It's become trendy to rag on Creed and especially Aventus. You won't get that in this review of Armaf Club de Nuit Intense Man. I can say---with certainty, having owned both products, that CdNIM is as close to the original Aventus as any thing out there. The projection is fantastic as well as the longevity. The scent has a stronger birch accord than the more recent batches of Aventus. For the money, it's amazing. I spent $350 for my 100ml Creed and sold it a short time later, recouping most of my money. Later, I couldn't resist purchasing a bottle of the CdNIM, especially at the bargain price of $50. I really love it and because it is so good, I have no regrets selling my Aventus.
The opening of the CdNIM is somewhat stringent, but that is short-lived. It quickly dries down to a fruity and woody scent, that will get you plenty of compliments.
I want to give a shout out to Creed. Say what you will, they created one of the most iconic scents of the last 20 years. It was so good that every dupe company and their brothers spared no expense trying to copy it, which is, as they say, the sincerest form of flattery. It just so happens that Armaf has come the closest with their perfume.
If you read this, you more than likely are aware that Club de Nuit Intense Man (CDNIM) by Armaf is a Creed Aventus clone. Therefore, I will not give you yet another assessment of how close CDNIM is to Aventus but, rather, I will review the product as a standalone fragrance, without the comparison axis.
Now that this has been said, it nevertheless seems appropriate to mention that I paid 35 CAD for a 105mL bottle of the eau de toilette (EDT) version. It would have cost me around 500 CAD for the same format of Aventus bottle. I also paid about twice as much (70 CAD) for the limited edition eau de parfum (EDP) version (another 105mL bottle), which is still very reasonable for a product of that quality.
The EDT version of CDNIM is not without its flaws. The first few minutes are somewhat harsh, with a blast of citrusy notes that feel quite synthetic and seem to choke out more than a few folks, at least according to their online reviews. Personally, I do not find it off-putting at all. Interesting thing to note: this is no longer an issue in the limited edition EDP version of the scent. Armaf has done an excellent job in recalibrating the opening, among other things, but also in reducing the smokiness of the scent, which allows the fruity notes to shine through, and makes them more vibrant. Both versions of the scent are overall very similar, but the EDP limited edition version definitely feels cleaner and more polished.
Oddly enough, the EDT version seems to last longer on my skin (it actually lasts several hours) and has great sillage and projection (i usually use two to three sprays).
Overall, I have to say that this is a fantastic product and quite a compliment magnet. It is a well blended mix of citrusy, fruity, smoky (especially in the EDT), musky and fresh notes. I would describe this mixture of notes as a tad mesmerizing (although the Aventus DNA has been a bit overplayed in many people's books), immensely masculine and incredibly versatile. It can be worn every day and basically in any situation.
I have worn CDNIM in the office on a daily basis and I've been complimented countless times. I really struggle to think of a better value for the price. It is the fragrance that made me fall in love with perfumery, and I will always have a bottle of this in my collection.
I strongly recommend purchasing the limited edition EDP version if you don't mind spending a bit more. Again, it does not perform as well in terms of longevity, but it's a fantastic product.
Hilarious! Is it possible to smell more like Creed Aventus (2010) than actual current-formula Creed Aventus? If you ask Armaf, the answer is a resounding yes! Armaf Club de Nuit Intense Man (2015) is a piece of work, but let me explain. Without a doubt, 2010 batches of Aventus were heavily researched with gas chromatography and mass spectrometers to figure out exactly what makes them tick, then the formula was adjusted for cost and amped up in concentration (yet this is supposed to be an eau de toilette), making quite literally the perfect juice for self-absorbed "FragBros" everywhere looking to affirm their alpha status on the mostly indifferent world around them. To look at this another way, imagine if Jacques Bogart had created Aventus instead of Creed, shooting for brute force on a budget instead of pomposity and filigreed finesse. To make things even more comical, Club de Nuit Intense Man smells more like how the online fragrance community envisions Aventus than the real deal currently does, since this was based on the earliest and smokiest batches of Aventus before birch tar was nerfed by IFRA for being a potential carcinogen. In short, this is a loud and crude caricature of what Aventus once was, which is admittedly a lot more fun than wearing what Aventus currently is, costing literally less than a tenth of the price for something that actually does what most people are looking for Aventus to do. Not to disparge any true died-in-the-wool fans, but most people buying Aventus these days are not into the subtleties of Olivier Creed's overtly-French blending or the changes in materials batch to batch, so this is a better fit from a pragmatic point of view. If the word "banger" as it applies to fragrances had a dictionary entry, this stuff would be in the accompanying picture.
The opening is basically Jeremy Fragrance levels of bergamot smashed to your forehead with the power of Terry Crews from the older Old Spice commercials. People complain about lemon cleaner and what have you, but I've never smelled any cleaner that resembles this. I don't really get the pineapple per se, but I do get blackcurrant, apple, and the sweetness of what's here trying to impersonate the pineapple, so it's like the artificial flavoring equivalent. The rakish salvo does eventually calm down, and you get tons of hedione high-cis laced with tons of the birch tar smoke and rose missing from current Aventus. This is the part where Club de Nuit Intense starts pulling ahead of the genuine article in terms of smelling like what people obsess over online versus what's out there now. If you like "vintage" Aventus and don't want to pay thousands for a single drop, this will get you done. From there, it's a lot more accurate with vanilla, patchouli, white musk, and ambroxan but there's a twist here as well: Club de Nuit Intense Man has a Middle-Eastern salty ambergris vibe. Anyone who's smelled ambergris attars from the region Armaf hails from knows they have these pronounced marine facets normally hidden in "westernized" depictions of ambergris. This little bit of a Middle Eastern twist in the dry down also makes Club de Nuit Intense Man more than just a well-executed clone, but more on that later. You'll get 12+ hours from this and projection is out of this world. I don't need to tell you where to use this either, but I will tell you to mind the sprays, please. I caught a bus driver absolutely drenched in this stuff (meaning so was the bus), which is how I discovered the comical beauty of "CdNI", because I simply had to know what he was wearing since I could not for the life of me even begin to escape it.
As I said, the guys seriously buying the Creed marketing of noble and costly materials, painstaking hand-blending, and generations of hullabaloo will not appreciate this fragrance one bit, as it does one-armed push-ups in a rented Armani suit just like the type-A personalities it's marketed towards. Yes, this is an absolute compliment magnet, but it's designed to be from the ground up, and is a cost-benefit analysis of the Aventus hype in a bottle. Again, you're taking the phenomenon of Aventus hype more so than the actual fragrance, the impression it leaves on the mind, and botting that with Armaf Club de Nuit Intense Man. The same could be said if someone tried to make impressions of what vintage enthusiasts remembered scents like Cosmair-produced Ralph Lauren Polo (1977) or first-run Yves Saint Laurent Kouros (1981) to be, but then "Bogarted" with science and material efficiency until it was a $30 fragrance instead of a $300 example on eBay. You'd have some people who didn't care about the pedigree of the materials and just wanted to get close to what they remembered, or saw a recommendation but balked at the price and cared more about "results" than any elevated sense of going on a psychosomatic "fragrance journey". I think that's where this little clone house from the UAE fits into the scheme of things delivering something "better" than you remember, and since Club de Nuit Intense Man gives an 80's drugstore powerhouse treatment of the biggest masculine niche fragrance of the 21st century, it's on-the-nose presentation takes some cheek to enjoy if you're not explicitly wearing it to elicit compliments. The heavy bottle also doubles as a slapjack. Oh what fun! Thumbs up.
This fragrance, at first, took me to Black XS by Paco Rabanne (which I hate). But then it settled nicely and I thought this is exactly what Black XS should smell like if it was elegant and not so in-your-face. I must confess, I used to spray Black XS because there was something vaguely appealing, which I liked, but kept turning it away because it was just too much. Of course, an excess. Club De Nuit Intense does it for me, I really like it.
In my opinion, Club De Nuit Intense is a fragrance for a man wearing a suit and a nice watch, and not for someone out clubbing.
CDNI for plebian noses like mine is matter of factly, plenty 'Aventus like' as to not require the expense of Creed. I tend to only be able to pick up 'big' notes and whether I wear Aventus or CDNI I get pineapple either way. I was a little disappointed in that as it was comparing these two that made me question the sophistication of my olfactory system overall. That being said this is a great value to allow 'an' Aventus experience without having to pay for actual Aventus. Thumbs Up.