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 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.
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?