September 14, 2009

Lo Lo Lo Lola

Posted in Marc Jacobs at 1:02 pm by April

I didn’t allow myself any high hopes in anticipation of Lola by Marc Jacobs. I was so completely disappointed by Daisy, and utterly un-wowed by his signature Marc Jacobs scent, that I was prepared for any positive expectations to be crushed on-spot after smelling Lola. But, here I am, quite surprised by an adequate fragrance.

Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t ever wear it, and it’s neither ground-breaking nor amazingly done, but it’s, well…nice. It’s a very loud, very fruity, very purple fragrance that smells of teen angst in all its sexy naivete, and it’s far better than what I expected.

I didn’t think it was very fair of Marc Jacobs to release such a pale and generic scent as Daisy, and in such an irresistible bottle at that, thereby rendering all teenagers with a weakness for flowers and cute, girly things helpless and smelling awful. If you put something that smells cheap (and therefore probably is incredibly cheap to manufacture) into an adorable bottle geared towards teens and young women, the juice doesn’t necessarily have to be great. An amazing, unmatched bottle will sell something mediocre at best and generally awful at worst, as was the case with Daisy.

His former signature scent, Marc Jacobs, wasn’t awful, but it seemed to me a watery, fresh thing that a woman in her mid-to-late twenties might wear, in order to comply with what American society thinks she should smell like: unremarkable, fresh, and flowery. Lola is obviously targeted at the late-teen to early-twenties gal, who is eager to make her mark on the world. She is no longer seduced by merely cute things (ahem, the Daisy bottle), but has learned a bit about the value of what lies within (within perfume and hopefully people, too). That said, Lola feels a bit…forced. It’s not a bad thing, just an obvious one. It reminds me of a girl striving so hard to be an adult, but who is not quite capable of getting there without her spunk and zest for life interfering and dragging her back down to her appropriated youth.

The perfumes of my teenage years were dominated by sweet orientals and fruity splashes of fun and it was Coco Mademoiselle that was my transition scent, i.e. the perfume that so unfalteringly appealed to my senses that it granted me entry into the adult world of fragrance without a second thought. I think there are a handful of perfumers and marketers who are capable of joining forces to create something so specific that it almost announces its purpose upon shooting out of a bottle and into one’s nostrils. Coco Madmoiselle combined the heady orientals of the nineties with the fresh florals of the new century to create something easy to love and noveau enough to seem edgy to the girl in need of a scent that speaks to her sense of feeling constistently misunderstood, capable, passionate, and invincible (the emotions of those priceless days lived between the ages of 18 and 22). I think it’s very possible that Lola just may be the Coco Mademoiselle of the coming decade. I didn’t want it to be (being the non-fan of Mr. Jacobs that I am), but nonetheless, I suppose I’m happy it’s arrived, for the sake of the young girls who can no longer hear what Coco Madmoiselle has to say and are looking for the voice of their generation.

Lola’s bottle is, to me, a tacky mess, though I can see the appeal for some. I enjoy some of Marc Jacobs’ designs, namely a few of his purses, though most of his items I find to be a bit over-the-top. His pieces seem to me to be for the fashion-obsessed; they don’t blend and mix very well with a typical wardrobe, as do the pieces of say, Chanel and Donna Karen, so I’m not surprised that his bottle reminds me of a woman wearing a hat made of fruit. But then, it could be worse, I suppose.

Ultimately, Lola is a scent that will allow the young women with a penchant for the fruity florals of the last few years to try something still fruity and therefore safe, but nonetheless deeper, darker, and richer; a grown up version of fun.

Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls.
It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world,
except for Lola. Lo lo lo Lola. Lo lo lo Lola…”