If there is one fragrance I’m asked for my opinion of more than any other it’s Aventus by CREED. Seriously, I regularly get emails from readers or DMs on social media from followers asking me what I think about this super popular masculine fragrance. Aventus has achieved cult status amongst fragrance obsessives and casual observers alike. It’s a perfume I find myself talking about a lot – I so often have conversations with men about Aventus, whether they are into perfume or not, because it’s often the first fragrance they mention. But why? What makes Aventus special? Why has it resonated so well? I’m genuinely curious.
Aventus launched in 2010 – the year that the house of CREED celebrated its 250th anniversary. According to the brand, CREED perfumer Olivier Creed was inspired by Napoleon Bonaparte, choosing to use a host of ingredients that had a link to the French military leader. Structurally it is not an unusual fragrance – the top notes are fresh and citrussy (bergamot, blackcurrant, apple and pineapple), whilst the rest is floral, aromatic and warm (jasmine, rose, patchouli, amber etc.)
So, what is all the fuss about?
First off, let’s talk about the smell, because that’s the important thing here. On the surface, Aventus is a traditional masculine. It’s aromatic and fresh with clean citrus up top, florals in the heart and woods in the base. There are however, a few unusual twists here and there. Take the top notes for example – the clean fizz of apple, black currant and bergamot is subverted by a juicy twist of pineapple, which brings a zingy, aquatic nuance in to play. In the heart, peppery juniper berries clash with jasmine and in the base, patchouli and oak moss bring a chypre feel to what would otherwise be a typical aquatic masculine. So perhaps some of the interest comes from the fact that Aventus is fresh and easy, but it’s not boring or overtly familiar because of these little subversions.
With Aventus however, a lot of success stems not from the scent itself but from the desirability factor. CREED is a desirable name and Aventus is perhaps the accessible fragrance in their lineup. Wearing such a scent says a few things; it says I take care of myself and I want to smell different, but it also says look at me I have money, which is a driver for those who wear fragrance to seek compliments rather than for personal enjoyment. Aventus has become a badge in the fragrance community for men who want to assert their own desirability – a cult product that gents will happily spend hours discussing, from how many compliments they get to which vintage batch was the best. It has become a cult product.
My view is that the success of Aventus is almost a perfect storm of elements. It is big and diffusive, meaning that it gets noticed (thus pleasing the compliment-seeking crowd), but at the same time it is amenable and pleasant, so the attention that it receives is generally positive. Aventus isn’t going to offend anyone – its clean, fresh quality can’t help coming across as elegant and smart, and persistently so.
Love it or hate it, you cannot deny the power of Aventus.
Aventus is available in 50ml (£170), 100ml (£250), 250ml (£470) and 500ml (£785) Millesime.
Sample, notes and quotes via CREED. Images are my own.