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Well Groomed

Q&A

On tour with Erwin Creed

Erwin Creed—the young heir to his family’s 250-year-old eponymous fragrance house—is the very embodiment of the classic elegance CREED’s fragrances exudes. On tour to celebrate the house’s 250th anniversary and to promote its latest scent, Spice and Wood, we caught up with Erwin on his second U.S. stop at Bal Harbour Shops.—Tali Jaffe

What was your earliest encounter with perfume?
I began accompanying my father to the fragrance workshop when I was eight, as he did with his father and his—back seven generations to 1760. It becomes a way of life. For example, as a child, when my parents were preparing dinner, I would try to figure out the meal beforehand by the aromas coming from the kitchen.

Do you recall the first scent that grabbed your attention?
I created a scent at the age of eight—that was my first. Of course, it was not offered to the public, but we have the formula somewhere. Let's say I've learned a great deal in the 21 years since then, studying under my father. He has taught me the thousands of components of fragrance—flowers, spices, fresh fruit, all the best from around the globe, from places as far away as India and Iceland.

What is your favorite scent on a woman?
My favorite scent is her favorite scent.

What are CREED's most popular scents for men and women?
Many men enjoy Millesime Imperial, and I should add women like it too. It's very versatile and light and can be worn almost anywhere. Women enjoy Spring Flower, a luscious scent filled with fresh blooms and the rich aroma of French apples. Of course, many people like to wear what their heroes or icons wore, so many women like Fleur de Bulgarie, worn by Queen Victoria.

Tell us about the new scent.
Aventus for men—also loved by women—is the daring spirit of the conqueror, rich with ingredients from places in the life of Napoleon, from blackurrant in Corsica, where he was born to royal pineapple, his favorite palace dessert. Spice and Wood is new in our Royal Exclusives collection, a special collection specially bottled for our 250th year. Spice and Wood honors the romance between Roman general Marc Antony and Egyptian queen Cleopatra and its ingredients are from Italy and the Nile.

What are your plans for the company?
My father—the sixth-generation master perfumer and company head—is in an exceptionally creative period, perhaps the greatest in our 250 years. My job is to assist him, learn from him, and, when I assume the role of master perfumer, continue to create, honoring our past while innovating.

Can you take us through an average day at the office?
Our office is actually a workshop in the French countryside that looks like a country house. That's where my father and I with a staff of just 35 people create all the CREED fragrances. I live in Paris. So I rise early, drive to the workshop in the countryside. My tasks could be to inspect ingredients, for example bergamot from Italy or iris from Egypt, that I ordered abroad and had sent to us in France. Then we always have the hand blending of fragrances, using techniques such as maceration, a warm alcohol bath in which we soak ingredients to release their essence. Then some bottling. And creative time with my father to discuss what might be next.

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