Creed is celebrating 250 years of family business apparently and therefore have issued the Royal Exclusives line: Notice the cunning use of Royal accolades for something completely new which surely can't have been commissioned by any royal personage? Especially since this is a release for the American market who is dazzled by royalty. We, Europeans have a much different view on them, having known them from all the bad angles, I'm afraid... Anyway, there's nothing wrong with a little bit of marketing on the part of Oliver Creed, so I won't insist on this minor point.
So after Sublime Vanilla,
Creed Spice & Wood marries two of the favourite themes of many perfume lovers, thus also hinting at an "old school" thematology. Would the material be treated in a such a way?
The inspiration was reported to be the pairing of Antony and Cleopatra and I couldn't but recall of the line about Marc Antony's sexual tastes which leaned "more to the molded cheese than the pure one off the cheesemaker's" as jotted down by Octavia, his 3rd wife and antagonist of his GrecoEgyptian lover. I guess Creed missed that part.
So, is it? Is it not? Who cares...saying that a fragrance was inspired by some perfume that Cleopatra or Marc Antony wore, or from fragments of anything that belonged to them, might cut it with the average consumer.
What matters is the fragrance itself. And alongside the promised spices and woods there is a more esoteric accord, which runs through some of the Creeds, a bit metallic, a tad salty. There is also a touch of a Cuir de Russie pungency, thanks to white birch featured, but nothing out of this world. The dominant wood is cedar, both austere and a little sensual, with a bit of that petroleum note which it takes in many modern compositions instead of the pencil shavings that we're accustomed to think of when cedar is mentioned. The base overall has some similarities with Aventus, a previous Creed fragrance with which it shares notes on paper, as well as Original Santal (a modern offering despite the "original" in its tag line), differentiated by the spiciness ~nowhere near Baie de Genievre alas~ which comes across as peppery-clove-y (iso-eugenol) and an abscence of sweetness. Overall, despite the expectations, it's a subtle, delicately warm fragrance without old-fashioned richness, more transparent and modern than anything; like they're pulling an Hermes on us, only with royal insignia to boot. I guess it works for the intended audience.
Parthian shot: Is it very masculine, you ask? Creed says: "Spice and Wood is the luxury asset hand made for men -- but also intensely enjoyed by women". Two birds with one stone, but of course!
Notes for Creed Spice & Wood:
Top: bergamot, lemon, Italian Court Pendu Plat apples from Rome
Heart: angelica root, Luxor rose, clove, desrt pepper, patchouli, white birch
Base: Egyptian iris, cedar, oakmoss, musk.
Creed Spice and Wood is available in Eau de Parfum in a 250ml/8.4oz bottle made by Pochet et du Courval with a spray mechanism for 550$ from the Creed boutique and soon from retailers who distribute the line. Erwin Creed, 29, seventh generation of Creed and its future head, visits the U.S. in November, upin which occasion he will make public appearances at Bergdorf Goodman and select Neiman Marcus stores coast to coast, presenting the fragrance to the public for the first time and signing bottles. Please see all the dates and places of Erwin's US tour dates on this article.
Pic by Antoine Helbert via Chateau Thombeau