Earlier this week I went along to the launch of Lancôme’s new female fragrance, the wonderfully optimistic La Vie Est Belle. It was held in the very glamorous surrounds of the National Gallery’s private chambers and Help My Style’s Darren Kennedy was hosting the event with Anne Flipo, one of the three perfumers who created the scent. (The other two ‘noses’ were Olivier Polge, son of Chanel’s nose, Jacques Polge, and Dominique Ropion, who has created fragrances for YSL and Kenzo…see all the Social Snaps from the event here). I asked Anne what fragrance she herself likes to wear on any given day. She was faithfully wearing La Vie Est Belle on the night but admitted that, ordinarily she didn’t wear any fragrance at all as the nose gets tired and she likes to keep her senses open to inspiration.

We were teased with a ‘discovery room’, a selection of some of the 63 ingredients used in the perfume – including iris, jasmine, orange blossom, patchouli, vanilla and tonka bean. Then the bottle, which has the echo of a smile cut into it. It was first created in 1949 by Lancôme founder, Armand Petitjean, but sat in the archives for the next 63 years…until they found the perfect perfume to put in it. If the smile is the key to this fragrance it makes sense that Julia Roberts is the face of the campaign and the philosophy of the scent is about finding your own idea of happiness and a deliberate move away from the prescriptive bling culture of the last decade. The essence of La Vie Est Belle is all about attitude. It’s an uplifting attitude that wants to remind you with every spritz that, truly, life is beautiful.

LA VIE EST BELLE (EDP), will be available from Brown Thomas Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Galway on August 1, 2012 (€47)

Edel Coffey