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Following a nefarious example set by Lancôme La Vie est Belle, perfume copywriters have assumed the role of social philosophers. “We live only once,” proclaims the press release for Givenchy’s Live Irrésistible, but I’m not sure why I’d fritter away my time on earth in the company of their fragrance.


Like many of the recent LVMH perfumes (Givenchy is controlled by the conglomerate), Live Irrésistible seems like a focus group driven creation, where the each component is augmented to be likable. Desperate to please, Live Irrésistible heaps together everything that women are thought to like–a sweet, juicy top note, clean florals, and sweet amber drydown accented with cotton candy, all tinted pink. The result should at least be cute, but somehow it ends up as dowdy and bland.

This is not what I expected, because the fragrance is signed by Dominique Ropion, a perfumer of exceptional skill and imagination. At the very least, the fragrance should have been polished. But clearly talent is not enough to battle against Givenchy’s perfumery by the numbers, where the only thing that matters are the sales figures. Live Irrésistible sputters before it even takes off with its fizzy pineapple top notes. By the time it moved into the acrylic roses and dry amber, you forget what the start was all about. The musky gourmand finish where you notice vanilla, caramel and soft woods is pleasant enough, but you can get the same experience in better perfumes.

For instance, you can consider Cacharel Amor Amor, a brilliant fruity floral by Ropion and Laurent Bruyère.  Kenzo Flower releases very good summer flankers in the same bright and sweet style as Live Irrésistible, but invariably much more interesting. See by ChloéMoschino GlamourAvon Tomorrow, and Lalique by Lalique are other options. Alternatively, you can just go straight to the source from which Givenchy looked for inspiration: La Vie est Belle.

Givenchy Live Irrésistible includes notes of pineapple, roses, and amber. Available at Sephora and most Givenchy counters.


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