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July 23, 2009

Marc Jacobs Lola : Fragrance Review

Marc-Jacobs-Lola

Lola, the newest release by Marc Jacobs following his highly successful Daisy, was another surprising discovery of the season. Created by Calice Becker in collaboration with Yann Vasnier, the fragrance is an interesting study in contrasts. On the one hand, it is a girly pink cocktail of red fruit and warm musk, a contemporary refrain that is found in many successful (and not) new launches. Yet, to classify it in this manner is to underestimate the structure of this fragrance. Lola offers a number of surprising facets, hiding its retro glamour under an inviting and easygoing fruity-floral veil.

To begin with, Lola’s floral structure is comprised of a strikingly rich rose, the character of which seems reminiscent of various vintage roses, from the powdery flowers of Jean Charles Brosseau Ombre Rose to the baroque petally warmth of Chanel Coco. The rich and faceted quality of Lola’s roses attests to the beautiful raw materials that went into it as well as the expertise with which they are woven into the fabric of the fragrance. The oriental quality of the base accord lends a sensual twist to the rich floral piece of Lola. The luxury of its floral bouquet reminded me of Guerlain’s Jardins de Bagatelle, a decadent floral blend that simply drips with nectar. Of course, Lola is much more subtle, but its soft petally quality, unapologetic opulence and rich sillage make it stand an heir to the grand parfum tradition of the past.

Studying Lola in parallel on the blotter and on the skin was an interesting experience, since it is not a typical linear composition, but rather the one with a number of distinctive stages. These retro touches seem very appropriate for a Marc Jacobs launch, considering the designer’s fascination with the vintage fashions and appropriation of retro elements into his own designs. If I appreciate Daisy for its clever Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue inspired structure, while I do not feel any fascination with it, Lola is a fragrance I see myself wearing. It is a thoroughly modern fragrance, but its charm comes from the nod that Lola makes to the vintage glamour.

Finally, I love the latest trend of beautiful retro roses being featured among the new launches, from the big bouquet in Yves Saint Laurent La Parisienne to the lovely cameo in Guerlain Idylle.

Marc Jacobs Lola includes notes of pink peppercorn, pear, ruby red grapefruit, peony, rose, geranium, vanilla, tonka bean and creamy musk. The bottle is quite striking in person, especially the large size I spotted at Bloomingdale’s (where the fragrance is exclusive till August.)

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