* Prices may differ from that shown
Group: Woody Spicy
I like spicy fragrances and will test and wear whatever I can get my hands on whether or not it is marketed towards men or women so I picked up Viktor & Rolf's recently released male counterpart of Flowerbomb, baptised Spicebomb.
The packaging is certainly modern and young. The shiny metallic grey and black box houses a bottle shaped as a hand grenade that looks heavy, masculine and quite frankly uber macho.
Top notes: bergamot, lemon, pink pepper, elemi
Well, the composition opens up in a rather undecisive, let alone masculine way as if it had no idea where it is going. The fleeting and ever changing notes I'm getting are sharp and citrusy at first, bland and washing powder clean musky later on, then ever so lightly spiced. There's a definite but fleeting resemblance to Si Lolita equally exploiting the peppery, citrusy elemis note to a weaker degree and in a less well-done manner. Altogether, a not at all promising start with a wishy-washy accord that has the distinct 'dozens of colognes floating in the air in a perfume store' kind of feel.
Middle notes: saffron, cinnamon, paprika
About 10 minutes later, the fragrance finally settles on a relatively sweet and spicy mix. I find it hard to pinpoint exactly what it resembles so non-descript and generic it feels. Some time on I detect a distinct scent of marzipan, like marzipan cake, sweet, almondy, slightly vanillic with a touch of peppery spice. The accord isn't dense or tenacious however it diffuses well during a couple of hours of wear.
Base notes: vetiver, tobacco, leather
The base notes start coming through on my skin in a mere three hours with a blend of mainly vanilla and a sweet, aromatic pipe tobacco note with a hint of hay and spice. I was about to discard Spicebomb as an uninteresting, generic marzipan fragrance when the connection with Tobacco Vanille became obvious and due to the resemblance I actually started appreciating the fragrance. The rich, authentic and almost syrupy, decadent Tobacco Vanille is obviously of superior quality and better blended than here so to compare the two would be like comparing a baby walker to a Rolls Royce. That aside, it was a nice and unexpected surprise only mitigated by the inferior quality and weaker blending in Spicebomb. The staying power was moderate for a men's eau de toilette lasting in total for 6 - 7 hours close to the skin.
There's no denying that Spicebomb is synthetic, boring and fairly banal to be honest. Like most mass-marketed fragrances, it doesn't have a convincing idea behind it, so it doesn't know that it's supposed to be or do, apart from wanting to please the masses. It tries too hard to be something special which it isn't and a juxtaposition of a random number of notes makes it confused, pointless and lacking harmony.
It would suit both genders fine due to its sweet and spicy allure, however, it does not have the staying power that the rich, sweet and gourmand notes would suggest. It's only saving grace is the fact that its drydown is a fairly convincing dupe for Tobacco Vanille, one of Tom Ford's masterpieces I love in his exclusive line. To get an idea, I reviewed it a while ago. Whether or not it's an intended copy, it just makes Spicebomb all the less original and less authentic in my eyes.
The composition definitely fits the gourmand, unisex trend and joins the hordes of no-brainer, synthetic sweet chewing-gum scents for young man / women without a hint of originality, quality or artistic expression. It doesn't live up to its name either but stays safe, generic and a crowd-pleaser without any creative merits. As a drugstore brand Spicebomb wouldn't be bad at all but an expensive designer house like Viktor & Rolf could have really come up with something better.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The RRP for this relatively new release is around £42 - 47.00 / 50ml Eau de Toilette. The 90ml edition costs between £62 and £75.
©powered by lillybee posted on both dooyoo.co.uk and ciao.co.uk websites
Viktor and Rolf's Spicebomb is a highly addictive explosion of spices, built on a balmy, woody vetiver trail. Based around strong olfactory contrasts and presented in a luxurious yet muscular grenade-shaped bottle, this fragrance is simultaneously both rough and refined. The appeal is that it can be many things.