Lolita Lempicka by Lolita Lempicka, 1997

lolita l

(image source unknown)

Perfumer Annick Ménardo

Lolita Lempicka is often identified as one of the post–Angel issue, the first of Angel’s progeny, many of which would follow. Most of those would be defined as cotton candy + something loud, the ‘loud’ usually being a harsh floral note or an enormous but simple fruity note. While this group of followers can be considered imitators, they mostly don’t fall into the same (sub?) genre as Angel, one I call “Unresolved Gourmands”, or fragrances with a food element combined with something that makes them appear simultaneously edible and poison. A great trick, and one that Angel pulls off exquisitely, but one that most of the followers miss by being strictly gourmand, and purely dessert at that.

I understand the line from Angel to Lolita, and it has to do with corresponding philosophies of construction, but Lolita gives you something very distinct from Angel. Despite a similar combination of florals, patchouli,  fruit and woody elements, Lolita is not truly gourmand. It is a sweet, woody perfume, like a viscous play on the sweet, sheer wood of Chanel’s Egoiste. While Angel’s first and virtually only state is dissonance, Lolita puts dissimilar elements together toward one rich accord and feels poised when compared to the shrieking cotton-candy v. patchouli battle of the avenging Angel.

Lolita hints at its gourmand-era origins but doesn’t land in cohort-lockstep with the post-Angels. If I haven’t really made the point, Lolita is a gorgeous and utterly charming fragrance. Also, my friend Aleli wears it and she’s wonderful.

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