Swiss Army Classic 
Victorinox (1997)

Average Rating:  2 User Reviews

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About Swiss Army Classic by Victorinox

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Victorinox
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Reviews of Swiss Army Classic by Victorinox

There are 2 reviews of Swiss Army Classic by Victorinox.


Victorinox Swiss Army Classic is a fresh aromatic scent. It has a nice woody and spicy opening and then settles to more floral dry down with a hint of musk. The opening really grabs me with the fresh woody scent and the spicy/tangy edge to it with some ginger and a hint of citrus. The great opening really draws me in and it then settles in to a pretty standard fresh/woody/aromatic scent. It is an easy fragrance to wear. I wouldn't say it is a big head turner or compliment getter but it does make the wearer smell pleasant and fresh. I have been wearing Swiss Army Classic since it was gifted to me by a girlfriend in about 2002 and I enjoy wearing it. It is most suitable for wearing to work as it is a non-offensive, somewhat subtle scent so good for the office, lab, clinic or class environments. It works best in summer and warm spring days. In terms of value this used to be relatively cheap but seems to have jumped in price recently, if you can get a 100mL bottle for around $30USD or less then that is reasonable value. It lasts about 4 hours with arm length to intimate projection. Not really a date night or party fragrance but a very good signature/every day fragrance for the warmer months. I think Swiss Army Classic is one of the better fresh fragrances to come out of the late 90s and it is still very wearable today.
Oct 5, 2021


What's arguably worse than notoriety in the fragrance community? Well, anonymity is likely worse, because at least a bad fragrance is known to be bad, and draws in some curious stares. If nobody is talking about a scent, then likely nobody is buying or wearing it either, and it sort of dies a sad death in overstock warehouses across the globe. The venerable knife maker Victorinox isn't actually obscure, but one would argue that the name conjures images of the world-famous Swiss Army knife or even licensed camping gear long before any kind of fragrance, but after several aggressive expansions throughout the 70's and into the 90's, everything from luggage, apparel, watches, and toiletries became branded with the cross logo. I really like Swiss Army by Swiss Army (1996), which has since been rebranded as Swiss Army Classic under the Victorinox label due to the expansion of the line manyfold (more on that later), but I can't believe after 21 years of very conspicuous market presence, that nobody has ever talked much about it outside the reviews here. I had the stuff in High School, bought after a sniff from a tester at the local Wal-Mart, and I know that alone sends this damned near down the toilet sight unseen from the Creedophiles and Lutenites among us, but I wouldn't expect anyone buying certified-organic Cheerios from Whole Foods through the app on their $3000 Samsung smart fridge (those exist) to be bothered with a licensed brand fragrance anyway. As for the rest of you, Swiss Army Classic doesn't fit firmly in the 90's with it's minty green citrus vibe, since it's not ozonic or really all that aquatic either, resting somewhere between chypre and eau de cologne construction with EdT concentration, making it a lark among beige creations.

The opening notes are Japanese yuzu, bergamot, spearmint, and a small twinge of galbanum, which marries well. The yuzu is obviously inspired by L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme (1994), but it's odd bleached citrus tones mix with the mint and dry bergamot well, with a lavender sweetness in the middle which comes up fast to keep this from being the bitter sci-fi chemical bath that L'Eau D'Issey Pour Homme's very stark opening becomes. Violet leaf dances with hearty rosemary, giving faint floral wisps of a greener de-gassed Fahrenheit (1988), but the alpine edelweiss flower gives Swiss Army Classic a unique "X factor" that comes across like a less-mustardy version of immortelle, which like Guerlain Coriolan (1998), gives appeal that one can't quite place their finger on during the heart of the wear. The base for Swiss Army Classic is a less interesting clean laundry musk not with a synthetic "cypress" note that underlines the price point like the bases of most inexpensive scents, but it earns the chypre comparison at least. Cedar and balsam fir bring more green to the bottom which mixes with the green top, and the whole thing is like backpacking through Switzerland at the end, but I don't get any chestnut or fireplace notes like the pyramid here suggests (guess they borrowed some fantasy from Calvin Klein too). Swiss Army Classic isn't the most unique thing out there, but in comparison to other things released in the mid-to-late 90's, the scent is rather old-school, and it's unknown perfumer seemed apt to mix trendy 90's citruses with barbershop heart notes and a light chypre-like green base that comes across like an eau de cologne but with a bit more woodsy oomph. Longevity and sillage aren't monstrous for the stuff and summer is definitely the best time to use Swiss Army Classic, but it's refreshing without feeling super artificial.

I guess this stuff sold well somewhere in the world, as Victorinox felt compelled to vomit out a Swiss Army's worth of flankers that I've never seen, and there have even been some clones of this spotted online, so it must be popular enough in some regions to be boolegged, which is puzzling since it's non-existent in the US outside discount sites or obscure mall kiosks. I haven't seen the stuff in the wild since my original bottle was exhausted sometime in the early 2000's and I never bothered replacing it because I was knee-deep in Avon then designers, but I feel Swiss Army Classic has suffered a bit of critical injustice if apparently not commercial because it never caught the attention of the fragrance community. If you're looking for a quickly citrus floral musk with a garnish of smooth mint, an exotic flower which a song was named after, and lots of green, this might be your newfound obscure gem. Swiss Army is most comparable to Live Jazz by Yves Saint Laurent (1998), but doesn't have the boozy clear rum note, is more floral, plus is a Hell of a lot cheaper and easier to find because it's not discontinued. People who miss Live Jazz being commonly available and don't want to pay over department store prices might also have a new hero in the Swiss Army. I won't say the stuff is "classic", but this forgotten 90's cheapie is surprisingly not very 90's in tone, checking off all the boxes for an herbal citric tonic-like eau that doesn't sag like a cologne. Very nice!
Sep 25, 2018

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