Viktor & Rolf launch Spicebomb

by Katie on February 9, 2012

Where design duo Viktor & Rolf are concerned one can usually always expect the unexpected, except in this case, the rather large clue was in the fragrance name. Horsting (Viktor) and Snoeren (Rolf) have famously appeared on a revolving stage to dress model Maggie Rizer in nine layers of crystal encrusted dresses and, lately, at their A/W 2010 show, dressed Kirsten McMenamy in three times her bodyweight of outfits, simultaneously removing one piece at a time, then dressing younger models in those items live on the runway. Pure fashion theatre.
With this in mind, we were set for some type of surprise at the launch of Spicebomb for men. A huddle of fashion and beauty bloggers gathered in a lounge at The Charlotte Street Hotel replete with roaring log fire and candles, sipping champagne and shooting the breeze on matters occurring post Christmas. We were gathered together to experience Viktor & Rolf’s new menswear fragrance and, true to form, when two Viktor and Rolf clad alikes marched in and courteously and adroitly asked us to follow them, grabbing our coats and bags in the follow me ‘Pied Piper’ like trail, the blog mass teetered through Marylebone’s streets to our secret location where the second part of our evening was to be revealed.
We tripped into the semi darkness of a fourth floor industrial car park space bathed in barely- there red light which was empty apart from huge screens flashing Spicebomb imagery, a couple of plinths with the flacon proudly erect and a velvet roped off area of vast space.
While the ad and music played in the background, we watched a gigantic screen behind the rope and, at the announcement of ‘Spicebomb’, X Factor style silver confetti rained down on us with a huge bang while the fragrance was pumped into the air.  

I’ll be the first to say that the original female Flowerbomb (a huge global success since 1994) isn’t quite my cup of tea with its overpowering Freesia and Jasmine prettiness and its tendency to sweet candy pink puff. Subtle it is not. However, perfumer Olivier Polge’s Spicebomb is quite another matter. Pulling the pin is ‘Da Bomb’ as a rush of sexy, masculine spicy saffron with a chilli kick permeates the skin and tones down to a more comfortable sweet yet leathery handle. There’s a hint of bergamot and grapefruit to sharpen ever so slightly and the ubiquitous pink pepper that makes a show in lots of big fragrances of late.

It is a grower though. Spicebomb manages to balance the appeal to young and old and female and male. It’s confidence is unequivocal.  
I’d gladly ‘hang-out’ with Spicebomb and his ilk and probably do in the Soho confines of upmarket hotel and cocktail bars and downmarket gay clubs I’ve often frequented but this guy has personality and character to add to his well developed physique and good heart. And that, they say, is hard to find. Model Sean O’Pry is the face and body of the fragrance.

Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb is priced from £45 for 50ml to £60 for 90ml eau de toilette, and the full collection includes a deodorant spray, aftershave balm and shower gel. Currently exclusive at Harrods and available nationwide from 7th March.

Event photographs taken by Karen Hatch.

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