Creed is an established perfumery that began by handcrafting uncommon fragrances for royal houses. Today, it is the only fragrance house that still relies on traditional infusion technique to capture the raw and rare materials of each perfume. I’ve long been admiring the scents from afar, but never quite found one that resonated with me. It all felt quite rich and just not my style. That is until now.
Creed Acqua Originale Collection is special because they are Master Perfumer Olivier Creed’s living journal of his countless journeys across the world. For fans, this collection is a major release since Creed does not formulate new fragrances regularly – last year’s Millesime 1849 was the only new fragrance since 2011. So when 5 brand new fragrances hit counters, it signifies a fresh new direction for the House of Creed.
Asian Green Tea carries absolutely no resemblance to any of the other “green tea” incarnates from other mass market labels. If anything, this is more citrusy and floral than tea, and is inspired by the green forests of Malaysia, one of M. Creed’s favorite Eastern destination. Asian Green Tea opens with notes of bergamot, mandarin and lemon petitgrain. This is soon followed by the unfurling of a floral bouquet of violet, heliotrope, rose and sweet cassis. Amber, sandalwood and musk completes the offering, providing some sense of gravitas to an otherwise light-hearted scent. There is supposed to be some green tea in the notes, but I could not detect it, nor miss it. The overall sense is clean and fresh, but with more personality than others sharing the same name.
Cedre Blanc brings me back to the lush forests of the US, it speaks of the untouched beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, a place I’ve yet to visit, but is surely now on my list of places to go. Straight cut green woodsy or white floral scents are not usually my style but Cedre Blanc manages to cross that divide. The top notes are a bunch of fragrant laurels – bergamot, bitter galbanum and spicy cardamom; with a heart of transparent florals – geranium, water lily and jasmine; and finishes with strong notes of cedar, vetiver and sandalwood. Cedre Blanc is perhaps the most straightforward scent of the Acqua Originale Collection, but it feels to me the most wearable on its own.
Aberdeen Lavender pays homage to the enduring history of the House of Creed. It draws us to Her Majesty Queen Victoria’s beloved picturesque retreat in the Highlands of Scotland, and is a nod towards the English traditions. Aberdeen Lavender is a herbaceous scent with lavender in the heart, supported by orris and tuberose. It is tickled on top with some interesting absinthe and lemon which sounds like the ideal drink pairing. Suede leather, patchouli and vetiver gives the fragrance more depth and provides an interesting dry down. This is perhaps the most interesting of the Acqua Originale Collection, and it is a distinctive fragrance that leaves nobody on the fence. Personally, I’m not a big fan of lavender, and this particular style of fragrance is better suited for a man, but it is certainly an interesting one that deserves to be checked out.
Iris Tuberose is an exotic fragrance that combines the charm of Tuscany and India. I’ve developed a strong liking for tuberose over the course of the past year or so, and thought I knew what Tuberose smells like. However, when accompanied by Iris, the whole personality changes. Iris Tuberose is lightened by green violet leaf and orange, and also made warmer with musk and vanilla orchid. Ylang ylang and lily of the valley made this juice even more aromatic. Certainly a very different and interesting take on tuberose. I found Iris Tuberose to wear much better on the skin than when sprayed on the clothes.
Vetiver Geranium is my favorite from the Acqua Originale Collection, which surprised me as I’m not usually fond of vetiver being so dominant in a scent, but as it turned out, vetiver proper is not listed on the notes. Instead, M. Creed got creative and used cedar, patchouli and amber for the foundation of this fragrance. Lemon and Granny Smith apple keeps the fragrance crisp and tart, warmed by geranium, rose and cinnamon. Vetiver Geranium takes its inspiration from Java, and references the rolling hills of the Indonesian countryside. To me, this is a tart woody scent with a bit of grit to it and makes me think of coffee roasters and leather tanneries. Not pretty mental pictures, but somehow it works on my skin.
Creed Acqua Originale Collection is housed in a charming bottle that evokes the broad wings of a transient bird – a symbol of discovery. It feels much more modern than the other flacons within the brand, yet retaining aspects of Creed’s identity. The bottle was designed in partnership with Pochet de Courval, the nearly 400-year-old luxury glass bottle maker outside of Paris and House of Creed’s long-time collaborator. It is created with Pochet de Courval’s signature hand-blown glass process, befitting the precious fragrances.
These feel different from the Les Royale Exclusifs and Vaulted Scents in that they feel lighter bodied, and are nice both worn on their own or layered with each other. On a whim, I layered Cedre Blanc over Vetiver Geranium, and it was like kismet. Most of these lasted well for most of my day, fading gently after the 6th hour but remaining lovely throughout.
I received sample vials of each of these scents courtesy of Escentials Singapore. The opinions above are entirely my own.