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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

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

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ну очки у тебя уже есть, дело за малым...магнат только судовой тебя устроит? ;)

10:30 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Да любой устроит, я не капризная. :-D

10:33 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ха. Не капризная. )

10:36 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope you enjoyed your vacation. Great post! Once again, you echo my thoughts on a fragrance. I have never found a Creed that I loved--and the only one that I barely liked was Virgin Island Water...but that is another story. I went to Neiman Marcus on Sat. to try White Patchouli since Black Orchid makes me swoon (loved it from day one and now have practically the whole range). Anyway, WP did not like my skin at all. I actually would have welcomed more patch, but on me it was a sad, wimpy *almost* floral. Never did get to the drydown. Anyway, they had LiB, and I tried a sample. I am a violet slut, so I was in heaven. You hit it on the head, buttery, violet-y a touch of iris and cedar to ground the fragrance in my olfactory heaven. I find Creed prices grossly over the top, but happily snagged a 2.5oz for $113 fishing on the Bay...CindyN

10:39 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, why must we wait until September? Buttery violets, cedar and rose in a classic, elegant and versatile blend- I’m sure Jackie would approve! Your description will keep me awake tonight, Marina. I’m already counting the days …………..

11:41 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Единственный Creed?
Тебе не люб Angélique Encens? Почему?
А тебе идет черный цвет?
(мдааа, что-то многовато вопросов... :-))


12:18 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice! It took an endorsement from Frederic Malle for Marina to add a Creed to her vast wardrobe ;)

I personally get a luscious doughy iris and a strangely intriguing tar note as the key accords in this juice.

Here's some more: From a conversation that a friend had with him, Frederic Malle also thinks that Spring Flower and Fantasia de Fleurs are well done :D

12:47 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

I'm with you; I actually bought a bottle-

I also get a brief, gorgeous, coffe-like note at the beginning; this one loves me, very much.

6:43 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

You got me at Violet....I so adore Violet fragrances, especially for fall. Something about them always takes me back to the Royal Court of the Sun King. This one sounds incredible. The only Creed that I've ever purchased was the Royal English Leather for my darling husband. I think that this one will change that. They are mostly too preppy/weird on me, but I think that Love in Black might change that! By the way, I love the new picture Marina, it's so very elegant! What a beautiful woman you are!

7:52 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...


8:17 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am so glad we agree on this. I have yet to try White Patchouli, but judging by your reaction, perhaps I won't be in love with it either.

8:18 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It seems ebay already has it :-) Maybe Scentiments does too...

8:19 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

В текущем гардеробе это будет едиственный Крид. Раньше были Анжелика и Жасмал, но мы уже не вместе :-) Черный, я очень надеюсь, мне идет, ибо у меня 2/3 гардероба в этом цвете :-)

8:20 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Actually I liked it first and then was shown the article, so there! :-) But it is always nice to find out that people whose taste you respect and admire like things you like :-) Having said that, in the same article FM says good things about Lalique Amethyste, which I don't get.

8:22 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Another confirmation of my impeccable taste :-D I love when we love the same things.

8:23 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I've been thinking about you, sending you my best wishes.

You say the nicest things!

8:24 AM EDT  
Blogger Billy D said...

I wanted to like this. On a woman, I think it would be very nice, but it seemed sort of blah to me. A very sweet violet and some fruit. It's not terribly interesting (although as an everyday frag, it would definitely work) and for $130 for 1 oz, for what I'm assuming is an Eau de Parfum, it's not worth it. Very nice bottle though :-)

9:17 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I do think it is fairly feminine. Not girly-frilly, but rather womanly.
I love the bottle too.

9:19 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

THIS is why I desperately need to organize my samples. I have one of this *somewhere*, but exactly *which* of my sample stashes it is in is a mystery. Must go dig around further. It sounds divine.

9:54 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am shopping for the storage solution today :-)

9:55 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Violet! Violet! Violet! ;)

Let us all know what your sample storage solutions turn out to be! I'm on the edge of figuring out how to stick them in some kind of photo album, so I can store them upright on the bookcase. Right now they are loosely catalogued in a small library card type file drawer.

Of course, none of that would matter if I actually took the time to write down what I have...

10:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

The photo album(s) actually might be an optimal solution given the lack of space here...

10:59 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

You've made me want to try a Creed. There. Happy? ;-)

11:33 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

My work here is done :-)

11:34 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I get a nice mix between the iris and violet. I think maybe it's the butteriness that feels more irisy to me?

But I still like this one a lot.

11:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

See, to me, butteriness is the quality of violets :-)

12:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even though I can't seem to find a violet to like let alone love, you make me want to give this a try. Also, can I just say how happy it made me to see you quote a RATM lyric? Being over 40 and female, I realize I'm not in their targeted demographic, but I love those guys! Yes, I contain multitudes... ;)
Karen G.

12:13 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am so glad you enjoyed that :-D

12:14 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds lovely. I haven't found a violet that feels like "me" yet, but I am looking forward to trying this.

1:02 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I hope you find your violet.

1:04 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a moment I almost thought you had me but I can't do violet, not even by L'Artisan, not even SL's Bois et Violet, for which I had great hope. So unlike Tom I'm still safe from yearning for Creed. However ... the RATM lyric is actually from a Human Sexual Response song, most of which is now stuck in my head.

... I want my portrait done by Andy Warhol.
I'll let them market a Jackie O Doll ...

If I end up hunting downloads on itunes later it is entirely your fault ;)

1:29 PM EDT  
Blogger March said...

Marina -- I need to give this a re-sniff, I was trying it on a day with too many other things! I will admit that after I read the Malle thing in Allure I thought so, and you have strengthened that impression. ;-P

PS Just got a verify that started with "KGB" -- hmmmm, very suspicious.

2:20 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great to have you back, Marina,

Violets - yes! Black bottle - yes!! I am lusting after this. I'm also very interested in the new Bvlgari - 'Jasmin Noir'. All this black... I guess Autumn, sorry, Fall, really is right around the corner.


2:26 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Well at least I made you hunt for something, a tune if not a scent :-)

4:08 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

The big Russian brother is watching :-)

4:09 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Every august I am in denial about Autumn :-) It will not come.

4:10 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neiman Marcus already has it online.

6:44 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neiman Marcus already has it online.

6:45 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Marina! I gave this a sniff in Bergdorf yesterday. Gorgeous bottle... I got an irisy topnote, with a woody violet drydown. Nice for fall.

Love that photo taken on 5th Avenue! I remember reading somewhere that she wore Bal a Versailles, incidentally...

12:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you

7:56 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Bal would have definitely suited her!

7:56 AM EDT  

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