Lancome La Vie Est Belle: It’s a Grower

Oh I tried to take a good photograph of this bottle, but it defeated me. It’s very understated, you see, in the flesh. Beautifully designed, but understated. So it just looks like a boring, plain bottle in my photo! Do you know, I hated this fragrance when I first tried it? Lancome’s La Vie Est Belle struck no chords with me whatsoever. I thought it was sickly and old lady-ish. I think, for me, it’s the Iris that does that. Anyone else have problems with Iris? To be fair, Iris wasn’t actually the first thing that I picked up when I smelt this fragrance for the first time; I got Jasmine and Vanilla. A huge, whacking great hit of Vanilla. Vanilla isn’t really my perfume element of choice – years of girls spraying Impulse in the school changing rooms killed Vanilla for me.

But wait. Because La Vie Est Belle is fast becoming one of my most-loved perfumes. (I’m hoping that lots of people hate it so that it doesn’t become too mainstream! But it will – it can’t not. It’s too nice.) It warms to this beautiful, snuggly, sexy scent that is sweet and powdery and fruity all at the same time. It appeals to me in the same way as Thierry Mugler’s Angel does, except that I like this much better. It’s more classic, I think. This fragrance from Lancome is actually version eighty-thousand and twenty-seven (or something) so it’s been a while in the making. Beautiful.

What do you think? Love it? Hate it?

La Vie Est Belle starts at £39 for 30ml with free delivery from

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  1. Mathilde
    September 13, 2012 / 7:10 am

    I actually love this! Although, after testing it yesterday, the girl next to me on the bus obviously didn’t at all, holding her nose and telling people I smelt like a prostitute?! So humiliating. Haha.

  2. Marina
    September 13, 2012 / 7:19 am

    I got a sample 1ml vial of this and whilst samples are not the best things to go by, I haven’t liked it so far… But if it grew for you it may for me (with my 1ml I’ll never find out!) ) For me I just couldn’t pick out any notes and it smelled very “you’ve just walked into a perfume hall” scent if that makes sense? It smelt nice but I just thought it’d have that extra something that I haven’t discovered yet. I think I’ll try it on again in a few days! x

    • Ruth
      September 13, 2012 / 7:27 am

      Yes, that’s how it felt to me at first, exactly! Like it had everything bunged in! But SO many people have commented on it in the last couple of weeks, and I find it very pleasant indeed now! x

      • Marina
        December 21, 2012 / 8:50 pm

        Ruth I had to get back to you on this! It’s grown on me, so much that I’m looking to buy a bottle! I went back to my sample and it just smelt so pleasant, fitted perfectly with my mood and its exactly what I was after. It’s so understated, classy and feminine. A lot of the fragrances I own are very showstopping and each has their own occasion, but this is such a gentle everyday fragrance which is something my collection lacks, as I said, I usually go for the stand out unusual ones. So glad I persevered with this one… strange how our tastes (well, noses..) change!

  3. September 13, 2012 / 9:04 am

    I found this so strong that the smell from a tiny spritz lasted two days!! I kind of liked it, but it’s a bit too much. My hubbie hated it though so I can’t even think about letting it grow on me. x

  4. September 13, 2012 / 9:29 am

    Did I see a tv ad for this recently? A startlingly young looking Julia Roberts was in it.

    Ali x

    • Ruth
      September 14, 2012 / 4:50 pm

      I did! My friend Polly is also in it looking HOT to trot! x

  5. Mel
    September 13, 2012 / 10:25 am

    Oh Ruth, you are funny, I love your honesty, and I’ve had things like this.. (not the fragrance). Things I’ve hated, but somehow, grown to like them.. like songs, fashions, foods.. I don’t seem to use alot of perfume, mainly because everything else is scented.. body lotions, deoderants, shower/bath gels.. I find that unless I’m going somewhere special.. I would end up smelling like a perfume hall.. So I stick to my old firm favourites.. which happens to be Chanel’s, DKNY’s, and amazingly enough, Calvin Klein’s Euphoria.. which I still love the smell of. I find it funny the way they advertise perfumes, especially when a celebrity gets involved, by saying its theirs when you know damn well.. they probably know nothing about making a scent, or that they probably hardly wear it. However us, mere foolish people are suppose to think if we buy it we’re be in some way buying a dream or be like that celebrity..

    • Ruth
      September 14, 2012 / 4:50 pm

      Yes, I suppose that is the idea! Mind you, I’ve never really been affected by the celebrity that’s advertising it…I don’t think? It’s probably subliminal! xx

  6. September 13, 2012 / 10:56 am

    I have a little sample vial of this and it is definitely a grower. It reminds me a lot of Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb xx

  7. September 13, 2012 / 4:37 pm

    I honestly didn’t find this special at all when I smelled this at the Duty Free shop last week. Like others mentioned, it smelled like they just threw a bunch of different scents together and called it a fragrance.

    There just wasn’t that… something special, at least for me. The man was really pushing it on me, which may have been an additional turn off.

    • Ruth
      September 14, 2012 / 4:49 pm

      I hate a perfume-pusher! x

  8. Style Souk
    September 13, 2012 / 4:40 pm

    Hi Ruth,

    Unrelated to Lancome perfume, but…

    I wanted to ask about glycolic acid and, specifically, how long it took for you to notice it working?

    I’ve been using the Olay Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixir for the past two weeks and it seems to be doing nowt, nada, diddly squat.

    Is that usual?

    Sarah x

    • Ruth
      September 14, 2012 / 4:48 pm

      Hmm. I can’t vouch for the effectiveness of that one – though I *think* it’s one that I briefly tried in the spring.. It all depends on what concentration there is and at what pH level, and I’m not positive on what this one is! x

  9. judelovesthis
    September 13, 2012 / 5:26 pm

    Interrrresting! I had a spritz last week but really did not love it. I didn’t get Iris at all, I really love Iris (Prada Infusion d’Iris, I love thee), but felt coated in a sickly, powdery headache-inducing smog! I expected to like it because of the notes, which are all reet up my street. I anticipated something fresher but I am going to give it another go and see if it can change my mind! It sounds like it could be a nice option for winter and I do love the bottle.

  10. Polly Furnival
    September 13, 2012 / 5:31 pm

    I’m in the Tvc!!! Keep your eyes peeled (it’s a blink and you’ll miss me part.) I had the same instant dislike…too sickly for me (I thought), After wishing I hadn’t spritzed onto myself a few hours later I had received 2(!) comments on my scent..I re-sniffed my wrist and found I loved it!! Bizarre x

    • Ruth
      September 14, 2012 / 4:47 pm

      Ha! Polly, you are a doll. I saw you in the ad and you look AMAZING!!!! xxx

  11. Sheila
    September 14, 2012 / 12:54 am

    Hello, Ruth. Since my early teenagehood finding “the” perfume is such a giant challenge, as for me it can almost scan the essence of your personality without even saying a word. So I really take LONGtime until finding the one that really fits me. I’m now 32 years old and Chanel nº 5, Flore (Eau de Parfum) by Carolina Herrera, L’air du Temps Nina Ricci and Truth Lush by Calvin Klein and Femme Individuelle (Soul & Senses) belong to my top favorites list. I’ve used some few others in between, but those are my top 5 and the Montblanc one is definitely on the top of the list. Do you have any advice, or clue, about what perfumes I may like regarding those I’ve mentioned already? I’d really like to try some others considering that most of my favorites are discontinued.
    Many thanks in advance.
    Regards from Lisbon (Portugal).

  12. Marianne
    September 14, 2012 / 9:48 am

    I bought this for my mum as a birthday present. I love th the warm, powdery smell. But for myself though I would buy something with a fresher scent.

  13. Sera
    September 14, 2012 / 4:43 pm

    Im so obsessed to the point that every time i go out shopping on grafton street (i live in dublin) i stop by the main department store (brown thomas) and spray it onto myself and my hair and my scarves just to ‘keep it on me’ for as long as possible! I feel mad everytime i walk in there but luckily they change their representatives hhahahaha so i have yet to be labeled the crazy one but in due time, in due time! I cant justify buying it with tax so waiting for my next trip to purchase it in duty free!

    • Ruth
      September 14, 2012 / 4:45 pm

      Hahahaha!!!!! They must think you’re insane! x

  14. RuthCrilly
    September 16, 2012 / 10:23 pm

    OK, just testing this new comment forum plugin! Please work….

  15. Lin
    September 20, 2012 / 8:34 am

    I actually tried this out yesterday in a shop. As you say, the bottle it self is beautiful! I loved it, and I can actually still smell it on my wrist. I also love it, but as it is for the same mood as my other favorite Elie Saab perfume. I use it for my serious work outfits :) After my Saab is empty, I will do the La Vie Est Belle instead!

  16. July 4, 2017 / 1:51 pm

    I went through the sam feelings actually! Hated it at first. What, another “Flowerbomb wannabe”? But I got this tiny, cutest, bottle sample and thought I might as well try it out properly. It did grow on me. A lot. Amd the number of compliments…really?! Well, I have bought a full bottle now and have no regrets. Funnily enough I think it is even better in really warm weater. When we were in Greece recently it really worked in the humid night air. :-)

  17. Melissa Rosen
    October 18, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    My most worn perfume and I don’t care if everyone else is sporting it……it makes me feel delicious.

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