Lancôme is calling La Vie Est Belle “the first ever iris gourmand.” (Nobody tell Guerlain Iris Ganache. Or Parfumerie Generale Iris Taizo.) Questionable claims aside, an iris gourmand sounds great! Too bad La Vie Est Belle isn’t one.
I don’t know what I was expecting from a brand crazy enough to discontinue Cuir de Lancôme, but this is a positively typical fruitchouli. That is to say, indistinguishable fruits (the notes say blackcurrant- I hate blackcurrant), a chocolate note straight out of Thierry Mugler Angel, and a sanitized patchouli drydown. When compared to the current fruitchouli standard, Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, La Vie Est Belle is less sparkling and somewhat deeper. I happen to prefer Flowerbomb.
One thing that I will say for La Vie Est Belle is that the materials don’t feel cheap. The fragrance never becomes thin or weak. Still, I wish that La Vie Est Belle was the potentially interesting iris gourmand we were promised instead of this utterly unnecessarily fruitchouli.