Home » Reviews » Paco Rabanne Invictus Review
Paco Rabanne Invictus Review

Paco Rabanne Invictus Review

Paco Rabanne’s Invictus is a fragrance that has captured the attention of many since its launch in 2013. It has quite the reputation and for good reason – it has a pretty unique scent profile, it’s got a unique trophy bottle and people just loved the smell.

Let’s take a look at how good this fragrance is today, over 10 years since its release. Does it still hold up or has time taken its toll? we’re going to cover all the notes, the history of Paco Rabanne Invictus, who should wear it and more.

Brand History

Paco Rabanne is a fashion brand founded by the Spanish designer Francisco “Paco” Rabaneda Cuervo in 1966. The brand is known for its bold, avant-garde designs and innovative use of materials.

In terms of fragrances, Paco Rabanne has a long and successful history. Their first fragrance, Calandre, was launched in 1969 and was a fresh, floral scent that quickly gained popularity. In the following years, Paco Rabanne released several other fragrances, including the iconic men’s fragrance Pour Homme in 1973, which was one of the first fragrances to feature a metal bottle.

Perfume History

Invictus eau de toilette fragrance was launched in 2013 and has since become one of Paco Rabannes’ most popular and iconic fragrances. The name Invictus comes from the Latin word for “unconquered” and the fragrance was created to be a masculine scent that represents this spirit of victory and strength.

Invictus eau de toilette was created by no less than 4 perfumers – Anne Slipo, Dominique Ropion, Olivier Polge and Véronique Nyberg. Together, they wanted to create a scent that was both masculine and fresh. It was inspired by Paco Rabanne’s love for sports and competition, and the bottle is designed to resemble a trophy, with a silver base and a glass body shaped like a trophy cup. The fragrance has been advertised with a series of campaigns featuring sports and athletes, including a popular ad campaign featuring Australian rugby player Nick Youngquest.

Since its launch, Invictus has won several awards, including the Fragrance Foundation Award for Best Men’s Fragrance in 2014. It has also inspired several flankers, including Invictus Aqua and Invictus Intense, which offer variations on the original scent.

Perfume Story

With a creative name like Invictus, it’s no surprise that the creative brief was to compose a fragrance that represents dynamism, energy and power. The first thing that come to mind for the perfumers was the precious ingredient ambergris. On top of this, they wanted to use different facets of sea notes, as they viewed the sea as an unstoppable force. This led to different sea notes being added.

Perfume Bottle & Presentation

Paco Rabanne’s Invictus fragrance comes in a distinctive and striking bottle that resembles a trophy cup. The bottle has a silver base and a clear glass body that is shaped like a trophy, with a unique twist cap. The design of the bottle perfectly captures the spirit of victory and strength that the fragrance represents.

The packaging and presentation of Invictus are sleek and modern, with a black and silver colour scheme that adds to the overall masculine feel of the fragrance. Overall, the bottle and presentation of Invictus are just as iconic as the scent itself and have no doubt helped to make the fragrance a popular choice among men – although some people find the design to be a bit cheesy.

The sprayer is pretty good as well and you’ll have no problem getting solid coverage whenever you want to wear this fresh scent.

Our Thoughts

When Paco Rabanne Invictus was first released, I honestly couldn’t get enough of it. It was pretty unique, playful and energetic and was my choice for pretty much everything you could imagine. I’d wear it going to the shops. I’d wear it going on nights out. I’d wear it at work. It became my staple fragrance.

It fell out of favour and I recently re-sniffed it to see how I felt about it now that my nose has matured a bit. It’s not as strong as I originally remember it being – this is probably down to a reformulation. But it’s still just as playful and bold, albeit not as unique as it once was.

It’s certainly a great fragrance and still holds up quite well today, but the only difference now is that there are many scents which capture the same feeling of Paco Rabanne Invictus.

How many sprays are required?

Whilst it’s not as strong as it used to be, Paco Rabanne Invictus is still good in terms of performance, so you might want to take it easier on the sprays. For most situations, you’ll want to go for about 4 sprays, but you’ll want to take it very easy in the heat. Invictus absolutely flies off of you in hotter environments. Hot summer days will see you probably only needing about 2 sprays if that.


Here’s a quick breakdown of the notes you’ll find in Invictus:

Top Notes

Sea Notes


Mandarin Orange

The name of the game with the top notes of Invictus is juicy sweet notes. There’s a luscious grapefruit that’s right in your face, along with a very ripe orange. This combo is incredibly refreshing, with the grapefruit punching out just a bit more than the orange.

Many people get a bubblegum vibe from the opening. This is from the combination of the grapefruit from the top notes and also the jasmine starting to come through from the middle notes.

Middle Notes

Bay Leaf


The middle notes of Invictus are quite plain. You’ve got a slightly spicy bay leaf which gives off an earthy scent. You’ve also got that clean jasmine supporting it as well. The fruity nuisances are still present from the opening as well, which all culminate in a slightly earthy bubblegum scent that is very playful and energetic.

Base Notes


Guaiac Wood



After a few hours, you get to the base notes of Invictus. This is where it really transforms into a masculine fragrance, with some of the middle notes still lingering in the midst. The oak moss is what really brings this base altogether and the ambergris adds a nice, aquatic touch with its saltiness and muskiness.

The guaiac wood adds a slightly woody feel, but not too woody. It’s only faintly there. There’s a nice sprinkling of patchouli in the base notes that just helps bring everything together in a neat and tidy package.



The sillage of Invictus is pretty damn incredible, especially in the heat. It leaves a sweet and playful trail behind you, which lingers for a good 5 minutes. If you’re after a scent trail that stays behind you wherever you go, Invictus definitely hits the mark.


Longevity is also well above average. I personally get a good 8 hours with Invictus and many other people report the same. In the heat, this drops a bit, but the trade-off is the projection being boosted.


The projection of Invictus used to be wild, but the brand has tempered it down a bit. On average, you’re going to get at least a metre of projection through the majority of the life of the scent. Many people get better than this though, with the heat causing the projection to be even more than that.

Target Market

This is a youthful and playful fragrance, which can lean a bit feminine thanks to its sweetness. I’d say that any young men under the age of 30 can pull this off. A more mature gentleman many find it a tad too sweet.

When to Wear

Invictus is the perfect summer scent. the saltiness and fruity facets make it an absolute joy to wear in the summer and you’ll be getting compliments. It’s also perfect for day-to-day wear in the office or at work – just remember to take it easier when you spritz it in a small space.

The only setting it doesn’t really work well in is the cold. The playful brightness just doesn’t work well and you’d be better off with something a bit spicier or woodier.


Quite a few people own Invictus thanks to the fact it was a smash hit when it launched and remains incredibly popular, So you may bump into someone else wearing this when you’re out and about during the summer.

The scent itself is fairly unique, but again the success of this bubblegum sweet scent profile has seen a few other brands invade the space with their own versions.

Value For Money

Money-wise, Invictus can be had for designer fragrance prices. This gives it extra kudos for me – for the price it’s a really strong fragrance. You can often find it reduced, on offer or in sales and it’s incredibly easy to find.

All of these make it great value for money if you enjoy the sweet scent profile and easy purchase, especially if you’re after a strong summer scent that everyone loves.

Pros & Cons


  • Great performance
  • Summer smash hit
  • Super easy to like scent profile
  • Very unique bottle
  • Can be found reduced quite often


  • Can be cloying
  • Some men may find it too immature and playful
  • Doesn’t work in the cold

Similar Perfumes

Paco Rabanne One Million

If you like the scent profile of Invictus but want something a bit more winter appropriate, check out One Million. It’s a modern classic with another funky bottle. One Million retains a bit of the bubble gum sweetness but throws in much more spice and lovely vanilla, all of which smells really nice during colder months of the tear.

Rasasi Hawas For Him

If you want Invictus but with absolutely nuclear performance, Hawas for him is definitely worth looking at. retaining most of the DNA of Invictus, Hawas is a middle eastern version of it. There’s a slight spiciness to it that can do well during the winter, but it remains a very summer-focused scent.

Our Verdict

Invictus is a summer staple for a reason – it simply works. You’ve got the fresh aquatic and sweet DNA and the performance you need at a price that is more than reasonable.

0/10 Bottle
0/10 Sillage
0/10 Longevity
0/10 Projection
0/10 Price

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.