Name: La Vie Est Belle
What I liked:
– polished and wearable fruity floral gourmand scent with patchouli
– not too strong, but not too subtle either
– good staying power
– pretty bottle
What I didn’t like:
– if you dislike very sweet, gourmand scents, this is not for you
– unoriginal and predictable
To be honest, I had no intention of trying La Vie Est Belle, the new fragrance from Lancome. Every review I’ve read about it said it was very similar to Flowerbomb by Victor & Rolf, which is a fragrance that I just can’t wear. It is so disgustingly sweet and makes me smell like I’ve just fallen into a gigantic bowl of sugar. So not a fan. So, I stay away from it and anything remotely related to it. But then, my boyfriend’s mum gave me a sample of La Vie Est Belle and I thought that it wouldn’t hurt (much) to try it.
The bad news is that La Vie Est Belle is almost identical to Flowerbomb. The good news is that it’s subtler and a bit less sweet, which makes it more easily wearable. You could say that it’s Flowerbomb’s little sister, who hasn’t as yet achieved the full sweet potential of her older sibling. Lancome claims that La Vie Est Belle will fill your life with beauty, but to me, it feels like it’s gonna feel it with chocolate, sugar and all kinds of sweets you can think of, only that you will only be able to smell, but not taste them.
The brand also claims that La Vie Este Belle is the first ever iris gourmand (which is debatable as other fragrance houses, such as Guerlain with their Iris Ganashe, have already released perfumes with this accord), and while they totally failed the iris part (you can barely smell it), they got the gourmand one right. The gourmand accord, which is a very strong, high pitched note of tonka bean mixed with chocolate pralines that doesn’t smell too childish but not particularly grownup either, is present from the start, where it mixes with sweet raspberries and sparkling bergamot that brighten the composition.
Iris is supposed to be at the core of the scent, but as I said above, there isn’t much of it in La Vie Est Belle. Instead, all I can smell is the gourmand accord that becomes stronger and more prominent as the fragrance progresses and is now laced with jasmine and orange blossom accents. In the drydown, the sweet vanilla, tonka bean and chocolate notes mix with a hint of patchouli and what’s left of jasmine. Both the jasmine and patchouli here are quite subtle and have none of the headstrong, intoxicating aspects that give character to a composition (and put off those women who like lighter and sweeter scents).
La Vie Est Belle? No, it’s just pretty. And boring. Overall, this is just another of those fruity floral gourmand scents with patchouli that are so popular at the moment. Predictable and unoriginal, its only merit is to be one of the most polished and understated compositions of this kind, so it could also appeal to teenagers as well as older women. Although not very strong, it doesn’t stay too close to the skin either. It will instead hang around for the entire day.
Lancome La Vie Est Belle is a polished and wearable fruity floral gourmand scent with patchouli that will appeal to both teenagers and older women. The sweetness, although strong and present from the start, never becomes overpowering, but will still put off those who dislike gourmand scents. And although La Vie Est Belle is one of the best of its kind, it lacks originality.