PARIS — Dutch fashion designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren have poured their latest women’s fragrance into a striking bottled shaped like a bow — a potent symbol of haute couture.
This story first appeared in the January 24, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Called Bonbon, it was unveiled at the conclusion of their spring couture show here on Wednesday night — a choreographed fashion spectacle featuring Dutch National Ballet dancers walking en pointe in flesh-toned latex dresses hand-painted with birds, butterflies, ribbons and plenty of bows.
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“They’re completely involved in the creation,” said Nathalie Durán, international general manager of designer fragrance brands at L’Oréal, Viktor & Rolf’s fragrance licensee. Repeatedly using the French word for “good,” she added: “They wanted a fragrance that would be bon, very bon, twice bon — so a fragrance named Bonbon.”
Bonbon, which means “candy,” is for women celebrating pleasure, self-indulgence and letting go, according to Durán.
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Its flacon and campaign imagery dovetail from the concept. In single- and double-page ads photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, model Edita Vilkeviciute sits cross-legged with a large version of the bottle in her lap. Rows of pink ribbons are painted on the skin of her otherwise nude body.
Horsting and Snoeren, who founded their house 21 years ago, said the idea for the couture collection — tattoolike decorations on second-skin dresses — sprang from the shoot.
Bonbon’s outer, raspberry-colored box, which appears to be tied up like a gift, bears Viktor & Rolf’s signature seal.
Mane perfumers Cécile Matton and Serge Majoullier helped create the new juice, which like Viktor & Rolf’s first women’s scent, Flowerbomb, is a gourmand fragrance. Bonbon’s juice is centered on a caramel note and also includes mandarin, orange, peach, jasmine, orange blossom, gaiac wood, cedar wood, sandalwood and amber notes.
The fragrance will be launched exclusively in March at Viktor & Rolf’s recently opened Paris boutique, de Bijenkorf in the Netherlands and Selfridges in the U.K. The next stage of the rollout is to include Saks Fifth Avenue in the U.S. in April.
In its first year, Bonbon will be in highly selective distribution, not all of Viktor & Rolf’s approximately 7,000 fragrance doors.
“We take the time to build the business; it’s not media-driven,” said Durán, explaining there is almost no television ad presence for the brand but instead an in-store focus.
The Bonbon eau de parfum will be available as 30-, 50- and 100-ml. sprays that are to retail in France for 58, 85.50 and 108.90 euros, or $79, $117 and $149 at current exchange, respectively.
While L’Oréal executives would not discuss sales projections, industry sources estimate Bonbon will generate 40 million euros, or $54.8 million, in first-year retail sales.
Flowerbomb was introduced in 2005 and is estimated to be among the top 16 prestige women’s fragrances worldwide, according to Durán. It ranks fifth in the U.S. and number one in the scent’s specific distribution. In the U.K., it is 14th overall and third in the doors it is in.
Viktor & Rolf also launched a women’s fragrance, Eau Mega, in 2009. Then the men’s scent Spicebomb came out in 2012 and ranks second in its distribution in the U.S. and fifth in the U.K.