Perfume Review: Creed Love in Black
I wanna be Jackie Onassis. I wanna wear a pair of dark sunglasses. I wanna be Jackie. Tire Me, Rage Against the Machine.
Love in Black is Creed's homage to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and is meant to evoke "the unique elan" of Mrs Onassis: "her dark, mysterious eyes behind dark sunglasses, her wavelets of brunette hair, her trim shape in a black sheath." The ingredients used in the blend allegedly come from places loved by Jackie, and the perfume is being released on the 40th anniversary of her wedding to Aristotle Onassis. I am surprisingly very uninterested in "what perfumes celebrities wear" and never gave any thought to what scent could have suited Jackie O... I suppose it would be a scent that is classically proportioned, with the kind of spare elegance that the former First Lady favored and which I absolutely admire and to which I aspire. "Dramatic preppy" is how I would classify such a perfume.
Love in Black is exactly such a fragrance. In his column in September Allure, Frederic Malle notes that the iris note in Love in Black makes the composition reminiscent of Chanel No 19, only without the green notes of the latter. On my skin and to my nose, the new Creed is all about violet, not iris, and I think that a not too dainty violet blend is a great way to do preppy/WASPy, an alternative to the aldehydes and clean-sporty scents populating this category. The composition starts with a very short-lived whiff of something freshly floral (the "night-blooming wildflowers from the Greek isles" perhaps). In less than a second that sharpish accord is gone and the violet note begins to unfold. The note is done just the way I like it, it is "buttery" rather than powdery, has a noticeable (cedar)woody undertone and delicate sweetness from blackcurrants. Somewhere towards the base, rose can be smelled but it is very subtle and does not overshadow violet while enhancing the rounded, feminine feel of the blend.
I would position this violet fragrance somewhere between the rich and buttery Norma Kamali Violette and the sweet, woody and no less buttery Bois de Violette by Lutens. It is elegant and classic but not too prim and propper and as such is very versatile: wear it with a sheath dress or with a turtleneck sweater. It does indeed evoke the "unique elan" of Jacqueline Kennedy and fits the overall spirit of the Creed collection very well (it also seems to me that a stately violet offering was overdue from this line). Like Malle, I think that Love in Black will be one of the smartest releases this fall and might very well become the one and only Creed scent in my current perfume wardrobe.
Love in Black will be available in September in Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks 5th Ave, $130.00 for 1oz, $230.00 for 2.5oz and $350.00 for 8.4oz. More information can be found at creedperfumes.us.