New Perfume Review Creed White Amber- More Jasmine!

Creed is a perfume house which prides itself on its luxury. It is one of the few brands which lives up to its reputation. There is a certain style of sophistication baked into every Creed release. Even when it is a simple perfume the creative team at Creed knows how to create this effect. The latest release in the Les Royales Exclusives collection, White Amber, displays what I am writing about.

The Les Royales Exclusives are an ultra-luxe collection within Creed where Erwin and Olivier Creed are making it even more Creed than the regular line. Of the previous five releases I am very fond of Spice and Wood as well as White Flowers both of which I think, creatively, achieve what the Creeds wanted from this collection. White Amber, from the name, had me expecting a fresh take on amber. Instead it is a very open floral featuring one flower, jasmine.

Olivier (l.) and Erwin Creed

As I wore White Amber I was reminded of one of the most famous sketches from Saturday Night Live. In the sketch, a documentary is being filmed on the making of a classic rock song. The cowbell player is feeling extra feisty to the annoyance of the band. The producer walks into the studio after the first take and asks for “more cowbell”. It leads to more fun as the cowbell player follows orders. When I was wearing White Amber I had a thought of father and son smelling a mod of White Amber and saying to each other “more jasmine”. I highly doubt that is what happened but they did decide to make a huge jasmine soliflore out of White Amber.

If you’re looking for the amber advertised on the label make sure you enjoy the first few minutes of White Amber because it is the only place it is detectable. It is contrasted with a bit of vanilla along with blackcurrant bud but this accord is only temporary. The jasmine arises early on and keeps rising. There are multiple sources of jasmine here. The only commonality is the indoles have been stripped out of them; perhaps this is the white part. What they are replaced with is benzoin. This removes skankiness in favor of resinous warmth. When I smelled it on a strip I didn’t care for the exchange. When I was wearing it, my opinion changed as the benzoin adds a comfy quality to the jasmine. The jasmine never stops radiating and the only modulator over the end of White Amber is some sandalwood.

White Amber has 10-12 hour longevity and above average sillage.

I came to like the benzoin and jasmine combination much more on my skin than on paper. It is a caution that if you are interested in White Amber to spray some on before making a decision; I found a significant difference. If you are someone for whom the idea of “more jasmine” is appealing I think this is a good interpretation of a jasmine soliflore from Creed.

Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by Creed.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Creed Aventus for Her- A Creed Fruity Floral

When it comes to the ultra-luxe perfume brands there is none which wears its history more patently than Creed. I would have said that history got a little bit in the way as we moved into the new century. The perfumes seemed to be too obviously looking to the past for inspiration. By the time 2010 rolled around I was wondering where the brand was headed. I received a preview sample of Aventus which immediately caught my attention. Olivier Creed had developed a masculine fruity floral using apple and pineapple in the opening. I consider the top accord of Aventus one of the most innovative choices made for a perfume meant for men. I remember wondering if this was going to do well with that desired demographic. Six years later Aventus is the best-selling perfume in the entire Creed line of perfumes. It has become a legendary perfume for guys who will tell you about its ability to charm women who smell it on them. I think it tells a woman this is a man who isn’t afraid to stand out because Aventus stands out among fragrances marketed to men.

Now Creed has decided it is time to give Aventus a feminine counterpart, Aventus for Her. The original fragrance was an homage to Napoleon Bonaparte. I expected Aventus for Her to be Josephine. In the press release it is meant to be more generic than that as it “is inspired by some of history’s most powerful women-royalty, artists, writers, and visionaries-whilst heralding the strong, modern woman of today.” It is that desire to encompass many instead of one which probably doesn’t provide an advantage for Aventus for Her . A strong primary focal point might have been a better choice. Because of this Aventus for Her is not as innovative as Aventus while still being quite charming.

Olivier_CREED

Olivier Creed

M. Creed chooses to repeat the apple he used in Aventus for this distaff version. It is surrounded with the usual suspects of many fruity openings as pink pepper, cassis, lemon and red berries all form an accord that is familiar with only the apple adding something marginally different. It settles into a beautifully composed floral accord in the heart as rose leads the way supported by ylang-ylang, lilac, and violet. The last two tint the rose ever so slightly purple. The base is sandalwood as the core around which M. Creed adds patchouli, styrax, and musk. It makes for a sweetly woody finish.

Aventus for Her has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

I am not sure Creed did this perfume any favors with its name. The similarities are not so apparent. It is also lacking in the special qualities which makes Aventus stand out. My first impression was full of comparisons which really weren’t fair. Aventus for Her is a Creed fruity floral which trends feminine which I think is as good as many of the recent releases. This does not feel like Creed is looking to the past it does feel forward looking for the brand. On the days I wore this I found myself enjoying it quite a bit. If you temper your expectations I think you might also find Aventus for Her to be worth your while.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Creed.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Reviews Creed Acqua Originale Collection Aberdeen Lavender, Asian Green Tea, Cedre Blanc, Iris Tubereuse, & Vetiver Geranium

It has been a while since Creed has released a completely new perfume. Last year’s Millesime 1849 is the only new fragrance since 2011. 2014 will make up for that as Creed inaugurates a new collection, Acqua Originale, with five new releases: Aberdeen Lavender, Asian Green Tea, Cedre Blanc, Iris Tubereuse, and Vetiver Geranium. Olivier Creed is the perfumer for all five and he has created a collection of luminous perfumes which all exude a beautiful glow.

Aberdeen Lavender is a lavender but it is surrounded by a fantastic choice of notes by M. Creed. Before you get to the lavender in the heart the top notes of absinthe, rosemary, and lemon create a fascinating accord of herbal and citrus components. Once the lavender rises to prominence it is supported with orris and tuberose. The lavender and the absinthe seem like they were made to go together and I really enjoyed the moments they were both on top. This all ends with a suede leather accord along with patchouli and vetiver. Lavender is such a common perfumery note but M. Creed gives it a luxurious makeover.

Thankfully there are no truth in naming statutes for perfume. If there was Asian Green Tea would be arrested for false expectations. I have to say I was expecting another riff on jasmine tea or mate but M. Creed wanted to make an elegant citrus floral. The top notes are a brilliant collage of lemon, mandarin, petitgrain, and neroli. M. Creed lets these notes form a sunburst in the early moments of the development. Violet and sticky green blackcurrant buds form the heart. According to the note list there is supposed to be tea here but I don’t detect it at all. What is here is a dense green fruity floral heart. The base is a silky smooth mix of sandalwood and amber. The name aside this is a great fruity floral perfume among the best Creed has ever done. Just don’t look for the tea.

Olivier_CREED

Olivier Creed

Cedre Blanc is the most straightforward of the Acqua Originale Collection. It runs in a fairly straight line from a green top of galbanum and cardamom through a heart of geranium and waterliy down to a base of cedar and vetiver. It is very well composed but it really seems to me that only cedar lovers are going to want this one as it feels so boring.

Iris Tubereuse is anything but what I expected. I was ready for an olfactory tussle between iris and tuberose. Instead of conflict the purple flower escorts the white flower out in a surprising harmony. Orange and galbanum form an orthogonal pair of green and citrus into which violet is inserted. This forms a sort of iris accord which is more malleable and it expands to corral the tuberose in the heart. Very quickly this all comes together on my skin and the richness of the tuberose with the softness of the “iris” is quite pleasant. The base is a simple duo of vanilla and musk. It is that moment when the iris accord and the tuberose combine which makes this one magical.

Vetiver Geranium is my favorite of the Acqua Originales because M. Creed really gets imaginative with his composition. Lemon is on top again but it is paired with a marvelous Granny Smith apple. This makes the early moments feel crisp and tart. I enjoyed this opening so much I kept topping up on the days I wore this just to get a little more. The green tinted rose quality of geranium is front and center in the heart and here M. Creed dusts it with smoldering cinnamon. The spicy floral is dynamic and as lovely as the top notes. Patchouli and amber provide the foundation of Vetiver Geranium and it is simple and appropriately chosen.

The Acqua Originale Collection has 8-10 hour longevity and below average sillage. These are light compositions and they can seem to be gone when they are still there.

If you are interested in these perfumes I urge you to make sure you try them on skin. I sniffed them on blotters at Esxence and walked away unimpressed. Once I had the samples in hand and wore them over the last six weeks they are much better when on skin. Wearing each for a couple days completely altered my initial opinion of the collection. Particularly Asian Green Tea and Vetiver Geranium have risen very high in my estimation.

Disclosure: This review was based on samples I received at Esxence 2014.

Mark Behnke

Creed 101- Five To Get You Started

The House of Creed is one of those perfume producers which elicits strong opinions for and against. What is not up for debate is it is one of the best-selling niche fragrance houses in the world. Creed is many perfumista’s entrée to the world of niche perfume and it instills an unusual loyalty to those who admire the brand. One of the things detractors point to is the reliance on the celebrated history of the Creed brand and unashamedly talking about the trendsetters who have supposedly worn the brand over the years. Olivier Creed is the current head perfumer the sixth generation to have that position. He is also currently training his son, Erwin, to become the seventh generation, assuring the continuance of the brand for years to come.  Creed perfumes are easy to find but because of their popularity there are many counterfeits out there. If you are going to dip your nose into Creed it is best to start by trying from a reputable source.

olivier and erwin creed

Olivier and Erwin Creed

Green Irish Tweed was released in 1985 and could be said to be the fragrance which would begin this current phase of popularity Creed enjoys. It really lives up to the green in its name especially in the early phases of development as lemon, verbena, and violet leaves combine to form a clover soft accord. The heart is a much understated orris which is more opulent than floral. This leads to what is pretty much a signature base note accord to many Creed fragrances with ambergris and sandalwood. Green Irish Tweed is a quiet fragrance and often when wearing it I will think it is gone only to have someone comment on how nice I smell. Of anything I own Green Irish Tweed is one of those few which elicits spontaneous compliments.

In 1987 Bois du Portugal was released and it is one of my very favorite woody lavender perfumes I own. Creed says in their press release that this was Frank Sinatra’s signature fragrance. Whenever I wear it I always get a very 60’s vibe to it. In my imagination this is the fragrance I expect Don Draper of “Mad Men” to be wearing. It is simple as bergamot and lavender are the opening notes and the Creed ambergris and sandalwood base is tweaked with a healthy addition of vetiver. Bois du Portugal is a great perfume and very close to my favorite in the line.

Love in White was released in 2005 and the very first bottle was gifted to then-First Lady Laura Bush; the current occupant of the White House, Michele Obama, is also said to wear this. This is a fresh bouquet of three of the best floral ingredients of orris, jasmine, and rose. They are kept light and not as bold as they can be in other fragrances. The base is, again, the Creed ambergris/sandalwood signature with a bit of vanilla and cedar to complete this variation.

Millesime-Imperial-Creed-For-Men-EDP-120ML

Millesime Imperial was released in 1995 as aquatic perfumes were ascendant. Millesime Imperial shows a pedestrian genre like aquatics can be infused with a bit of class. The citrus opening of Millesime Imperial is lemon and orange and each of these notes is distinct in the way they display themselves. The overplayed ozonic notes, which exemplify the aquatic, is swathed in a decadent orris. It could have come off like putting designer lipstick on a pig; instead it is like draping a tuxedo jacket over a t-shirt elevating the common to something less so. The base is the same as the others before but with a bit of musk to add a bit of animalic growl to the signature sandalwood and ambergris.

In my opinion Creed has been on a bit of a roll over the last three years or so. With the release of Aventus in 2010 that roll was just beginning. Meant to evoke the life of Napoleon Bonaparte, Aventus has a unique progression of notes. An unusual fruity opening of blackcurrant, apple and surprisingly prominent pineapple are combined in a very pleasant olfactory fruit salad without ever getting out of control. The heart of jasmine rose, birch, and patchouli twist the floral stalwarts with traditional woody contrast. The base is not the Creed signature as ambergris is there but this time oakmoss and musk round out the final phase. Aventus breaks the Creed mold in every way and that has continued over the last few releases.

Creed is such a popular house becase the great majority of their perfumes smell great and whether you buy the PR or not I know I always feel a little more elegant when I’m wearing Creed.

Disclosure: This review is based on bottles of these perfumes I purchased.

Mark Behnke