I have a turbulent relationship with the house of CREED. They are definitely on the pricey side for what they are and their quality can be a bit hit or miss, but it would be unfair to say that none of their scents are worth seeking out. In fact, I can name at least four that are sniff worthy (Virgin Island Water, Silver Mountain Water, Millesime Imperial and Green Irish Tweed) so, as much as they may not be my favourite of brands, I’m still very much willing to give them the time of day, but have always approached them with a wary step.
One particular CREED perfume that sticks out for me is Love in Black – a scent that I like to call ‘Dark Lady’ as it presents an intriguing, feminine and unexpected representation of the colour black. It’s also a perfume that really does take awhile to ‘get’ due to its striking take on violet and iris – two ingredients often used to represent beauty, but in this perfume are added to give the impression of something beautifully unconventional.
Love in Black was launched in 2008 and was inspired by former US first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (or Jackie O as she was more commonly known) and is a far cry from the clean blooms of its sister scent Love in White. CREED describe the fragrance as a “lush floral oriental”, but in my mind it is more of a black swan of a scent (funnily enough the brand uses this imagery) that plays on the contrasting facets of a modern and powerful woman.
Top: White Violets
Heart: Florentine Iris and Cloves
Base: Borgogne Blackcurrant, Rose and Violets
How Does it Smell?
Love in Black is easily one of the more unusual fragrances one will find within the house of CREED. The list of notes gives the impression that this perfume will be nothing more than a simple fruity floral with notes of violet and iris, much in the same vein as Guerlain’s incomparable Insolence. But these notes are deceptive, as Love in Black really is a very unique take on these most ethereal of perfume ingredients.
The first spritz of Love in Black unleashes a whirlwind of sweet, earthy violets. These violets display a distinct mineral facet that gives the impression of cold concrete, ensuring that the fragrance isn’t as quite as bright and effervescent as it could be. The violet is then roughly kneaded into a really doughy iris that smells floury rather than rooty, earthy or powdery.
This bread-like iris really is something remarkable and adds a degree of ugliness (and I really do mean that as a compliment – not all that is pretty is good) to what would otherwise be a pretty violet floral. It also provides a suitable bridge for the tart blackcurrant and grainy woods that inhabit the base. The only real downside is that the sillage, which starts out with a big puff, quickly recedes to make for a quiet skin scent that doesn’t really last as long as it should – a plight that one finds in May CREED scents.
Love in Black is a fitting tribute to Jackie O as it celebrates unconventional beauty. It takes the effortless and timeless style of the black clothing she adored and turns it into a perfume that is as elegant and dark as an ostrich feather. There is more than meets the eye to Love in Black and whilst it’s not a perfume that is likely to seduce or inspire, it is a fragrance that will empower and make you feel as if you can capture the essence of the dark lady.
CREED’s Love in Black is available in 75ml Eau de Parfum for £158.
Sample via CREED. Notes and quotes via press release. Image 1 via fashiongonerogue.com. Image 2 via theperfumelounge.com.