Every successful perfume house has either a powerful brand image or a gimmick. Creed, riding high on the top of the perfume world, seems to have fused both: image as gimmick. If you visit Creed’s website, you’ll find all sorts of claims of an elaborate history full of royal commissions. If you visit Creed’s Wikipedia page, you’ll find that hardly any of those claims are backed up by evidence. The real facts about Creed can all be found in a department store. They have convincing, fancy bottles. They have insane price tags. And finally, they have a range of safe, quality perfumes that smell fleshed out, but rarely unique.
Viking is one of those rarities. Its opening is a barrage of contradictions. Viking is somehow spicy, woody and fresh at the same time, bearing qualities of old school perfumery while bringing new ideas to the table. On paper, Viking looks like a true follow-up to Creed’s massively successful Aventus, which has garnered a legendary status in niche perfume. If only it were that simple.
The issue with Viking is that its contradictions lead not to exciting contrast, but dulled edges. The opening is a confusion of goals. Vetiver rears its head to compete with the aforementioned pepper and mint, while the citruses fuse into a generic top note that sits alongside the other elements without adding to them. Every time the mint-pepper heart shines through, base notes flood it out of the spotlight. Every stage of the perfume leans towards an unsatisfactory middle. The result is a ‘Viking’ that’s hilariously tame given the savagery of its namesake.
Viking is advertised as bearing a fiery accord, and the pepper and mint certainly live up to that description. If Creed didn’t come into Viking with a mission to create something smooth, they could have ended up with a wonderful fragrance with a heart befitting its name. Unfortunately, Viking falls under the Creed curse. Not only is it as convoluted as Creed’s history, it’s also one of the most expensive perfumes on the market. Viking is a uniquely mediocre fragrance at an extravagant price. If you’re looking for a perfume adventure, look elsewhere; the only thing Viking will pillage is your wallet.
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.