Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin provides the eleventy seventh proof that perfume has no gender. Well, perhaps the eleventy sixth, because since it came out in 2000 there have been more scents of this nature, but still. You can't peek under a perfume's tail to determine its sex and labels don't mean much (as is sometimes the case with kittens, as shown by my cat Peter, whom we adopted as a female).
The feminine perfumes from Lolita Lempicka are not bad, but I don't enjoy them as I feel they're trying too hard to be cute. Au Masculin, which is an oriental gourmand like just about everything else I've smelled from this brand has a flair. The bitter greens and dry wood balance the candy and licorice and provide some interesting twists as the perfume develops on skin. It has some melancholy moments courtesy of the violet notes but also a lot of joie de vivre when you just take the sweetness and booze and go out dancing with it.
Those who find Douce Amere (Serge Lutens) too much, too thick and heavy, might enjoy Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin- the tender green leaves and violet flowers keep the candy and vanilla more manageable. The anise in Au Masculin has a cool almost minty facet which might be the only concession made here to traditional masculine perfumes, but it's still sweet and powdery enough to satisfy. I doubt anyone smelling a passing woman wearing this Lolita Lempicka perfume would give it a second thought as far as gender-bending goes. If anything, I have no doubt some men find it too much for their taste.
Notes: Green Accords, Ivy Green, Absinthe, Aniseed Water, Violet Flower, Violet Wood, Cashmere Wood, Cedar Wood, Vetiver, Citrus, Olive Wood.
Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin can be found online at around $30 for 100ml EDT.
Photo of Simone Signoret and Yves Montand by F. C. Gundlach, 1953