything, we rarely went without. No, I should say it rarely felt like we ever went without.
        Portia xx

    • Portia says:

      Was she nice about it Brigitte? When you asked her what fragrance? Did she know you bought one too?
      Portia xx

  • Dina C. says:

    I love LouLou! I remember instantly loving it when it came out, but for whatever reason, not giving myself permission to buy it. This was back in the day when I felt like owning 2 bottles was enough. Ha! Ha! Ha! If young me could see old me now! She would die. Anyway. About ten years ago, I finally bought myself a vintage bottle, and I love it. I wear it in winter since it is so big and gorgeous.

    • Portia says:

      Hey DinaC!
      I love that story. Aren’t we weird trying to control our desires in our youths.
      Winter is a great time to wear LouLou but I like it in the warmth as well. So many of my memories of it have to do with summertime.,
      Portia xx

  • Pam says:

    I love Loulou but haven’t worn it lately. We’re in the middle of a heatwave and — do I dare? It is such a powerhouse fragrance I think. Maybe tomorrow I’ll spritz it anyway.

    • Portia says:

      Woo Hoo Pam,
      I love that you’ll be wearing LouLou in a heatwave. What better time to have a fragrant barrier wall around you.
      Portia xx

  • Tara C says:

    I wore Loulou, Anais Anais, Poison and Giorgio back in the 80’s. Great memories. Love that photo of you!

    • Portia says:

      Hi there TaraC,
      You were the QUEEN of powerhouses back then. I would have loved the smell of your bedroom and would have snuck in and nicked sneaky spritzes.
      Portia x

  • Queen Cupcake says:

    LouLou was the first perfume I bought for myself, early in my working life when I finally had a little discretionary income. I still have the bottle, and also a teeny, squat, pointy-capped bottle of the parfum, which must have come with the edt. Every once in a long while, I sniff it and try to recall who I was back then.

  • Tara says:

    I never wore LouLou but remember the advertising and that eye-catching bottle really clearly. How funny that that was the 80s idea of an innocent, young teenager scent.

    Great pic of your gang, Portia. I sat opposite the lovely Bec at your wedding.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Taram
      You really lucked out at the wedding. Isn’t Bec wonderful? We keep trying unsuccessfully to co-ordinate a meet but she works and has kids and lives on the other side of town. It’s a bummer.
      I see more of YOU.
      Portia xx

  • Kathleen says:

    I had LouLou when it was first released in the late 80s. I wore it for awhile and don’t recall what happened to my bottle. A couple years ago after you mentioned it Portia, I purchased a bottle for nostalgia. I can’t compare the current to the original but it smells the same to me. It is a big perfume and I suppose perfumes were more perfume-y then. I thought it just a girly perfume back then.
    I don’t love the bottle design though. Never did! I prefer clear glass and more classic bottles. That plastic blue and burgundy! Uggg!

    • Portia says:

      HA! Kathleen, you made me laugh. That’s surprising that you are anti the bottle. I think it so fun and frivolous. Also really iconic of an age and era.
      Yeah, it hasn’t changed utterly, still has the bones of the original but the opening seems a lot more challenging than my memory. Also, my bottle is quite old so it may have softened and matured with age.
      Portia xx

      • Kathleen says:

        I am wearing LouLou today, despite the subtle difference it is still a stunning perfume, so original in the late 80s and a pleasure to wear today. Amazing how a perfume can transport you back in time. How does it do that?!
        No, the bottle is not my style at all! I think it would be lovely in a round glass etched bottle with a big floral decorative stopper!

        • Portia says:

          One of my all time favourite things about fragrance is its ability to conjure the past so instantly, so realistically. Scent can be a time machine. No idea but it must have something to do with the way our brains are hardwired.
          Portia xx

  • Neva says:

    Ooohhh, LouLou…I’ve bought it 1987 on my first trip to Rome in a perfumery opposite of the Trevi Fountain. I went there with some college friends in an incredibly old bus and we travelled for 18 hours but it was worth it.
    I’ve tried the current version several times at various airports but it was so different, as you said “screechy”. It was so wrong compared to the original that I couldn’t even bring myself to spray it on my skin 🙁

    • Portia says:

      Hey Neva,
      There’s still a couple of perfumeries around the Trivia, one large one behind it a bit on the main road was chock full of interesting pieces.
      WOW! The things we wouldn’t even blink at doing when we were young but now would be appalled.
      Yeah, if you ever do get near it again, spray and ignore for 10 minutes, then it settles beautifully.
      P{ortia xx