PARIS — Singer-songwriter Jacob Whitesides is to front Viktor & Rolf’s new men’s scent, Spicebomb Night Vision, which is due out Jan. 26 globally, WWD has learned.
The 21-year-old, from Knoxville, Tenn., has amassed a huge digital fan base after his start at age 13. Today, he counts almost 6 million followers on Instagram and Twitter, who are involved in his art’s conception process and production. Whitesides sources fan’s reactions to snippets of tracks he often shares through social media, and teases new material online.
He has three EPs, one album and numerous singles, and is set to release new music early this year.
Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren said the choice of Whitesides was clear. “The man we envision wearing Spicebomb Night Vision is daring — he is eager to be seen and desired,” they jointly told WWD. “And Jacob’s raw appeal and energy made him a natural match.”
“Jacob is a voice of Generation Z, speaking for a modern, seductive masculinity,” said Guillaume de Lesquen, international general manager, designer brand fragrances at L’Oréal Luxe, Viktor & Rolf’s fragrance licensee. “He has redefined how artists share with their audience and set new standards for how authentic social media presence and off-line interactions cement a musician’s relevance. His voice of raw power, his sense of instinctive independence, his magnetism and modernity made him the perfect fit to embody the sensual, edgy and spicy masculinity of our new Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb Night Vision.”
The new arrival, which is the fourth in the masculine Spicebomb portfolio that kicked off in 2012, is meant to showcase the power of scent, even in the dark.
“It intensifies Spicebomb’s original message of the man’s innate power of seduction and addiction, by placing the focus on undertones of darkness and mystery,” the designers said.
The new eau de toilette was created with Firmenich perfumers Nathalie Lorson and Pierre Negrin.
“We love to play with opposites — it is in our DNA — and for Spicebomb Night Vision, it was important for us to interpret a virile, sensual masculinity,” Horsting and Snoeren continued.
“The scent is characterized by contrasting essences — as fresh as they are explosive, as sensual as they are masculine,” they explained. “The green cardamom, green mandarin essences and granny smith accord lift the danger and virility evoked by the black chili accord and black pepper, clove and nutmeg essences. The warmth and addictive side are highlighted with roasted almond accord, Tonka bean absolute and woody accords.”
Horsting and Snoeren added: “We also wanted to revisit our explosive Spicebomb, and place it in a new light — literally. Drawing inspiration from night vision technology, we reinterpreted our distinct grenade Spicebomb bottle in an emerald green tint of optical technology that merges into the black-colored glass.”
“Spicebomb Night Vision is designed for urban, open-minded, daring, born-digital young men, who see seduction as a game and the night as their playground,” de Lesquen said.
While L’Oréal executives would not discuss sales projections, industry sources estimate the new scent will generate $20 million in retail sales by year-end.
Viktor & Rolf’s fragrance portfolio also counts two women’s franchises, Flowerbomb and Bonbon, and Magic, a niche haute parfumerie line.
The Flowerbomb franchise ranked sixth in the U.S. and 13th in the U.K.’s women’s prestige fragrance category on Nov. 18, year-to-date, according to NPD Group statistics. Viktor & Rolf’s largest fragrance market is the U.S., where Spicebomb and Bonbon posted strong growth last year.