Sometimes perfume houses get on the wrong sides of critics. For reasons that aren’t entirely obvious, this seems to have happened with the house of Creed. I’ve read some truly vituperative reviews of Creed scents on perfume sites. It was unclear just why the writers were so angry. Was it the price? Creed is expensive in general, but quite frankly, so are a lot of other perfumes on the market these days. In fact I sometimes think that the complaints about quality and luxury have resulted in a rash of scents priced around the $200.00 mark, whether or not they deserve such a figure. So what makes Creed stand out?
Is it quality? Of course lots of scents in the Creed line are unremarkable, but they do rather good masculines: Green Irish Tweed, Bois de Portugal, Neroli Sauvage. I also like three of their feminines: Fantasia de Fleurs, Angelique Encens, and Fleur de Thé Rose Bulgare. This doesn’t strike me as an embarrassing batting average, since their commercial range seems to run to about thirty scents.
One in five hits is not bad. Plus they get their share of perfumes on base – not home runs to be sure, but respectable efforts that land some of their players on first at least: Fleurissimo, Royal Scottish Lavender, and Selection Verte.
Was it the effect of The Guide yet again? The reviewers there seemed to take a scunner to the Creed packaging. Not so up-to-date, granted, but better than that of their fan favorite Ms. De Nicolai, and as to the similarities therein noted between Bois de Portugal and de Nicolai’s New York, there is more than one take on that matter. They are similar, but whether you favor one perfume over the other has a lot to do with how you feel about cumin. If you like it, you will like New York, if you don’t, you will like Bois de Portugal. I don’t, so heretically side with the Creed in this instance.
Is it the curious nature of recent Creed perfumes? I refer to such odd perfumes as Virgin Island Water. It smells like part of the Bath & Body Works line according to Tania Sanchez. Then there are critical failures, such as the controversial Love in Black, and its sister scent Love in White. Have they given the whole line a worse reputation?
I can’t tell. The sales assistant at the nearest Neimans told me they could not keep the Virgin Island Water in stock, and that they’ve done equally well on the new Sublime Vanilla limited edition perfume.
My conclusion from all this is that Creed is catering to the gourmand tastes of Generation X as it enters middle age, and nothing wrong there. That’s just good marketing, and heaven knows the competition do exactly the same thing.
What Creed needs, in my opinion, is a homer. They need a real get-them-on-their-feet-and-screaming kind of a thing. If the target is Gen X then something that smells like truly premium booze ought to work, they could call it Eau de Double Cognac and have a Macanudo dry down. Now that would sell. They could spirit Guerlain’s Double Vanille right out of the ball park.