International Women’s Month: Annick Ménardo


Welcome to International Women’s Month! Scents of Self will be celebrating with tributes to the female pioneers of perfumery all month long, culminating with a workshop on Saturday, March 26. Next up: Annick Ménardo!


Like many perfumers, almost no information is available about Ménardo online. The one and only interview I was able to find was with China Daily. But with the help of Google Translate, I’ve pieced together everything I can. Ménardo was born in Cannes, year unknown. She majored in chemistry and attended top perfumery school ISIPCA. Ménardo works for the fragrance firm Firmenich, where she’s been for the past 25 years. (Just checked, and this information is literally identical to her Wikipedia page. You’re killing me, China Daily!)

Ménardo does tell China Daily that she considers Bulgari Black her “most satisfying work”. But my favorite Ménardo creation will always be the cherry-anise pastry that is Lolita Lempicka. I wore it to my sorority initiation, and to every Pi Phi initiation I got to attend. Now I associate its cheerful, sugary sparkle with the bright and capable women I joined.

Whoa, I had totally repressed all memory of those bangs.
Whoa, I had totally repressed all memory of those bangs.

The Sweetest Thing

Remember when I told you guys about my dandruff OF THE FACE?

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Dandruff OF THE FACE is caused by a species of yeast that feeds on lipids, aka oils, aka fats. After an in-depth consultation with Dr. WebMD, I decided that cutting out delicious fatty foods for a few weeks was clearly the solution. (It is terrible and joyless and my skin looks exactly the same and I am stopping immediately.) During these fat-free weeks, I found myself compensating with sweeter perfume choices (lots and lots of L de Lolita Lempicka). That got me thinking: what’s the sweetest perfume I know?

Upon careful consideration, I think it’s a tie between Mancera Roses Vanille and Tauerville Rose Flash. Roses Vanille is much lighter, but both evoke literal sugar cubes marinated in rosewater. Even though just thinking about them gives me cavities, I actually enjoy smelling them on others. I know a lumberjack who wears Rose Flash, and I love the idea of him smelling like rosewater sugar cubes while swinging his axe. Very Monty Python!


Okay, your turn! What’s the most toothachingly sweet fragrance you’ve ever tried?

Dailies 07/17/14

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Daily Fragrance: L de Lolita Lempicka. L is the golden retriever of perfumes. This seriously scrumptious orange creamsicle scent is one of the happiest fragrances I know. L has been discontinued (boo! hiss!), but can still be found for a very good price at several online discounters.

Daily Magazine: Vogue July 2014. Gorgeous photos, weak interview. Karlie Kloss’ modeling transcends the deeply wretched clothes in her editorial. (Please note that my understanding of modeling is almost entirely based on the first 12 seasons of America’s Next Top Model.)

Daily Jewelry: Nona’s earrings. I almost never remember to wear jewelry, but the blue and gold of the L de Lolita Lempicka bottle reminded me of my great-grandmother’s aquamarine earrings. I got them at my Bat Mitzvah, where they matched my powder blue eye shadow perfectly.

Please feel free to share your own dailies (and to use your own categories)!


Lolita Lempicka Eau de Toilette

Lolita Lempicka, is everything okay at home?

The Lolita Lempicka brand has always struck me as both girlish and grownup, its scents sweet but never insipid. Lolita Lempicka appears to be going in a rather different direction these days, and I can’t say that I like it. First, they pulled the wonderful L de Lolita Lempicka from American stores, but continue to sell its significantly less interesting flanker. Thankfully, L is still available on the cracked-out Lolita Lempicka website. Next, they introduced Si Lolita Lempicka. I am allergic to peppercorns, so perhaps I am not the best person to write a fair review of this devilishly peppery scent. However, I think that we can all agree that this overtly masculine scent signals a departure from the brand’s earlier style.

Finally, we have the new Lolita Lempicka Eau de Toilette. The formula for this fragrance appears to have been one part original Lolita Lempicka, ten parts water. This eau de toilette formulation has diluted Lolita Lempicka past the point of recognition. It has none of the sparkle or charm of its predecessor. No doubt Lolita Lempicka is attempting to cater to the current trend for lighter fragrances, but in doing so they are losing the distinctive character of their perfumes. I can’t imagine who would choose this pointless, tepid flanker over the fabulous original.

Lolita Lempicka Eau de Desir

What is this?? A CENTER FOR ANTS?

How can we be expected to teach children how to read if they can’t even fit in the building??

But for realsies, what is this? LL Eau de Desir is a pathetic musky aquatic fragrance with no distinguishable notes, bearing no resemblance whatsoever to the glorious original Lolita Lempicka. This would be boring even for a masculine fragrance, but as a women’s fragrance it is inexplicable. The bottle shape is also inexplicable- why deviate from that adorable apple shape for what appears to be a mutant pear? This is the lamest fragrance that I have encountered in recent memory.