Lancôme, a brand owned by the L'Oréal group, will launch a new feminine fragrance from September 2012 called La Vie est Belle (Life is Beautiful). The face of the fragrance is actress Julia Roberts, their mascara ambassadress.
The launch recalls the tone set by Magnifique in 2008: it's full of optimism, reclaiming a joie de vivre for women faced with life challenges.
It took Lancôme 3 years and over 5000 trials before obtaining the result they were envisioning, an effort they call "unprecedented"...
This ultra complex formulation is co-signed by perfumers Dominique Ropion and Olivier Polge, a dream team associating two heavy-weights of the industry, with some of the most beautiful fragrances in the world to their credit.
Actress Julia Roberts was present at the offical press launch at the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, saying that “The perfume smells so good, which is the only reason I agreed to it. I believe in smelling good, and as my husband said, ‘people will think this is what you smell like’… It is a small-town girl’s dream to be in a place like this. Thank you all for being part of it”.
The composition is said to be a gourmand fruity-floral. It opens on notes of blackcurrant and pear leading to a heart of iris, jasmine and orange blossom before trailing off with tonka bean, vanilla, praline and patchouli.
This will be an opportunity to revisit the fruity-floral genre, which is often labeled as a facile one. Add a gourmand facet and many a perfumista might start thinking "low-brow pandering to the indiscriminate taste of the masses". Connoisseurs however will prefer to keep their minds open.
The fact that the process to create this perfume was particularly complex is a pointed invitation to stop confusing a genre with the potential of artistry and thoughtfulness it can require and reveal.