You’ll Never Guess the Surprising Inspiration Behind This Best-Selling Perfume
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb is potentially one of the most successful fragrances of all time. An immediate best seller, the captivating scent famously took three years and roughly 500 prototypes to create. (Genius—it takes time.) Since Flowerbomb's launch just over a decade ago, the scent has reached cult status through little more than word of mouth. An impressive feat in today's fragrance market, Viktor (Horsting) and Rolf (Snoeren) decided early on they would eschew a celebrity face in favour of a now iconic print ad that featured a veiled model. The idea being that customers would identify with the scent themselves rather than associating it with a famous personality. (FYI, the visual was recently revamped and emphasised with a mini-film.) The Dutch designers openly admit that at the time of conception they cared more about creating a perfume that perfectly brought their idea of a literal "flower bomb" to life, than something that would sell. In Horsting's own words: "Success is a mystery, and we hoped for it, but we didn’t expect it." (And yes, the diamond grenade-shaped bottle did serve as an actual representation of the perfume's unique inspiration.)
According to the duo: "[When conceptualising the scent] we were not really thinking of the woman so much, but the fragrance itself and the name. What does a flower bomb smell like? How can you make flowers aggressive? How can you make flowers explosive? We wanted something romantic but at the same time slightly aggressive—something with an edge. Not just soft and sweet and lovely." Turns out "explosive flowers" smells like an intoxicating blend of heady sambac jasmine, zesty lime and syrupy amber. All of which explains why Flowerbomb (or as we like to refer to it, the floral for girls who hate florals) continues to sell like hotcakes today.