Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy & Viva la Juicy La Fleur ~ fragrance review

Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy advert

Somewhere along the line, I lost my taste for malls. Oh sure, I used to enjoy spending an afternoon perusing the shoes at Nordstrom, nipping into The Gap to see what was on sale, and sorting through the pastel lace-strewn bins at Victoria’s Secret. Ten years ago, a lot of my clothing came from department stores.

Then I changed careers, and my income dropped. At the same time, style began to interest me more than fashion. Suddenly, the clothing on Macy’s racks looked cheap and soulless. My curly hair, pale complexion, and midcentury curves would never jive with the streaky highlights and tight jeans that roamed the mall’s climate-controlled walkways. Seeing stacks of the same item on one table only dimmed its allure. Plus, the odor from Cinnabon turned my stomach. The mall and I called it quits.

To me, Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy and its spawn, Viva la Juicy La Fleur, are predictable and one dimensional. In short, they’re mall in a bottle. Yes, these fragrances are serviceable, but they require a minimum of effort to appreciate and present absolutely no surprises. Spend more than part of a day with them, and even Chick-fil-A starts to look exotic.

Viva la Juicy launched in 2008, and its notes include gardenia, honeysuckle, jasmine, caramel, praline, amber, vanilla, and sandalwood. To my nose, Viva la Juicy is sugar syrup, generic white flower medley, a sani-pak of purple juice, and a whole lot of musk. A hint of mandarin kicks it off, but within a minute you have Viva la Juicy’s core fragrance, and that’s what you’ll smell as long as the fragrance lasts. Which is for hours and hours.

I understand musk’s appeal. Just last night I craved some musk. It’s like cheesecake. Sometimes you want cheesecake, and nothing else will do. But after you’ve had a slice or two you’re done for a couple of months. When I get a hankering for musk, I dig around for my bottle of Coty Vanilla Musk or Jovan Musk for Women and satisfy the urge. Musk is easy to love, but it’s also easy to get bored — or even nauseated — with. 

Viva la Juicy La Fleur (what is it with this crazy mix of Romance languages, anyway?) should be called Viva la Juicy la Pêche, in my mind. Juicy Couture’s PR materials say, “Inspired by the blushing aura of being in love, Viva la Juicy La Fleur is a breathtaking new fragrance that captures the dreamy, ethereal feeling of love’s first embrace.” Love’s first embrace must have happened in a vat of peachy shampoo, because that’s exactly what Viva la Juicy La Fleur smells like.

Viva la Juicy La Fleur was released this year. It opens with a sweet burst of peach and gardenia washed over with the juice from a can of mandarin orange pieces. Over the next hour, the peach melds into the sugary musk of Viva la Juicy. But the musk smells cleaner and so a little more like a hair product.

Viva la Juicy and Viva la Juicy La Fleur would suit a fourteen year old, and if a bottle fell into my hands I can imagine giving it to a friend’s daughter to real delight. Once the daughter started surfing street style blogs, though, her days with Viva la Juicy would be numbered. Maybe then I’d take her to a few of my favorite vintage clothing shops — and clue her in to the chic of men’s fragrances, the shimmering softness of iris plus jasmine, the woody retro kick of violet, and few other delicious alternatives to the homogeneity of the mall.

Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur perfume bottle

Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy is widely available and is $70 for 50 ml of Eau de Parfum, $90 for 100 ml of EdP, and $19 for a 7.5 ml rollerball. It’s also available in shower gel and lotion. Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur  (shown just above) is $90 for 150 ml Eau de Toilette.

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70 Comments

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  1. Absolute Scentualist says:

    Oddly enough, I can’t stand the clothes etc. from this line, but have a soft spot for the basic fruity floral from time to time and have a rollerball of Viva la Juicy and Couture Couture. Maybe I’m too in touch with my inner child, but I really like them on a ‘comfy clothes and just bumming around the yard or house’ day when Crepe de Chine or Iris Ganache feel a bit too grand for such occasions. Yes, they’re fruity and forgettable, but they remind me of my early twenties and just being casual and relaxed on days I can really use it. :)

    • Angela says:

      I know what you mean about the clothes–the last thing I need is “Juicy” spelled out on my hind end (although maybe they haven’t made those sweatpants for years). And I also know what you mean about appreciating a simple, easy fragrance.

  2. JolieFleurs says:

    I am at least 30 years older than their demographic and had never even heard of this company til I started reading perfume blogs.

    I don’t like the perfume at all, but I am completely unable….. powerless, I tell you…. to resist the bottles themselves. They are so ridiculously tacky.

    But just when I thought I’d be safe from this one (I prefer my tacky to be blingy, not flowery), you go and mention peach! Peach works really well with my skin chemistry, and my husband loves it.

    I’m guessing there are far cheaper peaches to love, however…..

    • Angela says:

      It seems to me there’s a good, cheap peach I reviewed during one of the drugstore weeks. What was it? I think it was Lady Stetson, actually. If you don’t mind some fizzy aldehydes, you might give it a try.

  3. austenfan says:

    I love the “midcentury curves” ! I am not tempted to try the scents but I don’t think that was your aim.
    Great review all the same.

    • Angela says:

      You know what I mean by midcentury curves–so many clothes these days are made for the straight-up-and-down figure. I have a waist, hips, and bust. Darts and seams that take extra labor to manufacture make all the difference to me!

      • austenfan says:

        In the Netherlands they are actually making trousers to suit the fat adolescents that are becoming the norm. I am not thin but these trousers just don’t suit me at all. The legs are too narrow, and the waist way too wide, and I don’t even have an actual waist.
        What bugs me even more is the inability to find a nice blouse or blazer if you have a bust. It’s an utter nightmare! Rant over.

        • Angela says:

          There’s a brand of jeans here, too, that’s supposedly made for curvier figures, but basically all they do is accommodate a big hind end. They still don’t figure you have a waist. I’m reasonably slender, but I do have a waist. And, yes, I know what you mean about blouses that straight at the bust. I love tailored blouses from the 1950s and early 1960s that hug the rib cage and then have plenty of room around the bust.

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        Angela, perhaps this is why we both share this aesthetic?! I am currently a little larger than that, but for years, my measurements were precisely Marilyn Monroe’s reported measurements! When I learned that, I stopped feeling like a “big girl” and started to embrace my natural curviness!

        I am in a battle this summer with shorts. Can’t find a pair that goes in at my waist to save my life! So tired of having to wear a belt in the summer. (Or settle for them sitting well below my natural waistline.)

        • Angela says:

          I finally gave up on pants–and shorts–altogether. It’s just too hard to find something that fits well. Now all I wear are dresses and skirts, and I love it. In winter I add knee socks and boots, and I wear leggings under my dress when I ride my bike, or if it’s cold.

          • Marjorie Rose says:

            I do wear many dresses. Not only do they get around the annoying pants/shorts issue, they tend to have more options for “the girls.” But, since I still do some hiking and other activities in which I feel odd in a skirt or dress, I am always in search of that rare pair that truly fits in a flattering way. (And as a middle school teacher, I insist on slacks at work. I try not to inadvertently teach certain lessons to my students! Ha!)

          • Angela says:

            Hiking is a little strange in a dress, true. But I’ve done it. I’ve never had to brave a class of middle schoolers, though!

          • Marjorie Rose says:

            It’s true, middle school teaching requires a whole new kind of cautiousness!

          • songeuse says:

            I’ve gone hiking in a skirt a few times too. Actually, I think when it’s very hot or humid out, a skirt (even a long one) can keep you cooler than a pair of shorts, provided the fabric is light and loose enough so as not to cling tightly to the body. I almost always wear a skirt or dress during the summer now, resulting from an internship I once had in a much hotter area of the world where it was culturally inappropriate for women to wear pants. I wore a long skirt every day for a few months and realized I actually liked it quite a lot. So I’ve continued to wear them.

        • Angela says:

          My conversion to skirts happened one summer when I realized that I hadn’t worn jeans in a few months. I thought I’d see if I could make it to the end of the year without my jeans, and by that point I figured I was happier without them.

  4. FragrantWitch says:

    This review made me laugh, Angela. So wonderfully derisive! The mall and I are not parrticularly friendly as I am of the mid-century curve brigade. My hourglass is currently overflowing a bit but I still have a defined waist, bust and hips. (And I am tall) And hardly any clothes that fit them as they should! Grrrr. It’s even a problem with children’s clothes- my eldest daughter is very solid, not fat, just solid ‘farmgirl build’ and all clothes are skinny jeans for toothpick legs! It’s fries my bacon. She’ll have a complex before she’s 10! Rant over.
    My curves are built for silk sheathes and Shalimar and pencil skirts and Femme. And that is that!

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      Clearly we are representative of an untapped market! Years ago, it was a struggle to find cute, fashionable plus-size clothes. That’s pretty well covered, now, but what about the curvy girl?

      • Angela says:

        Yes! It’s time for the pendulum to swing back to the gal with a waist!

        • KateReed says:

          Including us big gals with waists! What about a size 16-18-20 necessarily means that my waist is as big around as my hips and behind? I’m not a freaking sphere!

          • Angela says:

            You got it! I wonder if curvy women are the minority–curvy women of all sizes?

          • 50_Roses says:

            Hear, hear! I am about a size 16, and while my waist is not particularly small, it is still quite a bit smaller than my bust and hips. And speaking of busts, do the clothing manufacturers think all woman are an A or B cup? I am well-endowed, and it is a nightmare to try to find clothes that have enough room up there. Everything rides up in front, and besides, I don’t want my clothes to fall straight down from my bust like a sack. It is so much more flattering to have a taper at the waist. Anything that buttons down the front is problematic, as it will usually gap between the buttons. I have to sew a snap or velcro between the buttons if I don’t want the whole world to see my bra , so I usually stick with pullover, knit shirts and blouses. Add to all of that the fact that I am 5’9″, with long arms, and so long sleeves with cuffs are out, as “long” sleeves hit me several inches above my wrist. Very often I end up having to do alterations on the clothes I buy to make them wearable. When I was in college, I made most of my dresses, skirts, and blouses, so they fit beautifully and I knew no one else would have the exact same outfit. Unfortunately, a full-time job and home ownership leave me too little free time for that anymore.

          • Angela says:

            I have to wonder if it’s just plain too much expense for clothing manufacturers to add a few darts and seams to new clothing these days? If it’s cheaper to drop a seam, they do it. I have vintage skirts with six darts in the front and six in the back to shape the skirt to hug my hips and derriere. Without that attention to shaping, clothes hang like sacks from curvy gals. Like you, I wear a lot of knits for just that reason.

          • Marjorie Rose says:

            Angela, it’s an interesting thought! I guess I just assumed that they weren’t serving my needs based on some “them” who preferred us to look like little boys/hangers than womanly. It’s a whole different conspiracy if it’s about cost-savings! Wonder if it takes not only more resources, but a more-skilled work force?

            @50–based on current fashions, I’m a full size smaller in my waist than at my hips, and that is true regardless of my size–and I’ve been the full range from a size 8-10 to a size 20-22. Only at the smallest end did I find *some* flexibility in my shopping choices. I’m a 12-14 these days (really, a curvy 12), and there’s no love of shopping! Really does seem like there’s a whole body type, regardless of size, that’s not getting the flattering clothes we deserve! (And YOU KNOW fellas would LOVE to see us in!)

          • KateReed says:

            Ugh, too hot to sleep. It’s 3:15 and still 91 degrees in here, *dies*

            Anyway, to ansewr your question, Angela, I think that the problem really is that they’re not designing for women at all. They’re designing for the straight up-and-down frame of a skinny (yep, skinny, not slender…skinny,) Caucasian or Asian pre-adolescent. That’s pretty much the only body type that looks great in most of the stuff thats out there (which explains the ages of most runway models.) It sets women up for continual disappointment and is very detrimental. And frustrating.

            As to saving pennies, yes, you are right the money there. After all, why else would we have had successive fashion seasons of dresses with no freaking sleeves? If it’s January in Iowa and I want to wear a dress, I should be able to find one…with sleeves! Not be told “oh, you just need to buy a little bolero jacket to go with that.” (True story. Made even “better” by how incredibly inappropriate a beaded bolero is for a funeral.)

          • Angela says:

            Even in larger sizes, most of the clothing seems to be up and down! I’m wearing a 1950s dress now, and it hugs my torso and waist, but makes a nice gathered area for my bust and has a full skirt for my hips (and has dangling ties on my sleeves, which the cat in my lap can’t leave alone).

    • Angela says:

      I love that aesthetic! Let’s start our own clothing company. No stick figure models for us. Lots of silk sheathes and nipped-waist blouses!

      • FragrantWitch says:

        Ooh yes! And a fragrance line to go with our fashion house, of course.

        • FragrantWitch says:

          We’d have to call it Sinuous Sirens or some such!

          • Angela says:

            That’s a great name. Or maybe Bodacious Bombshells?

          • Marjorie Rose says:

            Oh, how could there not already be a Bombshell clothing line?! Really, it would be a sin NOT to make it!

          • Angela says:

            All we need is a designer and an entrepreneur to back us. We could be the creative team.

        • Angela says:

          Absolutely! A whole line of them!

  5. teri says:

    I have a 14 year old girl in my neighborhood who dog sits for me when I go out of town. She comes over twice a day, plays with Rockne (my Irish Setter), feeds and waters him and gives him a few treats. He adores her and so do I. Last Christmas I gave her a bottle of Viva la Juicy, figuring that at her age it would be just right for her and it wasn’t a celebuscent. She really took to it and wears it all the time now. So even if it wouldn’t be right for me in my 50s, I enjoy it on her. Maybe this Christmas I’ll give her something just a little more sophisticated. :)

    • Angela says:

      She sounds terrific! And so are you for giving her the Viva la Juicy.

  6. annemarie says:

    I like my local mall. The coffee options are fine and there is a decent sort of bookshop. And both the original bit of the mall and the massive extension feature natural light, and so I don’t feel trapped in a bunker. I know this may be unusual in malls because the idea usually is that you are not meant to notice the passing of time. You are meant to jsut shop shop shop!

    I have no opinion whatsoever on Juicy C., although – is it Peace Love and Juicy Couture that smells a bit like Cristalle? So I have heard.

    • Angela says:

      Your mall sounds VASTLY superior to mine! My mall is all chain stores and chain food counters. The music is vapid, and little carts hustling cell phone plans clutter the halls. I can get better books and better coffee just a few blocks away on Broadway.

  7. Olive says:

    Further proof that things of beauty (your review) can emerge from crap. You’ve reminded me why I don’t want to go to the mall and why I keep coming back to NST.

    • Angela says:

      You’re the best! Thank you. Sadly, tomorrow’s review of Hannah Montana was even a greater challenge.

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        :D Can’t wait to learn more!

        • Angela says:

          Ugh. I saw a YouTube video (since taken down) where a bearded hillbilly type showed how Hannah Montana repels raccoons, and now I get it.

      • missie sue says:

        The mind boggles.

        • Angela says:

          It’s the beauty of life–boggle after boggle.

  8. thenoseknows says:

    Personally… I always thought Viva La Juicy was Incredibly Linear and Sickeningly Sweet and Toothachy! I LOVE PASSIONATELY Juicy Couture the Fragrance and am equally smitten with Couture Couture (like it even more so!) and found Peace, Love and Juicy Very Different and quite Sublime but this one always felt like the odd one out… just made for some Justin Bieber/Taylor Swift mad Teen (and don’t get me started on how much Dreckitude those fragrances are sashaying around dept. stores nowadays!) I agree on everything you said about this fragrance, My Muse, Angela and have nothing more to add! BRAVA!

    • Angela says:

      Gosh, I always love the passion in your comments! With the comment above that Peace Love and Juicy is like Cristalle, I am definitely returning to the mall to give it a try. I should try the others, too–I admit I’ve been lazy about them, but if you say they’re good, I must sniff!

      • thenoseknows says:

        YES! PL&J does have a Cristalle Like Green/Citrus thing going on about it with a somewhat mossy back note… found it Dreadfully Impressive! ;-) Juicy and Couture Couture both give off that Overwhelming Gourmand Feeling But i found those 2 are far more balanced and actually Interesting than the Syrup Rush you find in most Fruity And/Or Gourmand Fragrances, They’re like the ORIGINAL Miss Dior Cherie, without the Saccharine Toothache Sweetness of that! (BTW, JUST whiffed the NEW Concoction of Miss Dior Cherie that is now called Miss Dior, it smells like they REFORMULATED IT AGAIN and i can tell you, it’s NASTY! Like Cheap Hotel Shampoo or something with a Unpleasant Salty Calone-ness to the sweetness…. Not Fun!)

        • Angela says:

          Ouch! That new Miss Dior sounds just awful!

    • juicejones says:

      I think you should copywrite Incredibly Linear, Sickeningly Sweet and Toothachy. If Juicy doesn’t snatch them up, then Teams Bieber, Gomez, Hilton and Spears surely will. Oh, and Dreckitude for Men?

      • Angela says:

        Or maybe it’s time for Ironic Perfumes to launch its new line?

      • thenoseknows says:

        FELL OUT MY CHAIR LAUGHING!!!!!!!! FABULEMENT!!!!!!!! :-D :-D

        • Angela says:

          You heard the lady, get out there and copyright them!

  9. bluepinegrove says:

    The mall: sigh. Angela, you captured my sentiments exactly. I have taken to making all my own clothes, and I’ve been learning how to draft my own patterns. Consequently I can wear dresses, which don’t work off the rack. Plus, I get a lot of comments from people who can’t find a diversity of styles in the stores.

    • Angela says:

      I’m so jealous of your ability to make your own clothes! It’s a marvelous skill. I’m not surprised other people comment on it, too.

  10. missie sue says:

    I must admit, anything with the word “juicy” in the title tends to worry me.

    • Angela says:

      It’s a word best applied to mangos and t-bone steaks, I think.

  11. Omega says:

    Juicy C, seems like the most boring, cheap and yes, mall scent out there. I really don’t like JC and they seem overpriced. You see them all the time at the discounters so no need to pay full price at all.

    I do, however, love Cinnabon. I can’t walk by there, or too close, or it’s game over. I want the biggest bun with the most frosting..make that a few.:). I could seriously eat a dozen buns..no problem..and I know that! LOL.

    • Angela says:

      But they’re so sweet! I know they’re popular, though. I’m kind of surprised they haven’t put out a perfume yet, frankly.

  12. Omega says:

    I meant to say most boring ” ” ” line out there not scent. I don’t like their line at all. Eck.

    • Angela says:

      I know what you mean!

  13. KateReed says:

    Sounds like you look fantastic! Personally, I kind of gave up. Aside from not being able to find much that’s decent, my lifestyle doesn’t easily lend itself to a lot of things. I end up in jeans, flats and button-down or pull-over shirts and tunics (and since when has “tunic” been synonymous with “barely reaches your hip?”) or sweaters in the winter. I’m shouldery, but not busty, and even I have the gappy button problems, which is ridiculous (I’m a very full B.) I suppose if I could get away with no bra or one of those little cupless mesh things…but I’m 36…there’s just no way. If the last underwire on earth dissapears tonight, I will spend the entire day tomorrow jerry-rigging something that does the same job!

    I suppose I could try harder, and go for nice pants and blazers and such…but the exorbitant prices for pieces of just-slightly-better-but-still-unlined-and-with-hanging-threads workwear really just makes the whole thing feel not worth the effort. And what has happened to fabric, anyway? Half the time there’s no body to any of it, everything’s gotten so flimsy!

    • KateReed says:

      This was supposed to be up there under the “I have a waist!” string. Can’t blame it on my phone posting wherever it wants to this time, can I?

      • Angela says:

        It’s hard to line up the comments in the right places sometimes!

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      Kate, I was “invited” to fill out a customer survey for JCPenney a few years ago, and I swear you just repeated all my comments! They made the mistake of asking the open-ended “how could we improve your shopping experience” question! I said that I was tired of cheap fabric that had no support. Even if something fits, much of the time it’s got no sturdiness and projects every little bump and ripple of my body–NOT flattering! And I’d be happy to spend more money if it seemed like I got something better made for it, something that’d really last, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Grrr. Clearly a topic I can wax on and on about!

      • Angela says:

        I had to wear a Penney’s dress as a bridesmaid once. My main memory of the dress (I wore it once, then off to Goodwill it went) was that the darts were lined up on an entirely different place on my torso than my actual breasts. Horrible.)

    • Angela says:

      That’s why I pretty much stick to vintage clothing! The quality was so much better back then. Or I buy expensive stuff secondhand. I’ve gotten spoiled by good cotton sateen and triple-ply cashmere.

      • KateReed says:

        I wish I could find good vintage around here. But it’s all teeny tiny stuff. I don’t know where these people opening those shops come from…this is Iowa. The majority of women here are not stick figures.

        • Angela says:

          Good point! You’d think there’d be some farmer’s wife sized dresses out there. Then again, maybe they were well-loved and worn out.

  14. AnnieA says:

    Random comment time. First, the phrase “Juicy Couture” is just doublethink, as their mass-produced goods are anything but individually crafted.

    Second, it might help to get a good tailor for non-curve-friendly clothes. I’ve had many a blouse and even T-shirts taken in at the waist to stop feeling completely shapeless. Alas, my tailor retired at the end of last year, and I have yet to find someone dependable.

    • Angela says:

      T-shirts are the worst for shapelessness, it seems. Getting a reliable tailor is a great idea.

  15. Lucy says:

    I was just writing on another post that I recently received a sample of Viva la Juicy La Fleur (and thinking how much I disliked it) when I saw this review title on the side of the page. I clicked on it, read the whole thing, and what I took away is…Nordstrom really does have the best shoe department. :)

    • Angela says:

      Ha! You nailed it.

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