Launched by Paco Rabanne in 2013, the Invictus cologne line has quickly become a favorite of many fans of masculine fragrances. The scents skew sweet and gourmand, playing with what have been typically feminine notes.
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The results, however, are young, confident, and masculine. They’re fragrances for men comfortable enough with their identity to have a bit of fun. They attract attention but with as much substance as flash.
What’s more, many of these scents have powerhouse noses behind them. And while the scents can be a bit expensive, the Invictus cologne price is more affordable than top-tier brands. That makes them a good choice for young men looking to up their fragrance game.
My Invictus cologne review takes a look at the seven best fragrances in this line – let’s see what makes them so special.
Our Top 7 Invictus Fragrances for Men
Best All-Around Fragrance
You can’t get better than the original, and that’s why Invictus Men is my best all-rounder. If you’re looking for a good daily wear year-round cologne, or if you only want one Invictus on your dresser, get this one.
Invictus features top notes of marine accord, grapefruit, and mandarin orange. The mid notes are bay leaf and jasmine, with a dry down of ambergris, oakmoss, and patchouli. It’s a fresh, zesty fragrance but with enough earthy grounding to keep it sophisticated.
The original Invictus cologne, designed in 2013 by perfume superstars Dominique Ropion, Anne Flipo, Olivier Polge, and Veronique Nyberg, is still the most versatile and crowd-pleasing of the bunch. The other scents in this collection take their cues from this one – it’s masculine, but not too fussed about it. There’s also a sweetness that comes through, especially at the end.
The Invictus fragrances are geared towards a younger audience, or at least one that’s young at heart. They’re more scents for nights out rather than running errands. Still, I think there’s a lot for men of all ages to like in the original.
I’ll admit up front that I’m not a huge fan of the Invictus bottle. I find it inelegant and a bit too literal. It’s shaped like a little trophy with a shiny silver base and top – not my style, but you may like the way it looks on your vanity.
That bit of flash mixed in with the substance of a great fragrance, though. That’s the core of the Invictus brand.
|Compliment getter||A bit too ordinary fragrance|
Longevity: Very good
Appropriate for: The office, day to evening
Best for Summer
Your love of Invictus Aqua depends on how much you like marine accord. I’m not its biggest fan, but even I appreciate Aqua for its fresh, clean, and fun scent. This one is ideal to toss in your vacation luggage or spritz on after the gym.
Top notes of grapefruit and violet leaf flow into a heart of sea notes, woody notes, and violet flower. The dry down is ambergris and amberwood. As in the original Invictus cologne, the amber in the dry down helps to ground the fresh notes and add a noticeable sweetness.
Where Aqua really shines is its longevity and sillage. Most fresh fragrances fade, some even before the 1-hour mark, but Aqua will keep going all day.
I do want to note that the Aqua currently on the market is the 2018 reformulation of the original 2016 fragrance. The 2018 version is no slouch (it’s made by Nicolas Beaulieu and Juliette Karagueuzoglou), but the 2016 version still has its diehard partisans.
Despite mixing amber and marine notes, Aqua isn’t overcomplicated or intellectual. Sometimes, you just want to smell great after a good workout. This is the scent for that.
|Appealing to women||It’s not long-lasting|
Appropriate for: The gym, the beach, vacation
Best for Date Night
Most vanilla fragrances for men grunge it up with tobacco, whiskey, and patchouli notes. I appreciate that Invictus Victory doesn’t feel the need to do that – it’s just a sweet, vanilla-forward gourmand for men. You can expect the compliments to roll in when you wear this one.
Top notes of pink pepper and lemon lead into a heart of olibanum and lavender. The sweetness comes from the dry down with its vanilla, tonka bean, and amber notes. I like how the lavender and pink pepper add a bit of aromatic dryness, but make no mistake – this is a perfume for gourmand lovers.
Some people are put off by the powderyness in the scent, and still others find the vanilla too sweet and feminine. Unless you’re a true vanillahead, you may want to sniff this one before buying the Invictus cologne 100ml.
Victory can be a bit cloying in the summer, but it’s absolutely perfect for showing your sensitive side on an autumn date. Try out this 2021 scent the next time you really want to make an impression on that special someone.
Want this one with extra oomph? Check out Invictus Victory Elixir.
|Above-average longevity, sillage, and performance||Overpowering for some people|
Sillage: Very good
Longevity: Very good
Appropriate for: Evenings out, fall/winter
Best for Vintage-Style Scent Lovers
I’m a big fan of old-fashioned “barbershop” fragrances. I think the natural aromatics and powdery undertones represent a kind of manliness that’s both classic and classy. Invictus Platinum is a great modern twist on this classic genre – it’s somehow green and sweet at the same time.
Top notes of absinthe and grapefruit lead to a heart of mint and lavender. The dry down is cypress and patchouli. The notes read as dry and traditional, but the actual perfume is sweet, with a hint of bubblegum fruitiness.
If barbershop scents aren’t your speed, I still think this one is worth trying out because it’s so different. If you do like vintage-style fragrances, this one is something a little different to add to the rotation.
Platinum is a great everyday scent – it’s traditional enough for the office but fun enough for drinks after. And its longevity means you may not even have to reapply before leaving work.
The hint of fruitiness leads to this 2022 fragrance skewing a bit younger than others in the collection, at least in my mind. But it’s still worth checking out if you’re looking for a good daily scent.
|Great everyday scent||Similar to other Paco Rabanne fragrances|
Sillage: Very good
Appropriate for: Every day, day-to-evening
Best for Winter
Most fragrances in the Invictus line have an unmistakable sweetness, but Invictus Intense has the least of the bunch. This 2016 fragrance is by far the closest to a traditional masculine fragrance, though it definitely has a few twists up its sleeve.
Top notes of orange blossom and black pepper lead to a heart of whiskey and bay leaf. The dry down features amber, ambergris, and salt. It’s sweet and boozy, with a hint of dryness from the spice.
If you find other boozy fragrances a bit too rugged and grimy, give this one a go. Intense captures all the sweetness of whiskey with less of the smoke and funk.
Make no mistake – this is a cold-weather perfume. Intense lives up to its name and has some massive sillage and longevity that can get too cloying in the summer. In the winter, though, that sillage wraps around you like a well-worn wool scarf.
Intense is probably the most mature-smelling scent of the Invictus cologne line. It’s an instant compliment-getter, though. Get ready to be the best-smelling man at the holiday party.
|Traditional masculine fragrance||Inappropriate for warm weather|
Sillage: Very good
Appropriate for: Winter party
Best for Going Out
Invictus Victory Elixir is a sweet, syrupy fragrance that is an absolute compliment bomb. Think of it like Thierry Mugler’s Angel but for men.
The main notes in the fragrance are vanilla, olibanum, amber, and tonka bean. Make no mistake, though. This is still a confident and masculine fragrance.
As in the regular Victory, this isn’t a smoky or boozy vanilla – just creamy and sweet. Elixir is a lot like regular Victory in general but without the more herbal and spicy notes. That turns up the volume on the sweet and amber.
If you’re in a busy bar or on a crowded dance floor, you want something that can cut through the sweat and the alcohol to steal attention. In that regard, Victory Elixir definitely delivers. You will meet new people while wearing this one on a night out.
On the other hand, you may not have too much use for Victory Elixir if your crowded dance floor days are largely behind you. The scent does lean young, and the monster projection means it’s definitely not subtle or work-appropriate.
Women have had their heavy-duty gourmand “going out” perfumes since the early 90s. Perhaps it’s time for the men to have one of their own in Victory Elixir.
|Excellent sillage and longevity||Too sweet and fruity for some|
Appropriate for: Saturday night
Best for Sharing with Your Girlfriend
The Invictus line is all about projecting a more contemporary masculinity, but to me, Invictus Legend is a little blast from the past. It’s CK One or Tommy, even though it doesn’t smell exactly like them. It’s more about how fresh and casual it feels.
Legend is like a clean pair of jeans or an oversized t-shirt. It’s like the 90s days of crisp scents, just updated a bit.
Top notes of sea, sea salt, and grapefruit give way to a heart of bay leaf, geranium, and spices. The dry down features red amber and guaiac wood. Unlike most fresh scents, this one has great longevity, lasting for 4+ hours.
Compared with Invictus Aqua, Legend is drier. The guaiac wood in the dry down helps the salt and spices to pop. And the sweetness here is fresh and vegetal, not like the slightly syrupy amber of Aqua.
I don’t think this one has quite enough juice to stand up to cold weather. This sweet-smelling 2019 fragrance by Domitille Michalon Bertier and Nicolas Beaulieu is perfect for a summer outing, though. And it’s so good even your girlfriend might want a spritz.
|Incredible projection||It’s discontinued|
Sillage: Very good
Longevity: Very good
Appropriate for: Summer outings
Who Makes Invictus?
The Invictus cologne line is made by Paco Rabanne. The storied brand launched the line in 2013 with the original Invictus Men fragrance. Invictus Intense and the original Invictus Aqua were the next to arrive in 2016.
How Popular is Paco Rabanne Invictus?
Since its launch in 2013, Invictus has been a massively successful fragrance line. There’s been many admiring Invictus cologne reviews from passers-by to comments on social media to plaudits from top perfume noses.
Which Invictus Is Similar to Sauvage?
All of the Invictus colognes have some similar DNA to Dior’s Sauvage. Intense is the one that’s closest, with Platinum also sharing some similarities.
On the whole, Invictus perfumes are sweeter than Sauvage.
Is Invictus Cologne Long Lasting?
Yes. One of the best things about the Invictus line is how long-lasting they are and how good the sillage is.
In fact, I would recommend limiting yourself to one or two spritzes the first time you put it on.
Do Girls Like Paco Rabanne Invictus?
Many men say their partners absolutely love Invictus cologne by Paco Rabanne. Of course, if your lady has strong opinions on fragrance, it may be better to talk to her first.
The Invictus cologne line isn’t for everyone – sweet and gourmand scents don’t appeal to everyone. Unless you’re a gourmand maven, I recommend trying a sample, decant, or travel size before buying a full bottle.
That said, Invictus is doing something special, both in the fragrance combinations and in how long-lasting most of the scents are. It’s worth checking out, and I hope you do.