Cacharel Loulou


I missed Loulou by Cacharel the first time around. When it came out in 1987, I was a Clarins Eau Dynamisante girl. (I can't sniff Eau Dynamisante without remembering where I was the first time I smelled it: dancing onstage with the Michael Clark Company at the Sadler's Wells Theatre in London.)
But even if I never wore Loulou, I always remember its tacky-fab blue genie bottle with the dark red stopper. And the TV commercial made an impact, too, with the perky-yet-mysterious young woman dashing from what looks to be a T'Pau video shoot to seek refuge in her dressing room, while keening cries of "Where's Loulou?" echo through the studio. "Oui...c'est moi!" she responds, with coquettish urgency.
Smelling it now, it's such giddy, frivolous fun -- a Dum Dums lollypop Mystery Flavor grab bag of oriental overstimulation: jasmine and sandalwood and vanilla in a dust cloud of sugared incense. It occurs to me that Daphne by Comme des Garçons just may be Loulou's bonkers daughter. I have a hard time imagining what I would have thought of it back in the 80s. I'd love to hear from any of you who wore and adored Loulou when you were younger. How did it make you feel? Was it your big night out perfume, or did you just frickin' Loulou-up the junior high hallways like a rebellious teenage maniac?
Loulou is available from FragranceX.com, Buy.com and Amazon.com, starting at $32 for 1 oz

34 comments:

  1. LouLou sounds like quite a girl! I am wondering if I tested it would I be able to say, "Oui...c'est moi!". Somehow I think maybe not. But still from your wonderful review I certainly would love a whiff of LouLou.

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  2. I remember sniffing it when it came out in the 80s, being really intrigued with it, but not buying it at the time. I was a signature scent kinda gal at the time, loyal to my Arpege during those years. I finally bought myself a bottle just this year (2012) and it still smells great to me. I get a good bit of violet mixed into the oriental woods and incense. It still packs a powerful punch -- one spritz is plenty. :-)

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    1. It's a tribute to Loulou that it still held the intrigue for you after all these years.

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  3. It made Miss Mirabelle get out her beret. That brought back memories of being young and carefree and ready to go out at the drop of a hat. thank you Katie.

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    1. I bet Miss Mirabelle is ready to go out at the drop of a...anything.

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  4. Love that you review LouLou! I adored it but it was rivaled by Moschino which became my scent for years. I guess I found it a little overwhelming or too cuddly, although the scent really fascinated me as well as its whole concept. Cybele

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    1. Oh yeah, Moschino! Perfume launches used to really make an impression, didn't they, before there were a gazillion every week....

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  5. I loved LouLou and wore it regularly back in the '80s. It was my training ground for Must de Cartier. I remember it as lush and loud and everyone wanted to know what it was. My co-worker loved it so much, she bought a bottle and together we created a LouLou cloud in the office. My one word memory would be "fun". I could not wear this today any more than I could wear the clothes or make up I wore back then. It's always fun to revisit fragrances though. Loved your review.

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    1. Haha: "Loulou cloud"! "Lush and loud" sums Loulou up perfectly.

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  6. Katie, I loved loulou but I was in my twenties & I wore it through the 90s. Every couple of years i"ll revisit it cos I'm very loyal to my perfumes! I just bought one 2 weeks ago & guess what? my husband rememebered it as the scent of our first year of marriage !!he liked it, this one is a man magnet ;) Hessa

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    1. What a coincidence, Hessa! Since you know Loulou so well, does the new bottle smell more or less the same to you?

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    2. Oh it does smell the same to me thats why I still repurchase it, I don't buy the reformulated ones cos I feel that would take away from the memories that we would usually associate withe certain scents, thats why I can't revisit samsara any more :( any way I find may self spray less Loulou than before, my be its the violets or the musc that made my nose itch at the opening,after 10 min its good old days as I remember it. Hessa

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    3. You're so right - if the reformulation ruins a perfume, it can also destroy the memory associated with it.

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  7. Since your coming home for Christmas are we going to start to hear the theme song again in your reviews?

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  8. I remember wearing it, as well as Anais Anais (what was it with these double french names?). They made me feel kind of boho-cool because I didn't know anyone else wearing them. They were more daytime fragrances for me. I think I was probably drowning myself in Georgio when I hit the clubs during that era. Thanks for the memory. I sometimes think my perfume addiction didn't hit until a few years ago, but then I remember how I was seeking out different fragrances, even as the most un-cool 20 year old on the planet.

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    1. That's it, Loulou was the boho-cool perfume of the late 80s. And same as you, I was a teenager seeking out different fragrances, but the tools (niche perfume shops), technology (perfume blogs) and cash didn't exist to turn me into a full-time addict.

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    2. In my book boho-cool perfume was Moschino (of course), and Romeo Gigli best worn with Gaultier fashion...I thought of LouLou-as great as it is-as a little bit girly.
      Cybele

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  9. The shouty scottish singer; the Louise Brook's character's in Pandora's Box; and the girl from my village who would reportedly (and probably apocryphally) do it for a packet of fags- as it has such illustrious, homonymic company, I feel I really must get around to smelling Loulou, after all these years.

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    1. Cynthia, since you mentioned Anais Anais which I also wore in the '80s, I wonder if LouLou is something I would enjoy. I will check it out and see if I can get my hands on a sample at Sephora.

      And I have to pick a bone with Katie - I recall the syrup and cube snack happening at a much earlier time - no boys involved. You were just bugging me so I offered you a snack. Something along the lines of the Crisco or cold hot dogs I also offered you.

      I did eventually improve my hosting abilities.
      xoxo

      ScentsofSmell

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  10. My mom always wore this on sunday service in church when I was little (early 90's). I really love it, it smelly childhood and mum! Plus it's a really nice perfume, I could absolutely consider wearing it.

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  11. Lou Lou was one of my three go-to fragrances in my early 20's. It was either LouLou, Anais Anais or Farouche on a regular basis, with Je Reviens thrown in for good measure. We lived in a very small town in West Virginia and I thought I was SO sophisticated and worldly cus absolutely everyone else was wearing Charlie or Lauren. Such a rebel, lol. I would love to smell any of those three again and see what memories they bring back and if I still love them.

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    1. I do remember smelling Lauren on a glamorous teenage lesbian at the 9:30 club in DC and therefore it was boho-cool to my nose. Context is everything!

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  12. So ridiculously cheerful and over-the-top! I wore tons when I was out dancing with my gay friends in Brisbane in the 80s (which was otherwise a dead zone)...It made me feel more bouncy and 'on'! Just revisited it last year and it's not an exact match to my memory (whatever is), but still hugely fun.

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  13. Up till 2008 I had only owned a handful of perfumes in my entire life, always one at a time, and Loulou was one of them. I am not sure what drew me to its pointy blue pyramid - unless it was simply that - but I think I would probably have viewed Loulou as a big night out kind of scent, with a boho twist as you say. Fast forward 25 years? and when I smell it now (as I did on a channel ferry recently), it gives me an instant headache - oh dear! Did they change the musks or what? : - )

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    1. Either they changed the musks or you changed your brain.

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  14. My best friend wore this in her teenage years. It still evokes a vivid memory of her. She used to bath in it. Which is something that I for some reason find a charming habit on the young adolescents and the elderly. Also the bottle reminds me of Joan Miro's work. Because of the blue and red colours.
    My high-school fragsrances were Anais and Lancaster eau de Concentree. The latter I still use often.

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    1. Bathing in perfume is full-on decadent! I indulge from time to time.

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  15. I was just thinking about Lou Lou the other day!!I'm so glad to hear someone else had that same thought!! :) I was at the mall Christmas shopping and passed a perfume kiosk and thought to myself "I wonder if they have Lou Lou!!" I loved it in the 80's!!! My other favs from that glorious era include Poison and Paloma Picasso... I just remembered my mom's favs, Exclamation and Samba... not bad for drugstore fare at that time.. Love ya, Stef...

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    1. Ah! Paloma Picasso. So stern, so emphatic.

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  16. Strange flacon. Nevertheless, good story. Would you consider this a gourmand?

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    1. Not a gourmand. Dessert fumes didn't pop out of the oven until Angel in the 90s.

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