For many millennials who grew up in the suburbs, the smell of Abercrombie & Fitch ‘Fierce’ permeates a host of middle school memories. I can still remember walking through the mall with little or no cash as my group of friends meandered into teen-marketed clothing stores, dreaming of the next time we’d ‘impress’ our crush by crushing a Guitar Hero 2 anthem on Expert difficulty. When we entered the Abercrombie & Fitch store, we’d all make fun of the massive cloud of Fierce that hovered over the clothing racks. And yet, there was an unspoken truth behind the snarky remarks. Everyone thought that Fierce smelled really good.
And it still mostly does. The main player in Fierce is a simple musk that finds good company with polite woodsy notes (namely fir) and classical masculine base notes (oakmoss and vetiver). Most surprisingly, there are several aspects of the fragrance that make it quite unique, namely a quite-present sage note and a distinct sea saltiness. Fierce still stands as a universally appealing masculine fragrance that is unlikely, on scent alone, to find many detractors.
The major issue with Fierce is its intense association with early 2000’s Abercrombie and Fitch. Unless you’re looking to give off 2000’s Mall Energy, wearing Fierce will probably work against whatever purpose you have for wearing it.
There are, however, two reasons I’d recommend picking up a bottle. The first is to get a glimpse into a significant item in perfume history. Fierce was a wildly popular scent that really was omnipresent during the early 2000’s, and it sits in the middle of a major trend in male-marketed fragrance: citrusy, woodsy musk scents. It’s easy to see a lineage between Fierce and Aventus years later, and in my opinion, part of those early associations of Fierce and ‘coolness’ play into why the citrus-woods construction of Aventus is now so popular with millennials.
Secondly, Fierce’s main issue is also its strength. This is a truly transportive fragrance that essentially guarantees a nostalgia trip upon use. If you happen to have good associations with mall shopping around Y2K, you very well might find yourself a comfort fragrance in Fierce.
Despite being copied quite successfully with fragrances like Mont Blanc Legend, Fierce will likely always have a singular affect on the noses it touches. If you’re simply looking for a nice men’s musk scent, move on and find something with less baggage. However, if you’re looking to jump back into those days of old, Fierce will take you there. Your nose will have no qualms with the journey.
Grab a sample here or dive headfirst into nostalgia with a full bottle.
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The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.