Two years ago I wrote a Creed Aventus review that called the perfume the choice for soulless careerists. Two years later my feelings haven't changed.
It is not that I don't like Aventus. I do. I think it is a superb fragrance worthy of a 5-star rating. What I don't like is what it stands for. Here's the basis for my love-hate relationship with Creed and Aventus.
In 2010 Olivier Creed masterfully blended roasted pineapple, smoke and creamy vanilla. The result was a fragrance that was original, versatile and mass-appealing. He called it Aventus.
Balancing originality and mass market appeal is usually a tall order for many designer fragrance houses. This is why, many of them err on the side of the tried and true.
This is where things start getting a bit odd. First, Creed spins a tall story how Aventus means success in some ancient language. My search didn't reveal any confirmation of these claims.
Dissecting the name on my own, I figured the best translation of the name in English would be From the Wind. Ventus means "wind" in Latin and the preposition "a" means from.
I am not sure what the meaning of the name has to do with the fragrance. Likely nothing and this is okay. Aventus sounds good and suits the fragrance.
Leaving the name aside, Creed explains that Aventus was inspired by "the dramatic life of a historic emperor, celebrating strength, power and success". The emperor in question was Napoleon Bonaparte. He indeed is a notable historical figure. He could also have been a great example for emulation had it not been for his erratic temper, short stature and self-grandeur.
Creed's website says "Aventus man" is "destined to live a driven life, ever galloping with the wind at his back toward success". It continues,
"Aventus is a sophisticated blend for individuals who savor a life well-lived".
As I read this, images of brashness and arrogance rush in my head. Even though I love the perfume, the imagery it conjures up has always irritated me.
Oddly, the description of Aventus reminds me Trump and people like him. Arrogant, ego-driven individuals who seek ultimate power and success for its own sake. Or for the sake of being able to say they are successful.
What Does Creed Aventus Smell Like?
If you forget all the silly imagery of Napoleon and ever galloping towards success, Aventus is a masterpiece.
It opens with a strong blast of pineapple. Its juicy sharpness is accompanied by bergamot and fresh apple, which gives even more tartness to the composition.
After the first fruity blast, you might detect a smoky note creeping in. This is the birch, which stays sharp but adds some solidity and anchor to the composition. I particularly enjoy this note because of its unusual character in modern compositions, especially when transposed on the background of pineapple.
Aventus remains mostly linear after the initial fruit blast. The smoky notes remains until the dry-down and it is joined on stage by an oak moss accord giving more earthiness to the composition. I particularly enjoy the vanilla accord that emerges towards the dry-down. The creamy sweetness of the vanilla gives a nice balance to the oak moss and birch.
There are countless online forums where fragrance aficionados dissect how fruity or smoky each batch of Aventus is. Some reviewers have gone so far as to conduct a thorough research of each Aventus batch and document it on a sliding scale. Hunting batches with the right amount of fruitiness or smokiness has turned into a favourite past time for many Creed addicts.
If you don't have a clue what all these batches are why they cause such a furor, here's what it is about.
Creed and Batch Variations
Creed, just like all fragrance houses, manufacture their perfumes in batches. I don't have any insider information on this but I suspect the big designer companies produce hundreds of thousands of perfume bottles in one batch. Bottles of perfume from the same batch have the same ingredients and therefore should smell exactly the same.
Usually, bottles of the same perfume smell exactly the same, even if they come from different batches. This is because the formula and ingredients don't change from batch to batch.
Further, companies test and make sure that their perfume batches smell the same. This practice is a form of quality control and is very common among many industries.
This [Aventus] feels like a wood paneled man cave with roses in vases.
Usually, ensuring consistency between batches is not difficult. Most designer fragrance makers use synthetic aroma-chemicals in their compositions, which have precise aroma profiles. Sometimes, however, consistency becomes an issue when a fragrance features a large percentage natural ingredients. Ingredients coming from natural sources may have a slightly different profile depending on the harvest season, weather conditions, etc.
On occasion, manufacturers may source a certain ingredient from a different region if the original source is not available. These changes may translate into a slightly different-smelling fragrance. Overall, however, such changes are not significant enough for the average consumer to detect them.
Creed argues their fragrances contain a high percentage of natural ingredients, which may cause slightly different aroma profiles between batches. To contradict their own reasoning, Creed also explain they have extremely high quality control when selecting their natural ingredients plants harvested from the right source and at the right season.
I've smelled several Aventus batches and to me, they smell pretty much the same. I don't discount the fact that there may be batches out there with more pronounced pineapple or birch notes but I wouldn't obsess too much about it.
Where to Rock It
It's hard to beat Aventus on versatility. Its happy zesty side makes it great for casual wear on a hot summer day and its smoky accord turns it into a classy formal fragrance for a winter night. If you want to impress and grab people's attention - go for Aventus.
I tend to wear Aventus more often in the summer, just because I prefer warmer and heavier fragrances in the winter. As I say this, however, I remember having a streak of several weeks a couple of winters ago where Aventus was my go-to fragrance.
In general, when in doubt, put Aventus on. You can't go wrong.
What Do The Frag Heads Say About Creed Aventus?
It's hard to find a reviewer who doesn't like Aventus. It gets so much love that it regularly tops many fragrance ranking lists online.
Here are some of the reviews I really liked about Aventus.
Alexandria is a regular fragrance sniffer at Al's Street Scents channel on YouTube. Even though she is not a fragrance connoisseur, Alexandria usually gives an honest woman's view on some of the popular men's perfumes.
Out of three fragrances (Aventus, Original Santal, and Virgin Island Water), Alexandria picked Aventus as the best smelling one. She called it a timeless scent that would work well for any season.
Kafka from Kafkaesque has a dissenting opinion when it comes to Aventus. She finds it "over-hyped, simple, thin, linear scent that carries with it some frustrating issues, and which isn’t worth the high price". To her, "Aventus, as a whole, feels wholly insubstantial in body, and is simply a nebulous haze of three primary notes: birch, oakmoss, and pineapple".
The subtle vanilla note emerging in the dry-down of the composition doesn't escape Kafka's nose. She rightfully notes that the vanilla is not a dominant note. She calls it a "muted wallflower" in the sense that it never takes over or dominates the composition.
Even though Kafka's observations about Aventus overlap with mine, we diverge opinions on longevity. She found Aventus short-lasting, while I can easily get 24 hours out of it. I suspect the short longevity Kafka experienced might have been due to the fact she was using a sample. My tests, on the other hand, are based on the bottle I own, which gives me very liberal sprays.
Read Kafka's full review here: Creed Aventus Cologne
Mark Behnke wrote for CaFleureBon that Aventus feels like "a wood paneled man cave with roses in vases". I don't get any rose from Aventus but I won't be surprised if it is in the heart of the fragrance.
Mark explains that the dry down of the composition features the classic notes of vanilla, oakmoss and ambergris. What sets Aventus apart, he says, is the skillful mix of these notes, especially the vanilla, which adds "a bit of decadence".
Read Mark Behnke's full review here: Fragrance Review: Creed Aventus: The Life of Napoleon from Top to Base Notes
The Bottom Line
Aventus is a pure winner for me. It is the perfect combination between originality and versatility, which gains it great accolades from me and the fragrance community.
Would you buy Aventus?
Even though it comes at a ridiculous price (around $400 for 125ml), I would seriously consider buying another bottle. It is that good and versatile.
Would I get compliments wearing Aventus?
You will get tons of them. Aventus is the only fragrance that has consistently gotten me compliments.
What rating would you give Aventus?
It is a solid 5 out of 5. A worthy successor of the original king from the Creed dynasty - Green Irish Tweed.
Bergamot, Black Currant, Pineapple, Green Apple
Birch, Patchouli, Rose, Jasmine
Musk, Vanilla, Oak Moss, Ambergris