Lacoste Pour Femme Eau de Parfum by Lacoste Review
I wanted to like this because it has an alligator on it, and I like alligators. Something about that logic must have worked, because I like Lacoste’s Lacoste Pour Femme more than I expected to.
On application, Lacoste Pour Femme starts as a pure-alcohol nose burner. Once that clears, the place this takes me to is… a doctor’s office. My first thought was an optician’s, but really a pediatrician’s is more accurate, with the clean alcohol smell in the air, along with the newly sanitized counters and surfaces, the crinkly paper, and the mild, unplaceable powdery sweetness.
In another minute or two, that sweetness grows to something bigger and softer, like a powdery squishy marshmallow. It’s heliotrope! The honey-sweetness of it is so lovely in the back of my throat. It stands out against its bed of dull clean and powdery smells, and perhaps that’s the point.
The sharpness of the pepper plays brilliantly to accentuate and amplify the sharp alcohol smell of hand sanitizer, and the fantasy freesia creates the atmosphere of vaguely floral white-walled cleanliness.
As you breathe in deeper to try to understand this pervasive alcohol-sharpness, all the powder and hints of violet soap hit you, and that honeyed heliotrope goes flying into the back of your mouth like a candy reward after a doctor’s appointment.
I don’t get more than a hint of that artificial apple note, which is a relief. It’s like the faint smell of detangler left in your hair from that morning, occasionally giving you a tiny fake-apple whiff.
All in all, this is fascinating, bewitchingly odd, and far from the worst designer early 2000s fragrance. Would I, personally, want to smell like a pediatrician’s office? Not really. Am I a sucker for honey-sweet heliotrope? Am I deeply fascinated by the world I’ve been transported to by this scent? Yes and yes.
I’m not sure whether I’m the only one that gets a clinical vibe, but I keep breathing it in over and over again because I want more of that heliotrope.
Revisiting Lacoste Pour Femme reminds me of about a week ago, when I had my little brother smell some colognes to learn what he likes. When he smelled Guerlain’s Vetiver, he crinkled his nose and said it smelled like a doctor’s office.
It wasn’t something I’d ever considered about Vetiver before, but once he pointed it out, I immediately saw that he was right. In that moment, that crisp herbal freshness and burst of opening alcohol felt so much like an incredibly clean, fresh, bright, papery little room with cabinets and hand sanitizer.
And so now I think of Lacoste Pour Femme and Guerlain’s Vetiver as an odd sort of pair. Not quite matching, like the same fragrance in pour homme and pour femme iterations, but coordinating. They both have something of that fresh, bright, peppery pediatrician’s office smell to them, but it’s cushioned in different ways: honeyed buttery heliotrope in Pour Homme and sparkling citruses and aromatics in Vetiver.
The heliotrope here is delectable. Dripping, honey-golden, ice-cream-like decadent sweetness. It’s matched by the astringent sanitizer-like scent of alcohol and black pepper.
There are other things happening, of course. There’s a supporting floral bouquet of freesia, violet, jasmine, hibiscus, and rose, for one. There’s a sparkle of beautifully subtle green apple juicing up the opening.
It’s actually quite lovely, not too loud of an apple note. It reminds me a little of the way green apple is often used in blue-ish formal productions like YSL’s Y Eau de Parfum, rather than as a main character, as in Kayali’s Eden Juicy Apple | 01 or Bebe’s Bebe Sheer.
In the drydown, a faint, fuzzy, comforting brown suede blends with sandalwood, labdanum, incense, and cedar. It forms a slightly leathery, slightly smoky, slightly woody base that provides the structure for the bright doctor’s office of the opening, but never fully steps into the spotlight on its own.
The suede, in particular, supports a certain clean interior and furniture sort of vibe, putting upholstery on wide metal chairs and adding just a touch of warm comfort to the chipped wooden cabinets.
I used to think I didn’t like the smell of leather. But the suede here is comforting and soft, with a fuzzy texture I want to run my hands through. It, combined with the black pepper, is really what pulls the clinical vibe together for me, topped with cedar and sandalwood and smoke in the furniture of the room.
And, in the middle of it all, a gorgeous bouquet of flowers, crowned with a stunning, honey-sweet heliotrope. It’s decadent and delicious, and leaves me coming back for more again and again, plunging past the odd clinical aura of black pepper and suede into the depths of sugary purple pleasure.
The heliotrope acts quite a bit like honey here. It’s sweet in a way that scratches at the back of your throat, leaving you simultaneously parched and aching for more. And, all the while, around the edges you just can’t shake the notion you’re back on that horrendously crinkly paper-covered table at the pediatrician’s office.
All in all, something odd and entirely unique in the world of designer perfumes. Surprised, but I respect it. Well done, Olivier Cresp.
Where to Find Lacoste Pour Femme Eau de Parfum by Lacoste
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