The most beautiful bottle of enchanting perfume landed on my desk this week. Lancôme La vie est belle (life is beautiful) in it’s third incarnation, L’Absolu de Parfum, is a delicate floral fragrance that I immediately fell in love with. I don’t often wear perfume, because I consider it a luxury and reserve it for special occasions.
On the other hand, as I grow older I realise that we need to create more special occasions for ourselves. I’m afraid the majority of this article was lifted from a press release, since it captured the descriptions better than I could ever try to.
The “exceptionally concentrated L’Absolu de Parfum” is composed of concrete Iris Pallida, Jasmin Sambac Absolute, Orange Blossom Absolute, and Patchouli Essence.
Lancôme’s La vie est belle Eau de Parfum is a scent that inspired the thought that happiness is not a nebulous fantasy; rather it is a tangible, reachable reality. It has become French women’s preferred perfume, and holds its own among the top four women’s global fragrances. The launch of Lancôme La vie est belle L’Eau de Toilette, a radiant variation of the original fragrance, proposed a new olfactory vision of happiness.
The newest version of this perfume, Lancôme La vie est belle L’Absolu de Parfum, draws out the essential and takes it to sublime heights. Less but better. It celebrates the truest expression of happiness.
La vie est belle L’Absolu de Parfum brings out the fragrance’s very quintessence: more powerful, more sensual and as harmonious as ever, interwoven with sublime raw ingredients. An ode to joie de vivre with a firmer stance than ever.
The challenge for the fragrance designers behind the first chapters of La vie est belle, Dominique Ropion and Anne Flipo, had to return to the essenence of the original composition to render it even more sublime. The very essence of Lancôme’s iconic first tasty iris is transformed into an exceptionally concentrated absolu – one of the most potent in existence today. “To create an absolu de parfum, you have to beautify the notes – especially the middle and base notes, so they become even more powerful, present and bewitching; all the time retaining the original fragrance’s character”, explains Anne Flipo. With La vie est belle L’Absolu de Parfum, the gourmand and iris facets are amplified, reaching their true plenitude.
Characterised by their buttery and powdered root accents, incredibly textured notes of Iris Pallida are heightened to the point of overdose, flourishing with unrivalled refinement. The famous gourmand accord, fuelled by tasty praline and colourful fruits like pear and blackcurrant, alongside the almond inflections of tonka bean, is transcended by a brand new vanilla pod accord. Lifted to majestic heights, joyfully infusing the fragrance with even more elegance, intensity and sensuality.
New ingredients for transcended happiness
The fragrance is transformed by the enveloping embrace of aldehydes – a remarkable raw ingredient associated with some of the most beautiful compositions of the French Perfumery industry. Simultaneously chic and potent, they traverse the entire composition, offering volume and elegance. They energise the top notes with simultaneously luminous and incisive radiance while beautifying and illuminating the most delightful floral absolutes of jasmine, orange blossom and rose Damascena essence. Finally, it pairs wonderfully with iris, enhancing all of its powdered charm.
The essential heart of Patchouli, divested of its earthy facet to offer only its profound and addictive character, gives way to a new texture, caressed by soft, resin and amber-tinged notes of Cistus labdanum and warmed by Cashmeran wood’s warm, vibrant and enveloping note. With its deliciously sweet, rounded and rich notes lifted by accents of balsam, tobacco, spice, smoke and leather, the vanilla pod accord simply adds to the fragrance’s addictiveness.
“The Patchouli heart offers its profound, wooded notes. Its scent carries less camphor than the traditional essence and is more rounded and tobacco-tinged, with damp wood accents. The middle notes are achieved by fractionating Patchouli essence into smaller fractions, before selecting only the most interesting. This helps us to achieve a purer, clearer, warmer, woodier and thus more feminine result. It is not as dark as ordinary Patchouli yet maintains its moving and mysterious side,” emphasises Dominique Ropion.
The historic bottle designed in 1949 by Georges Delhomme for Lancôme founder Armand Petitjean emerges in renewed form thanks to Catherine Krunas, to embody the blossoming of a fragrance reaching the very height of its sophistication. The exceptional glass weight is justified by the phenomenal luxury of this new interpretation of the tasty iris. With all the sparkle of a jewel, it majestically reveals its precious cargo, “The crystal smile,” its vibrancy as if suspended at the heart of the glass. Its precious zamac cap, an accessory in its own right, resonates against the brilliant silver adorning the bottle’s shoulders, the metallic tulle of its symbolic twin wings of freedom and the scintillating threads of its ribbon. Lastly, this exceptional bottle’s shimmering metallic reflections magnify the carmine pink of this sublimely concentrated fragrance.
Lancôme La vie est belle L’Absolu de Parfum is available from October 2014 and the 40ml retails at approximately R1 050.oo.