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 LL, and it has to do with corresponding philosophies of construction, but the wonder of LL is that it gives you something qualitatively distinct from Angel. Despite a similar combination of florals with patchouli and other fruit and woody elements, to my nose LL is not 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, LL puts dissimilar elements together toward one rich accord. The floral notes, particularly iris and violet, bring together the other ingredients in an interesting fashion. The cool iris ties to the licorice, and the violet ties to a somewhat herbal green feel that connects it by extension to a fruity sweetness. Despite licorice and a fruit note, though, LL doesn’t seem come off something to eat. What I’ve seen identified as an ivy note combines cool and green, falling in line with both the iris and violet notes. Two points on similarity of construction yet difference in tone: 1) in LL, patchouli gives a gummy sweetness, but not Angel’s mothball/poison blast, 2) although sweet from a number of angles (licorice, musk, fruit), there’s no cotton-candy in LL. LL winds up cool and comfortable as opposed to the shrieking avenging Angel.
(Angel is so bombastic that I find it easy simply to characterize it. On the record, I both admire and enjoy Angel.)
LL 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, LL is a gorgeous and utterly charming fragrance. Also, my friend Aleli wears it and she’s wonderful.