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January 30, 2011



I wear Loulou in winter. It's sultry. I don't find it girlish, like Anais Anais. It's considered ecologically incorrect to wear such heady fragrances with grand sillage these days, but I like being challenging that way. I'd recommend Loulou to anyone who collects big florientals or 80s fragrances.


Rednails: Yes, Loulou is definitely a BIG fragrance, and you'd have to wear it unapologetically. I don't think it's girlish, either. More like girly — as in feminine. Sultry is a good descriptor...


Very interesting! I didn't know much about Loulou when I bought it a few weeks ago. I remember loving the bottle in my young teen years.

I will not be wearing Loulou out of the house. I'm not sure if I can wear it in the house either. I don't dislike it, but it's just too much for me.


It's growing on me, JoanElaine, but it's a perfume I just couldn't wear, mostly because it's not "me." Love the over-the-top vanilla and spicy base notes, though!


Love this stuff. As for its provenance, I think one of the great things about Louise Brooks is that she was so outspoken and intelligent and headstrong (often counter-productively so)that it's impossible to think of Lulu or her "look"--for me--without seeing a great deal of depth there. She informed Pabst's project with her own self made persona, which is why he looked to her in the first place. There was already much there, and it was resistant to his gaze, participating in it but remaining independent of it. The biography on Brooks is a fantastic read. And the interviews with her which were collected as special features on the Criterion DVD of Pandora's Box are pretty amazing too. For me, all of THOSE things are Loulou. For me, Loulou isn't just an evocation of girly youth and tedious ideas of virginal seduction but a commentary on our ideas of, and fascination with, them. It's a relatively simple scent, like the Pabst character, which has a very complicated, contrary set of effects. I think too that it hasn't changed tons. I have an earlier bottle and a more recent one and they seem remarkably close. Thanks for this review.


Brian, Thanks for the info on Louise B.! I don't know much about her, outside of her amazing style and performance in Pandora's Box, but now I want to read that bio.

And yes, ideas about virginal seduction are "tedious"! Some of the perfumes briefs of scents I appreciate and even love are a little embarrassing! Thanks for stopping by.


I don't even wanna talk about the virginal seduction thing. Ugh.

Not that I mind the idea of conventionally feminine seductiveness... I tend to love those big white floral bombs that seem to signal conventionally feminine seductiveness! I have not smelled Loulou for yonks, but I remember when it came out (!) and that I disliked it intensely at the time. My memory of it is that it was abrasive and unpleasant, which may be doing it a disservice, but which might be related to jasmine, which I often find overwhelming.

I must also be the only person to think the bottle ugly.


I think it's a love it or hate it scent, Mals, like Dior's Poison. I like its too muchness, but could never wear it. As for the bottle — you're not alone. I think a lot of people consider it tacky. I love the clashing blue and crimson, though, and I'm a sucker for genie bottles!


I think you could wear it if it was just one spritz, then it would be very lovely


Rose — one spritz, three hours later...and it might work for me!


I'm like you....I can appreciate Loulou, but I'm not likely to wear it. Your interpretation is far more impressive than mine; all I got was a very strong jasmine and a lot of incense and cedarwood. It seems to be all opulence and no innocence at all.


Hi Joan, I think maybe the vanilla is supposed to signify innocence!


Vanilla- no wonder I loved this one! In college a classmate of mine wore this one religiously and I finally got up the nerve to ask her what she was wearing! It took me over ten years to finally purchase a bottle of my own from a discount online retailer. It didn't smell quite as I remembered (reformulated?) but I still enjoyed it nonetheless, but not enough to purchase another bottle. I think my taste in fragrances may have shifted over the course of time.


I have been wearing lou lou for possibly around 20 years... and I live in fear they will stop making it! I think I must have gone through many bottles in that time.

Overbearing scent?
Perhaps it smells different on everyone, but there has never been a SINGLE time where someone does not enthusiastically ask me what I'm wearing, and I wear it a lot! ..every 2nd or 3rd day - I wish I had a dollar each time!

I guess it must be strong for people to notice it - then again why wear a scent otherwise? But the notice is always very very complimentary!


I bet it's divine on someone after a few hours of application - incense and vanilla? Oh, yeah! And I bet I'd be one of those people who has no qualms saying, "Wow. You smell great. What are you wearing?" The ladies love that question. :-)


I tried this fragrance once in a sample from a perfume store, and I loved it! I also just discovered this blog and as a fragrance lover it is great to be able to read about and comment on my favorite fragrances. :-)


Well, I definitely like it. I find it kind of sweet & spicy, nowhere cloying or overdone! It's true it is quite strong, but it's relaxing & addictive. I breathe it in & I calm down. I don't think anyone should mind a smell being [too] strong if it's relaxing.

Its smell reminds me of nard - I love nard -, I guess it must be the iris/orris in it.


Hi froske1,

It's true that Loulou is both strong and relaxing. I love smelling it, but it's just not me, so I can't imagine wearing it. I wonder if you're thinking of nard (spikenard) when you smell this because of its relaxing effect? I love spikenard, too, but I guess I think of it as a lot more herbal/earthy than anything I get from Loulou...

Nada Mutic-Bjelovuk

tonight with LouLou...:))

Mary Warren

Still one of my absolute favorites. Just a tiny bit is not overwhelming. First bottle was purchased in 1988.


Mary, I love it too. The contrast between the decadent gourmand notes and the austere, flinty incense notes is gorgeous, and just enough to keep it from being too much.


I have been wearing loulou for 20 yrs. Running out of my stash, and no longer available. What do you think is the most similar fragrance?


Hi Guest, Loulou is vintage but not old enough to be difficult to find. You can buy it at the Miniature Perfume Shoppe http://miniatureperfumeshoppe.com/Lou-Lou-P2413774.aspx or on eBay. Good luck!


this perfume seemed very special to me when i was young i never had it or smelt it but was aware of the advertising and the french feminine style i smelt it for the 1st time and am thinking of buying a bottle i think it has a lot of depth maybe the spice i like the vanilla & the floral notes maybe it needs something to lift the fragrance to lighten it i like woods floral this may need some fruit to freshen the spice i dont know i have to go and smell it again

Shelly Watkins

I adored Lou Lou when I was a teen and recently found it on a bargain perfume site. I ordered it immediately!!! I am not so sure how I will enjoy it when it arrives and I revisit this intoxicating scent, but the memories should be enough to warrant the purchase. What a wonderful review. Very well written - thank you!!


I'm excited for you that you get to revisit Lou Lou, Shelly. It's so seductive and beautiful. I can smell it in my mind now, just thinking about it! The incense makes all the gourmand notes interesting, I think. Hopefully, yours won't be reformulated to the point it's no longer what you remember.


LouLou, is just intoxicating and reminds me of my love for Europe, cherry orchards, windmills, hot earl gray tea and my first real encounter with romance 1988. I have got to get that little blue bottle!!


Oh my how I love Lou Lou. It is increasingly hard to find. I bought it when it was new in the late 80s; kept it rotation with other perfumes I liked. Then one day I had an epiphany: "Lou Lou smells like.... me". It's just totally me.

Nothing else I have ever worn comes remotely close. I get loads of compliments when I wear it (I can't wear it daily, or I would -- it's too hard to find and too expensive now) -- I'm not the type of woman who men stop in the street to say "omigod, you are so beautiful".

But they stop me in the street -- literally turn on their heels -- and ask "WHAT is that amazing scent?"

Men. Not women (though they seem to like it too).

I mostly use the Eau de Parfum, which is fantastic. (Lou Lou Blue is a "light" version and not worth the $$$, because it does not last.) I ONCE had a full 3.7 ounce bottle of the full strength stuff, in the gorgeous glass "geni" bottle (pale blue with a maroon stopper, heavenly!) and thank god, I saved the bottle. It must be pretty rare, especially in the large size.

BTW: yes Lou Lou has a top note of vanilla, which I adore. (As a kid, I dabbed real cooking vanilla behind my ears! try it!) But I have been told it contains something called "coumarin" (not to be confused with the drug Coumadin) -- a scent that smells like baby powder. It's very rare and I don't know of another perfume that contains this particular scent (though maybe you guys here do!).

If I could, I'd buy a gallon jug of Lou Lou and wear it daily, scent my whole house with it and pour it in the bath.

I love it so much, I named one of my dogs Lou Lou!


Lou Lou has this wonderful incensey base that I love, Lola. Ive found that vintage minis are still available for reasonable amounts on eBay and elsewhere.

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