Yesterday, just after lunch, I tried Lancôme La Vie est Belle L’Absolu and could NOT get it off. It’s now Sunday evening. I have had a shower, washed my hands many times and finally, only a bath shifted it. Think cloying caramels and chocolate with a spiky base à la Thierry Mugler Angel, concentrated into essence form and with a staying power only rivalled by a tattoo. I will even have to wash my coat as it rubs off onto my skin every time I wear it.
Lancôme La Vie est Belle has proved to be a bestseller and seems to have tapped into a trend that dictates that it’s desirable for your perfume to make you smell like Thorntons Chocolatier. Personally I dislike anything too gourmand ( with a few notable exceptions) because it feels like I am eating perfume or using food on my skin : my senses get confused and don’t know what to tell my brain.
Lancôme La Vie est Belle L’Absolu was initially a pleasant surprise- finally I could smell those flowers and make out the iris, and… was that rose? With a hint of blackcurrant? Wonderful- for about twenty minutes. Then the caramel barged in and took over, smothering everything and turning up the volume until I was walking home holding the guilty arm away from my side as if I blamed it.
The verdict is this: If you like this, you have a bargain on your hands. Even a small bottle will outlast anything permanent in your life. Staying power is nuclear. Your whole house will smell of it, and your friends will smell like this, and your car and the bus and your children and their friends.
Unfortunately I didn’t like it at all.
Stockists: Lancome La Vie est Belle L’Absolu is available from Sephora.com or Lancome-usa.com or lancome.ca if you are in the USA or Canada or Europe. In the UK, you can buy it from John Lewis, Debenhams, Amazon UK or House of Fraser.