I know there are already plenty of reviews on this, but I figured I'd add my two cents regardless...
I think this receives a lot of hype because it truly is an exceptional fragrance, and I think if people end up disappointed it's only because it's not at all what they thought it would be. Whether or not it's worth the price? I guess that's up to you, and more a matter of perception/priorities as opposed to the quality of the fragrance.
My first exposure to Aventus was at a mall, where I followed a woman through Nordstrom for at least 20 minutes before I worked up the nerve to ask her what she was wearing. I was entirely mesmerized, and I couldn't NOT inquire.
I got what I later learned was a "pineapple heavy batch," which I was excited about. But I didn't get pineapple when I smelled it on someone else, nor do I get pineapple when I wear it myself. But obviously, that could be due to an individual's chemistry. I'm pointing it out because if you're looking for pineapple, you might look elsewhere. If the pineapple is prevalent, it's only in the way it compliments the other components, for me at least.
What I do get is a lot of smoke in the opening, but it's not an obtrusive accord, there's something crisp about it. It's quite pleasant and unique, especially when you sense its presence in the drydown. It's still there, but it's definitely evolved into something different. I can't put into words what the fragrance does as a whole, as there are no stand out notes to my nose, but the composition of these notes is so exquisite that it has an almost regal feel to it. It ends up intriguingly soft, yet poignant, a little bit woodsy, with a very slight marine-like air, and a hint of a vanilla base (I know that's an odd combination of adjectives). It honestly is mesmerizing, and part of what makes it mesmerizing is that you can't figure out what the hell it is that you're smelling, no matter how hard you work to deconstruct it. But a guy I know once described me as smelling like "a majestic forest," if that's a better indication. (=
The longevity is quite impressive, lasts for weeks on my jackets and scarves. And as for its sillage, well, like I said, I followed its trail around a department store for almost 30 minutes before I found out what it was.
I would definitely recommend trying it before purchasing, but only because of its price. Happy sniffing.