From the Editor’s Desk: Legendary Scents – Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb review


     For as much as the Amsterdam-based design duo is known for a completely unique aesthetic and signature style in clothing, they reportedly wanted nothing of the sort when it came to their debut fragrance. “Viktor & Rolf have sold out,” read the The UK Times Online in 2005, referring to Mr. Viktor Horsting and Mr. Rolf Snoeren’s new juice, which supposedly didn’t break enough rules. They intelligently responded: “Fashion is already for a small audience. We like to communicate with as many people as possible.” 11 years later, the same “oh-hum” fragrance in question is still the number one best selling feminine scent in the international luxury perfumery Sephora. I would like to say they succeeded in their mission, negative reviews or not.

     Flowerbomb is a Legendary Scent in my books not only because it sells well, but because it represents the top in its class. Often compared to Thierry Mugler’s Angel and even Aquolina’s Pink Sugar, the juice still stands out in the saturated and star-studded gourmand lineup, and not only because its flacon looks as though it may blow at any given time. Whenever you catch a whiff of Flowerbomb you cannot help but me mesmerized; women, and certainly men, have shown a deep affection for its desensitized patchouli note that resembles caramel with just a safe touch of Valentine’s roses. It graces the skin of thousands the world over.

     The bottle for Flowerbomb is perhaps the only thing about it that relates to its official name. The hand grenade-shaped glass flacon is cut in harsh lines that filter light through its many facets and pink-hued fluid. The bottle can comfortably sit on any of its sides, and indeed lays diagonally in many display cases. The wax seal (actually made of plastic) is attached to the rose-gold neck of the bottle, and the cap fits snugly on top. The bottle slightly reminds me of Ari by Ariana Grande, but as Flowerbomb came first it is not a major issue. The advertising campaign for this fragrance has changed so many times that its focus is not clear anymore. The fragrance can be found in the pictured EDP, EDT, and Extreme varieties, as well as special edition bottles and body products.

© Gil Segev 2016

© Gil Segev 2016

     My first impression of Flowerbomb, going on three years ago in the Helsinki duty-free, was not a positive one. “Powdery chocolate and plastic balloon animals,” I wrote. I wasn’t entirely wrong; the dominant patchouli note here has a certain likeness to Vera Wang Princess’s dark chocolate accord, and a certain cool abrasiveness. But what’s different now is I recognized that Flowerbomb is meant to be just like the others, but with a hint of Viktor & Rolf’s eclectic DNA. It would seem to me that this is the part that the aforementioned review missed. This sweet and only slightly floral perfume is not another Bath & Body Works or Victoria’s Secret wannabe. It is a high-fashion, high price tag fine fragrance for sophisticated ladies with a sweet tooth.

     You can find Flowerbomb for 35% off retail at using the links in the banners on this page. The longevity and projection of its juice makes it a one spray and go situation, and its smell will embed in your brain forever. Go ahead, give it a try – I promise it’s not going to blow up in your face.

© Gil Segev 2016

© Gil Segev 2016

*Prices true at time of writing.

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