Cologne

Spicebomb Infrared Cologne Review – 2022 Scent Test

First things first: I love the original Spicebomb. It’s my go-to winter fragrance, so when Viktor and Rolf dropped Infrared in 2021, it went straight on my “must try” list. 

It’s pitched as a more seductive, more alluring flanker than the original winter warmer. In theory, it replaces some of the rougher spiced notes with tart red berries, similar to the ones found in Paco Rabanne’s 1 Million and Polo Red Extreme.

spicebomb infrared

Spicebomb Infrared

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Pros

A peppery spiced cologne that will add some flirtatious warmth to your outfit.

Takes what is best about the original Spicebomb DNA and brightens it up.

Perfect for winter or for cooler evenings in spring/fall.

Cons

Not too groundbreaking. If you already have the original Spicebomb, you might find you don’t need Infrared.

Not the cheapest cologne ever. Firmly in the mid-range at around $100.

But how does it stack up in practice? Read on to find out in my hands-on Spicebomb Infrared review.


First Impressions

A standard-issue Infrared bottle is an imposing object. Like the original Spicebomb it has that thick grenade-style shape, but this time it adds deeper, more seductive tones of red and black. It is available in 1.7 and 3.0 oz denominations. 

regular spicebomb infrared bottle
Full-sized bottle
spicebomb infrared decant 2ml
My 2ml decant

My tester tube didn’t quite conjure the same effect, but I was able to glean the emphasis on warmth and seduction by flipping through the promotional material.


What Does Spicebomb Infrared Smell Like?

You’re still getting a hefty dose of spice from pepper and chili notes, but it’s less aromatic and overpowering than in the original Spicebomb.

It’s lighter, with more of a sense of fun and pop. If the OG Spicebomb is a bad-boy rebel, Infrared is his less jaded, more upbeat cousin. 

When this heat combines with the prominent red berry elements, the result is close to cherry pipe tobacco. Which I really like. These berry notes die down over the lifetime of the fragrance, but those first few hours are absolutely top-tier. 

Whether you strictly need to buy Infrared probably depends on your relationship with spiced fragrances – and which you already own. If you live somewhere hot and don’t have much need for warmer fragrances, and already own the original Spicebomb, you probably don’t need Infrared. 

However, if you are missing a spiced fragrance in your life it’s well worth trying Infrared out. Personally, I’m happy to have both Spicebomb and Spicebomb Infrared in my rotation, but I enjoy picking out subtle nuances as much as testing wildly different fragrances.

Top Notes:Red Fruits, Pink Pepper and Saffron
Middle Notes:Cinnamon and Red Pepper
Base Notes:Tobacco and Benzoin
Spicebomb Infrared Fragrance Notes

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How Long Does Spicebomb Infrared Last?

Compared to the original Spicebomb, this is where Infrared falls a little short. It lasts about 5 hours, which is not bad by any stretch of the imagination. It just doesn’t quite stack up to the 9 – 10 hours that’s possible with the original.

Personally, I found improved results when I started moisturizing properly before applying Infrared. Then, I was able to detect the scent for up to 7 hours after application. Either way, after the first 3 – 4 hours you’re getting pretty close to intimate, skin scent territory.

When Should You Wear Spicebomb Infrared?

The combination of warm spice and alluring berries makes Spicebomb Infrared a great pick for a winter/fall date night. You’re going to be warming up your senses with touches of tobacco and luring people in with that delectable sweetness.

It’s a super seductive combo and a scent that I would pair with an imposing tailored overcoat and a cashmere scarf. I can picture myself leaving the office, pacing through town to meet a lady for an early evening glass of wine. 

In terms of age, you can get away with quite a lot here. Infrared is certainly more playful than some of the deeper, full-bodied spiced winter colognes out there. Now, the younger Gents finally have an option that will work with their energy and youthful exuberance. 

So, any age between 31 and 60 should work just fine, as long as you do

Can You Wear Spicebomb Infrared to Work?

This might be one of the major selling points for Infrared. While the original Spicebomb is probably a bit heavy going for the office, this dialed-back and brighter flanker strikes the right balance. It makes Infrared a perfectly viable choice to wear to work on a winter or fall day.


How Much Does Spicebomb Infrared Cost?

Spicebomb Infrared costs between $90 and $120, depending on what size bottle you buy and which retailer you go through.

Keep in mind that you can make significant savings by buying a larger bottle.

Check out the pricing table below for a cost breakdown (prices courtesy of Nordstrom.com)

SizeRRPCost per Oz
1.7 oz$94$55.29
3.0 oz$114$38
Spicebomb Infrared Pricing

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Is Spicebomb Infrared Worth it?

Whether Spicebomb Infrared is worth it for you is going to depend on a couple of things.


Firstly, the cologne in isolation is well worth the 100 or so dollars it costs. It’s a well-balanced seductive winter fragrance where the quality of the individual notes really shines through. If I paid full price for this at retail, I wouldn’t feel short-changed.

The question is more to do with the other colognes you have in your collection. If you already have the Original Spicebomb, for example, your money might be better spent on a cologne in a different niche to allow you to cover more situations appropriately.

There are differences, but not enough to justify most people having both colognes in my estimation. 


Where to Buy Spicebomb Infrared

I’ve used Nordstrom for a couple of years, and so far every product has been authentic and shown up when I expected it to. Their returns policy is also second to none, which is handy. 

Beyond that, Amazon is probably the most stocked place to buy colognes online. You can search for reviews for each vendor so you know exactly what you’re getting.

Plus, delivery with Amazon Prime is crazy quick. It’s great or impulse buys that you need in time for the weekend.

spicebomb infrared

Spicebomb Infrared

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Spicebomb Infrared Alternatives

If you’re looking for something similar to Spicebomb Infrared, check out my recommendations below.

Best For: Long-lasting spice
spicebomb

Spicebomb

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Best For: rock n roll energy
John varvatos vintage best cologne

John Varvatos Vintage

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Regular Spicebomb – Infrared Spicebomb Alternatives

spicebomb

Spicebomb by Viktor and Rolf

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The OG. The Big Daddy. Original Spicebomb sets the standard any spiced winter fragrance should aspire to. 

Compared to Infrared, the original Spicebomb is – well, spicier. There’s a greater emphasis on warming notes of cinnamon and paprika, along with a pronounced tobacco note in the base. 

The earthier, more masculine elements of leather and vetiver lend a bit of bite to an otherwise quite aromatic blend. Viktor and Rolf set out for Spicebomb to be the male equivalent of the popular women’s perfume Flowerbomb, with the rationale that spiced notes for men are what floral notes are to women.

I’m not sure that logic tracks 100% (I know plenty of men’s colognes with great floral notes), but it seems to have worked. Spicebomb is a home run, and one of the most popular colognes in the United States today.

P.S The longevity concerns around Infrared are not to be found here. Spicebomb is a notorious powerhouse with up to 10 hours of longevity. More than enough for a full day at work. 

Top Notes:Pink Pepper, Elemi, Bergamot and Grapefruit
Middle Notes:Cinnamon, Saffron and Paprika
Base Notes:Tobacco, Leather and Vetiver
Original Spicebomb Fragrance Notes

John Varvatos Vintage – Infrared Spicebomb Alternatives

The main similarity between Infrared and John Varvatos Vintage comes in the opening. The cinnamon and tobacco in both fragrances combine with the red berries, which are sweeter in Infrared and sharper in JVV. But overall the two fragrances, to my nose, smell incredibly similar. 

John varvatos vintage best cologne

John Varvatos Vintage

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After a few hours, John Varvatos Vintage opens up into some more old-school and traditionally masculine accords. The patchouli and oakmoss in particular are deep and earthy, and project a bit of cutting edge that you don’t really find in Infrared.

Top Notes:Rhubarb, Quince, Pepper, Wormwood, Fennel and Basil
Middle Notes:Cinnamon, Juniper Berries, Lavender, Green Leaves, Orris Root and Jasmine
Base Notes:Tobacco, Suede, Balsam Fir, Tonka Bean, Woody Notes, Oakmoss and Patchouli
John Varvatos Vintage Fragrance Notes

For more cologne reviews, check out some of our latest buys –

Ombre Leather – Deep, dark leather with a touch of spice.

1 Million – Partyboy banger. Sharp red berries lead the way.

Invictus Victory – Alpha energy to dominate your day.

Versace Eros – Lots of love. Fruits and woods combine beautifully.

Gucci Guilty – Minimalism and class, like a sharp suit. Tinted windows. CEO energy.

Dior Homme – Powdery woods that stretch on into the evening. 

Hermes H24 – The case study in clean-cut office fragrance.

Bleu de Chanel – Ooze ozonic charm with this “blue” wonder.

Head to Head – Bleu de Chanel vs Dior Sauvage.

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