I’ll start with the bottle — as was the case with Daisy, the bottle here is surely at least half the point, maybe even the whole point. Daisy’s original bottle, adorned with white “retro-cool” vinyl flowers, was cute as the dickens, and while I wasn’t so sure about Lola’s bottle when I first saw the pictures, it turns out to be cute as the dickens too. The bright vinyl flower on the cap is absurdly large, so that the 50 ml bottle (see below right) in particular looks as though it might topple over at any moment. It made me laugh out loud as soon as I saw it in person. Again as with Daisy, it’s hard to take a perfume in such a bottle too seriously.
The juice is just fine. It’s pretty much exactly what it purports to be: a slightly older, slightly more sensual scent than Daisy. It seems perfectly calibrated to be Daisy’s older sister, although as several people pointed out when it was announced, if the model in the Lola ad (Karlie Kloss) is Daisy’s older sister, then Daisy must be about 12 years old.
Lola’s opening is rather loud — lots of pink pepper, lots and lots of pear, a little whoosh of tart grapefruit to keep it under control — but it doesn’t stay loud at all (the notes: pink peppercorn, pear d’anjou, ruby red grapefruit, fuchsia peony, rose, geranium, vanilla, tonka bean and creamy musk). The heart is, like Daisy’s, mostly vague-ish flowers, but they’re not so fresh and clean as Daisy’s vague-ish flowers, and the dry down is warmer, deeper, muskier, sweeter, more vanillic. There’s a tinge of something ever-so-slightly off-kilter in the dry down that I decided smelled like vinyl, but I’m probably giving it credit for more quirkiness than it warrants: as with Daisy, the quirky is pretty much reserved for the bottle design.
Like so many of the department store fragrances released over the past few years, Lola smells instantly familiar, and it no longer seems worth taking the time to figure out just which other fragrances it smells like. Suffice it to say that Lola doesn’t break any new ground in terms of fragrance history. It’s hard to believe it will sell as well as Daisy either: Daisy was so clean and fresh that anyone could wear it, Lola, just by virtue of being heavier and sweeter, might not be so easily adopted by anyone and everyone. Still, it’s absolutely fine. Oh, did I mention the bottle is cute as the dickens?
Marc Jacobs Lola was developed by perfumers Calice Becker and Yann Vasnier. It is available in 30, 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum, in a limited edition solid perfume ring, and in matching body products. It is currently exclusive to Bloomingdale’s, and is expected to go into wider distribution in mid-August.
Update: here is the 30 ml bottle of Lola (see image above), for anyone who was curious to see what it looks like. It will retail for $48 and is to launch in November 2009.