Viktor & Rolf weave their magic into a fragrance fantasy


To those of us not blessed with the talent of a professional ‘nose’, the art of fragrance can seem to be founded on alchemy. The power of scent to transport us to a long forgotten moment in time or to make us feel empowered, seduced, happy can seem an act of pure magic. Dutch ‘fashion artists’ Viktor & Rolf have taken this idea to a new level and spun six magic potions, pairing natural ingredients and innovative accords into unexpected fragrances where notes of absinthe and ink combine with the more conventional florals and musks.

Perfect for those who would never be caught trailing the instantly-recognisable generic aroma of some blockbuster fragrance…

All six fragrance concepts are unisex both in fragrance and design with graphic illustrations and vintage packaging.

Dutch ‘fashion artists’ Viktor & Rolf: “Everyone needs a little magic in this day and age”

Viktor & Rolf have christened each fragrance with a double name, a ‘magical riddle’ which alludes to both the olfactory and magical elements of each:

Lavender Illusion – “the illusion of classic lavender magically turned into a precious flower”. Belonging to the chypre aromatic fruity family, it contains notes of lavender and citrus caviar and has been formulated to give the wearer a simultaneous sensation of hot and cold.

Liquid Diamonds – “the transformation of the hardest precious stone into a liquid”. From the floral musky family, Liquid Diamonds blends delicate florals such as Bulgarian rose, jasmine and peony with velvety musks to evoke the feeling of cocooning, comforting pleasure.

Dirty Trick – “the ubiquity of precious iris and provocative ink”. An oriental leathery fragrance composed of an innovative combination of iris and ink: The ink accord provides a metallic, smoky element which blends with the iris alongside suede and incense.

Sage Spell – “the addiction of sage becoming a transcending plant”. This fragrance uses elements of absinthe and sage to create a fougère aromatic. Wormwood, one of the key ingredients of absinthe, brings a herbal bitterness which mixes with aromatic sage, pink grapefruit, pink pepper and peppermint essences.

Sparkling Secret – “the sublimation of a fusing cologne”. Here, the foundations of a classic cologne are infused with sweet lime and orange blossom to produce a citrus woody fragrance. It also includes some more unusual ingredients: amberxtreme, a “molecule bringing carnal signature” and vanilla bourbon CO2 which offers the purest notes of vanilla extracted through carbon dioxide under pressure and cold.

Dancing Roses – “the captivating dream of levitating rose petals”. Dancing Roses blends rose and cherry liquor in a floriental fruity fragrance which subverts the traditional rose perfume by the inclusion of pink peppercorn and litchi accords, white Cognac infusion, musks and ambers.

Each is presented in a bottle reminiscent of an old-fashioned apothecary flacon. Within the glass itself are tiny bubbles and the words ‘Magic’ and ‘Viktor & Rolf’ are embossed down the sides. Each bottle comes nestled in a drawer case decorated with the signature Viktor & Rolf black seal and grosgrain ribbon buckle, containing an ornately illustrated card relating to the individual fragrance.

Avant-garde Parisian designers Michael Amzalag and Mathias Augustyniak of M/M (Paris) produced the surreal drawings which contain references to the fragrances’ name, ingredients and clues to guess a magic trick.

L’Oréal Travel Retail is casting its spell now at Dubai Duty Free, where Viktor & Rolf’s Magic Collection is being featured in a luxurious magician-style showcase. Travellers are able to experience an olfactory ritual to discover the fragrances one by one.

Clare Austin
written by: Clare Austin
With a background in fashion and beauty journalism for magazines such as Elle and Harper’s Bazaar Clare is a beauty enthusiast whose pulse quickens whenever a new product hits the shelves.