Viktor & Rolf: ‘Seeing FKA twigs Was Like Self-Realisation. It Cannot Get Any Better Than This’

by Hannah Banks-Walker |

Few things are as evocative as scent, whether it's a smell that triggers a memory in a Proustian moment or a delicious fragrance that happens to waft past you in the street. No wonder, then, that the perfume we wear is so important, like adding the final flourish to any great outfit. Few people understand the mythical power of scent better than Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, the creative powerhouses behind Viktor & Rolf.

Having seen incredible success with their FLOWERBOMB fragrance launched back in 2005, the design duo embarked on a 10 year quest to develop GOOD FORTUNE. And it's so much more than just a perfume.

'We wanted to create a fragrance that would be about spiritual glamour,' says Horsting. 'That was the starting starting concept. We see around us that virtuality is something that's very prevalent in the development of society. But people are looking and trying to find meaning inside themselves. So did we.'

The focus on this concept of 'modern spirituality' led Anne Flipo and Nicolas Beaulieu, Viktor & Rolf's perfumers, to discover a powerful alchemy of ingredients anchored in the world of white magic. In fact, the scent's top notes include a never-before-seen combination of fennel and gentian flower. 'The flower was traditionally used to create a love potion,' explains Snoeren. 'We really liked that notion.'

Over the 10 years of development, Flipo and Beaulieu went through a whopping 3,500 trials before discovering the perfect scent, which also has a vegan formula with no animal-derived ingredient. For the heart notes, they added a  Superinfusion of velvety Indian Jasmine Grandiflorum, as well as ethically sourced, creamy vanilla from Madagascar  for the base notes.

Who best to present such a fragrance to the world? Viktor & Rolf could think of nobody more perfect than FKA twigs. 'We went to see a concert of hers and we were very impressed by the fact that she has so many different sides of her that she has so many different skills. She's very authentic, very original,' Horsting says. 'Looking at her at that concert was like self-realisation. Like, it cannot get any better than this. And then we started interviews with her and she's a very spiritual person.'

Snoeren adds: 'It's about becoming the best version of yourself and twigs is a very good example of that.'

Indeed, for twigs this campaign means she's come full circle in a way. 'Before my career took off, I had a job as a beauty advisor at a department store in London,' she says. 'That’s where I got to know Viktor&Rolf as I was a salesperson for the brand. Becoming part of their universe feels like magic, a dream come true. I feel there’s this bond that unites us.'

Of course, for such a bewitching and mystical fragrance, the bottle housing it had to be pretty special. 'After FLOWERBOMB, and the good fortune that it brought us,' the designers say, 'we felt for something spiritual, with a bottle that looks like a crystal ball.' Made with 15% recycled glass and 100% recyclable, GOOD FORTUNE is also refillable, allowing you to enjoy it endlessly. You can even customise your bottle with pretty charms including moon and astrological signs, all of which can be engraved, too.

Horsting describes the process of inventing a new scent as a 'labour of love' so, while the designers certainly have ideas for even more going forward, they're aware that it takes time for these ideas to come to fruition.

'For us, everything is connected and intertwined. And it all comes from the same source. Everything we do expresses the same core values, I think, like the power of transformation. And GOOD FORTUNE is about spiritual glamour. But I think all of our work is about glamour or spirituality. So it's all connected.'

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