The week Lancome launched their new perfume, La Vie Est Belle, touting it as an iris fragrance, I was chatting with friends about the juice’s chances to not annoy us. The optimists said “Remember Cuir de Lancome! Remember La Collection!” The
said: “Remember Magnifique! Remember they discontinued La Collection! Remember
what they did to Magie Noire!”. Guess
who was closer to the truth?
It’s not that bad. The last decade has seen Lancome do a lot worse than La Vie Este Belle. But if you were expecting either originality or a beautiful iris, this is not the perfume you’re looking for. La Vie Est Belle is a smoother than average fruitchouli, with a somewhat more satisfying powdery floral heart. The opening had me very cranky: fruit, fruit, and more fruit that smelled like eleventy seven other things currently on the mainstream market. It was clearly composed to smell familiar and young, and to entice fans of Chanel Chance, Coco Mademoiselle, and Miss Dior Cherie. I admit that while I deeply dislike all three of these bestsellers, I actually prefer Lancome’s version on this theme. That’s probably because there is something irisy and dough-like in La Vie Est Belle, and it reads softer and more pleasant on my skin.
As the iris-powder-floral heart takes center stage and sets things in motion for the gourmand dry-down I begin to enjoy La Vie Est Belle a little more. I do love me some vanilla-praline base, and at least some of the patchouli there is less scratchy and fruit-saturated. It’s not a great perfume, and not even good, but it’s wearable and better than a lot of the competition. I wish Lancome went all the way for an iris-patisserie fragrance. Then again, that’s why we have Guerlain.
Notes: blackcurrant, pear, iris, jasmine, orange blossom, tonka bean, vanilla, praline, patchouli.
Lancome La Vie Est Belle ($55, 1oz) is available at the counters and online.
Image: Plastik Magazine via trendland.net