Creed Sublime Vanille

Creed Sublime VanilleYou know.  I always cringe when I write a Creed review because I know someone who loves most things Creed will eventually pop in and get all squeaked out that I don’t like it that much or think it’s okay, but not fantastic and post kind of a meh review.  Yes, when I’m not very enthusiastic about a perfume, but feel I need to review it, it does show in my lackluster comments.  So I’m bracing myself on this Creed Sublime Vanille review.  Or am I?

Vanilla is the new black this season, apparently. There have been a number of them released this year – most quite good.  It took a long time for me to warm up to vanilla in perfume after some of the  travesties of the CSPs that almost sent me away from vanilla perfumes forever.  Guerlain’s Spiritueuse Double Vanille was my first big exception to vanilla, followed by a sweeter version of vanilla in Indult Tihota and the mostly lily Hermessence Vanille Galante.  Then the vanilla dominoes really started falling this year with Jo Malone Vanilla and Anise and L’Artisan’s Havana Vanille and Van Cleef & Arpels Orchidee Vanille. BTW, when in the heck is L’Artisan going to get those bottles out the door?  I smelled this in July, for crying out loud!  Snap to it, L’Artisan, I needs this now.

Creed’s latest entry, Sublime Vanille is a limited edition, available, as far as I know, or at least for now, in the big old 8.4 ounce flacon.  Notes of Tahitian orchids, South American Bourbon vanilla, tonka bean, bergamot, and Calabrian lemon are listed.  On the open, with the bergamot and lemon, I was so prepared to hate this. I had the haterade in the glass and was getting ready to take a big swig.  But, hey, those bright cheerful notes vamoosed – Lemon Pledge and vanilla are household plug-ins, not perfumes –  and I was left with this slightly smoky vanilla that’s not sweet in the least, not as dark as the SDV, though, doesn’t go as close to the floral feel like the Cartier does, it’s a really  nice straddle of a lot of vanillas.  I keep reading that this is aimed at men?  Yeah, maybe the open, and it’s certainly a vanilla that a guy could wear.  It’s a lovely vanilla scent – not heavy or sweet or too smoky or too floral or too much like Watkins.  A middle of the road vanilla, and I don’t mean that in a bad way.  It’s a nice, neutral vanilla that has all the great aspects of vanilla covered, and few of the bad, nor does it exaggerate any aspect like some of the more distinctive vanilla scents do, which, for me, isn’t exactly a plus – I’ll explain later. I don’t find the sillage on it to be great. That’s a feature for some of you and a bug for others. I suspect, since it is geared for men, that they wanted to tone down the waftage so guys weren’t thinking they smelled like snickerdoodles – though why anyone wouldn’t want to smell like that is a mystery.  Lasting power seems okay, but not great. I had a couple of good hours of it, and then it receded to a much softer, harder to smell version.  Still nice.

So now we get to talk about the limited edition and price point.  $475 for 8.4 ounces (250 mls) is a bargain almost.  L’Artisan is up to $140 or so fo 100 mls. Cartiers are $180 or so for 75 mls.  SDV is over $200 for 75 mls.  But I read on Basenotes that Bergdorf or NM or whoever was carrying it is already sold out, they have a waiting list.  I totally get that sometimes a perfume takes off unexpectedly, and the company is left flat-footed (Waaaazambaaaaa!!!) and trying to catch up with production, but my reading is Creed did this intentionally.  I suppose it works, but I think as many people find it annoying as the people who are happy to be one of the few snaggees.  And the bottle size and limited edition and small first production run?   Many times you can have a perfectly fine fragrance with severely limited availability become much more desirable just because it’s hard to get.  My guess is that will happen with Sublime Vanille – partly because it is a Creed, partly because it is actually pretty good.  I’m not going to call it great because of the same factors that make it good.  It has no distinctive angle on vanilla. It’s pretty much a straight-up nice, wearable vanilla scent.

You can get a Creed Sublime Vanille sample or decant at Surrender to Chance.

32 Comments

  1. “I had the haterade in the glass and was getting ready to take a big swig.” = A most excellent bit of writing! Love it!

    No distinctive angle? Immediately makes me wonder not only why anyone would jump through hoops for it, but why they’d even look up from scrubbing the toilet to remark upon it.

    Yeah, I’m usally part of the Creed hatefest. On me, plenty of them smell like drugstore dreck. Silver Mountain Water is nice if I want to get my frat-boy persona on, and Thé Rose Bulgare is a nice dewy rose, but I don’t understand the Creed lurve that seems to abound.

    Then again, the per mL price is great, and if it’s a nice, wearable, non-cupcakey vanilla, then why not? I like vanilla okay, but my decant of SDV will have to last forever at that price, and I’ll surely be getting a decant of the Havana. A couple of the CSPs actually don’t bother me; Coco Vanille is kind of fun and I would buy some as a comfort scent. I also have a healthy decant of Vanille Noire de Mexique, which isn’t bad.

    • I mean, I guess a soft, wearable vanilla that guys can wear too is an angle, but I’m always looking for something that brings it more into focus. I’d happily wear this! Branding is something we all have to struggle with. I mean, would I like a scent as much if it wasn’t an Hermessence? What if Paris Hilton came to her senses and put out a perfume like Cartier’s Treizieme Heure? Something to ponder.

      So I get why Creed fans defend their brand. They’ve fallen in love with something about it, and want it to succeed and are disposed to liking it. I think we all have favorite houses we want to like!

      But this is actually very nice, I’m just not seeing the specialness of it that would justify all this exclusivity. They should throw it in a 50-ml bottle for $100 and be prepared to reap the profits, which it would sell very well for them at that price point.

      • That all makes perfect sense, and I own PLENTY of “nice stuff” that I’d happily wear (if it fell from the sky, as Robin likes to say).

        Yeah, I’d be salivating if this were a Hermessence or some niche Estonian brand.

        Your comment makes me wonder what would happen — or how it would be reviewed — if Parlux bottled this and called it “Skinny Vanilla Nonfat Latte by Paris Hilton”.

  2. Love the haterade line – big Urban Dictionary points to the Posse, as usual!

    Patty, I think you will appreciate this: my favorite SA from Nordstrom just went to work for the new Neiman Marcus in Bellevue. When I went in to visit her, knowing what a perfume geekity geek I am, she walked me over to the Creed counter (which has a dedicated SA) and said “Help me out here!” I pointed out which ones get good press on the blogs, the SA talked about best-sellers, we smelled a few, then wandered away. When I told her I’ve truly wanted to find something I loved from Creed but have yet to do so, she gave me a big hug and said “Oh, I felt the same way and thought I was missing something!”

    Nevertheless, I DO keep hoping, and I absolutely will keep trying out the Creed line. I am that stubborn!

    • I wound up loving Love in Black and Angelique Encens (which of course they discontinue!). There are a lot on the men’s side of the house that I really despise, but they are loved by men, so I just shut up for the most part because they didn’t make those scents for me.

    • Hey, they have a Neiman Marcus at Bellevue? Perfume for the criminally insane? I’m so there! There’s committed, and then there’s CO-mmitted <:-p 8-}

      • I think alot of us would fit in there quite well with all of the perfumes we purchase and our devotion to it!!!!!!!!! lolololol

        ps I think the Vanilla Noire de Mexique is quite good. I just bought a bottle for very little on POL.. I HATED (i know strong word) the Havana vanilla . It went immediately sour on me and was one of my first scrubbers.. thank goodness it was a sample. However, I also just recently discovered the oder version of Organza Indecence and also Tocade; great vanilla’s…Tocade in particular!!!

  3. Oh dear, I’m another one who doesn’t understand the fuss about Creed and I don’t think this one will change my mind. I’ll stick with the gorgeous Spiritueuse Double Vanille, thanks (no-one does vanilla like Guerlain).

    On the price thingy – so it isn’t that expensive on a cost-per-ml basis, but who needs so many gallons of such an ordinary scent? There’s the dichotomy, methinks.

    BTW I’m wearing my Mon Precieux Nectar today – this is some sweet and heady fragrance!

    • No, this won’t change your mind, and I love SDV and Vanille Galante and a bunch of others a lot more. I could add this one to my wardrobe because it is nice, it is soft, it isn’t loud or aggressive and it’s all about the vanilla.

      But with the way they’ve packaged it and introduced it, I wouldn’t spring $500 for 8.4 ounces!!!

      MPN, love it.

  4. I kind of thought the Creed people had quieted down some lately, but I could be wrong. Maybe it’s just that an opposing force has built up: there is now a group who can’t find anything to love in the brand and will not be intimidated out of saying so. Count me in that group. Not generally a vanilla fan, either, so I think I’ll give this one a pass…

    • Creed fans love their brand, period. And I don’t blame them because I love several brands or noses and defend a lot of things they do.

      I think the last time I did a Creed review, I got a nasty note that I hadn’t gone into depth about the scent or something, but I just had nothing to say beyond it’s nice, but kinda ordinary. But I still think we should review mainline perfume house scents, so that just makes it tough

  5. This one sounds wearably-meh. Then again, that seems to be my experience with the entire line. Some Creeds are pretty, but none of them send me into paroxysms of bliss, and the line in general is something of snooze-fest.

    It’s funny though. Most people I know who are big Creed aficionados will also threaten bodily harm if you say that Coach bags or True Religion jeans just aren’t your thing. It’s like the demographic invests a little too much personal identity into its luxury products of choice, and ends up defending those products with the same intensity that most reserve for religious or political debate.

    • I think that’s true. I love Hermes scarves, but if someone tells me they are overpriced and ridiculous, I won’t argue with them, because they’re right. I buy them because I like them, even knowing they are overpriced and ridiculous.

      There’s nothing wrong with loving a brand, but defending it against criticism is usually a poor choice for gaining converts.

      • Agreed. That having been said, I want their vintage silk scarf with the perfumes bottle on it. In every color. Sigh.:d

  6. You buy bottles all the time, what do you suppose the endgame is? Something like a soda bottle? 32 ounces for $1800 or something? Pretty soon we’ll have to lift them with a crane. /:)

    • Well, that Guerlain was like two quarts for 9 grand.

      You know, Guerlain does the bees in all sizes, and I totally get why someone may want 500 mls of a perfume in a very cool gold bottle because they love it, but if that were the entry bottle, it just perplexes me.

      The game used to be, put them in smaller bottles, like 30 mls, and charge more per ml. That works! But this whole 250 mls at a shot to even get the perfume is silly, and I wish they’d stop. But as long as they sell out what they send and get the buzz started, well. It’s obviouslly still working.

  7. I’ve noticed that inventory isn’t what it used to be pretty much across-the-board. I order clothing from catalogs (hate shopping for it). In the last couple of years, about half has been “on backorder.” This generally means that they don’t make it until the orders are in. And the waiting period is often months.

    • I’ve noticed the not in stock is happening a lot more with all retailers. Can’t blame them, but I still think this Creed thing is deliberate. 🙂

  8. I keep thinking I should be afraid of vanilla (and I am) but so many of you are luring me with ‘smoky vanilla’ this and ‘cranky vanilla’ that ….I dunno….I might just have to dip a toe in. Mistress Shelley and I were sampling the VC&As and I mentioned that I was afraid to spritz the vanilla orchidee thingy – still am.

    Will it burn a hole in my wrist?

    xo>-)

    • You know, that one may be too sweet or creamy for you. Have you tried the Vanille Galante? Can’t remember if you like lily or not. or the Guerlain SDV? That one is way smoky and seems like it might work for you.

      • I have been terrified of SDV – have never even spritzed it! I will be back in civilization in a few days – I’m ON IT!

        xoxoxo >-)

    • That’s right, join the dark side with the rest of the vanilla non-haters… >:)

    • If Guerlain SDV is “cranky vanilla” then I might just have to give it a sniff…

  9. I love Fleur de Thé Rose Bulgare, and I like a few others in the line, but most don’t do that much for me. I hate the huge bottles, though I did spring for the rose, and less then a month later, broke domestic and international shipping laws by sending it to a group of Army nurses in Iraq. I think the 50ml decant I bought afterwards will last me a lifetime. I don’t see myself ever buying another bottle of anything that huge, except possibly Poivre, and I doubt I could afford it!!

    • What a nice thing to do! See, that makes sense, that size bottle for an entire floor of women or men. 🙂

  10. With everyone talking about the legions of Creed fans, I feel a bit like I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole and landed in a Bizarro parallel universe. I’m not nearly as experienced as most of you long-time perfumistas, but my experience in the perfume blog world is that Creed is mostly reviled and a brand that people seem to love to hate. I happen to adore Love in White and have been recently smitten by Acqua Fiorentina, but usual feel like admitting that is like admitting how much I’m enjoying the sitcom Cougars – a shameful, guilty pleasure. Admittedly, the price points are silly and I’ve sustained myself on samples to date…

  11. The only Creed I’ve been able to wear is the most un-Creed of them all, Virgin Island Water. Will give this one a sniff out of curiosity, but not expecting to fall in love. SDV has my heart.

    • Tara: Virgin Island Water is one of my favorites as well. Something about that just makes me happy. Wish I loved SDV but I just can’t do the smoke thing. Smokey scents remind me of a serious asthma episode I had in a bar years ago from the cloud of cigarette smoke. Others remind me of when our local high school caught on fire and I was pushed into duty to help carry books out of the library. Neither of those were positive experiences so smoke as note is off my list. May have to try this one at some point as I would love a good vanilla without smoke that isn’t too foody.

  12. Here’s why you don’t want to go around smelling like snickerdoodles– because if you had to smell them all day long, you’d get sick of them. Seriously. Try working in a bakery for a week or so if you’d like to lose your taste for sweets. This is why I dislike even the most elegantly-made gourmand scents (never mind the fruity-for-the-middleschool-crowd bilge): food smells that linger long after the meal become stale and repugnant.

  13. I love several Creeds but would never *defend* Creed with vehemence. In fact I would never defend any brand whatsoever, because every single brand, no matter how illustrious makes some beauties and some duds (yes, even SL, FM, Chanel and Guerlain)

    The Creeds I love are:
    Tubereuse Indiana
    Love in Black
    and Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie

    Tabarome is a great masculine, too.
    And Neroli Sauvage.

    I would like to try the Sublime Vanille but if it’s already sold out then I could care less. I think the bottle is really pretty, though. Not the typical UGLY Creed bottle.

  14. Patty, I love Vanilla scents but am pretty particular about them in my own way. I love Tihota. I cringed at the price but it was worth every precious penny and I am almost done with my 2nd bottle (ouch). There will not be a third at the moment… the kids have to have some ho ho ho too lol.I goes very musky on me as well as the rich vanilla and apparentlyalot of people do not get that from the Tihota. I also love sdv , which many people have not liked.. I did not like the hermes but need to give it another go. I cannot get past the watery element in their scents the past number of years. I looooooovethe really old vintage habanita for its vanilla (one of the best imho) and bears no resemblance to the current one in the black lalique bottle. I do not like Vanilia by L’artisan but I am not a l’artisan fan in general nor a creed for that matter.I also do not love Lutens Vanilla. My favourite creed that I do love , not just like, is the angelique encens .Thank goodness it came in the 8 ounce , so I have enough for a lifetime now that it is discontinued. I would love to try the sublime vanilla but if it is just good straight up vanilla mmm I dont know… that bottle is gorgeous though. To go off on a tangent price wise though, I am sitting on my hands not to order Guerlain’s Sophie that I fell hard for .first time in ages for a scent. It is 420 for 60 ml of edp….. pretty out there for not being parfum .So to that end the amount of Sublime Vanilla is a bargain compared to that and other scents….I think I would still take the money and buy 2 bottles of Tihota though… and I also think I would purhase a couple of vintage sealed bottles of shalimar (the holy grail of all of them) for the money…

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