AVENTUS FOR HER
Daring pioneers, bold, yet unapologetically feminine - the powerful women that The House of Creed has served throughout its 260-year history are a truly extraordinary inspiration.Bottling the spirit of this remarkable clientele, Aventus for Her - the feminine counterpart to the legendary men’s fragrance, Aventus – celebrates the vision, passion and strength of women – both of history and of today. When Olivier Creed, together with his son, Erwin, set out to create Aventus For Her in 2016, he looked towards his tailoring history and the powerful female clientele his ancestors served. Five years on from the launch of The House of Creed’s most successful women’s perfume of all time, we take a look into Olivier Creed’s inspiration behind Aventus For Her and the vision that bought this best-selling Creed fragrance to life.
THE MODERN AMAZONE
HISTORY IN THE TAILORING
discerning tastes of powerful and fashionable women play a key role in The
House of Creed’s present and future, but also importantly, its past. Specialising
in leisurewear for the elite, The House of Creed founder, Henry Creed, quickly
established himself amongst the 19th-century fashionistas,
hand-stitching garments for some of the most poignant royal figures of the
time. It was at the behest of Empress Eugenie of France that Henry Creed moved
his business to Paris in the mid 1850s, to better serve this doyenne of fashion
and society, who was not only a stylistic trendsetter, but also a pioneer of
women’s liberation. When Henry Creed began to design riding habits for the
great and the good of London and Paris, little did he know that he was playing
such a part such an important movement in female history. In serving such venerable
patrons, Creed too played a part in the furtherment of female emancipation,
incorporating men’s tailoring into women’s wardrobes for the very first time –
thus paving a path towards the revolutionary adoption of trousers into womenswear.
BY FORCE OF HABIT
The Riding Habit, named for the French abit ,meaning ‘clothing’ denotes the attire that aristocratic women wore for riding side-saddle. This specialised outfit took many forms throughout the years, depending on fashions of different times, but it was Empress Eugenie’s imposing physical form and assertive spirit that led to the creation of its most notable iteration, the costume Amazone. This impeccably tailored outfit pushed gender boundaries further than any previous style, with clear masculine influences including dark colours, men’s tailoring and fabrics associated more with suits than ladies’ fashions. These stylistic choices were practical, allowing female equestrians to realise their true skills, unconstrained by bulky skirts or delicate finishes.
It was an appetite for liberation that drove these empowering developments, becoming, before long, a fire in the heart of women everywhere. During the 1890s, new horizons were opening up to women – they were working, openly exploring intellectual pursuits, and playing sport. Women wanted to hike, cycle, shoot and play tennis, and they needed suitable garments for these activities. Thanks to the previous developments of the Riding Habit, tailors were poised to make a leap of immense significance – breeches for women were at last brought into fashion.
BREAKING THE HABIT
The design of the Amazone, with its union of the feminine and masculine, of attractiveness and practicality, perfectly captures the modern woman’s skill for expressing her desirability whilst refusing to be stymied in her activities. It is no wonder that the Amazone paved the way for such an important step, providing the women who would later become the feminists of the 20th century with a conduit for self-expression, not just through fashion but also through the physical empowerment of sport.
As perceptions of femininity began to shift in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, both propelled by and reflected in fashion and clothing, so too did fragrance styles evolve. During the Victorian era, strong scents were associated with ‘fallen women’ and thus frowned upon. Understated fragrances were preferred, particularly ones that conjured up a specific flower, such as rose or violet, reflecting the ornamental fragility of the wearer. This is perhaps why the scenting of clothing by tailors like Creed was such a popular choice – the fabric would delicately perfume the air as opposed to the intimate intensity of fragrance warmed against bare skin. However, as women’s freedoms increased, many found they no longer wanted to smell like, or be seen as, delicate flowers. They were hungry to express their newfound autonomy through audacious, androgynous and sensual scents.
AVENTUS FOR HER
The tireless ambition, self-possession and independence of the women of this era – elevated by a flair for fashion and style - is truly iconic. An irresistible inspiration, in 2016 The House of Creed debuted an homage not just to the female visionaries of the 19th century, but also to the modern woman and her lust for life, with the opulent, sensual fragrance, Aventus for Her.
“In 2016, we launched Aventus for Her as the counterpart to the legendary Aventus. It took three years to create something befitting of its male counterpart that truly embodies powerful women – past, present and future.” – Olivier Creed, Master Perfumershop now