LouLou? c’est moi.


When it launched in 1987, Cacharel LouLou was a sellout. Its glamorously dark advertising campaign full of classy Louise Brooks images and its whisper of Bohemia  have made it a steady success for nearly 25 years. I recall buying it by the armful and wearing it by the bucketload as a goth-ish student in the late 80s and even now, whenever I wear it, it takes me back to those heady early years after leaving home and finding my way in the world.

LouLou seems to be loved and hated in equal measure, a bit like the ubiquitous Thierry Mugler Angel, yet it is highly rated by perfumistas, if not by early morning commuters.

So what does it smell like? It’s different for everyone but on me, the highest note at first spray is anise, followed by dark plum, blackcurrant, incense and tuberose. On paper, this may sound like a list, but it always makes me visualise some kind of Parisian nightclub in the 1920s. To me it’s a musky licorice, on others it’s vanilla and incense. It changes constantly throughout the day, although I still maintain it’s an evening scent, Oh, and do spare those early morning commuters, it’s way too much before cocktail hour.

The bottle is deliberately retro: it recalls Art Nouveau cinemas with their chunky and elegant towers and entrances. This is not surprising considering its muse was silent movie star Louise Brooks, star of Pandora’s Box, whose glossy chic bob started a phenomenon  Either way, it’s distinctive, and the thrill of buying the cellophaned box with its dark and naif flower motif has never left me.

I often find with LouLou that wearing it influences what I wear. Once I put it on, I have to wear black, with pillar box red lipstick. And I have to have adventures….

2 thoughts on “LouLou? c’est moi.”

  1. In my English Literature class of eons ago I always sat next to a gal who wore this fragrance…it took me a month to get up the nerve to ask what she was wearing…when I finally did Lou Lou went on my ‘wish list” (back in the day when I was more “disciplined” and allowed myself five full bottles only…and would not purchase anything new until one or two had been drained). I had forgotten about it until many years later saw it drastically reduced online and finally made the purchase…unfortunately it must have not been stored properly (high heat?) because it smelled incredibly off and not the gorgeous scent I remembered it to be.

    1. That’s very disciplined of you indeed! I’m afraid I’m on the greedy side when it comes to acquiring new bottles! I wore LouLou in the 80s and I have bottle today too. I do think it’s a little thinner than when it first came out, but that anise/patchouli still get me every time and takes me back to the 80s faster than a time machine.

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