PER­FECT ALCHEMY Vik­tor & Rolf’s cre­ative mae­stros Vik­tor Horsting and Rolf Sno­eren have rein­ter­preted their chart-top­ping de­but scent with the new Flower­bomb Bloom.

Vik­tor & Rolf has rein­ter­preted its chart-top­ping de­but scent with the new Flower­bomb Bloom.

VOGUE Australia - - Contents - By Remy Rip­pon.

When we reach the pin­na­cle of suc­cess, it’s hu­man na­ture to ques­tion what will fol­low. Will suc­cess be fleet­ing? A one-hit won­der? Or will it be the start of some­thing bril­liant? Con­sider a de­signer’s break­through fash­ion sea­son, a crit­i­cally ac­claimed novel, a chart­top­ping power bal­lad or, in the world of beauty, a fra­grance that earns cult sta­tus. It’s a pres­sure fa­mil­iar to Vik­tor & Rolf ’s cre­ative mae­stros Vik­tor Horsting and Rolf Sno­eren, who, off the back of the suc­cess of their widely adored scent Flower­bomb, have been tasked with the rather dif­fi­cult as­sign­ment of reimag­in­ing it.

“It is hard, but what a great act to fol­low,” says Sno­eren, one half of the Dutch duo. “We wanted to give Flower­bomb a sis­ter,” adds Horsting. “Fash­ion artists” as they are mu­tu­ally dubbed, Sno­eren and Horsting have al­ways ex­pressed their cre­ativ­ity by carv­ing out an un­charted path.

In 2015 they made the atyp­i­cal move of turn­ing their back on ready-to-wear to fo­cus solely on haute cou­ture and fra­grance, af­ford­ing them a sense of free­dom with their brand. Like­wise, for their de­but scent – which cel­e­brated its 10-year an­niver­sary that same year – the pair chal­lenged per­fumers to pro­duce a flo­ral scent like no other. The brief? “The ro­man­tic and the ag­gres­sive all mixed in one,” says Horsting. “We started by go­ing to Grasse in the south of France to smell all the dif­fer­ent in­gre­di­ents and no­ticed we were very drawn to flow­ers. And not just one spe­cific flower: flow­ers in gen­eral. So we said: ‘How can we give flow­ers a punch and how can we make it more mod­ern?’” says Sno­eren of the fra­grance that helped tran­si­tion the Vik­tor & Rolf brand from fash­ion and art cir­cles into a mod­ern woman’s morn­ing rou­tine.

Horsting and Sno­eren ap­ply a sim­i­lar cre­ative process to fra­grance as they do fash­ion. “It starts the same way: it’s us talk­ing and ver­bal­is­ing the idea that we have in mind and also vi­su­al­is­ing the idea.”

For Flower­bomb Bloom, the new­est ad­di­tion to the Flower­bomb fam­ily, the duo still imag­ined flo­rals, but with a lighter touch. “We wanted it to be like Flower­bomb, but a bit more airy, a bit more light,” says Horsting, who met Sno­eren while study­ing fash­ion in the early 90s. The new juice, housed in an al­most iden­ti­cal fla­con to the del­i­cate yet strong grenade-in­spired Flower­bomb bot­tle, is still re­spect­ful of its pre­de­ces­sor, but has a new­found punch. With a flo­ral bouquet at its heart – jas­mine and pe­ony ac­cord spring to life on ap­pli­ca­tion – there’s a del­i­cate burst of fresh­ness via pome­gran­ate, which seems to ef­fort­lessly slice through the pow­dery cen­tre. It’s as if some­one’s lifted the lid off the orig­i­nal – it dances on the skin, soft and sweet.

I speak to Sno­eren and Horsting in Syd­ney the day af­ter the of­fi­cial open­ing of their ex­hi­bi­tion Vik­tor & Rolf: Fash­ion Artists at Mel­bourne’s Na­tional Gallery of Vic­to­ria – an archival deep dive into the pair’s body of work.

The pair – who talk, look and even write al­most iden­ti­cally – speak as af­fec­tion­ately of fra­grance as they do of fash­ion and art. While de­signer fra­grances oc­ca­sion­ally fall short of a maison’s fash­ion of­fer­ing, seem­ing de­tached, unin­spir­ing, even oblig­a­tory, theirs feels char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally mea­sured. “Fra­grance was re­ally the rea­son why we be­came in­ter­ested in fash­ion in the first place. As teenagers, in­de­pen­dently from each other, we were both in­spired by per­fume ad­ver­tis­ing,” says Horsting, not­ing that the glam­our and mys­tery sur­round­ing scent sparked their cre­ative pulse. Sno­eren adds: “What I like about fra­grance ads is that they are with­out the dif­fi­cul­ties of cloth­ing or fash­ion: they are only beauty.”



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