Viktor&Rolf’s sweet scents

Viktor&Rolf’s
sweet scents

A lighthearted bottle in the shape of a bow, V&R’s emblem, designed by master glassmakers at Pochet du Courval.

A lighthearted bottle in the shape of a bow, V&R’s emblem, designed by master glassmakers at Pochet du Courval.

Cécile Matton, one of the two perfumers who created Bonbon Couture.

Cécile Matton, one of the two perfumers who created Bonbon Couture.

Under bell jars, raw materials of the new scent: caramel, patchouli and blond tobacco.

Château de La Colle Noire, qui a inspiré à François Demachy le parfum La Colle Noire, un hommage à la rose de mai, fleur emblématique de Grasse.

La Colle Noire château, the inspiration behind François Demachy’s perfume La Colle Noire, a tribute to the Rose de Mai, the flower of Grasse.

For the launch of their rich fragrance Bonbon Couture, the Dutch designers have fun answering our questionnaire.

It’s easy to see why the fashion world would perpetually seek to link up with the world of fragrance. There is a continuity between them, a complicity, a bond as strong as that between Viktor Horsting (born in Geldrop in 1969) and Rolf Snoeren (born in Dongen in 1969). The two Dutch designers are part of a “postmodern” approach to fashion, hard to pin down or pigeonhole. They explode in every direction. Do things in a radical way. Say things like: “Our interest in clothing is autonomous, and not necessarily connected with the body. When we produce an item of clothing, we rarely think about the woman who’ll be wearing it.” So you can imagine what it was like when they broke into fragrances, signing a license agreement with L’Oréal in 2002 to launch a series of bomblets: Flowerbomb (2005), Antidote (2006), Eau Mega (2009), Spicebomb (2012), Bonbon (2014). This fall has brought a new creation, Bonbon once again, but this time Bonbon Couture, more rounded, the brainchild of Cécile Matton and Serge Majoullier.

Multilayered explosion

Multilayered explosion Immediately, this saucy composition hits you head on, boosted by sweet, “edible” notes of caramel, orange, peach and creamy white flowers. Bonbon Couture craftily takes this tactile, gourmand dimension and conceals it beneath more traditional heady scents like jasmine, amber and sandalwood. It’s nearly an addiction, and the creators are totally up-front about it. They highlight Bonbon Couture’s “autoerotic” dimension. Their tactic of organized disorder allows them to superimpose (a thing of our times) impressions, to sow confusion, generate a blessed messand the mind can’t help but be affected. The bottle also takes an unorthodox approach, with the Viktor&Rolf seal emblazoned on the bow. This is not only a reference to the iconic haute couture ornament, but also suggests a circular thought process, a recurring idea. The bow of a dress, a bow tie, a bow for the hair, as a structural detail, ultimately secured; yet the bow also comes undone, opening up a myriad of playful options, both real and imagined. And thus this type of fragrance stirs a delicious confusion in the minds of those that encounter it. Final question: how to tell Viktor and Rolf apart, so identical are they in their dress and hair? One has an open, slightly sardonic smile, the other a somewhat gentler one. But I forget which is which. So here’s a pop quiz to determine who is who.

ROLF:

The “nose” (smell) of Amsterdam…

The smell of freedom.

A bad smell that you like …

The smell of gasoline.

Can the nose lie?

No, there is no language in smelling.

Who is the Viktor&Rolf woman?

Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau.

A place that resembles you?

My DNA.

Your dream trip …

The Antarctic.

A gift to yourself?

Kindness toward myself.

A gift for Viktor?

The moon.

What makes you feel better?

Yoga and meditation.

No respect for …

Hatefulness.

The smell of Paris?

The smell of culture.

Shade or sun?

Both, can’t be separated.

What throws you off balance?

Stress.

And your self-portrait?

VIKTOR:

The “nose” (smell) of Amsterdam …

Can the nose lie?

Deceive maybe, but lie, never.

Who is the Viktor&Rolf woman?

A mystery.

What smell would you like to capture?

Le Parfum des Rêves.

A place that resembles you?

My home.

Your dream trip …

Back home.

A gift to yourself?

A country house.

A gift for Rolf?

Difficult! The agony will last until Christmas.

What makes you feel better?

Talking.

No respect for …

Bad manners.

The smell of Paris?

The metro.

Shade or sun?

Shade.

What throws you off balance?

Embarrassment.

And your self-portrait?

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