Are They Dupes? Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb VS Lancome La Vie Est Belle

by Gio
lancome la vie est belle is a dupe for viktor and rolf flowerbomb

When I first smelled Lancome La Vie Est Belle, I had a sense of deja vu. This stuff smells like Viktor & Rolf FlowerBomb, only subtler.

That sickly sweetness (or candy delight, depending on your tastes) is unmistakable. Are the two really dupes? Let’s find out:

The Fragrance

The name says it all. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb is an explosion of flowers. It’s a bouquet of sambac jasmine, rose, orchid and freesia, with a patchouli base and a sprinkle of bergamot in the opening notes.

But all my nose can smell is candy. It’s one of the sweetest scents you’ll ever smell – it’ll either delight or disgust you, depending on how much sugary sweetness you can take in your fragrance.

Lancome La Vie Est Belle is a fruity floral gourmand scent with patchouli.A high-pitched accord of tonka bean, vanilla and chocolate pralines is enriched by sweet raspberries and sparkling bergamot in the top notes, jasmine and orange blossom accents in the heart, and tame patchouli in the drydown.

You’d expect that to be sweeter than Flowerbomb, right? Quite the contrary, my friend.

Flowerbomb reminds me of a classy lady in a little black dress, with a string of pearls around her neck and her hair pulled back in an elegant chignon, who accidentally found her way to a child’s birthday party where the tables are covered with all kinds of sweet treats.

La Vie Est Belle is, instead, her little sister. She’s classy and polished, but in a more understated, youthful way. She has a sweet tooth but won’t indulge it for too long.

It’s also more powdery and less crisp than its big sister. But it’s not very original. Its fruity patchouli sweetness is clearly derived from Flowerbomb.

Sillage And Staying Power

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb really hits your nose with an explosion of candied flowers. When you first spray it on, prepare to be overwhelmed. It’s so strong, it personally gives me a headache. Thankfully, it tones down after a while.

Lancome La Vie Est Belle is, instead, more wearable from the start. It’s by no means a skin scent, but it never becomes too loud either. Both linger on your skin for the whole day.

The Packaging

Both have very pretty bottles.

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb is aptly housed in a bottle shaped like a bomb. Its aggressiveness is sweetened by its pink colour and the black flower attached to it. Very rock chic.

Lancome La Vie Est Belle is, even in its packaging, more understated. Its sleek bottle is adorned with an elegant organza ribbon. Sweet and feminine, just like the juice inside.

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Which Of The Two Should You Go For?

It’s difficult to say. Fragrances are personal, so it really depends on your tastes.

I believe Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb will appeal more to women into sugary candy sweet concoctions.

Lancome La Vie Est Belle is subtler and better suited for everyday occasions like the office.


Lancome La Vie Est Belle ($48.50-£84.00): available at John Lewis, Harrods, Selfridges, Sephora, and Ulta

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb (£51.99-£104.99): available at Escentual, Feel Unique, Harrods, and John Lewis

Is Lancome La Vie Est Belle a dupe for Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb?

Yes, Lancome La Vie Est Belle is a dupe for Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb. Lancome’s version is a slightly subtler and more sophisticated, but it’ll still appeal to fans of candy sweet perfumes.

Have you tried Flowerbomb and La Vie Est Belle? Which one do you prefer?



Lena L October 19, 2013 - 4:32 pm

i much enjoyed this post.
(especially love the “sisters” comparison. ^-^)
i have a full bottle of FB and briefly tested the La vie est belle – the powdery part stood out on my skin reminding me of others with iris notes.
FB is one of the sweetest i have. i agree it becomes more wearable after a few hours. 🙂

beautifulwithbrains October 20, 2013 - 9:15 pm

Lena, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

FB is very sweet indeed. You have to really like that sort of scent, otherwise you’ll just want to scrub it off your skin. Instead, the iris note in La Vie Est Belle doesn’t really show up on my skin all that much. Yet, it’s a nice fragrance, and easier to wear than Flowerbomb.

e riel June 7, 2014 - 4:34 am

I really do think it depends on your chemistry, as far as FB goes. I’m usually into aldehydes and classics like Chanel 5 or 22 or long lost oldies like Arpege & My Sin. Among the quasi-moderns, Aromatics Elixir. But I’ve been wearing FB since it debuted. On my skin, it quickly dries down and the sweetness fades, by and large. The patchouli evolves into a soft musky smell that combines with the florals to show depth, staying power, and a rich alluring scent that constantly earns me complements. On the other hand, I finally gave LVEB a try just this week. Oh, my – scrubber time! It was bearable at first, but within an hour became sickeningly sweet, and just intensified along those lines for 4-5 hours. By the time I go home, it was actually nauseating. So I think chemistry really must he taken into account. Just my .02

Gio June 8, 2014 - 8:22 pm

E riel, thank you for your comment. I agree. Chemistry definitely counts. Perfumes can smell so differently on different people, which is why it is so difficult to review and compare them. All you can do is share your experience.

And I’m so jealous that FB smells like that on you. Now, that’s something I might have liked. On me, it’s awful! It makes me smell like I’ve fallen into a bowl of sugar. Eww.


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