Taking heavy inspiration or flat out cloning is nothing new in the fragrance game when something different comes along and has people voting with their wallets as everyone wants in when it comes to the money but when it comes to Aventus the sheer scale of imitation was immense with literally everyone and their mother trying to get in on the act from pricepoints ranging from £10/100ml all the way up to £200/50ml and some even beyond the cost of the original.
And yet try as they might there isn't one that I've smelled that could claim to hold a candle to the real deal in terms of its depth, complexity, performance or how well it was blended. Heck to be honest even the modern reformulated Aventus doesn't match up to the original vintage composition but its the closest we've got so it will have to do.
What do you think it is about this scent that made it capture the publics attention and corporate imitation the way it did? From my experience running splits I've dealt with loads of people who never wore a fragrance or stuck to strictly cheapo drugstore scents who got a whiff of Aventus and became card carrying converts who'll wear nothing else and that is an immense leap/change of behaviour in any sector and speaks volumes on what we're dealing with here.
For me the scent is (was) the perfect juxtaposition of light and dark, clean and dirty and variety of other opposites that was captured moving in different directions at the same time with a very elegant level of balance as well as a whole load of subtle nuance that made it an absolute joy to wear along with the reaction it garners. Now we know its got a few captives doing what they do in there and this creates obstacles for the DIY styled amongst you who'll have to improvise their way around this obstacle but even simple things such as manzanate which you'd expect to be uniform across the board simply aren't and this is one thing I've noted again and again with clones of various price points is the raw materials used by Creed just feel so much better. Case in point the manzanate used to create the pineapple accord just smells cheap/plasticy in so many clones and the same can be said of the oakmoss and patchouli most notably and thats before we get into the compositional booboos made by industrious folks peering at GCs trying to recreate the magic in their bedroom labs.
Now this could be down to the skill of the perfumer, his nose and his method of blending and use of other notes in order to bolster the accord, which of course has a massive influence on the end product, but time and time again I've noticed that there definitely seems to be huge differences in the raw quality of components sourced from various places as not everything does what it says on the tin even though they all claim to be identical. I can see how a company like Creed with its links to Firmenich can afford to source the best of the best, highest quality components but why is it that the market for end users seems so very hit and miss with what they're offering for sale as this creates another front for the battle for cloned excellence to be fought on.
Going back to the original composition, to me its a work of art and the perfect encapsulation of the zeitgest it was born into as it oozes nouveau riche splendor and was simply unlike anything that had came before it and truly was a thing of wonder. Do we, collectively, know anything about the true identity of whoever made it as I don't believe for a moment that anyone at Creed is anywhere near as capable of making this and as such am firmly in the camp that this was a ghosted composition with its true author choosing to forego fame/recognition for this one in exchange for a quiet (and large) royalty cheque. Why do I think that? Simple, in 2003 Ralph Lauren dropped Purple Label and the scent is to Aventus what this outline is to the Mona Lisa:
Its a very basic outline, work in progress sketch which by itself is nothing significant but once you've experienced this:
All of a sudden you can spot the prototype in the first sketch and that is exactly what it smells like to me. A rough draft, work in progress, barebones version of Aventus that was captured, bottled and released to the public whilst the nose kept it on back burner and tinkered with it for another few years and then it was gifted to the world as Aventus. Inhaling the RL scent allows you to pick out the raw, basic character of Aventus and it seems blatantly obvious, to me at least, that whoever made that also made Aventus as you can always spot an artist in his output and it is coincidentally credited to Firmenich. So whoever the mystery nose was who made Aventus and chose to remain in the shadows for whatever reason, I salute thee as do, albeit unconsciously, the dearth of imitators attempting and generally failing to create this:
Also I know that a lot of you reading here have made your own proof of concept take on the scent and I'm wondering how did you feel with what you'd achieved? My inbox always welcomes invites to sample your creation but I'll warn you now I pull no punches and will tell you exactly what I sniff if you feel like sending over a sample as I know this scent quite well by now in all of its various batches (stroke of genius move there) and incarnations but am interested to see what y'all have been cooking up.