Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Violet Week: Creed - Love in Black

A Spring walk in the wet woods

It's Violet Week! This week I'm doing a little joint blogging with two other perfumistas. We will each be reviewing three violet perfumes: a "high-end" expensive violet, a less expensive, medium-range violet, and a "low-end" violet perfume. Check out Muse in Wooden Shoes and Redolent of Spices this week for their reviews.

I chose Creed Love in Black as my "high end" violet perfume for the Violet Week reviews.

About Creed

Creed is a family-owned luxury brand, founded in 1760. The head perfumers are Oliver Creed and his son Erwin Creed. Historically, Creed has had many famous clients. Fleurissimo was commissioned by Prince Rainer III as a wedding present for Grace Kelly and Green Irish Tweed has reportedly been worn by Robert Redford and Richard Gere. Creed perfumes are expensive and use high quality natural materials and traditional infusion techniques. They are generally very linear, meaning they don't change much from first spray to far dry down.

About Love in Black

Released on the 40th anniversary of her marriage to a Greek shipping tycoon, Love in Black is a tribute to the most famous former First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The colour black was chosen to represent her dark hair, black sunglasses, and chic black dresses. The bottle is created with black sand from Greece. The notes include cedar from Virginia, where she rode horses, and Greek wildflowers.

It takes a bigger stretch of the imagination to associate some of the other notes in Love in Black with Mrs. Onassis. Violet from Italy is noted only because she "visited" there, and iris from Florence because it was a "favorite city." Blackcurrent from France is used because that's where "her ancestors were born."

What does it smell like?

Love in Black is a binary fragrance for me. I smell two very different things at the same time: a sweet, bright violet note and dark woody cedar note. It's a bit like a a high note and a low note played at simultaneously and loudly. From arms length, throughout the day, I mostly smell the cedar and a rooty iris. If I smell my wrist up close, I can smell the violets and roses and other florals.

It's as if I am walking in a dark wet forest on a rainy spring day. I take a break to sit down on an old cedar stump and in the black earth beneath my feet I notice there are tiny purple violets beginning to bloom.

However, what other people smell on me is different. From the comments I have gotten, my sillage is apparently all sweet and fruity violets. The black current must be combining with the florals to leave a sweet wake behind me.

As I mentioned above, Love in Black is linear - what you smell when you first spray it on is what you'll smell hours later. It has good sillage and lasting power. It's a bit weird and not subtle, but I like Love in Black, especially on a rainy day.

House: Creed
Nose: Olivier Creed and Erwin Creed
Notes: violet, jasmine, cedar from Virginia, iris, cloves, musk, black currant and rose.


  1. I love hearing the story behind the fragrance, even if it seems a little contrived. I don't mind a little fantasy with my perfume now and then.

    I didn't expect Love in Black to have a trick up its sleeve, smelling like two fragrances in one bottle. What a nice surprise!

    Funny how we both ended up posting reviews of linear violet scents with berry notes.

  2. (Violets and berries... none of us did Insolence?

    Kidding. I HATE that one.)

    I'm with Joan, the story's nice, even if it's a bit of a stretch. And I'm always fascinated when there's a difference between the up-close smell and the waft.

    This is Muse - Wordpress OpenID seems not to be working...

  3. I wanted to love this - all the more so because, in an unguarded moment, I bought a bottle. :) But I failed. Somehow, maturing in note recognition to the point that iris became iris to my brain, instead of pencil erasers, was the final blow. Violets and pencil erasers made it whimsical, rather like Frances (of Bread and Jam for Frances) at lunch, at her school desk with that tiny vase of violets. Violets and iris? Meh.

  4. I remember trying this once and being intrigued. You're so right that it's quite linear, but it still had a melancholy that appealed to me...

  5. Hi Muse and Joan! I'm really enjoying our Violet Week, we should do something like this again sometime.

    Howdy ChickenFreak: You are right about the iris, I didn't really talk about how strong it is. I guess that makes it more of a mauve and purple perfume than a black one.

    Hey Josephine: It is melancholy, but I always find iris kind of sad.

  6. I also have a bottle of this and had fallen out of love with it lately, but your review makes me want to rediscover what first drew me to it, which was exactly this "dark wet forest on a rainy spring day vibe"! My problem with it comes from an almost rubbery/petrol note in the opening that does blow off eventually - I believe it is the "brutal nitrile note" as someone once said? - so I guess this isn't quite linear on me, though the underlying scent is just as you describe.

  7. I like Love in Black because it isn't clean...I like the rubbery notes and almost gasoline notes at first. Liking moody fragrances, I like this one. I don't own a bottle but I do like it. I totally know what you mean with up close vs. far away! This is one of those scents.

  8. Hi EauMG: I like that opening too. That note that you and Vanessa think of as rubber/petrol, makes me think of wet cedar logs disintegrating into thick black wet earth. It's a strong dark smell and very moody.

  9. Hi Vanessa, I had the very same reaction: the opening is almost offensive, it makes me want to shower myself to take it off and not eat a single thing, I wanted to immediately return it, but in half an hour... it's so edible and heavenly! The thing I found, as I love the scent without the stinky opening (I found it smells like that directly from the bottle, It's a perfume you have to wear and give time), is I have to change my habit in being the perfume the last thing I put on, to spritzing it half an hour before I leave home... not so linear on me as you see, and after 4-5 hours or so, it becomes even warmer & I love it. Won't be returning after all!


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