Anticipation has been building for the brand’s next big men’s launch since the best-selling cult scent Aventus launched in 2010. Years may pass between launches, but that doesn’t mean Sixth Generation Master Perfumer Olivier Creed isn’t tirelessly working on new fragrance compositions daily. On the eve of the next big launch, we sat down with Olivier to learn more about his inspiration for the highly anticipated new Viking fragrance. Read on to hear more about his creative process.
What is the overall inspiration for this new fragrance?
To me, Viking is extraordinary. I love spending time on the sea; it is my passion. When you are on a boat, you’re in a constant state of exploration and I have a feeling of being free. I’ve always been fascinated by the architecture of longships and the people who sailed them. I was inspired by the unwavering commitment to discovering new territory, both physically and metaphorically.
Viking has been several years in the making. The last men’s launch was the now infamous Aventus in 2010. How would you describe the customer/man that wears VIKING?
I don’t ever feel pressured to produce a fragrance. To me, scent creation cannot be rushed. I approach it with care and want to make sure whatever I create is truly unique. I know our customers have been longing for a new men’s scent for quite some time. With Viking, I wanted to create a totally new men’s fragrance that would capture a different spirit than our Aventus, which stands for success and power.
I channelled the Viking man. In my mind, he is fearless and daring. He lives life full of purpose and never settles. I think of him going against the wind, pushing himself to be fearless in all aspects of his journey with a thirst for discovery. He consistently challenges himself to break boundaries in all aspects of his life.
How did you come up with the fiery red bottle?
Red is my favorite color. I know it also symbolizes passion. I have such passion for perfume making and when I learned that it also was said that Vikings had red on their flags, it felt like a natural fit. The bottle also needed a bold signature touch like the leather-inspired etching. I paired it with an illustration of a Viking longship and it feels complete.
We know you are often inspired by your travels. Was there a particular destination you had in mind when creating VIKING?
Viking explorers originated and settled in parts of Scandinavia and Iceland. There are incredible landscapes in this part of the world and it’s full of inspiration. When I think of a destination, Iceland is the embodiment of everything the Viking fragrance stands for. It is the land of fire and ice because of its volcanos and glaciers. Its position on Earth makes it a hotspot for geologic activity and limitless energy. With volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and geysers occurring daily, it’s an adventure-seeker’s playground. The country has an abundance of natural beauty waiting to be discovered.
Can you elaborate on the top, middle and base notes for this scent?
The fragrance lives in the Woody/Citrus category and opens brightly with notes of Calabrian bergamot, Sicilian lemon and Reunion Island Rose Bay (Pink Peppercorn). The middle notes are filled with Bulgarian rose along with peppermint. The fragrance finishes with masculine base notes of Indian sandalwood, Haitian vetiver, Indian patchouli, Absolute Lavandin. The scent has incredible longevity on skin.
What does this new fragrance mean to the Creed portfolio?
We have over 45 fragrances in our current portfolio. Viking adds a unique dimension to our current men’s line-up – there’s nothing like it in the existing collection.
What notes evokes emotion for you?
Definitely new compositions that I’m currently developing. I always love working with bergamot – its freshness has become a signature ingredient for Creed. What excites me is how endless the note combinations can be. I still am surprised by notes when combined that create completely unique compositions. Each can be so very different from one another but create their own olfactory symphony. When we do that, I feel we have fulfilled our purpose at Creed.
Viking debuts on Tuesday, September 5th.