Lancome La Vie Est Belle

21 Feb

Warning: Graphic Review! Please do not read if you are easily grossed out by bodily functions. This is a respectful and sincere review.

I am not fundamentally against sweet, mass-marketed fragrances. I am a huge fan of Sugar Lychee by Fresh, and though I’m not sure I would ever want to wear it, I am delighted by the crimson raspberry Jello scent of Escada’s Cherry In The Air. That said, I still think that if you’re gonna do a synthetic gourmand-floral fragrance, you should be mindful of any bitter chemical “aftertaste” that could send the whole composition down the tubes.

Even though I could smell it from across the room before I opened the bottle, I had high hopes for this one. For clarity’s sake, I do not get sidetracked by bottles or titles when writing fragrance reviews and do my best to concentrate only on the juice itself, but in this instance, the bottle and the name were both begging the question: Is this in fact, what makes life beautiful? If not THE thing, then at least one of the things?

La Vie Est Belle by Lancome has a very sweet, ambiguously fruity and floral composition. The sillage is out of this world, and the longevity is excellent. After application and giving it a few minutes to settle, I sniffed deeply into it, trying to penetrate the layers of fluffy pink sugar sweetness and slightly green, slightly powdery and somewhat medicinal CGI florals.

What I found underneath these fluffy layers was a disturbingly bitter flat-line of chemical aftertaste. It was like an even streak of ugly yellow road paint severing this fragrance right through the center of its fluffy pink heart.
…Then I had to drop a #2.

I had to use the bathroom NOT BECAUSE of the fragrance! It was mere coincidence, and I only even mention it because I feel it is relevant to this review. This blog is about good and bad scents, really, ALL the scents, and my seemingly ill-timed trip to the bathroom turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

I was super unhappy about having to scrub my hands with dish detergent after using the bathroom and starting this review over, but while I was sitting there, lamenting this inevitability, La Vie Est Belle still projecting it’s chemical radiance in the direction of my face, something occurred to me.

This fragrance smells nothing at all like life. This is gonna sound ridiculous, but my own refuse smelled “fresh” compared to Lancome’s chemical monstrosity co-mingling in the air. Next to the smell of fresh #2, La Vie Est Belle, is the most inorganic, lifeless, and unpalatable concoction of elements imaginable. Try it and see for yourself.

It’s almost as if it were solely invented by a computer, for computers. It’s as if someone made it with utter lack of regard for our natural chemistry, and instead invented a fragrance for something that didn’t, doesn’t, and never will smell like anything living. While I was sampling, I was actually slightly nervous about my cat getting near it.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not particularly enamored with the smell of poop, but AT LEAST it smells like what it’s supposed to. What began as an inconvenient natural urge ended up serving as a reminder to me that life (and the beauty it’s made of) do not include the realm of La Vie Est Belle. I never would have imagined I would have been forced to make this comparison, but now I am very grateful I did.

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