KATJA: You launched your new perfume, Flowerbomb, in the U.S. this spring. Back in 1996 you staged a fake perfume launch. You designed a bottle that wouldn't open, accompanied by an ad campaign, shot by the fashion photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. It was a statement that fashion branding is more concerned with packaging than content.
VIKTOR: We were being ironic when we launched our fake perfume, but it also revealed our desire and ambition to actually branch into cosmetics. It was a projection of what we wanted for the future. Our first product is an Eau de Parfum, but soon we'll expand into body and skincare. We're currently working on a men's cologne. There are a lot of possibilities.
KATJA: Is making perfume a very different creative process from designing clothes?
ROLF: Yes. First we had to learn how to smell! So we went to Paris, where perfume was born. We were drawn to the big classics that had lots of flowers, but we wanted to make something modern.
VIKTOR: We feel that fashion is about creating an aura, and that goes beyond mere clothes. Perfumes are just licensed products for many designers. It's not like that for us. It's not separate from our fashion. It comes from the same mind and the same soul.
KATJA: How did you decide to name this first perfume Flowerbomb?
ROLF: We didn't want to focus on one flower — we thought it should be an explosion of scents. Viktor said, "It should be like a flower bomb," and we knew we had a name.
We wanted it to be romantic, but volatile. We wanted glamor, but with rage. We enjoy playing with opposites.
Interview by KATJA RAHLWES/Index Magazine 2005