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I spend half the year in Quebec, and I see the expression “la vie est belle” everywhere. It translates to “life is beautiful” and is a popular expression in all French-speaking regions, especially in France. But when I see “la vie est belle,” I think of one of my favorite perfumes ever. Lancome’s La Vie Est Belle. The fragrance was released in 2012 and has been one of the brand’s best-selling fragrances ever since.
You can see why; the perfume is the perfect combination between irresistibly sweet and powdery. While the fragrance is similar to others, such as Flowerbomb, this perfume has a lovely feminine complexity to it that other fragrances don’t have.
- Energizing floral and sweet perfume
- Beautiful packaging
- Notes include iris, patchouli, sugar, and vanilla
- Perfect daily perfume, sweet fragrance that’s not too strong
- Timeless scent that I’ve already repurchased twice
- Men love it (including my boyfriend)
- Long-lasting but not overpowering
- Lancome offers great deals and kits, such as an additional rollerball, lotion, and even lip gloss
- Not everyone will like the overly sweet scent
- Many reviewers say it smells cheap (I disagree)
- Young women’s perfume, not one for mature women
- May not work with all pheromones
The bulk of the fragrance’s top notes are sweet notes. Iris, black currant, and pear are what hit your nose-first. These notes are very simple and provide a clear pathway to the more complex scents in the middle.
A few minutes after you spray the perfume, you’ll get a whiff of the perfume’s transformation. While the perfume is still sweet, you get a complex patchouli and orange blossom combination. Since my pheromones love floral, I get strong iris and jasmine scents. As the keynote, I dominantly smell iris. While this is technically a floral fragrance, all of these scents combine to bring this perfume to life.
While I’m not crazy about gourmand fragrances, they work here since they make up the bulk of this scent. Lancome uses a combination of vanilla, praline, and sugar to carry the sweetness for hours. On me, you can smell the praline and sugar more than the vanilla (because my pheromones reject everything vanilla). The patchouli also carries over and the sweet smell becomes more complex, something like tonka bean.
As stated previously, “la vie est belle” is a common French expression that translates to “life is beautiful.” Lancome wanted to capture the pure essence of happiness and put it into a fragrance. The result is a timeless fragrance that makes you feel happy with one scent. For the marketing, Lancome chose Julia Roberts as the ambassador to the fragrance, since her classic smile can leave anyone feeling good.
At its core, it’s a very simple fragrance. While there are some complex notes here, floral and fruity notes are very simple and flexible enough for day and nightwear. Plus, there’s a sense of mystery here that makes this perfume stand out from your typical body spray.
Why I Love This Fragrance
I think the main reason why I love this perfume is it has a little bit of everything. While it’s a sweet perfume, it’s not sickenly sweet. It’s a floral fragrance, the note profile is complex enough for even those who don’t like floral scents. And it’s a sultry scent without being too musky.
It’s the perfect feminine scent that’s ideal for everyone and every occasion. I sprayed this perfume before going to a prestigious event and even before going to the grocery store. That’s how flexible it is.
I smell a lot of good perfumes. But if I’m spending $70+ on a bottle, it better last. That’s the main reason that drew me to this fragrance. You only need a few spritzes and this perfume lasts all day. I don’t need to reapply at all. I spray it once in the morning or before an event and I’m smelling like the Lancome section of Sephora all day.
Keep in mind, I never measured exactly how long this perfume lasts. Many reviewers say eight hours, and I think that’s a fair estimate. If you want the scent to last from day to night, I suggest buying the rollerball and touching up the fragrance after the eight-hour mark.
Who Made This Perfume?
So who’s the mastermind behind this genius scent? Three expert perfumers created this scent: Anne Flipo, Olivier Polge, and Dominique Ropion.
Flipo is a Master Perfumer (it takes a lot to earn that title). Flipo has also made fragrances for Chloe, Burberry, and Jimmy Choo. She has consistently designed best-selling and high-quality fragrances, making her the mastermind of La Vie Est Belle.
Polge has made 5,000 attempts to create this perfume! He’s now the head perfumer at Chanel, but his resume extends farther than his work with Lancome and Chanel. You can also smell Polge’s creations in Paco Rabanne and Dior perfume.
Experienced perfumer Dominique Ropion also lent a helping hand. He also has experience designing fragrances for major names such as Givenchy and Dior.
All Lancome perfume packaging all looks the same to me. The style is minimalist but chic, featuring clean lines to accentuate the fragrance. The clear bottle shows off the pink liquid. The packaging is finished with a gray ribbon, a cute little final touch.
Actress Julia Roberts is the face of La Vie Est Belle. Since the perfume represents happiness and loving life, she was chosen because of her iconic smile.
The commercial, directed by film director and photographer Tarsem Singh, shows Roberts at a prestigious event where everyone has crystal threads around their wrists. Roberts rips hers off. The commercial represents “breaking free” and achieving happiness. This matches the slogan: “Life Is Beautiful. Live It Your Way.”
Lancome released two other commercials and advertisements for the fragrance: La Vie Est Belle Expression and a holiday version of the commercial.
How to Apply This Perfume
The packaging has a square topper. Simply pop that off to access the perfume nozzle. For this perfume, we suggest applying it to your pulse points. While the wrists and base of the neck are classic spots, the inner elbow and behind the knees are also great places to apply this fragrance. These pulse points emit more heat so the fragrance will radiate farther.
Other La Vie Est Belle Fragrances
Because of La Vie Est Belle’s success, Lancome released different fragrances in the collection. They are:
- La Vie Est Belle Intensement
- La Vie Est Belle En Rose
- La Vie Est Belle Soleil Cristal
I haven’t smelled any of these other variations but I imagine they’re exquisite! Lancome also offers different limited edition La Vie bottles, a variety of other products (lotions, shower gels, etc.), and a bunch of kits. They even offer a limited edition bottle for the holidays!
Even though La Vie Est Belle is one of my favorite fragrances of all time, there are more in this scent category. Here are a few of my other recommendations.
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb
If I’m not bathing in La Vie Est Belle, I’m probably bathing in Flowerbomb. As you can guess from the title, this is the ultimate floral fragrance. But unlike La Vie Est Belle, it’s on the warmer side than the sweet side. Orange blossom, jasmine, and patchouli make up the bulk of this fragrance. Rose and vanilla make this perfume make this more sensual and intoxicating.
Dior Miss Dior
I practically ate this up when I got it. I should get this scent again. While Blooming Bouquet is a lovely scent, I’m recommending the classic here. The Miss Dior we use today is the reinvented scent from 1947. While this fragrance holds a lot of lily notes, rose is the dominating scent here. There’s also a combination of floral and fruity notes here, such as peony and apricot. Wood scents act as the base, enhancing the vibrancy of all of these notes.
DKNY Be Delicious
I never owned this fragrance, but DKNY released it when I was working at Sephora. Unlike La Vie Est Belle, Be Delicious is a great floral fragrance if you prefer fresh scents. Apple is the very first note, but it’s balanced with sandalwood and magnolia. I’m not a fan of juicy fruity fragrances, so this one isn’t for me.
Like La Vie Est Belle, Givenchy’s Irresistible inspires you to “let go.” I like this fragrance because it’s a combination of floral and woodsy, two of my favorite fragrance types. Rose and blond wood are the two dominating notes. But this authentic fragrance isn’t for the faint of heart. While the fragrance is strong, it’s irresistible.
La Vie Est Belle Perfume Review: Bottomline
Lancome’s La Vie Est Belle is one of the most beautiful-smelling perfumes ever. It’s a sweet perfume that’s more on the floral side. However, it’s not too strong, so it’s also perfect as a daily perfume. While not everyone will like this sweet and floral perfume, I also think it’s versatile enough for a variety of wearers. Overall, I highly recommend this perfume and it’s one I will continue buying.