Lancome doesn’t do things by halves. Not only did they have one illustrious perfumer work on their new release, ‘La Vie est Belle’, they had three – Olivier Polge, Dominique Ropion and Anne Flipo, all in the endeavour to create the first ever feminine tasty iris with a dainty kick.
The fragrance is sweet. Candy sweet gourmand praline and vanilla sugared almonds with bursts of powdery iris that reveals itself in the sun from the beginning is somewhat akin to a grown up ‘Prada Candy’ who wears chiffon and organza instead of Prada’s out-there pattern fuelled-fest.
Iris is present in the first to last notes but this isn’t a harsh gutsy in-your-face true Iris (conversely, what this writer enjoys), this is iris absolute in kitten fur slippers that breathes femininity from every pore and purrs ‘pleasure is my aim’. This is a woman to be caressed lady-like from first meeting. Sugar and spice and all things nice to catch a Sugar Daddy.
The Iris Pallida is complemented with sublime absolute measures of Jasmine Sambac and Tunisian orange blossom with a dash of Indonesian Patchouli essence to round up the sweetness and ensure a lasting depth. Back up they do, but never quite detracting (enough) from the resolute gourmand sweetness that wraps around the iris. In short, creating the perfect, floaty, wedding perfume for the big white wedding.
Composed of ‘only’ 63 ingredients, the juice is essentially meant to be ‘quintessentially fragrance free’ in the vein of less is more. Still, La Vie est Belle’s signature is it’s supremely feminine aura, its blend of light with girly-woman, sugared drops of knowingness, its tribute to a truly Lancome woman, in this case, embodied by Julia Roberts, the face of the campaign (for that femininity, that charm, that smile) shot by Mario Testino while the promo ad is directed by Tarsem Singh.
Even the flacon is supremely feminine. Tactile with its inverted side on curves and sporting a pale grey organza bow, it has attempted to capture the ‘je ne sais quoi’ of women and is said to reflect ‘the grace of a smile somehow cut into glass’. It is certainly a beauty.
Lancome’s La Vie est Belle’s manifesto may have been to create ‘grace, light and freedom‘ in a scent, noble aims indeed. The writer suspects that adding a dash of wholesome, girly, sugary charm to a sophisticated lady-like fragrance would cater to the needs of the modern Lancome consumer. Brimming over with womanhood, this is a fragrance that wears its heart on its sleeve. My version of womanhood keeps it firmly under wraps.
La Vie est Belle EDP (50ml) £56 is available nationwide (UK) from 1st September 2012.