Viktor and Rolf fragrance and fashions
In 2005, Viktor & Rolf entered the fragrance world with Flowerbomb and in doing so truly put this Dutch design duo on the map.
The name of the fragrance derived from their “Flowerbomb” fashion collection show, and it marked the beginning of an outstanding partnership between these two ‘lookalike’ designers and L’Oreal, one of the world’s best-known names in fragrance.
It is said that the reason Victor & Rolf approached L’Oreal is because they could invest in their creativity and had a scientific approach.
Prior to their fragrance debut, which became an iconic bestseller, Viktor & Rolf were not on the world’s radar and were described by the fashion magazine Vogue as ‘part performance art group, part couture house’.
Today, the design duo is synonymous with both creation and surprise together with fashion and perfume bringing together the worlds of luxury and art.
Viktor Horsting & Rolf Snoeren
Viktor & Rolf were formally known as Viktor Horsting & Rolf Snoeren.
They both originated from Holland’s prestigious Arnhem Academy of Art and Design.
They took Paris by storm in 1993 with their first show. Their reconstructed ball gowns won the top prizes at the Salon Européan des Jeunes Stylistes, where many of Europe’s young designers have been talent-spotted. By 1997 Victor & Rolf were showing during Paris couture week.
Their shows quickly became a ‘must see’ with fashion watchers.
Eventually crossing the Atlantic Viktor & Rolf were certainly making a name for themselves making an even more outstanding impression when they hit New York.
They embraced modern glamour but often with a surreal twist on convention, like the show in which models appeared with their hair across frilly pillows, in an attempt to recreate a beautiful bedtime fairytale.
Their ability to create an atmosphere around their collections is outstanding and memorable such as the angel dressed head-to-toe in black gliding down the runway or the ‘No’ Collection, with the word richly embroidered into the evening gowns, and tailored flannel suits.
With this combination of wit and style the pair attracted a superb clientele including Gwyneth Paltrow, Uma Thurman and Nicole Kidman who are among the beauties photographed in Viktor & Rolf.
Their ultimate muse was Tilda Swinton for their ‘One Woman Show’ collection in which all the models were styled to look like the actress.
Not content with turning the fashion world on its head, Viktor & Rolf have done the same in their Milan store with upside-down logos, chandeliers emerging from the floor and chairs hanging from the ceiling.
When Flowerbomb was launched it turned the fragrance world on its head. Traditional top, heart and base notes are not your usual combination, Flowerbomb is a ‘floral explosion’, interacting with individual pheromones to deliver a different sensorial experience for every wearer, always soft and always sensual. Its ‘grenade style’ bottle now favours dressing tables all over the world.
Bonbon launched in 2014 with another truly stunning bottle as you would expect from the world of Viktor & Rolf.
The creators of the fragrance explained “Our challenge was to create a bonbon a la Viktor & Rolf: a couture bonbon, sophisticated, unconventional, sensual, glamorous, on the edge, for supreme pleasure.
Its fragrance is a luscious woody floriental, an addictive delicacy, an haute confiserie. The name itself was the inspiration for the notes with a starting point of a peach flavoured caramel, which the perfumers elegantly dressed through a fruity overture, sparkling notes of peach and orange and a base of creamy woods. The caramel is evoked throughout, clear translucent and crackling in the top notes becoming more flexible and milky in the middle notes and finally darkens to give depth to the base note.
Viktor & Rolf’s masculine creation
Viktor & Rolf’s masculine creation was launched in 2012 and was named Spicebomb.
As Viktor Horsting said in an interview “We were jealous of all the women who had Flowerbomb, and we wanted to have our own bomb”.
Rolf Snoeren added “We felt that if flowers were a typical scent, spices were the masculine opposite”.
The fragrance was created by Oliver Polge at the fragrance house IFF who explained ‘Viktor & Rolf wanted an extroverted, outspoken fragrance’.
The fragrance consists of bergamot, elemis, grapefruit, pink pepper, tobacco, chilli, saffron and leather. Its opening is citrusy, touched with pepper before the spiciness emerges as it is skin warmed.
All the perfumers who have worked with Viktor & Rolf have observed that Victor & Rolf know what they want.
They are attentive and get involved in the process of the fragrance creation, with much collaboration and discussion.
Bonbon’s perfumers stated at the time of the launch of Bonbon “They have a ‘nose’ for fragrance and love to live with it. It is a real pleasure to work with them’.
In essence whether it is a sumptuous ballgown with a twist, or a super-sharp men’s suit or a touch to the skin of an unexpected, sense-delighting fragrance, it is a pleasure to wear a Viktor & Rolf creation.