Invictus by Paco Rabbane

Inhale the scent of victory.

1-InvictusInvictus: the name proudly asserts its powerful masculinity and Latin identity. He is unconquered, invincible, the hero whom nothing and no one can resist. In ancient times, athletes had characteristics of the divine, and today’s sports players have inherited the mantle of that ideal. Or perhaps the opposite is true! Direct descendants of their ancient forebears, Generation 2.0 idolizes these larger-than-life supermen, with imagery that borders on mythological. Celebrated and worshiped though they are, these gods of the stadium are, first and foremost, men.

The Invictus hero has already finished his athletic performance. He has won, he is the best, the trial is over… but that experience is too bland, familiar. He is riding the high of what comes next, the rush of sensations from an overwhelming win, the tumult of a crowd carrying him on their shoulders and tearing at his clothes, an exulting body bearing the visible signs of success, and the alluring promise of many even more sensual conquests to come. He is the ultimate masculine ideal, a magnificent specimen of manhood. His virility is raw, almost animalistic. He is what men aspire to and women desire. Beyond his physique, it is his triumph that makes him desirable. This victory not only gives him wings; it is an aphrodisiac. And yet, unlike other sons of Olympus come down to earth, he also has a sense of humour. His smile is his ultimate weapon.

1-396f6cc5aa_PACO-RABANNE_INVICTUS_PACKSHOTPaco Rabanne Parfums loves to tell stories, and so each fragrance creates its own world and fully inhabits its values. Invictus was born of the desire to talk about sport in a new way, playing up the social fantasy it represents and going beyond a strictly literal scent narration. It aims to look past the typical ways of selling freshness and tell a real story through perfume.
The primordial incarnation of the fragrance lends body and resonance to this new approach. Who hasn’t dreamt of one day walking into a stadium or arena, hearing his name chanted by the crowd, and becoming an object of desire? The demi-god of Invictus is a true contemporary hero, and it is his humanity, more specifically his sense of humour, that differentiates him from the hero of a traditional epic tale.

To make this olfactory dream a reality, Paco Rabanne called on Véronique Nyberg (IFF), who gathered a team of three other perfumers with signature styles: Anne Flipo, Olivier Polge and Dominique Ropion. It took more than two and a half years of research and a joint effort by the team to achieve this utterly unprecedented orgasmic accord.
This sensually fresh composition stands out in stark contrast to the traditional approaches to men’s fragrance. Neither a transparent summer splash nor a traditional cologne, Invictus is an extremely textured scent with very pronounced depth and base.
To develop this fragrance and achieve this note of sensual freshness, the usual scent pyramid was discarded in favour of a two-layered entity. Invictus is a clash of worlds, powers, sensations, and values: a fresh woody scent, both muscular and spicy.
“It straddles the line between biting freshness and animal sensuality “, explains Véronique Nyberg.
“We were really aiming for salty skin—but without any smell of the ocean—that would make you want to taste it, lick it. A sharp contrast between two families that play off each other, mingle, and create tension.”
A sense of ecstasy taking off in vibrant, invigorating, refreshing flight was achieved with a marine accord, grapefruit zest and bay leaf. The addictive quality comes from the ultra-masculine identity and the animal magnetism of a woody amber accord. Guaiac wood, ambergris and patchouli leave a studly sillage. “The opposing forces complement one another. The spurt, obviously a sexual metaphor, is also used in the language of sports. From the beginning, this fragrance has been designed to be surprising, and stand out through the duality of its construction.”

For the bottle, Paco Rabanne worked with eclectic, iconoclastic designer Cédric Ragot, who saw the cup shape as the natural choice. A series of aesthetic and technical decisions resulted in the absolutely quintessential trophy. A symbol was chosen over words. Once again, an object has been given a second meaning, a collector’s item, a trophy that is not only attractive but also practical and easy to use, designed in the tradition of excellence in French perfumery.

The logo and font allude to the timeless look of Antiquity reworked to reflect a contemporary aesthetics. This stretch across the centuries, with one foot in the past and one in the present, adds the finishing touch to a strong, masculine, enduring signature. The wings (of victory) lend a certain strength and aura to the name, which appears to be engraved and chanted by the crowd.
Structured as laurels, another reward given to heroes and conquerors, the wings are the key element of the Invictus visual identity. The combination of metallic and matte grey tones alludes to ancient statues and the medals given to sports victors.


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