Thursday, November 27, 2008

Decades of Decadence Part I: Creed Acier Aluminium

The art of high perfumery has always been about creating emotions and the ability of great noses to capture different aspirations and atmospheres in their creations. From the Italian renaissance and the French courts through to distinguished British barbershops and avant-garde maverick noses, the great perfumers have always strived for their blends to evoke a certain mood or sensation.

Apart from romantic, sporty, fresh, or dreamy impressions, in this section - Decades of Decadence - I'm going to focus on debauchery and self indulgence... Or rather the fragrances from the last few decades that bring these adjectives to mind.

The French have, like in so many other facets of perfumery, always had an edge in this genre. From Guerlain's civet loaded Mouchoir de Monsieur and Jicky to Etat Libre D’Orange's entire catalog, French houses have been the masters of exploring the gritty and more sinister sides of olfactory creation. First out therefore, a ravishing blend from Parisian Creed, released in 1973 - Acier Aluminium.

In my initial review of Acier Aluminium on Basenotes ( I wrote that the visual representation of this elixir is the masked orgy scenes in Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut. And this truly is the type of setting that comes to mind when smelling this pagan juice.

It's very different from most contemporary offerings from Creed. Far from the safe, clean virtues of for instance Erolfa or Millesime Imperiál, Acier Aluminium projects a sinful image in an absolutely intoxicating way.

The unorthodox blend of raw ambergris, resins and sweet fruits with a slight lemony edge create a voluptuous, smouldering and massive impression. This is not one for the office... There is also a metallic edge to the scent, slightly reminiscent of the one found in Caron's Anarchiste, but without the nauseating bits of the latter.

Longevity and sillage are well above average, which is unusual for Creed to begin with and especially in the Eau de Toilette format.

To conclude, Acier Aluminium is both a testimony to the brilliance of earlier Creed creations, Ambre Canelle and Orange Spice also come to mind, but first and foremost it's one of the premier carnal fragrances of the last decades. Corruption extraordinaire.

Overall Rating: 8/10


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