New fragrance reviews: Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb Extreme, Moschino Stars, Karl Lagerfeld Private Klub, Elizabeth Arden Always Red and Gucci Bamboo

I first sniffed new Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb Extreme EDP (price TBA) at a launch where I’d been exposed to ten thousand million other fragrances so it didn’t make a big impression as my nose was addled by so many other things. When I opened up it at home, however, my first thoughts were ‘Damn, that’s sexy!’

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Extreme
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Extreme

This particular scent has actually been kicking it overseas since 2013, but is new to SA shores and thank God for that. For me, it’s a total keeper. Even my miserable, House MD-like cousin who pretty much hates everything and is impressed by nothing said it was ‘nice’ which is basically his version of handing out a gold star.

As far as notes goes, it opens with bergamot and tea and has a heart full of flowers (orange blossom, Sambac jasmine, freesia rose and orchid) but the base is what you notice right away and what lingers – patchouli, benzoin, vanilla, musk and amber. To me, it smells like a creamy, sweet (but not too sweet) mix of vanilla, musk and patchouli that reminds me a bit of Lancome’s La Vie est Belle. It’s definitely a night time or cold weather scent for when you’re feeling feminine, glamorous and a little playful.

Next up, we’ve got Moschino Stars EDP (price TBA), a white floral with citrus, rose and peony top notes that reveal a lily of the valley, orange blossom and jasmine heart on a base of ambery wood and vetiver.

Moschino Stars
Moschino Stars

On me, after a fresh burst of citrus, I can almost only pick up the lily note. In fact, I can’t think of another multi-note scent where I’ve ever smelled the lily so strongly. It reminds me a helluva lot of the lily of the valley line that Woolies used to do back in the day. (My mom used to be a fan of their magnolia-scented line up back in the day and my sister and I would give her goodies from it every single Mother’s Day and birthday and she’d always pretend to be surprised.)

Once the lily note settles, the orange blossom starts to peek through and then I just get clean-smelling white soap.

Anyone who’s into seriously white florals might appreciate this new Moschino. The bottle, with its big, gold meteorite shower-inspired cap gives the impression that it’s a bold, youthful, possibly even quirky scent, but it’s actually very subtle and mature.

Moving on, let’s talk about Uncle Karl…

Last month my parents got visit my little sis and her billionaire hubby at their spot in St Tropez and hit up all the VIP rooms where they popped champagne bottles with Karl Lagerfeld and co. While that was going on, I was script writing in a tatty tee with a womb that’s slowly drying up, wondering if I should just tie the knot with the next creepy DHL guy who tells me I’ve got a pretty smile. The next day, while my mom sent me what’s apps of Karl and his infamous white ponytail (plus my dad getting a lap dance from a bikini-clad girl in a feathered headdress), I received a bottle of Uncle Karl’s new perfume, Private Klub For Women (R495 for 25ml, R695 for 45ml and R995 for 85ml). Is that an ironic contrast or what?

Karl Lagerfeld Private Klub
Karl Lagerfeld Private Klub

Anyway, I’m not a big fan of the bottle. To me its too big and knuckle dustery. Like the kind of bottle you’d spot in BA Baracas’ bathroom cabinet. But the scent itself is a pretty, feminine, sweet and musky mix that totally belies it’s thug life bottle.

Notes-wise, you’re looking at fresh citrus and pink pepper up top, a heart of rose, violet and creamy magnolia on a bed of almond, musk and cashmere. Something about it reminds me of The Body Shop’s Sweet Lemon line (which I love) blended with sugared almonds or petit fours. It’s the kind of scent that, when I wear it and hug people, they go ‘Oh! You smell nice’.

In all, I reckon it’s a great day time scent for spring, when the weather’s not too hot. (Personally, I don’t like to wear anything sweet when the temperatures start to soar.)

Next up, we’ve got Elizabeth Arden Always Red EDT (R495 for 50ml and R795 for 100ml).

Elizabeth Arden Always Red
Elizabeth Arden Always Red

This was launched at a super fun event in Jozi that involved waaay too many Frangelico shots served in chocolate shot glasses (oh my God!). This way, you could go home crying with a headache from hell as well as sort of hate yourself for consuming five days worth of kilojoules in just two hours. (It was definitely worth it though.)

As for the scent, it’s a sweet, musky floriental that opens with juicy plum, blood orange and passion fruit, has a heart full of sambac jasmine, freesia and rose and then dries down to a sweet, warm base of amber, wood and praline.

I’m sure Arden will hate me for saying this, but pretty much every beauty ed there thought it smelled incredibly similar to Giorgio Armani’s Si – a very good thing, considering Si is a beautiful fragrance.

A sensual, ‘notice me’ type of scent, Always Red is perfect for a night out or a cold, winter’s day. After my beloved summer staple that is Green Tea, this is the other Elizabeth Arden scent I’d be happily wear. I really like that it’s grown up, but still youthful.

Last, but not least, I give unto thee Gucci Bamboo EDP (R835 for 30ml, R1 165 for 50ml and R1 490 for 100ml).

Gucci Bamboo
Gucci Bamboo

A citrusy white floral (but a delicate white), Bamboo is like a sheer piece of white silk being drawn across your skin. It opens with burst of freshness – zesty citrus top notes that serves as an instant pick-me-up. Next, the floral heart emerges, a sensual mix of ylang-ylang, lily (just a dash) and orange blossom and then you’re left with a dry down that’s all about sandalwood, vanilla and amber. There’s the teensiest dash of sweetness here that makes me think of Gucci’s Flora. Or maybe the tiniest hint of Gucci Rush. But it’s miniscule and that keeps me wanting to sniff my arm like a bee wanting to find an elusive crumb of sugar that’s yet to dissolve in a glass of lovely, lemonadey freshness.

In short, this is a scent I want to drown in.

The only thing I don’t adore is the bottle’s colouring. I feel like the lid should’ve been gold and the glass could’ve gotten a pale green tint as opposed to grey. But hey, we’re splitting hair here people. This is a seriously lustable scent!

Seen anything you’d like to sniff yourself? Everything is in store now so get your ass to the shops.

Love, love


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