Lolita Lempicka Si Lolita ~ fragrance review

Lolita Lempicka Si Lolita

I've always had a weakness for Lolita Lempicka. I wore the original Lolita Lempicka fragrance, now known as Lolita Lempicka Le Premier Parfum, during a particularly optimistic period of my life (when I moved to a different city, started a new job, and met the man who is now my husband), so it will always hold happy memories for me. I purchased L de Lolita Lempicka "unsniffed," just because I loved the bottle design, and I've enjoyed some of the flankers for both fragrances.

Si Lolita, the latest launch from Lolita Lempicka, continues the brand's tradition of sweetly feminine scents in whimsical packaging. Its composition, developed by perfumers Christine Nagel and Benoist Lapouza, includes pink peppercorns, bergamot, mandarin orange, wallflower, sweet pea, heliotrope, elemi gum, patchouli, tonka bean, and amber. Its bottle resembles a gilt-edged four-leaf clover, accented with a floral-and-polka-dot "scarf" and a lettered "Si Lolita" medallion. The Si Lolita television commercial features a dewy young model posing in a fancifully trimmed studio-apartment overlooking the rooftops of Paris, and some promotional watercolors by Michel Charrier (the bottle's designer) are also ethereally bohemian.

The fragrance itself is classified as a spicy floral, and while it still fits the company's image, it's nowhere near as edible-seeming as the original Lolita Lempicka or as dense as L de Lolita Lempicka. It opens on a distinctly peppery note that feels like a more girlish derivation of L'Artisan Parfumeur Poivre Piquant. The peppery edge never quite disappears, but the overall scent shifts into a softer, warmer mood. Its heart is a spiced, ambery orange — there seems to be a hint of ginger — that manages to avoid Christmas-pomander territory. The patchouli and tonka balance each other out so that the base is smoooth rather than earthy (not that you really expected to find an oily-dirty patchouli in the Lolita line), and the hints of powdery heliotrope or sweet pea are very subtle. I'd classify Si Lolita as a sheer floriental, but it's both cozier and more piquant than other "youthful" florientals such as Coco Mademoiselle or Gucci Guilty. It reminded my friend C. of Fendi Theorema, and now I'm noticing that Theorema was also created by Christine Nagel, which is an interesting coincidence.

I have to admit that I don't spritz my other two Lolita Lempicka fragrances very often these days; they're both a little too intensely gourmand for everyday use in my current schedule. This new fragrance is still "so Lolita," since it's a little bit romantic and a little bit playful. It may be somewhat less distinctive than the original Lolita Lempicka or L, but it's also versatile enough for a thirty-something woman who works in an office to enjoy year-round, and these days, I need that sort of fragrance in my collection, too.

Lolita Lempicka Si Lolita is available as 30 ($50), 50 ($69) and 80 ml Eau de Parfum.

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58 Comments

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  1. boojum says:

    I’ve always loved their packaging, but none of the scents have worked for me thus far. This one sounds more promising (of course, bc it’s my least favorite bottle). I’ll definitely give it a sniff if I see it. Thanks for the review!

    • Jessica says:

      Boojum, The bottle is adorable in person, more so than the photograph, even! It’s worth a sniff, at least. ;)

  2. Jill says:

    Nice review, Jessica! I have a fondness for the LL line … like you, I started wearing the original during an upbeat period in my life and it still always reminds me of that time. I also really enjoy L and Fleur de Corail, and I still wear all of them now and then. Will definitely be trying this one.

    • Jessica says:

      Jill, I certainly wear fewer vanilla-heavy fragrances than I did a decade ago… but I’ll never entirely lose my affection for LL!

  3. LaMaroc says:

    I’ve had my Si Lolita sample sitting next to my computer for some time now as I hem and haw over whether or not to purchase it. Your review may have pushed me towards “purchase”. lol It wears better on me than most LLs. In fact, it’s rather timely as Easter is nearing and it smells just like my favorite Easter candy – the white gum drops with the “spice” flavor. Yummy, nostalgic and comforting but not overly gourmand. Sold!

    • LaMaroc says:

      Btw, thank you for introducing me to the Michel Charrier artwork. Love it!

      • Jessica says:

        LaMaroc, You’re right, it’s not *overly* gourmand, even though it does have a spice-drop aspect!
        I’ve really been taken by M Charrier’s artwork, too. It’s sort of retro-mid-60s, very charming.

  4. Ari says:

    I have to say that this was my least favorite of the LLs by far. Soooo much pepper. Such a shame, I covet the bottle.

    • Jessica says:

      Oh, too bad! But yes, anyone who strongly dislikes peppery notes will be put off by Si Lolita’s opening.

  5. Ikat says:

    One of those ugly-cute bottles. Spicy floral sure sounds like could edge into the dreaded floriental.

    I’d buy the bottle empty.

    • Jessica says:

      Ikat, I always fall prey to the “ugly cute” aesthetic!

  6. Meg says:

    I do own this, and you are right, I appreciate its versatility–but I think it’s that lack of a distinctive edge that makes me reach for it much less. L, on the other hand, I turn to whenever I know I want to smell like a salty, chocolate-y mermaid, and I am surprised by how often that is. When I where L, people exclaim, “you smell like a designer cupcake!” (don’t we all have those times when that’s exactly what we want to smell like?). I have yet to get a comment on Si, other than, maybe, “your perfume smells nice.”

    • Jessica says:

      Meg, “salty chocolate-y mermaid” is perfect for L de LL!

  7. Merlin says:

    I’m a fan of ginger hints and peppery fragrances so this sounds good. I like the Lolita Lempicka in the apple bottle but it doesn’t last long enough for me…I like the name and bottle of forbidden flower but have not been able to try it; anyone here have an opinion of it?

    • Jessica says:

      Merlin, I did try Fleur Defendue ( Forbidden Flower) a while back, and it was definitely sharper and lighter than the original, with more green/floral notes. I didn’t need to own it, but I liked it… just not as much as the original. ;)

    • Bonbori says:

      Think sweet and spicy floral with a green note that to me is like the one in Roucel’s DKNY Be Delicious and Gucci Envy. It’s not as unique as the original LL but it’s also more wearable. They have a coffret of five mini bottles that includes LL, FF, Si Lolita and the two L’s.

      • Jessica says:

        I spied that coffret at Sephora long before they carried full-size bottles of Si Lolita. It is the cutest thing.

      • Merlin says:

        both green notes I CAN wear!

    • CM says:

      I have both the original LL and the LL Forbidden Flower. They are very very similar. In fact, I just sprayed each hand with one to compare side by side and honestly, (at first spray) it’s hard to tell them apart. FF is ligher, is a teensy bit brighter, floral and a teensy bit sweeter. Both have that same distinctive LL base, so if you like the original, you will like this on as well. FF is that same base with a bit more floral on top.

      I like the LL line and the Si Lolita sounds very nice. May need to add to my LL collection!

      • Jessica says:

        CM, They are perfect for collecting… I bet the people who are strictly interested in bottle-collecting love them, too.

  8. I bought this one as soon as it was released just based upon the bottle shape. I had to have it! Luckily, I liked it as you do. It is a nice everyday scent for me.

    • Jessica says:

      Devilbunnies, I bought a “mini,” which I’ve used every day for the past week… I’ll be tempted to buy a full-size bottle at some point, especially if I get it from one of the discount sites.

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        Jessica,
        I think I’ve seen this at Marshall’s, too.

        • Jessica says:

          Argh, we don’t have Marshall’s in NYC… one of the few things we *don’t* have! but I’ll keep an eye on the online discounters.

  9. Absolute Scentualist says:

    The premier LL in the Midnight concentration and LL Eau Masculine are both some of my fave fragrances. Especially the packaging for the womens’ line of ancillary products. It is adorable. I haven’t tried anything else from the brand but a spicy, peppery and slightly sweet frag would be lovely for autumn. Jessica, do you think this would work as a fall scent in the way Bvlgari Omnia can? At least it’s worked for me during the cooler months. ;)

    • Jessica says:

      AS, I love the Midnight bottle (such a dark purple!), and I keep meaning to try the Eau Masculine at Sephora. I think Si Lolita would be just right for fall; spring is a slightly odd time to release it in the US, but we always get LL scents long after Europe does.

    • Bonbori says:

      Does anyone know if the Midnights for each year (other than last fall’s Midnight Noir, which clearly was) are different formulations than each other? The ad copy is usually different …

      • Jessica says:

        I haven’t tried all of them… but if anyone knows, do chime in!

  10. Ari says:

    I also wanted to add that I share your weakness for Lolita Lempicka- I think that the fragrances are gorgeous, but not inaccessible to the average nose. I wouldn’t be surprised if the original wasn’t responsible for making quite a few women into perfumistas. And you’re right, there really is something optimistic about it! :)

    • Jessica says:

      Ari, This is such a good point, and I agree. The first LL felt really novel at the time — yes, it was a “child of Angel,” but I found Angel completely unwearable, whereas LL fit my style and didn’t overwhelm me. It was a great “gateway” scent for me.

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      Ari,
      My first FB wasn’t a LL, but my first nose-dive into samples was! I quickly acquired minis of the original, Fleur Defendue, and Au Masculin! So I think your hypothesis has merit! (I’m less than a year into this little scent adventure.)

  11. Bonbori says:

    TWO THUMBS DOWN from me. :( I so wated to like it too …

    I would definitely disagree with the “too peppery” comments — those top notes vanish when sprayed on skin. Unfortuately for me the entire perfume vanishes in a way that I’ve never experienced before. I accidentally over-spritzed it from a tester, but no worries because within an hour and a half I couldn’t smell it. I came back for more, over-over-spritzed it and it pulled the same disappearing act! The SA said a lot of people had issues with it’s lasting power. It’s a shame because for 15 minutes it was a wonderful scent. But it was like I had no perfume on.

    • Bonbori says:

      (I also wanted to like it! — Typo!)

      • Jessica says:

        Oh, what a shame! I do think it should last longer for an EDP… it feels more like an EDT. But I got more mileage out of it than you did…

  12. mals86 says:

    I bought a mini, unsniffed, off ebay last fall and promptly decanted it into a small spray bottle. I have the same problem Bonbori does with lasting power – although it is definitely better when “sprayed wet” – and have lamented that it wears much more like an edt than an edp.

    I love the peppery, gingery notes, and for once the patchouli doesn’t overwhelm me. “Sheer floriental” is a pretty good description, and I do find it very easily wearable. I had hatedhatedhated L (which made me think of Organza Indecence, if it had swallowed a bowling ball, HEAVY), and hadn’t tried the original until just a few weeks ago, but liked that much better.

    I’m not sure I need any more Si Lolita, but it is very pretty. Instead, I’ve been pondering LL Midnight…

    • Jessica says:

      Mals86, I like L de Lolita Lempicka best on cold days… otherwise, it feels a bit smother-y to me. Still, I respect it for having lots of personality… esp for a mass market fragrance!

  13. nozknoz says:

    I didn’t care for the original LL when it came out, but I really LOVE the LL bottles. I should really give the line another go. Thanks for reviewing this one, Jessica!

    • Jessica says:

      Noz, I always enjoy “visiting” the LL section of fragrance counters! Do check it out on your next shopping round.

  14. helenviolette says:

    I long admired the original and when I met one of my dear friends about seven years ago, it was (and still is!) her signature scent-so it is hers….I will have to spray this when I get a chance. Bottle is super cute!

    • Jessica says:

      Helenviolette, I love knowing my friends’ signature scents… and thinking of the friend whenever I come across the scent somewhere else.

  15. Tama says:

    Nice enough, but since I already have the original, L, and Fleur du Corail (which to me is the salty one), I don’t think I’ll need it. Love that goofy bottle, though. Maybe if I eventually see it at Marshall’s for under $25 I’ll pick it up. Does have a nice drydown, for sure.

    • Jessica says:

      Well, actually there are a couple of Marshall’s locations within NYC, just a little further up and out… but, if they’re anything like the TJ Maxx, Daffy’s, etc. in Manhattan, they won’t have any decent fragrances. It’s one thing I envy the surburbs for…!

  16. moore says:

    I haven’t already tried Si, but I love Fleur de Corail on women!!! It’s one of the best feminine perfumes I know, and the same way to Jessica, it brings me some good memories. And Au masculin is also very nice.

    • Jessica says:

      Moore, I really need to step across to the men’s counter to try Au Masculin!!

  17. Celestia says:

    There are so many varied opinions on this line. I just have to add my two cents:
    1. LL is one of the lines I collect because of the extreme beauty of the bottles. I have the golden apple for the purse and the gel rolol-on perfume too.
    2. The original scent is the one I love whether it’s EDP or EDT (“diamonds” on the silvery lilac bottle) or the first midnight version. The men’s is really good too.
    3. The latest midnight version is pure licorice to my nose and I love it.
    4. I also like Fleur Defendu.
    5. I don’t like L de LL or Fleur de Corail but the bottles are fabulous so I had to have them. FdC has good lasting power.
    6. Si is not a bad fragrance and I think the box is pretty but I don’t like the bottle at all, hence it will not enter my extensive collection.
    7. I believe that the midnight versions are different every year and they have slightly different names too.

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you, Celestia!
      I always like anisey-sweet fragrances. Caron’s Aimez-Moi is another good one.

  18. GateGirl says:

    I’ve seen this at Sephora; I just may have to snag myself a sample, and I love that artwork; is he a famous artist?

    • Jessica says:

      Gategirl, I hadn’t heard his name until now, but he seems to have been working with Lolita Lempicka for a while. I do like his style.

  19. Luminous Phenomena says:

    Ha ha! I snagged a bottle for $19.99 at TJ Maxx today. I’m in the first 10 minutes of the fragrance and I’m enjoying the pepper and the bergamot-orange of the top notes. Today is a bad allergy day, so hopefully the heart and the drydown can make it past my congested sinuses. .

    • Jessica says:

      Hope you’ll feel better soon, LP! It’s a tough season for sinuses. Enjoy the Si Lolita!

  20. GateGirl says:

    I finally tried my Si sample today. Loved the pepper opening, but I wish it lasted a bit longer. After the pepper died out, the frag kinda lost its distinctiveness. Still like it, tho.

  21. ZenArcade says:

    Thanks, as always, for your well-written reviews. I also own and enjoy the original scent and L de Lolita Lempicka, even though I don’t wear them often (for the same reasons you describe).

    Si Lolita was a “miss” for me. Without reading the notes, I would have described it as “spicy lemon sugar,” but the sparkling lemon top notes burned off quickly, leaving a spicy toasted sugar scent that just isn’t my thing, and did not last as long as other frags from this line.

    I’ve also found that, on paper and fabric, it turns into a weird b.o.-like aroma, while on skin it just faded into nothingness after a few hours. I dig the kitschy LL bottles, but will take a pass on this one.

    • Jessica says:

      Zenarcade, I’m glad you enjoyed the review… sorry you didn’t enjoy the actual fragrance quite as much! ;)

  22. BrasilG. says:

    Crazy about Morsure d’amour <3

  23. Sonam says:

    So I just saw the new EDT version of this on Sephora’s site, and from reading the notes they have posted for it, it looks like there’s no more pepper or patchouli in it! :( I’m not sure what to expect of the EDT, but it seems a little lifeless….have any of you guys seen or tried it?

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