I’m not ashamed to say it: Shakira was my childhood. At first glance, Shakira appeared to be little more than another pretty, thin blonde, no different than Britney or Christina or dozens of others. But then we discovered that spectacular voice, that expressive, joyful yodel somewhere between Alanis Morissette and a mountain goat. Oh, and she dressed like Xena, Warrior Princess.
Now, almost a decade after her first English-language album, the music industry has finally managed to reduce Shakira into a Britney. As evidence, I present her latest album, 2009’s “She Wolf”. Gone is the delightfully hiccupy voice. Gone is the Columbian influence. Gone is the jaw-dropping belly dancing. In their place we have generic, computer-generated vocals and unbelievably awkward, Riverdance-esque dance moves. Oh, and the lyrics make no goddamn sense. “I’m starting to feel just a little abused, like a coffee machine at an office”? I mean, obviously we can’t know what goes on between Shakira and her household appliances, but what does that even mean?
Serge Lutens Louve (“she wolf” in French), much like the newly gentricized Shakira, has none of the ferocity of a true she-wolf. In fact, Louve is about as cuddly as they come. Louve smells distinctly and inescapably like Johnson and Johnson Baby Shampoo. The official notes, from LuckyScent, are: almond, rose petals, fruity notes, jasmine petals, amber, musk and vanilla powder, but they might as well just say baby shampoo.
Now, I love the smell of baby shampoo, and so I find Louve to be an extremely pretty almond scent. However, mothers who have actually had to deal with a screaming baby at bathtime may find the association considerably less endearing. The traditional Lutens complexity is mostly absent from Louve, making it one of the more accessible fragrances in the Lutens lineup.