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Kate Spade – Live Colorfully: Overview, Smell, Notes & More!

Live Colorfully marked the 20th anniversary of Kate Spade New York.

The brand was founded 28 years ago by wife and husband duo Kate and Andy Spade.

It’s not as well-known as other standouts, but the scent did usher the company into the modern era of perfumery.

The name of the fragrance might sound a bit off considering the scent isn’t made from a plethora of tones (in contrast to a spectrum of colors).

Then again, it’s the simple things that bring color to life.


  • Brand: Kate Spade
  • Fragrance: Live Colorfully
  • Release: 2013
  • Gender: Women
  • Perfumer: Firmenich

Fragrance Notes

  • Top Notes: Water Lily, Mandarin Orange, and Star Anise
  • Heart Notes: Gardenia, Tiare Flower, and Coconut Water
  • Base Notes: Tahitian Vanilla, Musk, and Amber

What Does Live Colorfully Smell Like?

The opening of this perfume is a wave of lilies.

It hits you with an instant freshness that is further enhanced by the citrusy mandarin.

It doesn’t take long before the gardenia paves way for the rest of the heart.

The flower is the most pronounced note with the pink water lily following a close second.

It has a rich, green aroma that comes off as soft and vibrant at the same time. 

The coconut is the most subtle note in the floral middle.

As the scent approaches the base, a much-needed sweetness emerges in the midst of the gardenia.

This is accentuated by the warm, sweet vanilla and amber. 

This all builds up to a beachy perfume that’s perfect for the warm weather.

How Long Does It Last?

The longevity of this perfume is its biggest downfall.

As an eau de parfum, it doesn’t last nearly as long as most EDPs do, an average of about 4 hours at most.

The projection is not very strong either and much weaker than your average EDP.

Despite being a fresh, watery (not diluted) scent, it can occasionally come off as a bit overpowering — but this should quickly fade away.

The sillage here is not necessarily impressive.

However, it’s still enough for you to get compliments!

When Should You Wear It?

This is 100% a spring and summer perfume.

If you have to spray it in the winter, do so for indoor events as it wasn’t made for the cold season.

Warm, sunny days are the best opportunities to wear this scent because they highlight the bright, fresh nature of the fragrance.

The prominent gardenia also shines on summer days.

Where Should You Wear It?

A bottle of this perfume is perfect for casual events.

It’s not ideal for work mainly because of its longevity, but also because of the breezy and vibrant mood it brings out.

This is not an atmosphere you want to bring into a formal environment.

Leisure activities, a day at the beach, or a walk in the park on a warm morning are all activities that suit this fragrance’s DNA.

Presentation and Value For Money

This perfume, as the name might suggest, is one for the free spirit who isn’t afraid of expressing her true self.

She’s fun, vibrant, and most of all: independent.

The perfume is suitable for both the young and old.

A 1.7 oz (50ml) bottle goes for about $60 while a 3.4 oz (100ml) bottle averages around $100 at Nordstrom Rack.

You can find fresh, floral perfumes at a lower cost, so the value for money here is subjective. It all depends on what you’re looking for in a fragrance.

The Bottom Line

The biggest criticism of this scent is that it doesn’t have a distinct feature —︱an X-Factor. 

This is something you can only discover by trying it out as some are, at the same time, impressed by its minimalistic feel.

Regardless of where you stand, Live Colorfully is a perfume that is sure to leave you reminiscing over a day at the beach with the sand between your toes. 

Perfumes that Smell Like Live Colorfully

Here are some alternatives you should check out.

1. Azure Crystal Woman (M. Micallef)

A recent release (2015), Azure Crystal has unique accords like plum and cacao pod.

The freshness in this fragrance does feel a bit more citrusy, but it has similar white floral elements.

2. Delicious Temptation (Gale Hayman)

Delicious Temptation is a more feminine fragrance.

The opening is accentuated by apricot while the floral heart is more diverse, containing the likes of rose and freesia. 

This is easily an all-year-round perfume.

3. Classique (Jean Paul Gaultier)

Released in 1993, Classique is for when you need a sweet alternative to Live Colourfully.

The sweetness is enhanced by scents like orchids and pear. 

It still has some white florals, though it lacks the fresh aquatic aroma of the Kate Spade bouquet.

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