Created by in 1987 by French ready-to-wear clothing and accessories line Cacharel, LouLou became one of the top-selling perfumes of the 1980's and a classic of modern perfumery. In his book, 'Perfumes: the Guide', Luca Turin gives it five stars, saying 'This is one of the greats.' I bought my bottle in 1989 at the airport in Paris.
LouLou is constructed around vanilla (innocent) and tiare (seductive). My LouLou opens with bergamot, not a blast, but a whisper. The bergamot is joined by a light, fruity, tangy note of black currant buds. I smell green leaves, not fresh garden leaves, but the leaves in a deep dark forest. I smell the spicy and herbal aspects of marigold, sweetened, and freshened by mandarin. Then slowly, the heart notes start to come forward. Opulent, indolic jasmine, almond/vanilla faceted heliotrope, sweet, powdery mimosa set the stage for tiare. It's sensuous, indolic and creamy. Rich, fruity ylang-ylang supports the tiare.
Once the floral heart is in full bloom, LouLou becomes irresistible. It's fresh and powdery, sweet and indolic all at once. Iris extends the powderiness to the base where Tonka bean, smelling like almond and vanilla custard, opens the way for the cozy, sweet, toffee-faceted scent of vanilla. Here it is, the sensuality of the tiare alongside the tenderness of the vanilla. What an olfactory experience this is. And just when you think it's too sweet, a note of smoky, resinous incense reins it in. Musk helps, too, by adding warmth, while sandalwood, woody, soft and rich, gives Loulou a sensuous smoothness.
The sweetness may be quieted, but that vanilla/tiare combo lingers for a long time, making LouLou so many things at once: tender, sexy, moody, resiny. I think that's what I've always loved about it.
My vintage bottle of LouLou doesn't have the big presence it used to have, but even when I wear it now, it smells original and new. You know, I think I like it better now than when I first wore it.
Notes: bergamot, blackcurrant buds, marigold, mandarin, jasmine, heliotrope, mimosa, tiare, ylang-ylang, Tonka bean, incense, iris, musk, vanilla and sandalwood.
Parfumeur: Jean Guichard