I can safely say that Kron's Aventus is the best (out of three) that I've smelled. Top notes are far from unpleasant for me. Blackcurrant dominates the top, but you can still get a sense of the sharper and sweeter qualities of the pineapple. I believe this batch to be better blended than others and so possibly the top notes are not as distinct as you were expecting.
As for ash, the combination of jasmine, birch wood, patchouli and juniper is supposed to smell like a "smoky floral". If it were not for these middle notes the fragrance would be very feminine in my opinion.
Not ash, though, smoky floral!