I rarely get my hands on classic/mainstream women’s perfume samples; I’m always receiving niche offerings — masculine or unisex. When I saw a sample tray at a department store full of the Lalique de Lalique fragrance, I got two vials, thinking I’d pass one on to someone I know who loves old school women’s perfumes and I’d keep the other to use in my scent infuser — IF the fragrance appealed to me.
Lalique de Lalique has a confusing history; it was originally called Parfum Lalique, was developed by perfumer Sophia Grojsman,* and was released in 1992. Parfum Lalique was repackaged, renamed Lalique de Lalique, and, perhaps, reformulated in 2001. Reading my sample card, the perfume I’m reviewing is an Edition Spéciale, 20th Anniversary (“special edition” refers to the bottle, not the perfume, I believe) that came out in 2012. I have no idea if this is yet another reformulation.
Lalique de Lalique, as it smells today, opens with bright rose and soft, almost powdery iris. Its fruits are “cool” with hints of pear and muted cassis, nothing too sweet or cloying or that will remind you of a celeb-u-scent or teen perfume. Lalique de Lalique’s dry down smells of expensive cosmetics (I’m thinking vintage face powders and lipsticks). Yes, as a child, when I wasn’t smearing those products on my poor sister’s face — in frightful ways —I was sniffing the powders and lipsticks. For its finale, Lalique de Lalique presents a diffuse mélange of almost "crumbly," talc-y musk, sheer vanilla, and residual fruit and floral notes.
Perfumes like Lalique de Lalique are not challenging to wear, or to “interpret” (unless you fear seeming out of date or being judged “conservative” by those who smell you); and Lalique de Lalique, no doubt, seems old fashioned to many, but on the rare occasions when I smell perfumes of its type, I realize I miss old-style, rather complex, intensely feminine, floral perfumes — perfumes that remind me of special occasions: weddings, the opera, or fancy parties.
Lalique de Lalique Edition Spéciale, 20th Anniversary Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum are available in 100 ml ($149-$171); Lalique de Lalique Edition Spéciale, 20th Anniversary Parfum is also available in a 100 ml numbered and signed crystal flacon called “Libellule” ("dragonfly," image at the top of this post), $1,800. Check out the Lalique webpage for a complete viewing of its beautiful limited edition crystal flacons.
*Listed notes are: iris, rose, jasmine, clove, blackberry, cassis, pear, white musk, sandalwood, vanilla.