You 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.