No, it’s not some mash-up of the Spicegirls and Tom Jones – Spicebomb is the new cologne by Viktor & Rolf – a sort of male counterpart to their successful Flowerbomb perfume. When the reviews first started trickling in, it sounded like something I would love – bergamot, a bit of grapefruit, and pink pepper to begin with – then a base of tobacco with a touch of leather. However, I’ve read of fragrances that included all my favorite scents, only to be disappointed, if not outright horrified by the end result (hello Prada).
On my last trip to Boston (and, I will admit, procuring Spicebomb was part of the impetus for that visit) I hit up Saks Fifth Avenue, which I had read was offering it for sale. The salesperson there crushed my dreams with one fell swoop when she said it would not in stock in Boston until August. I didn’t think it would be at Neiman Marcus, but I tried, and I even made a feeble, half-hearted stop at Barney’s on the off-chance they had something… all to no avail. The city of Boston did not have Spicebomb, and it didn’t look they were getting it anytime soon.
Now, here comes the “Do as I say, not as I do” part of the blog. Normally, I strongly advise against buying cologne scent unsniffed. First off, because you will never really know what it smells like no matter how many fanciful terms of description they can conjure. Second, even if you have smelled it in a magazine or a sample, it will smell slightly different on your own skin, and everyone’s body chemistry produces varying olfactory reactions. Third, it is far too easy to fall prey to advertising (and yes, I’m talking about the debacle of the naked guy for Zino by Davidoff, the worst fragrance I ever bought and never used).
Still, when all the reviews sound like the perfect concoction of what I most want in a cologne, and the fact that I was not averse to Flowerbomb, I took a chance and ordered a bottle online. I know, I know… but it’s only good advice if I don’t take it. When it arrived from Nordstrom, I pulled the pin of the grenade bottle and prepared for the worst. Happily, luckily, and giddily, I loved what I smelled.