I wore a tomato-scented perfume for a week – this is what happened

By Josefin Forsberg

Photo: Josefin Forsberg

Follow along on a fragrance investigation as Vogue Scandinavia's beauty editor, Josefin Forsberg, sets about smelling like a tomato plant for a week

For centuries, perfumes have been crafted to capture the essence of flowers, spices, and even the sea. But it's the unexpected scents that truly intrigue and surprise the olfactory senses. The latest – and arguably most surprising – Scandinavian fragrance comes courtesy of Henrik Vibskov. Its inspiration? The humble tomato.


Two versions – L'eau rouge Heirloom and L'eau rouge Nature – were introduced in the Danish designer's autumn/winter '23 collection. A collection that, in its entirety, paid homage to the versatile fruit. "I kind of love them," Vibskov shared, speaking before the aromatic adventure. "How the tomato is seen in art, in graphics of tomato cans. I just thought that the idea of having a tomato cap on a perfume bottle – I couldn't resist."

According to Vibskov, the two tomato perfumes should be "more conceptual" scents. The Heirloom variety – the one tested here – is meant to evoke the verdant zest of a tomato garden; the perfume emulates the grassy notes of basil and the refreshing verdant qualities of tomato leaf. A combination that – to me – sounded surprisingly alluring.

Having received the product, I set out on my week-long garden patch investigation.

Photo: Josefin Forsberg

First impressions:

Receiving the perfume, I was instantly charmed by the packaging. Arriving in a tin akin to canned tomatoes, the bottle featured the aforementioned sculpted white tomato cap – complete with a green stem. It smelled vibrant and herby, like when you touch the stem of a tomato plant. Having spritzed myself with the scent outside of the office, I proceeded to tap my Vogue Scandinavia colleagues for their first reactions. “Fresh, with a hint of citrus” was the recurring reply, with some noting an underlying sweetness.

Our editor-in-chief, Martina Bonnier, found the perfume sharp and herby – a scent that was pleasant yet peculiar. She remarked that my usual attire of ’90s silhouettes and androgynous tailoring didn’t quite marry with the botanical uniqueness of the fragrance. This prompted a minor sartorial meltdown when I came home as I rummaged through my closet on the hunt for something similar to Vibskov’s wonderfully eclectic pieces in my wardrobe. Sadly, I was unsuccessful.

Photo: Josefin Forsberg

My experience over the week

On day two of tomato week, a colleague leaned in, sniffing conspicuously during a brief elevator ride, quickly pointing out how they could now sense the leafy green. I was – apparently – ripe with the scent-sation.

While wandering the vegetable aisle of my local supermarket, doing my weekly Sunday shop, I lingered by the tomatoes. Crowding the on-sale stems, myself and another couple reach for our pick of the crop. “Oh,” one of the strangers exclaimed with a whiff in the air. “They smell fresh.” Whether it was the waft of my perfume or the actual produce will remain a mystery.

My Monday morning gym experience was like tossing a tomato into a fruit salad – unexpected yet refreshing. Post-treadmill, the herbaceous notes of the fragrance were a fresh pick-me-up as I wafted away on my daily commute. Said commute was, in itself, an experience. Piercing, the tomato scent came out on top in the usual smoggy battle for olfactory dominance on the bus.

The ultimate test came during dinner at a friend’s house, where I was less of a guest and more of a walking conversation piece. “You’re like a walking bruschetta!” one guest exclaimed after I prompted the group for their reactions. The room was divided – some relished the scent while others were playfully mocking me for the greenhouse aroma.

Photo: Josefin Forsberg


Wrapping up the week, my foray into fragrance became less about scent exploration and more about being a roving ambassador of the humble tomato. I had become a walking tribute to Henrik Vibskov's AW23 collection, prompting my surroundings with a simple tomato whiff.

Would I wear the heirloom homage on a daily basis? Perhaps not. But it is just the kind of fragrance I find myself reaching for when craving a hint of spring – or perhaps when my day calls for frolicking in the local garden patch.

One lesson rings true at the end of this experience, though: whether in the office or the great outdoors, opting for an "odd "scent can be an exciting conversation starter or a mood-booster – not to mention a reminder that sometimes, the most memorable statement you can make is not seen, but smelled.

Henrik Vibskov

L’eau rouge Heirloom

Via Henrik Vibskov