viktor & rolf: 5 posts

Viktor & Rolf Bonbon : Perfume Review

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I divide the contemporary fragrance world into the children of Thierry Mugler Angel and the children of Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue? Well, the Angel clan can welcome a new sibling, Viktor & Rolf Bonbon. A textbook gourmand, Bonbon is exclusively for the lovers of sweet. If you like your cotton candy with a dose of peach syrup, then you’re in  for a treat. If not, then you can count on a headache.

bonbon

When Angel was launched in 1993, its caramel and vanilla overdose was so novel that it at once attracted and repelled. “It’s not a perfume, it’s a flavor blend,” said some perfumers. “Unsophisticated, vulgar, crude,” said others. But after a slow start, Angel proved that it had much more than sweetness and that it could create a new family of perfumes. Today, over-the-top vanilla and caramel are nothing new, and as Bonbon demonstrates, they make a commercial, easy to like scent. We’ve been well-trained by Angel.

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Smoke and Ashes

Please give a warm welcome to Elisa Gabbert, a new Bois de Jasmin contributor. Elisa’s first brush with perfume greatness came in the form of a bottle of White Linen lotion from her grandmother. About 20 years later, she fell down the rabbit hole after reading “Perfumes: The A to Z Guide” cover to cover on a flight. Currently she lives in Denver and is the content marketing manager at a small software company based in Boston. She also writes poetry (with collections including “The French Exit” and “The Self Unstable”) and is a founding member of Denver Poets’ Theater. You can discover her poetry and reflections on other things at her blog, The French Exit.

If we were wired properly, the smell of smoke would read as a warning sign. Yet I don’t associate smoke with Colorado wildfires or the carcinogenic properties of cigarettes and burnt toast. Instead, smoke conjures all things cozy and delicious: passing whiskey around a campfire, worn leather gloves, blown-out candles, the whiff of vanilla pipe tobacco when you pass a dapper old fellow on the street. I love smoke in my food (lox, bacon, barbecue,  smoked paprika, chipotle chiles) and I love smoke in my perfumes.

incense-smoke

Because smoke comes from fire, it’s an inherently warming scent, so as the air gets crisp and I pull out my scarves and fall jackets, I start craving my smoky perfumes. There’s a bit of magic in them – it makes sense that crushed rose petals would smell something like rose, but it’s somehow less obvious that you can bottle the effect of gray wisps rising in curls from ash.

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Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb : Perfume Review

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Vrs

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

After Flowerbomb, Antidote, and Eau Méga, the Amsterdam fashion house Viktor & Rolf has launched Spicebomb, a new masculine fragrance. While the clothing by designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren is avant-garde and edgy, the fragrances feel to me driven mostly by the desire to boost the company’s profit margins. They are well-made, polished, but perhaps stay too close to current trends. Spicebomb is a pleasant surprise in the line up—a fragrance that blends gender boundaries as effortlessly as Tilda Swinton—V&R’s muse—in Orlando and that has a few dark and smoky surprises in its layers.

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Viktor & Rolf Antidote : Perfume Review

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Victorrolf_antidote_1

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

One cannot fault Viktor & Rolf for lacking creativity when it comes either to their fashion collection or their fragrance packaging. The amethyst tinted Flowerbomb is incased in a faceted grenade shaped bottle, while the new masculine fragrance Antidote is presented in an elegant square flacon; its pale emerald liquid contrasting with the ebony black detail on the bottle and the box. Yet, the fragrance inside Flowerbomb was a let down. Instead of the black Victorian gown of a fragrance that I envisioned, it was an ivory satin dress. Lovely and tasteful, but somehow lacking the edginess of Viktor & Rolf fashion. …

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Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb and Flowerbomb Extreme : Perfume Reviews

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Victorrolf

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

In contrast to their avant-garde clothing, with Flowerbomb, the Dutch fashion designers Viktor & Rolf opted for a fragrance with wide appeal. The most controversial aspect of Flowerbomb is its bottle designed as a grenade.  Based on the commercial gourmand patchouli accord first introduced by Angel (1993), Flowerbomb (2005) is a mélange of creamy florals resting on a warm base of patchouli and vanilla. Created by Olivier Polge, Carlos Benaïm and Domitille Bertier, Flowerbomb is a smooth composition, polished to remove the hard edges of patchouli with its facets rounded by sweetness. It does not explode as the name would lead one to expect; it flows like spilled honey.

The composition is constructed to allow the accords to undulate gently, revealing one delicate floral note after another. Sheer freesia is folded into the sweetness of jasmine, touched by the subtle anisic notes and layered with creamy vanilla. …

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