Viktor & Rolf is targeting a heightened level of sophistication with a new take on its Bonbon fragrance called Bonbon Couture. The scent, which is housed in a bow-shaped bottle similar to the original, is rolling out in select travel retail locations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where the original Bonbon is sold, and will soon be sold at Saks Fifth Avenue. The launch is expected to make up about 30 percent of the Bonbon line’s total sales by yearend, according to Alexandre Choueiri, L’Oréal USA president of international designer collections. L’Oréal is behind the Viktor & Rolf fragrances. When Bonbon was launched in 2014, industry sources projected it would generate about $55 million in first-year retail sales.
The success of Bonbon and its accompanying lotion, hair mist and body powder prompted the decision to follow up the fragrance with another one. “There is demand on this brand to maybe even get something with stronger juice, with more explicit linkage to the couture heritage of Viktor & Rolf, and always, more glamour,” Choueiri said. “Everyone wants newness all the time.” Bonbon Couture features layered oriental gourmand notes, including mandarin, neroli oil and peach accord, with an effervescent top note that results in a rounded, woody and oriental scent. Below the surface there are notes of orange blossom, sambac jasmine and intensified caramel, over a base of sandalwood accord, patchouli, vanilla and caramel and blond tobacco accords. It was made by perfumers Serge Majoullier and Cécile Matton. It retails for $135.
“What really stands out is the beautiful addition of precious wood notes, like sandalwood, which is giving it a much more complete and robust base,” Choueiri said. In addition to travel retail, Bonbon Couture will be sold at Saks Fifth Avenue. The first 100 units in the store sold out in a few days, Choueiri said, but should be restocked in mid-August. At Saks, customers will be able to personalize their bottles with different color bows. The idea is to provide a more interactive, entertaining point of sale, Choueiri said. “They did really a great and very interesting twist basically, in this work,” Choueiri said. “Why Bonbon has been very successful and is very renowned for its gourmand notes and it smells…very generous, very sweet. Here it’s like Bonbon [put] on high heels. They kind of sharpened it more, it became a bit more edgy than before. Bonbon [had a] very vast appeal and a lot of very young customers loved it.…Bonbon Couture is going to add a bit more of a high-heel feeling to it.”