Suzanne's Perfume Journal

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb eau de parfum can be purchased at Nordstrom department store, $130 for 50 ml.

To read my most recent posts, return to Home Page


April 14, 2009:

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb: The Perfume Version of Angora

After not purchasing any perfume in a while, I recently bought a bottle of Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, the perfect antidote to damp spring weather. Like an angora sweater, Flowerbomb is soft and fluffy and irresistibly girlish and sexy. If you somehow managed to elude or resist smelling this fragrance since its wide and prominent launch in 2004, the “soft and fluffy” nature of this perfume might surprise you. The name Flowerbomb would seem to indicate something overwhelmingly floral, but thanks to the scent’s hefty punch of elegant patchouli, that is not the case. Flowerbomb is an explosion of softness; imagine being wrapped in a cloud of flower petals that are more powdery than humid; more velvety sweet than sensuously nectarous. In other words, Flowerbomb is not about the moist vapors of living, breathing flowers exhaling their secrets to the night wind on some exotic shore; there is no skank here, no drama. These flowers have surrendered such powers—they have already been gathered, their luxuriant petals plucked so that you can be buffeted by a blanket of pretty—and they are easier to wear than a corsage of cut blooms, with no stems or leaves to prick you.

There is absolutely nothing scary about Flowerbomb except how much I like it. Most days I would tell you that I favor big heady florals that flamenco dance their way across my skin, and that is still true: I enjoy being held captive by a wanton and willful perfume. But surprise! it’s also quite delightful to wear a floral scent that has the kind of Barbie-doll prettiness that’s easy on the nose. Accessible. Sexy good looks in a bottle. Flowerbomb won’t challenge you (or anyone around you) except to say, “I dare you not to notice me,” with a wink and a smile.

Maybe that’s why it’s a man-pleaser, in my experience. My husband pulled me into his lap and nuzzled my neck the first time I wore this, and it’s one of the few scents in my collection that he has memorized by smell and knows by name. Carnal Flower, Fracas, Amoureuse, Jubilation 25?  Those soaring, diva-like beauties are lost on him, but Serge Lutens Chergui and Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb are two he knows by heart. Which brings up another important descriptor: one of the things he loves about Chergui is its distinctive tobacco-leaf note, and as Flowerbomb dries down, I smell a similar touch of tobacco, though no such note is included in Viktor & Rolf’s official listing. (“A mille-feuille of flowers centered around Freesia, Rose Centifolia, Osmanthus, and Jasmine Sambac, supported by a background of patchouli,” says the company’s website in its perfume description.)

If the scent sounds sweet, well it is, but not cloyingly so, in my opinion. “Like candy floss” is how many in the online perfume community describe Flowerbomb, and though they might mean this in a derogatory manner (some of them do, some of them don’t) I happily concur with their assessment. The fragrance’s airy construction gives us sugar that is sublime rather than syrupy. As such, the sillage is quite buoyant and noticeable without feeling heavy. Like a crochet bikini or, in my earlier analogy, a frothy angora sweater, Flowerbomb is a flirty bit of yarn: a beauty that might be too easy or lightweight for the thinking person, but that is beautiful nonetheless— and which comes with promise of being cuddly and cottony soft.