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Love in Black – It’s Worth the Wait – April 26, 2013 New Fragrance Listing

Photo - Wikipedia - Creed store on Madison and 67th Ave, NYC

Creed: A set of fundamental beliefs; also : a guiding principle (Webster’s Dictionary)

Creed Perfume: A Paris, France based perfume house established in 1760 by tailor James Henry Creed as the House of Creed, in London, England. Still privately owned by the Creed family, it is one of the oldest perfume houses in the world - along with Floris, Galimard, Farina, and Caswell-Massey - and today is a niche luxury perfume house, with stores in Paris and NYC. The house creates its perfumes in-house with two perfumers: father, Olivier Creed, and his son, Erwin Creed. (Wikipedia)

I’ve rarely given Creed perfumes the time of day until just recently, and it turns out that I’ve been missing out on some very fine sniffing. I’ve learned that Creed has a creed, a guiding principle - the creation of the highest-quality, original perfumes made with traditional methods - which is best represented by their Millésime range of EdP scents.

The word “Millésime” translates as “vintage”, in the sense of a superior edition which far exceeds the standard, and the Creeds maintain that their “Millésime” fragrances contain the highest percentage of natural essences to be found in the French perfume industry. Quality control is maintained by buying the best floral essences from the best sources, manufacturing their own infusions of vanilla, civet, musk and ambergris, and using traditional hands-on manufacturing methods to produce eaux de parfum of extraordinary quality. Hence the high price-points on their scents, a fact which has always turned me off the Creed line, and prevented me from stopping and smelling the roses, as it were.

The roses that stopped  me in my tracks were violets and irises, actually – the violets and irises in Love In Black. The story goes that Love in Black, which was launched in 2008, was created by the Creeds as an homage to Jacqueline Kennedy. “To create Love In Black, Mr. Creed blended ingredients from places loved by this well-traveled woman…. Night-blooming wildflowers from the Greek isles ,Violet from Italy,  Virginia cedar, Iris from Florence, Clove,Tonkin musk, Blackcurrant from Bourgogne in her beloved France, Bulgarian rose. Even the bottle is made with black sand like that in the Greek isles where she wed…" Creed website

Love in Black opens with violet, a big sweet metallic purple violet note right out of the bottle, which almost immediately takes on a sour green synthetic vibe when mixed with cedar. It’s big and loud, and not what I expect, but I decide to wait rather than be disappointed, and waiting, I discover, is part of the charm of Love in Black. The dramatic violet note recedes, revealing powdery rooty iris, damp and nutty when mixed with the chastened violet/cedar, with hints of rising bread dough, spices and vanilla. Not at all gourmand or sweet, it’s a unique, calming and somewhat enigmatic note that takes me into the heart, which makes me think that the scene is being set for an interesting dry-down. 

And I’m right. The heart is the violet and iris, with a buttery leather accord that smells like old money – classic and elegant. With the addition of musk and blackcurrant in the base, Love in Black becomes richer, the green sweetness of violet mixing with the tart currant note, the earthy iris mixing with musk, and when Bulgarian rose joins the mix, Love in Black does indeed become dark and much much more interesting, with a definite carnal edge.

I like the Jacquie Kennedy connection to Love in Black, but you don’t need to know her story to appreciate this perfume.  Love in Black is bright and dark, assertive and soft, pure and sexy – you get the picture – created from opposites, which tell their own story and ultimately blend into an exceptionally rich and beautiful scent. It’s a scent with an unintrusive but mesmerizing sillage, lasting on skin and clothing, a testament to its Millésime quality.

If you're woman or a man who is a connoisseur of the violet or iris note, or you simply love to explore unique, artful scents off your normal perfume radar, then Love in Black is one you should try. It took me a long time to experience the beauty of Creed perfumes. It was definitely worth the wait, but don’t wait as long as I did.


Love in Black is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.