Attack of the Clones: Armaf vs. Creed

            There isn’t a lot of information out there about the Armaf line of fragrances from Sterling Perfumes in Dubai. I have searched and found a few articles that look at the uncanny similarities these fragrances have to more expensive, popular scents. Those, coupled with reviews that seem be split 50/50 on whether or not these fragrances by Armaf are worth purchasing, don’t really seem to help anyone make a decision.

            In Canada, there seems to be more and more retailers adding Armaf to their assortment. From never having heard of it before to seeing it everywhere, I was definitely interested in trying some of them out. Their most prestigious offering seems to be Club De Nuit Intense for Men, which finds its fame from its shared profile with Creed Aventus (I will be referring to Armaf Club De Nuit Intense for Men and Creed Aventus, as clone and original respectively, for the purposes of this write-up).

           One of the biggest issues facing Armaf is being seen as producing ‘knock-offs’ or ‘clones’. There are two sides to the fence here. The first side, is that premium & niche fragrances are extremely costly (Aventus for $500CAD + tax, anyone?). Everyone wishes they could walk into a Holt Renfrew and slap down the cash for a bottle of Aventus, but not many actually have the disposable income to do it. However, it smells great. What a dilemma! What if I told you that you could experience it and smell it for a fraction of the price? It won’t be the real deal (which is out of most peoples budgets) but it might smell pretty close, be a decent quality, and you would get to see what all of the hype is about? That seems to be what Armaf is doing. There are many fragrances that are priced at a premium so that they have that exclusivity.  The problem is some of them smell amazing and people want to experience them.  Due to the high price tag, clones and knockoffs seem like a viable option then, right?

           The other side of the fence is that a company like Creed, who probably put a ton of money into research & development, ingredients, ingenuity and quality, have done all of the work to create a masterpiece and now someone has come in, stolen it, and profited from it. This does not seem very fair. Knockoffs seem to be present in all categories of manufactured products from clothes to fragrance to phones to even medicine. The reality is, a lot of these industries heavily enforce the sale of knock-offs and replicas (See movies, ladies hand bags, etc). I think there is a little bit of a distinction to make though. If someone has copied a fragrance and its packaging and made it look the same in order to fool consumers at a profit, then a line definitely needs to be drawn. That is 100% counterfeiting and illegal. 

            What about fragrances that don’t try to duplicate the look of the fragrance, but only the smell? Isn’t copying a scent illegal? I found an interesting read here which goes into perfume and its copyright protections. Fragrances, because of their intangibility and unpredictability, cannot be trademarked.  Pretty much everything about the fragrance aside from the actual liquid can be protected. One of the biggest problems with this might be that not everyone has the same sense of smell or palate. Some may sense infringements or similarities between two fragrances when it may actually be a very different scent with just a few similar ingredients.

            With these items now in mind, I return back to Armaf vs. Creed. I like Armaf and other lines that try to provide consumers with more premium & niche styled fragrances at a lower price. I enjoy wearing Creed Aventus and I bought a bottle for myself so I know it well. Needless to say, I was curious and I purchased a bottle of Armaf’s Club De Nuit Intense for Men after seeing people talk about it in various chats and forums online. I tried it and I think it’s great. It’s got big longevity and sillage and performs very well. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that it smells exactly the same and that there is no difference to Aventus.  I can totally feel the quality in Creed’s Aventus when I wear it (whether it’s worth the price is different topic entirely.) However, Club De Nuit Intense still makes me feel like I’ve sprayed my Aventus. I bought Club De Nuit Intense from an online retailer for approx. $50 CAD taxes in.  Creed Aventus on average will run you $500 CAD. Is it 10 times better? I think you need to be a serious frag head or have a very strong palate to say yes.  The average to above average fragrance enthusiast should enjoy the Armaf version if they’re looking for that Aventus vibe.

            You can dislike clones and companies that produce them on a moral or ethical level and this could persuade your decision to buy them. For me, I feel like if you can’t afford the big brands or just don’t think they’re worth it, but you want to enjoy fragrances, seek out a good quality clone for yourself. Stay away from counterfeit duplicates and try to find a fragrance that gives you the feel you’re looking for and save yourself a few bucks. If you have the disposable income and you enjoy your fragrances, chances are you will be more satisfied with purchasing the big brand original.  You might find that you’ve smelled both Aventus and Club De Nuit Intense and feel the latter just doesn’t cut it.  If that’s the case, just save up that rainy day money and try to get the Creed.

            I think that fragrance, being intangible, can have profound effects on us, our memories, emotions, and moods.  If you find a fragrance that you love but its price tag is denying your opportunity to enjoy it, I’m happy that there might be an option for you to experience it and increase your quality of life. I will totally advocate it until the day might come when cloning a fragrance becomes illegal. Until then, I say if you’re on a budget…bring on the clones!

1 Response

Wayne K
Wayne K

January 20, 2018

Very insightful essay on clones in the fragrance industry! Thanks for sharing.

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