Fragrance is its ‘Creed’

Sometimes it takes many men to please a woman — in this case, seven of them. That’s how many men have headed The House of Creed, a perfumer that stretches back to the early 18th century. Soon it was known as the perfumer of kings until the house realized it was just as important to be the perfumer of queens.

Today, Creed offers a variety of fragrances and bath products for women as well as men, including its new Floralie for the ladies. This floral tribute features hints of Bulgarian rose, lilac, lily of the valley and amber in a light scent to make spring eternal.

For Creed fans, the note of Bulgarian rose might be a case of “déjà vu all over again,” as Yogi Berra might’ve said, as Bulgarian rose sounds the middle note of Fleurs de Bulgarie, created for Queen Victoria, who wore it throughout her reign. As the company’s first Millesime, Fleurs de Bulgarie is still available today. 

George III, seen here in a circa 1765 oil coronation portrait by Allan Ramsay, was an early patron of the House of Creed.

It was the queen’s grandfather, George III, who first provided royal inspiration for House of Creed founder James Creed. Establishing the company in 1760, Creed set out to provide the English court with custom-tailored clothing, scented leather gloves and commissioned fragrances. In 1781, he created the first Creed scent, Royal English Leather, so that George could lean his chin on his gloved hand and inhale the fragrance.

The house moved to Paris in 1854. A half-century later, James Henry Creed, the company’s fifth-generation head, began an outreach to celebrities and political figures. Winston Churchill would inspire Tabarome Millesime, which added notes of tobacco to the original 1875 fragrance at the cigar smoker’s request. King Edward VIII — who would abdicate in 1936 to marry the woman he loved, Wallis Warfield Simpson, becoming the Duke of Windsor — commissioned Windsor, filled with the woodsy scents of his empire. (Both fragrances are available today, the latter known as Royal Mayfair.)

Soon, Creed was making conquests on this side of the Pond. President John F. Kennedy was partial to Vetiver, a scent as fresh as the grass from which it is made. The fruity floral Spring Flower, contained in a pink bottle with a pink and green bow, was Creed’s tribute to Hollywood’s golden age (the 1950s).

In anticipation of the company’s 250th anniversary, Creed — which began selling to the public in 1970 — opened a boutique in New York City in 2009. A second North American boutique bowed in the Forum Shops of Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace in 2016. 

But few places have had an association with Creed quite like Dallas-based Neiman Marcus. To celebrate the store’s 1907 founding, Creed created 1,907 numbered bottles of Floralie, which were distributed to Neiman Marcus stores around the country, including Neiman Marcus Westchester, during a recent pre-sell period. At that time, 5 percent of proceeds went to the Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation to benefit youth arts programs throughout the nation.

Though the limited-edition bottles are no longer available, you can still purchase this or any other fragrance or bath product by Creed, a company for which a sense of the past is as important as scent itself.

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