I always believe, and preach, that it’s unfair to review a perfume unless you wear it…in decent quantity. You can’t judge a perfume from a scent strip, spraying it on paper, or dabbing a drop or two (Pilgrim-like) on your wrists. When I test a fragrance, I spray it liberally on my chest and arms. So: I hereby admit I’m reviewing the new Paco Rabanne Invictus1 based only on a couple of sprays aimed at the back of one hand (where I can “easily” scrub it away as soon as I'm convinced it has delivered its full “personality”). The thought of dousing myself with Invictus is repellant!
Invictus is an ugly perfume, a “why-bother” perfume (hundreds of perfumes smell just like it), a perfume begging to be discontinued. (Well, maybe Invictus isn't begging to be discontinued…but I’m begging: "Discontinue it!")
Invictus starts with sweet 'n sour fruit aromas; the fruit has a furry edge (decomposition? or funky bay leaf?) Invictus' sweetness builds as very cheap-smelling indistinct floral notes emerge and are joined by a marine "bilge water" accent. The overall tone of Invictus is "sporty"/locker-room-in-high-school (with smelly air pockets of menthol, scented deodorant and mouthwash). Near the end of its development, there's burnt musk. Invictus smells inexpensive but lasts and lasts on skin; unfortunately, the sillage is excellent.
I find the Invictus bottle "adolescent" in character...but that's just my taste/take. I wonder if Invictus was designed to attract the post-Axe crowd? Young men who realize Axe scents are too "teen" for them, but who hate the idea of giving up those "fresh" marine/ozone/sport notes.
Now: off to scour my hand!
Paco Rabanne Invictus is available in 50 and 100 ml Eau de Toilette.
1. Perfumer: Véronique Nyberg; fragrance notes for Invictus include grapefruit, marine accord, bay leaf, jasmine, hedione, guaiac wood, patchouli, oak moss and ambergris.