7/12/12

Green Irish Tweed Soap (Creed) & Some Thoughts On Grey Flannel



I'm not going to labor on with my review of Green Irish Tweed soap by Creed. All you need to know is that the fragrance of the soap is identical to the drydown of GIT. However, you won't get any of that fizzy lemon-verbena goodness of the perfume version's top notes. That's the nature of matching soaps to perfumes, I guess. You lose almost half the fragrance, but if the half that remains is faithful, no one minds all that much, or even notices. This soap is strikingly identical to the perfume, and any GIT lover will be satisfied with its fragrance. The bar has a rich lather, a pleasant triple-milled density, and a good size and weight. It's actually the equivalent of having two regular grocery store bars all in one soap. Still very expensive, but you get some bang for your buck.

As I type this, I have GIT on one wrist, and Grey Flannel on the other, with a touch of Aspen by Coty also within nose-reach. I've long contended that Grey Flannel has survived the decades, even as it approaches the "grey" age of 40, without losing its luster. Some may disagree with me on this, but even the slightly-tweaked newest version retains enough of the fragrance's classic elements to warrant an A- grade. The older version in the 2 ounce splash bottle is a solid A+. I'm not a huge fan of how they've ironed over the pleasant wrinkle of bitter citrus and violet leaf, juxtaposed with violet, spices, and oakmoss, but at least the new version uses a twinkling anise note to fill in that gap.

What has always been remarkable to me is how people miss the boat on Grey Flannel. People forget about it. They shouldn't. It's wrong. Grey Flannel is the most important masculine fragrance of the last 40 years.

Perfume addict, please, when you have time, do the following: poke around the back of your embarrassingly massive collection, and dig out Grey Flannel. Then, while you're back there, dig out Green Irish Tweed. And then, run to your local drugstore, and grab a bottle of Aspen by Coty. I'd like you to smell something.


When you've gathered these three scents, give each one a very gentle little half-spritz on your arm/wrist. Place them at an ample distance, to let your nose transfer. Once they've settled in, start with Green Irish Tweed, and give it a good whiff.

You'll notice its sweet, fresh, densely-green and creamy-woody character.


Now, give Grey Flannel a sniff. Use some coffee beans if you really must "clear the palate." But go directly from GIT to Grey Flannel. You'll find they're remarkably similar, to the point of almost smelling like the same fragrance at times. Grey Flannel is drier, a touch bitter. It's the difference between an old-school chypre and a modern fresh fougère. GIT is smoother, a little less roughly-hewn, but bears the overall character of its progenitor, thanks to the judicious use of ionones in both.


Now, give Aspen a sniff. Notice how aromatic (and hollow) it is. Grey Flannel is sweet, dense, rich. GIT is the same. Aspen is none of these things. Well, not entirely true, because it is sweet. And it has a lick of mint and perhaps hints of green apple, similar to GIT. It definitely shares a relationship with GIT, but it's hard to say that GIT is responsible for the eventual creation of Aspen, unless you figure it's in a roundabout way. The two are fougères, and both have a clean, green scent profile. One is remarkably expensive and smells like it. The other is remarkably cheap, and smells like it, but is crafted well enough to share some nuances with the Creed. This gives it a bump up.




Still, between the three, you can smell where the real relationship lies. If you need further convincing, grab your bottle of Cool Water and give that a half-spritz, and then compare again. You may as well be sniffing a stale pine-tree air freshener in the middle of Russia's Black Forest. The difference between Cool Water and the other three is that great, no exaggeration, although Cool Water exhibits a sturdy likeness with Green Irish Tweed in its own interesting ways. When you connect the dots, you realize that if Grey Flannel led to Green Irish Tweed (even their names are suspiciously textile-based), and GIT led to Cool Water - which in turn inspired the creation of its better-made competition by Coty - then Grey Flannel is our Moses, and André Fromentin is god.


























4 comments:

  1. I'll be doing this experiment for sure, sans the Coty. (I'm an underachiever) I always enjoy your perspective and suggestions for self-educating, by the way. Hope you keep these up.

    P.S. Just caught up on the last several posts, and had nothing of real note to say, but did (for some reason) want to express my surprise at how much taller Luca T. is than I expected. ??!!

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    1. It's a bit strange to say given the constant Cool Water/GIT comparison that goes on, but Aspen is essential to really smelling the timeline here with these scents. It's like watching a bitter floral chypre transform into a complex fresh fougere, and then hopscotch into an inexpensive bare-but-beautiful fougere that utilizes elements of GIT & CW. But going from Grey Flannel to GIT to CW does illustrate most of the same points, without the middle-man anchoring them.

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  2. Nodding my head. that timeline makes a lot of sense. I still have the bottle of Aspen that ive had since before high school(mid 90s), and it still smells great.

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    1. I'm wondering if your bottle was the Quintessence version, or if they'd already sold the formula to Coty by then. It's great that you have an older bottle, kudos!

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