Perfume Directory

Spicebomb (2012)
by Viktor & Rolf


Spicebomb information

Year of Launch2012
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 561 votes)

People and companies

HouseViktor & Rolf
PerfumerOlivier Polge
PackagingFabien Baron
Parent CompanyL'Oréal Group > Prestige & Collections

About Spicebomb

Spicebomb is a masculine fragrance by Viktor & Rolf. The scent was launched in 2012 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Olivier Polge. The bottle was designed by Fabien Baron

Spicebomb fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Spicebomb

Viktor & Rolf are a fashion duo that since 1993, have put an irreverent and avant-garde spin on the fashion world. Victor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren graduated from the same Dutch school for art and design, but quickly partnered and relocated to Paris where they began to challenge norms within the fashion industry, being laughed at in the beginning for their perceived petulance. Movies like Zoolander (2001) spoofed the outlandish fashion antics Viktor & Rolf came to typify, but the house ultimately benefitted from the exposure and broke into the mainstream by the 2000's, releasing the Flowerbomb (2006) and Antidote (2006) perfumes for women and men respectively. Antidote didn't fare well as a minty aromatic scent among aquatics and was eventually dropped, becoming an overpriced "unicorn" in collector's circles like many other designer scents throughout history that were ignored until they were no longer readily available. Antidote was suddenly trumped up to godhead by hipsters looking to feel special or the few fans who enjoyed it when new, and perhaps that spurred a replacement masculine in the form of Spicebomb (2012). People must have paid more attention the second time around, because Spicebomb has become a phenomenon in men's circles, despite not being gaudy or loud like its name may suggest. In fact, Spicebomb is a late entry into the "Tonkabacco" category that evolved from late 90's/early 2000's tobacco scents, and follows in the footsteps of Versace Man (2003), Eaux des Baux (2006) by L'Occitane, the high-end Tobacco Vanille (2007) by Tom Ford, and the sleeper surpise of Calvin Klein cK One Shock for Him (2011).

Once you get past the silly name, Spicebomb presents itself as a firey and more piquant take on the already-zingy red pepper opening of Eaux des Baux, assisted further by black pepper and chili pepper joining saffron which replaces the cardamom of Eaux des Baux, but beyond that similarity, they diverge. Spicebomb uses bergamot and grapefruit to be overall brighter than most tobacco/tonka men's fragrances, also stepping aside from Versace Man's grape leaf or even the cherry/chocolate tobacco/tonka accord of Calvin Klein cK One Shock for Him, continuing in a baroque direction similar to Tobacco Vanille's late stages. I give Viktor & Rolf credit for having the guts to make this their new masculine pillar in an age when Bleu de Chanel (2010) and its imitators were conquering the segment, considering the perfumer for this is also the son of the perfumer for the former, Spicebomb is all the more amusing with the display of rebellion at hand. The resinous pine/lemon smell of elemi is joined by pink pepper, cinnamon, and lavandin in the heart, which helps tie the flaming top with the rounder base. Shoe leather and an unsurprising pipe tobacco accord merge with tonka that is kept from being too sweet by a dollop of vetiver smoke, giving Spicebomb a long stretch of a callback all the way to Open by Roger & Gallet (1985), which mostly focused on a tobacco/vetiver accord in its development. Spicebomb is obviously assisted by ambroxan and a norlimbanol synth-woods scratch to fill in the missing Tetris pieces, but it's more subtle than recent amberwoods scents that go all-in with those aromachemicals. Sillage is medium-high and wear time is above average for a designer, but something this extroverted is going to draw attention so watch wearing it in work environments unless attention is what you explicitly crave.

Hot "Tonkabacco" fragrances aren't exactly the most versatile items in a men's fragrance wardrobe weather-wise, and Viktor & Rolf were smart enough to address that with an eventual "fresh" flanker. Spicebomb isn't sweet enough for club use and it's tobacco/vetiver elements might make it a good round alternative to Guerlain Vetiver (1961) in formal use if not for all the pepper, so Spicebomb unintentionally pegs itself as a casual wear in my mind. There is nothing "beastmode" about this stuff, but neither is there much gender flexibility either, so only adventurous feminine perfumistas should approach Spicebomb, since it's just so butch. Olivier Polge penned this after his seminal Dolce & Gabbana The One for Men (2008), and this similarly continues his penchant for rich gourmand/oriental tones before taking up the Chanel house perfumer mantle from his father. Anyone who is a fan of the above comparable fragrances is likely to enjoy the scent of Spicebomb, even if the tacky hand grenade packaging is a bit harder to take. I thoroughly enjoy this genre and give Spicebomb a thumbs up, even if I disagree that it's some legendary icon of modern masculine perfumery, since it just builds on stepping stones laid before it by other perfumes. What I do agree with is that every guy within reach of a department store should give this a sniff, as Spicebomb definitely makes a good cold weather companion that differentiates itself from the glut of vanillic, incense-heavy, or ambery sweet scents that usually fill the winter air.
19th December, 2018
Arguably, a living legend in the arena of men's scents.

Spicebomb both resembles and copies many other fragrances, and that's okay! In its own right, Spicebomb has what it takes to communicate confidence, friendliness, and good taste to others with its well-crafted potion.

It has the requisite elements of a brute masculine scent, with the tobacco, leather, and pepper as the dominant notes that get reinforced by deep resinous elemi, earthy vetiver, and of course the opening, uplifting citrus salvo of bergamot and grapefruit. It's suitable for party, casual, and even some formal occasions.

Be ready for others to pay more attention to you, even asking what you're wearing (although most would know after all these years) and complimenting you! :-)
02nd December, 2018
A decent and quite original fragrance when it first came out compared to what else was on the market. Much prefer the Extreme version but still nice nevertheless.
08th November, 2018
hcr Show all reviews
United States
It's pretty sweet but it is a wrist sniffer. In the "dance club" genre, I prefer this to One Million or Invictus. Pretty unisex also, I can't pull this off but it's a decent smell.
16th August, 2018
This is the only one fragrance which i hd repurchased in my entire life....
When i get totally confused on what to wear, I choose spicebomb and it blasts everything
Very spicy but not a headache..
From the very opening to the drydown
It throughs awesomenss to ur nose
Performance monster and sillage bubble is quite enough...
Never gives u headache
Peppery...not overehelming...
Tobacco plays hide n seek....
Loved dis an always do.....
01st August, 2018
always seems kind of funny to review any fragrance that has almost 100 reviews...been there...done's all been said ,and by members with a lot better nose than mine...but, gotta throw in my 2 scants...overall and throughout , this is a leather flavored tobacco accented by cinnamon with a fresh piercing sweetness and an overall pleasant vibe...strikes me as a workhorse type scent...all around for all occasions...just have to adjust the amount of sprays to fit the event...very yang and solid...can see why this seems to have a large fanbase...seems to it the 1 Million type of layout/blueprint/structure...sweet cinnamony flavor over a rougher base...
01st July, 2018

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