Viktor & Rolf Eau Mega ~ perfume review

Viktor & Rolf Eau Mega fragrance advert

We are not interested in niche. Fashion is already for a small audience. We like to communicate with as many people as possible.1

That's Viktor Horsting of Viktor & Rolf, explaining the "blatantly commercial"2 appeal of their debut fragrance for women, Flowerbomb. Anyone hoping that they'd go for an edgier aesthetic with their followup, the newly launched Eau Mega, will be disappointed: Flowerbomb, while neither edgy nor esoteric, was somewhat over-the-top; Eau Mega, with its "extravagant freshness"3, is the sort of clean and pleasant and safe thing anybody could wear anytime, and presumably, Viktor & Rolf very much hope they will.

The tag line for Eau Mega is Megafy Yourself, and the fragrance...

...celebrates a new icon of femininity, in the form of a superheroine who, aided by her fragrance, transforms reality into her own universe of beauty and glamour and “megafies” the world.4

What does this megafied superheroine smell like? Well, like melon water and pear, of course, along with some of that FRESH! green citrus that's in everything now and that I talked about most recently in the review of Acqua di Parma Magnolia Nobile. The melon is short-lived; the pear lingers on through most of the proceedings. The heart is soft, watery florals, the base is very clean and very pale woody musk.

Eau Mega reminds me of a number of other fresh green florals of the past year: Versace Versense, Bvlgari Omnia Green Jade, Chanel Cristalle Eau Verte, Issey Miyake a scent by Issey Miyake. Eau Mega, while pleasant and likable, is my least favorite of that list — I don't like pear, but beyond that, I'd say it's the least distinctive of a not-overwhelmingly-distinctive-to-begin-with group of fresh, pleasant, casual fragrances. It's also the most expensive of the lot.

Viktor & Rolf Eau Mega fragrance bottles

The bottle, which they're calling the Megamizer, is cute as a button to look at, but I hated it as soon as I tried to use it. If you were thinking about doing a bottle split or making decants, forget it: it takes two hands just to hold it and spray ("The fragrance is activated by pressing the gold Viktor & Rolf seal. A full nine pieces are assembled together to create this refined glass cylinder, which is adorned with a highly technical golden jewel."5). The poor woman in Nordstrom who made me a sample had quite a time of it. If you don't have to worry about getting the juice into a vial, though, it's arguably fun to use.

Viktor & Rolf Eau Mega was developed by perfumers Oliver Polge and Carlos Benaim; the notes include pear, citron, aquatic notes, violet leaf, basil, peony, jasmine, cedar, cashmere wood, sandalwood and musk. It is available in 30 ($75), 50 ($100) and 75 ($140) ml Eau de Parfum.

1. Quoted in Beauty: Weird science at the UK Times Online, 1/23/2005.

2. Ibid.

3. Via Cosmeticnews; article no longer available online.

4. Via Moodiereport.

5. Via Nordstrom.

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112 Comments

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  1. Daisy says:

    First off….why is she flashing that entire portion of the city? That’s just rude….even Godzilla kept his bits carefully ‘under scale’

    • miss kitty v. says:

      Ok, I’m just going to say it: Is her giant dress billowing out behind her giant body from the force of her giant fart?

      • Zazie says:

        LOL!!

      • norjunma1 says:

        You’d never see Wonder Woman doing such a thing.

      • Dolly says:

        Double LOL!

    • platinum14 says:

      LOL!
      but Godzilla was hiding his bits behind a very visible zipper

      • Daisy says:

        Well, of course he had a zipper on his scales, silly! How else was he supposed to get out his lizard winky when he needed to use the supernatural monster facilities!?

    • Robin says:

      You guys are incorrigible, LOL…

      • Rappleyea says:

        You didn’t think you were running a perfume blog for serious perfumistas did you?

    • Suzanne941 says:

      oh, thanks! How, HOW am I going to walk past these displays now with a straight face! LOL!

      • Daisy says:

        …our work here is done….

        • Rappleyea says:

          Umm…not until you’ve offered to host a split! ;-)

          • Daisy says:

            arrrgggg! you are EVIL. I would….if I weren’t already hosting such a pile of splits right now….oh by the way…I’ll be sending you a sample of Messe de Minuit…..sigh

  2. jirish says:

    This fresh green trend is still quite new and yet I’m already incredibly bored with it. And I like green scents! But I like the ones with pizzazz and presence. Give me Miller & Bertaux No. 3, or Private Collection, etc.

    • norjunma1 says:

      Is it really though? I remember stealing sprays of my Mom’s Calyx way back yonder and that’s as fresh and green as they come. And as you say, it had pizazz in scads, unlike this new crop.

    • Robin says:

      I like some of these. The Chanel is nice, and even the Versace is pretty good. I’d wear the Issey Miyake — that probably ties w/ the Chanel for my favorite. But none of them are exciting, and I like the old-style fresh green — like Calyx — much better. Those scents had “sparkle”, these are all flat.

      • jirish says:

        I loved the Issey Miyake for about 15 minutes, but then it too went flat on me.

        • boojum says:

          I was luckier – the fab part lasted at least a good hour on me before it mellowed into a soft green thing that was quiet, and slightly flat, but still pleasant. Come spring, I’ll probably buy some, just knowing I’ll want to reapply frequently.

      • RusticDove says:

        Please – let’s not ever compare the wonderful Calyx to any of these new insipid releases ever again. They shouldn’t even be in the same sentence together. LOL

  3. Zazie says:

    So melon, fresh, watery florals, clean.
    I think there are few notes that could get me running away as fast as these, and they’re all lined up.
    The watery-florals and the fresh have special power of they’re own.
    They are mozilla-notes on skin that scare everything off until superscrubber kills the monster(s) and sereninty returns.

    I’m mega-horrified!

    p.s.
    The bottle looks great, but only viewed in profile: the golden stuff up there is quite thick and cheap when turned 90°, IMO…

    • Zazie says:

      special powers of their own… (maybe :P)

    • norjunma1 says:

      Y’know it makes me sad in a way. Their bottle concepts are always kicky and at least grab your attention (I know flowerbomb’s grenade did). If only their juices were the same.

    • Robin says:

      Zazie, the bottle cap does look cheaper in person than in pictures, that’s for sure. And it’s true that many of these have more sillage than you’d expect, but the V&R is relatively soft.

  4. Sunski says:

    I’m having a lot of difficulty picturing Wonder Woman smelling like melon water and pears. Maybe something with a metallic note instead?

    • norjunma1 says:

      Comme des Garcons + Stephen Jones!

  5. Pimpinett says:

    Well, at least I appreciate how honest they are about the commercial appeal of their fragrances. It’s a welcome relief from the kind of copy that is attached to so many other unremarkable perfumes.

    • Robin says:

      Their copy is very tongue-in-cheek, and I like it too, even if it uses the usual superlatives. Glamour is not what Eau Mega makes me think of, for instance.

      • Pimpinett says:

        It so rarely is. :)

  6. Seen it yesterday. The SA did not know how to spray it either, it was brand new on their shelf. Then: Banana. Then perfumey. Banana remained somehow. The bottle ist really ironic, I like the V&R concepts. They somehow make fun of it.

    • Robin says:

      Agree…it’s almost like they’re poking fun at the whole process. While presumably going right on & making the same stuff everyone else does.

    • parfumliefhebber says:

      Yep, definitive bananas. No remarkable scent to me.

  7. Dawnkana says:

    Hi R,

    I sampled this also and think it shoul be renamed Eau Mega BOMB or A Mega Bomb.

    Completely disappointed. To my nose it smelled a bit like EL Pleasures. UGH!

    It’s such a light scent that I think they missed the mark with their advertising campaign also. There is nothing glamourous about this scent. I was definitely not “Megafied” by this one. ;0

    For what it is worth, great job on the review.

    ~Dawn

    • Robin says:

      Dawn, interesting comparison! I think I’m one of the only perfumistas in the world that likes Pleasures (although admittedly have no desire to wear it)…at the very least, I do think Pleasures comes closer to “beauty and glamour” than this…this could be the scent of a nicely-done pear shower gel.

      • Dawnkana says:

        Hi R,

        I used to wear Pleasures when it first debuted. I was just disappointed in the Eau Mega because to my nose, this scent has already been before…hence Pleasures.

        V & R will have a hard time ever topping Flowerbomb. Kind of like a one hit wonder. I predict Eau Mega to be at the discounters sometime mid-2010. I am being optimistic. lol ;0

        • Robin says:

          Good, glad to meet another Pleasures fan!

          I hope you’re right, because at this price, this one does not deserve to sell. I fear you’re wrong though, and that it will sell even more than Flowerbomb just because it’s so inoffensive and the bottle & advertising are fun. It’s so annoying that it isn’t possible to find out definitively how well a fragrance sold!

          • alltheprettythings says:

            I don’t have exact numbers, but Flower Bomb consistently ranks in the top 3 sellers chain-wide at Nordstrom.

            I bet Eau Mega is going to be as big a seller. V&R is a huge draw.

          • Robin says:

            Thanks!

          • Rappleyea says:

            Alltheprettythings – I really enjoy getting the “inside information” and your take from the retail perspective. Thanks!

      • Butterscotch says:

        My grandmother wears pleasurs i like it when i smell it but i would never ever wear it!

  8. I can’t help thinking “super size me!” when I see “mega-fy.” Strikes me as an entirely unlikely sell to the usual eating disordered fashionista crowd. Unless, maybe, it’s a subliminal thing? They’d all really rather be enormous! It would go a a ways toward explaining the super-sweet gourmand trend…

    • Robin says:

      I don’t know. Maybe it will sell on the bottle & aspirational price alone?

  9. aleta says:

    I lost all respect for Viktor & Rolf fragrance when I read “Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster” by Dana Thomas. In the chapter on perfume, Thomas explained how labs compete for perfume jobs from brands (which was news to me – I thought they hired noses for the most part) but if a lab really believes in a scent they make their spin match what the company is looking for. Thomas’s example – L’Oreal sat on a scent for three years until Viktor & Rolf chose it for Flowerbomb. No wonder it smells nothing like an explosion of flowers, they didn’t exactly set out to create their juice >:(

    • Robin says:

      I read that too…but it’s no reason to lose respect for V&R in particular — it’s how the whole (mainstream perfume) system works. Or another way to put it is that in all fairness, you can’t respect *any* of the mainstream brands then :-)

      • aleta says:

        I guess for me it’s really just that this system works generally, if clumsily, for most mainstream perfumes. A company says it wants a beachy thing, you end up with something watery or coconutty or tropical flowery. V&R talked up the whole exploding flowers idea from the beginning but their juice is nothing but steamroller cupcakes on me. The disconnect always irked me, but doubly so after this. I guess I just feel like a company shouldn’t sell me a story that so staggeringly has nothing to do with their product. Other perfumes are guilty too, but I guess V&R take the brunt of my feelings because I appreciate them as designers and they seemed like they really thought about the project. But again, no flowers on my skin after a spritz of Flowerbomb. That said, all this aside I do really like the fragrance.

        • Robin says:

          “Steamroller cupcakes” — perfect description! But it really is better than most such things. I can see being disappointed if you really admire V&R though.

        • Daisy says:

          ohmigosh….”steamroller cupcakes”!!! mind if I borrow that term sometime?

          • aleta says:

            lol, go for it :)

  10. AnnS says:

    I got a sample of this enclosed with a recent frag order. I didn’t know anything about it, so I decided to test a tiny bit to check it out. And yes, it is not remarkable at all but it doesn’t smell bad either. Just mega “khaki pants” of the fragrance world. I can see that the concept will do well with anyone who doesn’t really want to smell like much. It is a very clean musk type thing. It would be a good stash in a locker room for people who don’t have time to shower. And I think men could wear it too, that’s how generic it is.

    • Robin says:

      Yes, I think anyone could wear it too…anyone who would use pear shower gel. “Khaki pants” is the perfect description.

  11. Joe says:

    I was really pleased by how much I liked Eau Verte. The genre is more suited to warm weather, but I’m wondering if I might like this since I really enjoy a well-executed pear note (key phrase: well-executed). Otherwise, it doesn’t sound special, though I will admit I really do like a green, fresh fragrance for daytime/office wear. I should wander around looking for a tester; and for that matter, I’ve never tried Flowerbomb. Just noticed though, this is a lot pricier than I’d expect!

    • Robin says:

      Joe, I do think it’s well executed…but $100 for 50 ml seems offensive for a well executed pear, you know? IMHO the Cristalle Eau Verte is both a better scent and a better deal $-wise.

      • Joe says:

        I’d be happy if I could find a reasonably-priced scent that replicated the smell of Kiss My Face pear soap and that had semi-decent longevity. I’m reminded that I need to try Petite Cherie again.

        • Robin says:

          Oh, I do like Petite Cherie! That one is not the pear-bomb that this one is though…I mean, I don’t smell it and think to myself PEAR! as I do with this one.

    • AnnS says:

      Joe – I have an eau Mega and an eau Verte with your name on them.

  12. Karin says:

    Why am I not surprised? I suppose the larger fragrance companies are too afraid to gamble with a unique scent that breaks the mold – much easier to create a clone of a current trend and throw it out to the masses. Where’s that next Giorgio or Angel, and which company is daring enough to try it? They’re love it or hate it scents to be sure, but sales are on par with the Pleasures and Acqua di Gios of the fragrance world, I’m sure. Where’s that next underground hit??? Is niche our only savior? Versense, Flora, Parisienne, Eau Mega, A Scent, Essence, etc. – all seem like one big BLUR to me.

    • Robin says:

      Perfume funds fashion, that’s all: it is just not worth risking your cash cow, and I would guess that’s more true than ever in today’s economy. It makes me more respectful than ever of companies like Comme des Garcons.

      • Karin says:

        And we LOVE fashion, though I surely don’t have the budget to buy designer anything! Just satisfy my craving by looking at ads in the mags and watching Project Runway. Ha!

  13. jonr951 says:

    I found this one to be to fruity sweet for a guy to wear? Maybe Im alone on this one. Yeah as much as Im n luv w/ V&R, Eau Mega is no Flowerbomb and I cant see myself payin all that for such a been-there-done-that scent. Maybe as a gift but not from my own pocket. And oh yes on the Petite Cherie! I luv it and I find its more green then Eau Mega. Id pay up for that one over Eau Mega anyday.

    • Robin says:

      Really, that sweet?? Oh well, PC is a better scent anyway!

  14. Dolly says:

    Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman! Or maybe Miss Kitty would like to add-Attack Of The 50 Foot Broken Wind!(Putting tongue in cheek). Anyhow, the mention of melons and aquatics kind of scare me. I just can’t disassociate them from those Parfum de Coeur body sprays for 3.99. Cringing.

    • fleurdelys says:

      THAT’S the title I was trying to remember. And looking at the original 50-foot woman (see poster on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1755484928/tt0051380), she’s not the type to wear some wimpy melon-pear-aquatic juice! AND she looks like she’s wearing shorts, so she’s politely keeping her naughty bits covered from the prying eyes of those drivers.

      • Tama says:

        She’s actually not wearing shorts – more a big sheet fashioned into a skirt.

        • fleurdelys says:

          Oh well, hope she made a very large pair of panties out of a sail or something.

    • Robin says:

      Oh, this scent is a million times better than that. Still not worth $100 though!

  15. RusticDove says:

    I thought I wanted to sample this, but with a list including several problematic notes for me – melon, peony, aquatics – never mind.

  16. Abyss says:

    “We are not interested in niche”. Heh, well at least they are honest.
    How long until someone admits that they are only trying to make some cash :D

    Thanks for the review, Robin!

    • Robin says:

      Yeah, I’m waiting for that! “We don’t care what it smells like, just so long as it foots the bill so we can keep doing couture”.

  17. Kari says:

    Superheroes in fragrance! Now that’s an idea I haven’t seen yet…

    Wonderwoman: strong, recognizable, Angel.
    Lois Lane: a closet fan of Uncle Serge, maybe? SL Daim Blonde.
    MJ from Spiderman: L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage D’enfer.
    from Xmen:
    Storm: JAR Bolt of Lightning, obviously.
    Jean Grey: she’s not a HG type, but often reaches for Frederic Malle’s Une Rose and SL Ambre Sultan
    Rogue: totally addicted to Britney Spears’ Fantasy.

    Catwoman: CB IHP Black March.
    Elektra: SIP Fire & Cream
    Mystique: L’A P Dzing!
    Princess Leia: I’m thinking Body Shop White Musk?
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer: in HS Buffy wore Aquolina Pink Sugar and then probably experimented with Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
    Lara Croft: I haven’t tried it yet but Havana Vanille sounds like it would fit.

    • Abyss says:

      Catwoman would wear Jicky (extrait), surely? ;)

      • Kari says:

        too true.

      • miss kitty v. says:

        I can actually see Catwoman in something by CdG–the weirder the better.

        And Wonder Woman as a comic book character may wear Angel, I suppose, but I can only imagine Lynda Carter in something lush and classic, like Mitsouko.

        • Kari says:

          Which CdG? I’ve only tried the White one so I’m very curious about the whole line. I actually thought about the Incense line but I couldn’t see Catwoman in any kind of churchy incense. Maybe one that’s very dark with some leather, if that exists?

        • Joe says:

          I could see Catwoman in Pamplelune. Just sayin’. ;)

          • Kari says:

            is that the magical Catwoman “pheromones”?

    • Robin says:

      Nice list!

    • lsnuing says:

      Great list! Agree on TBS’s White Musk for Princess Leia, she looks like a ‘clean’ musk type!

  18. prism says:

    reminded me of a fresher Daisy… if memory serves me right

    might need to try again, but i found it rather pleasant

    • Robin says:

      I’d vote for “rather pleasant”, sure.

  19. Tama says:

    I saw this in the store the other day but took one look at the bottle and knew it would somehow wind up in my eye so I gave it a pass. Sounds like I didn’t really need to smell it anyway.

    Flowerbomb was my last pre-NST perfume purchase (had some credit from a Versace I didn’t like) and I wear it from time to time. I mostly get annoyed with their gift packaging – so not environmentally conscious – a tiny bottle of perfume in a package the size of a hatbox!

    • Robin says:

      Yeah. The bulb atomizer method is not for klutzes like you & me. I usually eat it rather than getting in my eye.

    • alltheprettythings says:

      The concept behind the hat box (or the previous take-out style container with fan) is that you can use it to display FB and/or repurpose it. Yes, it’s still wasteful. We had a group of RISD students that came in to study examples of wasteful packaging, and FB and Juicy Couture were their favorite examples.

  20. lsnuing says:

    I LOVE Versense, so that may bode well for this one!

    I am not sure about the gold colour scheme though – somehow it doesn’t scream ‘fresh’ to me. Gold brings to mind middle eastern smells: spices, oud, incense…

    • Robin says:

      You’ll have to let me know what you think. I thought Versense was nice…all that warm cardamom. This just doesn’t seem as interesting to me.

  21. pyramus says:

    The bottle (at least in the pictures) is stunning and the ad just kills, but the scents itself sounds like grim death. With the exceedingly clever name and the golden aura, I was expecting a big showy oriental, not some demure eau de floramelon. I don’t think I’ll be sampling this one.

    • Robin says:

      “Grim death” I think I’d reserve for something worse than this, but there’s something awfully cynical about charging $100 for something that smells like pear shower gel.

  22. Belle says:

    One of my all-time fave perfumes is Omnia Crystalline by Bulgari, which has a distinct note of Japanese nashi pear. It also has aquatic notes like Eau Mega. I’d be interested to see if they smell at all alike!

    • Robin says:

      I like Omnia Crystalline! And much better than this.

  23. hongkongmom says:

    mmmm i loved the first 5 minutes of the scent and then it just fell flat….for me the cristalle just stayed on a middle road, neither here not there ….now this one…well when it does come here i will sniff it
    but i really don’t hold high hopes.. and the advert isement is downright awful ….i love pleasures too….especially when i get the sillage off someone else!!!!

    • Robin says:

      Yes…Pleasures smells great on others, I feel just the same.

  24. alltheprettythings says:

    Too bad about the cap. But most stores get huge dramming units for samples and filling minis. You can churn out tons of samples with the units.

    • Robin says:

      Yes…surprised Nordstrom didn’t have one for EM.

  25. niche says:

    I love V&R. Their designs are so amazing (I hate to say it here but I’m more a fashion person than a beauty person) and I was really surprised by flowerbomb because it was 1) marketed to the mainstream 2) an interesting but still mainstream scent. It seemed like the opposite of their clothes. Then I learned how profitable fragrances are for these companies. I guess they are selling perfumes to keep their bottom-line in the clear.

    • Robin says:

      That’s certainly what many brands are doing…otherwise I think we would see far fewer couture shows.

  26. ishtinkgute says:

    I tried the (cheap-looking) bellows-style pump and it did not work well at all. As well, I got a sample to bring home, and it has a pleasant enough scent (pear! ok, I wondered), but it faded pretty quickly on me and said nothing special.

    • Robin says:

      Would love to know if it’s selling or not…

  27. eminere says:

    “Eau Mega” struck me as something Omega the watch brand would pick if they were ever to come up with a fragrance lol

    • Robin says:

      They really should have had it trademarked in advance!

  28. jonr951 says:

    I just won a brand new 1.7oz bottle on ebay for 55 bucks!!! Im so excited!!! Yay!! : )

    • Robin says:

      Great price, congrats!!

  29. parfumliefhebber says:

    Don’t know whether it sells good, but I saw it last week in the drugstore for Eur 30 (30 ml) instead of Eur 55.

    • Robin says:

      Nice deal! I have not seen it in any drugstores here, much less at discount.

  30. parfumliefhebber says:

    Ups, I didn’t mean drugstore, it was a parfumery.

  31. Butterscotch says:

    Viktor & Rolf Eau Mega Smells okay when i got a bottle at nordies i really thought i loved it but as i put it on sparingly its just like omg what is this [s**t] doing in my collection!!!! lol people that wear Viktor & Rolf Eau Mega should second guess just get a sample every time you go to nordies i dont recomend a whole bottle i made a dumb mistake!!!

    love, Butterscotch

    • Robin says:

      Keep your language clean, thanks!

      If you bought it at Nordstrom, they’ll probably take it back — they’re good about that.

  32. jonr951 says:

    So they said on their Twitter that theyre smelling for a new mens scent!!! How exciting!!! I cant wait!!! : )

    • Robin says:

      Oh good, it’s about time!

  33. Owen says:

    which one is the comment who wears flowerbomb and antidote? I was gonna reply to that but cudnt find it in the 100odd comments :/

    I love flowerbomb too :) it lasts ALL DAY, it has no sharp edges yet its over the top. I dont like not wearing it. all the other comments hint that its artificial, but I think it’s like creamy roses. some even say its sexy, but I dont think it is.

    and to antidote, I wasnt too keen. I dont think thats sexy either, it’s oriental, orientals dont suit me. but yer its ok :)

    • Robin says:

      Glad you love it!

      • Owen says:

        I got the refillable the other day :)

        and about eau mega. it’s nice, fresh and simple.
        but you can get better better perfume for cheaper. like Chloe
        you can hardly tell its there, but it lasts a long time. but for it strength it’s just not worth the money. :)

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