I have got to say that this is THE STRONGEST perfume I've ever owned. I own and have owned many perfumes, but this one tops the list of the strongest. It lasts for about three days on me, yes I said 3, it has that much lasting power. Let me tell you, if you're not ready for this, then don't buy it, it can be very clingy. It's sweet. There are some days that I cannot wear it, I have to be in the mood and with a strong stomach to wear it. It can be very overwhelming, so please, only spray a little bit and on parts of the body that are away from the face, like the wrists and the backs of your knees. Not for the office. It's a night time perfume. It's nice though too strong.
La Vie Est Belle Lancome smells, in its final wake, like a synth powdery combination of dusty iris, red berries, powdery balsams and praline. Opening is immediately fruity (pear and orange enjoyable in a more specifically spicy-balmy and smothly powdery way). Smelling the wake from a certain distance it seems to catch the aroma of a sort of ideal Dior Homme Intense's fruitiest flanker but after a more focused test you can detect a more propery feminine trait, a fruitier approach and this standout note of praline (nutty, orangy-berrish and powdery) mastering the dry down (in its connection with synth red fruitiness). I detect a certain soapy/floral/suede-oriented muskiness typically sweetish and feminine (sensual) in perfect tune with a sort of ideal (apparent or real?) "Lancomenade" (synthetically berrish and musky suede-oriented) which I frankly don't crave for and that I pick up as well in scents as Hypnose Homme to quote one from the same brand. There is in particular a synth (kind of oppressive, darkly berrish, tart and plastic) vibe which I detect in several feminine Paco Rabanne's (as Black Excess for her) or in various dark accords a la Renato Balestra Diamante Nero (but in a softer, less patchouli-veined and less gloomy way). In its complex the juice is acceptable (while lingering in the more powerfully synth range) but nothing providing a real sense of class, articulation or mystery to a woman with the goal of impressing the onlookers with a personal olfactory status.
This review is for the EdP.
Top Notes: Black Currant and Pear.
Heart Notes: Iris, Jasmine, and Orange Blossom.
Base Notes: Patchouli, Tonka Bean, Vanilla, and Praline.
I heard so much about this fragrance. According to my on-line research, it is the best selling fragrance in Paris, which I found truly surprising because after all, one can find every Guerlain, Chanel, and Dior in Paris, and all three houses offer outstanding fragrances. I was very curious about LVEB, though, so I pushed myself to go to the shopping mall to test it.
Although citrus notes are not listed for LVEB, I smelt pure citrus upon initial application, and citrus is all I smelt for well over half an hour---perhaps it came from the orange blossom? I soon began to wonder where were the gourmand notes everyone mentions as I could not detect any, nor could I detect any black currant, pear, or iris. Finally, after an about an hour, the base notes began to come through, and I was able to discern some vanilla and other sweet notes, probably praline.
Projection and sillage were excellent. I could see that everyone around me noticed the fragrance on me, and I had only spritzed one good spray on the back of one hand! Longevity was outstanding to say the least. I could still smell LVEB quite strongly late in the evening before I bathed but after I had washed my hands a couple of times. LVEB has tremendous tenacity. I suspect it would last for days and days on clothing.
Unfortunately, I am unable to understand why LVEB is so very popular. I certainly do not think the huge point of sale photos of Julia Robertson is what makes LVEB sell well. Yes, it is sweet and gourmand, which is one type of fragrance that I enjoy, BUT it smelt very synthetic. In fact, it smelt so synthetic that it actually made me feel a bit embarrassed. The only other fragrance I have smelt that was this synthetic was Jessica Simpson Fancy EdP, which I purchased blind and then quickly got rid of it.
I cannot say I hate LVEB, but I also cannot say I truly like it, and I would not purchase it even at half the price. If it were gifted to me, I might keep it just for the pretty bottle, but I could not imagine I would wear it very often--maybe only on exceptionally cold winter days. If I want a delicious, praline fragrance, I would use my Bath and Body Works Sensual Amber every time over LVEB. Sensual Amber smells so much better than LVEB, and Sensual Amber does not smell so synthetic. As a bonus, Sensual Amber is quite inexpensive, too.
Some people have compared LVEB to Angel, and I certainly understand why the two have been compared, but I own Angel in both the EdP and EdT formulations, as well as Angel body creme, and I think Angel is far, far superior to LVEB. Angel does not have the strong synthetic vibe to my nose, either. I cannot say Angel smells "natural," but it certainly does not smell as strongly synthetic as LVEB, and Angel has a lot more development than LVEB.
Therefore, if you want a sweet, gourmand with prominent praline/chocolate, my best advice is to try Sensual Amber first, and then try Angel second if you want to spend more money. Frankly, if you want to keep costs down and still smell fabulous, I think you would be very satisfied with Sensual Amber which is so good that I cannot imagine ever not having it in my collection. As for LVEB, well, I am disappointed in the fragrance, but I am rating it neutral due to its excellent projection, sillage, and longevity.
Sweet praline and various flowers.It is very sweet and long wearing. Not ground breaking but my pleasant to my nose and people around me.
I love it Very mature and sweet. Perfect scent for the Fall and Winter or night time.