House of Creed: Perfumes of the Past, Fragrances of the Future
Painstakingly created following ancient techniques, House of Creed's perfumes are exclusivity in a bottle.
Words by Natasha Were.
Passed down from father to son for seven generations, House of Creed is a perfume house unlike any other. Celebrity endorsements are eschewed, advertising is rare and fragrances are only available through limited distribution channels - yet a list of illustrious celebrities, from politicians to stars of the silver screen, are among their loyal devotees.
Winston Churchill, Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly are just some of the public figures who have commissioned their fragrances, but House of Creed remains determinedly un-commercial, having only made its fragrances available to the general public since 1970.
Founded by James Henry Creed in 1760, House of Creed began life as a London couturier, tailoring riding habits for the British nobility. Possessed of a highly developed nose, however, the astute founder created bespoke scents on the side, which he would gift to his most privileged clients. One of the lucky recipients was King George III of England, who received a pair of scented gloves with which he was instantly enamoured, and which in turn propelled Creed into the royal courts of Europe.
By the 1850's, Creed fragrances were being formulated for Queen Victoria (her personal scent, Fleur de Bulgarie, is still available today) and Empress Eugenie of France, at whose behest the House of Creed relocated to Paris.
For the family firm, an inherited talent for fragrance composition means it boasts an unbroken bloodline and, due to their commitment to tradition, little has changed in their methods of production. Successive generations have continued to create bespoke fragrances, employing generations old techniques, to weigh, mix, macerate and filter the scents by hand.
Where other perfumers have modernised, abandoning the time-consuming infusion of oils and making use of synthetic compounds, Creed has remained steadfastly old school and uses the highest percentage of natural ingredients in the industry.
Today, master perfumer Olivier Creed continues to create each scent himself, taking months, if not years, to achieve a formula that fully expresses the qualities he has in mind, while his son and heir, Erwin, travels the world to source the best raw ingredients: roses from Bulgaria, jasmine from Italy, vetiver from Haiti and bergamot from Calabria.
New fragrances are not released according to any schedule, but rather when their creator decides that perfection has been achieved. Creed’s most recent fragrance, Viking, a masculine scent that captures the spirit of exploration and freedom of those early seafarers, was seven years in the making.
Over the course of its 250 year history, House of Creed has produced some 200 fragrances, and in recent years has branched out into bath, body and grooming products. Their pursuit of excellence, however, remains undiminished. Meticulously crafted and superior in quality to anything else on the market, Creed perfumes are and will continue to be timeless, coveted classics.
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