Victory League (Adidas)

In sports, victory is usually attainable by putting the other side on the defensive and watching them squirm while you play through. Adidas appears to enjoy releasing cheaper variants of designer successes in the hopes that their competition will come from frags in higher price brackets. In this case the target is Allure Homme, a variant of Cool Water that has itself spawned numerous imitators, many from its own brand. Allure's market share is generally unshakeable; the scent has secured the admiration of millions of consumers in the last sixteen years, and woe be it to those who think a lowly twelve dollar cologne could distract from its beauty.

I think Adidas punted well in releasing Victory League, because it strikes me as a competent shot at Chanel's lofty goal post. While not exactly the same, and clearly a different structure in terms of specific notes used, VL aims to generate a lighter, sweeter version of Allure's profile, using distinct vanilla and spiced fruit notes. Some reviewers have said it resembles Boss Bottled, and that may be, but I get a definite Allure vibe when I smell the cinnamon-dusted citrus and apple notes in VL, and the drydown brings a pleasantly smooth and warm vanillic amber with hints of wood, mainly cedar. The requisite white musk plays against the amber, lending transparency and freshness to an otherwise sturdy gourmandish fougère. I find the lavender in this is light and transient, with its own soapy sweetness, rather similar in effect to stuff like Skin Bracer and Cotton Club. I'd classify this frag as being "Allure Lite."

I doubt VL was ever popular enough to make the suits at Chanel worry, or even take notice, but at least the boys in Adidas' back room tried. One might argue that it is a touch too sweet, and at times it does feel that way, perhaps due to the preponderance of vanilla, but as in Sport Field, the material quality seems decent enough to give VL some texture and prevent it from becoming "blobby." I find it's no sweeter than Avon's Mesmerize for Men, another underrated scent with edible notes. Victory League's longevity clocks in at eight hours, making it a viable option for an office scent. Why not drop ten dollars or so on this the next time you see it? At the very least it's something fun to wear while shopping with the family on the weekend.

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