Viking Cologne is an interesting entry to Creed's fairly new emphasis on flankers. Although Aventus Cologne was a "fresher" take on Aventus, Viking Cologne reminds me little of the original Viking release. To me, Viking Cologne leans heavily into the 90s vibe while also using notes that have been recently retreaded in the post-blue genre of the 2020s such as sage and lavender.
On the opening, I get fresh and fairly long-lasting citrus notes that are quickly joined by pink pepper and a hint of lavender. From here, Viking Cologne transitions to a scent more reminiscent of the 90s. I smell dry floral notes, sage and rosemary. The closest scent memory I have to these middle and basenotes are something akin to Chanel's Platinum Egoiste. I get slightly woody notes in the dry down but none of the advertised sandalwood.
The obvious issue with this release is its hideous pricing. Although Viking Cologne is a really nice fragrance, it's not nice for the price, which is why it gets a Neutral rating from me. Given Viking's mixed reception, Viking Cologne may hit discounters sooner than later. That said, there are still so many better underrated Creed options floating around on discounters (e.g. Himalaya, Royal Mayfair). Viking Cologne is not at all a bad fragrance but I don't think it's worth the price. To me, it's not at all a daring fragrance. I think folks looking for a clean and fresh 90s-esque fragrance would be much better served by the likes of Platinum Egoiste.
Viking Cologne by Creed (2021) feels like an inevitability at this point, rather than something new and exciting. Ever since the success of the unlikely Aventus Cologne (2019) and the sale of Creed to Blackrock later the following year, everyone had vibes that this brand was about to get hit with all the corporate bloat and cold, calculated accountant and marketing data-based design-by-numbers that afflicts the once-prestigious designer market. Well, it looks like we were partially right, because here comes another flanker in only two years time that althought not serving to extend the nonexistent hype for the original Creed Viking (2017), does serve a similar purpose in keeping the line fresh in the minds of a trend-focused buyer. Viking Cologne has little of the DNA found in Viking, but this was true of Aventus Cologne as well, and at least like Aventus Cologne, Viking Cologne actually smells pretty good by itself. Right away it should be said that this is not actually a cologne, but still an eau de parfum made in a fresher "cologne-like" style, and having performance that more reflects the eau de parfum nature than anything else. Anyone who says this is weak probably has anosmia from being a serial oversprayer.
Viking Cologne opens with more herbs and citruses than Viking, and has the mint from the original Viking expunged to be replaced with things like rosemary and sage. Bergamot and lemon hang out with pink pepper again, but so does manadarin, making things a bit sweeter into the mid, where lavandin and geranium once again reside. No rose in Viking Cologne to be found, and no jasmine either, with the dandy components replaced by more spices like nutmeg and returning allspice sans the clove. Sufficiently greener than Viking and less plush, this cologne variant strives to be closer to an old Creed favorite called Baie de Genièvre (1982), not because it has juniper in it, but because it shares some tonal similarities. Patchouli and vetiver form the heart of the dry down here, and there is no more fougère structure either, as these two notes hang out alone with a bigger slug of Creed ambroxan-assisted house ambergris, and more cedar oil. Sandalwood is also absent so no creaminess, but you do get a nice punchy olibanum note to compliment the vetiver smoke. Wear time is long but just shy of 10 hours, although projection and sillage do not crank quite like original Viking, with an almost chypre-like structure feeling better for warmer weather as intended by the style.
Viking Cologne doesn't feel particularly youthful, and reminds me an awful lot of the discontinued Cartier Roaster Sport (2009), especially with how it has mandarin orange sitting over herbs and patchouli with a puff of cedar in the base. Viking Cologne is a Hell of a lot more complex than Roaster Sport, but at least until stocks run out on the discontinued Cartier, is also a lot more expensive too. People who didn't like Viking may not really be on board here with this cologne flanker, because it still feels marketed to mature tastes mostly stuck romanticizing the late 80's and early 90's, much like Viking proper. Seems between the Creed Aventus (2010) and Creed Viking lines, the brand is trying to carve up it's millennial/gen-z and boomer/gen-x markets into separate camps, then lob flankers at them under one of these two brands. If this is so, I wonder what is to become of all the others like Royal Mayfair (2015), Royal Oud (2011), Himalaya (2002), Tabaróme Millésime (2000), and any number of lesser-selling male-market Creeds that sorta stick to the shadows while these two stay in focus? Either way, this is very nice, but not nice for the price, so you know how to play the discounter waiting game if you really want a bottle bad enough. Thumbs up
Similar to the original but weaker. It has that classic, clean, bright greenness with some citrusy, smooth woods like the original but everything is just toned down.
Performance is also toned down, which may be what some are looking for in warmer temps. The original seemed a little too heavy-handed to wear on a hot day while this cologne version pairs well with warmer temps. Projection is low throughout and I get average longevity.
I love this. It sits well with Creeds history and outclasses many of their more recent offerings in my opinion. It starts with a beautiful intense bigerade (bitter orange) note and smooth crafted mint. These are blended seamlessly with incense to create an incredibly present (but not overwhelming or strong) top accord which smells natural but has phenomenal lift. It zings off the skin and smells terrific, but light in a cologne-type way. The base is a musky-ozone-sandalwood thing which is warm and friendly but still bright. Theres a sandalwood note in there which lifts off the skin but still retains a clear and natural sandalwood character - a phenomenal achievement.
This is well named, it displays the central character of Viking while sitting in a lighter, brighter world. Utterly brilliant perfumery. I believe Creed have a massive hit on their hands.