I was in Neiman Marcus Northpark the other day and saw some of my favorite sales associates setting up for a party. They were getting ready for festivites surrounding the launch of several new fragrances from Creed, and I hung around to learn more about the brand and their latest offerings.
Creed (the company) dates back to 1760 — that’s the year featured in their logo. James Henry Creed was originally tailor to the British royal family, and produced the company’s first fragrance in 1781 (royalty dipped their gloves in perfume so they could cover their noses and mask unpleasant odors).
Creed has been a luxury fragrance brand ever since, and the company has been handed down, father to son, for seven generations (even through a move from England to France).
Until 30 years ago, each Creed fragrance was created for a specific person (the Prince of Monaco had Fleurissimo created as a surprise wedding gift for Grace Kelly — based on the flowers in her bouquet. Can you imagine anything more romantic?).
Creed is also one of a few companies (and perhaps the only large-scale fragrance house) to create perfume by the oil-infusion process. It’s a bit like making tea: perfumers steep the raw ingredients in alcohol for three months, until the oils separate. Then they hand-filter out the solids, and let the liquid steep for another month. The oils extracted by this process are the beginning of each fragrance masterpiece.
So the big news is that Creed is launching three new fragrances for fall — and for three months, they will be sold exclusively at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and the Creed boutique in NYC.
The first is Royal Oud, a “universal” oud intended to evoke both the sumptuousness of Persia and the sophistication of Paris. (Once you’ve smelled oud, you’ll recognize the note anywhere. It can be brash and masculine, but Royal Oud is balanced to be accessible for anyone.)
The top notes are Calabrian lemon, pink berry, and Sicilian bergamot, followed by a heart of cedar, galbanum, and angelic root. The base is Indian oud (from Agarwood trees), sandalwood, and Tonkin musk. Given how expensive oud is, this fragrance is only available in one size, 2.5 oz. (spray), for $300.
The other two fragrances are Royal Exclusives (a category which will eventually include five scents in all).
The Royal Exclusives are the epitome of luxury. They come in 8.4 oz., hand-blown, Pochet-glass bottles, etched with the Creed crest (almost as beautiful to look at as they are to smell). For you jetsetters, Creed also sells a 1.7 oz. refillable, shatterproof atomizer.
White Flowers is a fresh floral intended to transport you to a house in the clouds. Some folks have an aversion to white flowers, but I think this interpretation will surprise the skeptics. Top notes of Parma violet leaves, green apple, and lemon give White Flowers a clarity and crispness that warms into sweetness. The heart is Italian and Moroccan jasmine, light geranium, and Bulgarian rose, and the bottom notes are musk, Indian sandalwood, and narcissus. Because this is a feminine fragrance, the bottle is an open-neck “pour” style, with a dabber cap (which you apply to your pulse points).
Original Cologne is a fresh citrus, a clean, daytime scent. In this case, “original” doesn’t mean “classic,” but that there is something new and original about this fragrance. It’s the first universal Royal Exclusive, intended to be used equally by both sexes. Because men don’t dab, this bottle has a steel spray.
The top notes are lemon, Sicilian bergamot, and Italian grapefruit, followed by a heart of galbanum, sweet pear, and neroli, and a base of ambergris, white musk, and rice powder. For me, it starts green and citrus, opening up beautifully into pear with a lingering green note.
Both White Flowers and Original Cologne are $575, and all I can say is, at this price point, you’re either in or you’re out.
Have you smelled these yet? What did you think?