4/16/13

A Comprehensive Visual Rundown Of What A Real Creed Green Irish Tweed Looks Like



Over on Sherapop's excellent blog is an interesting post that questions the authenticity of a Creed Tabarome Millesime she recently purchased. I can verify that the bottle and the box are 100% authentic based on the photographs she has provided. Sherapop questions the authenticity of the perfume, stating that it does not smell as good as a carded sample she recently wore, and that the coloring is odd. There's simply no way to verify the authenticity of a perfume based on those concerns alone without smelling the juice for myself. Creeds are unmistakable in quality and "content". They're like olfactory pornography: you know what it smells like when you smell it (no need to ask questions), which makes me think she may have been the victim of one of the most unlikely Creed scams imaginable - Tabarome Millesime bottle tampering. Why anyone would attempt to counterfeit Tabarome is beyond me, as it's a bottom-tier Millesime and hardly a big seller. Green Irish Tweed, on the other hand, IS a big seller, probably still Creed's biggest (next to Aventus), and justifiably a cause for concern when found on the grey market.

I posted this thread on Badger & Blade in 2011, highlighting the details behind what a box and bottle of Green Irish Tweed actually look like. My Creed was purchased from the Creed Boutique's web site and delivered via UPS within 24 hours from a warehouse in New Jersey. This blog post, like the thread, is meant to guide the dazed and confused Creed "newbie" through the many elements of Creed's packaging, and will likely serve to better inform about Creed's boxes than their bottles, as every fragrance type bears different labeling, coloring, and whatever else (try comparing Bois du Portugal to Silver Mountain Water, and you get the idea.

At the very least, this will give people a template from which to examine their grey market purchases, but it comes with a warning - WHENEVER POSSIBLE, BUY DIRECTLY FROM THE CREED BOUTIQUE OR AN AUTHORIZED CREED RETAILER. DO NOT PURCHASE CREED FROM FRAGRANCENET, BEAUTYENCOUNTER, EBAY, OR ANY OTHER UNAUTHORIZED RETAILER. Creeds sold from these retailers may in fact be genuine some of the time (definitely not all of the time, do a thread search on basenotes and Google to read horror stories), but even if you receive a genuine Creed, there is a good chance that it is (a) quite old and possibly spoiled, usually in the basenotes with Creeds for some reason, and/or (b) partially used, a returned product being resold at a discount. I can tell you by looking at virtually all of the photographs of Creed products on Fragrancenet that there are several sprays missing from the bottles, as the juice does not top off high enough - this is especially easy to spot in the feminine 2.5 ounce bottles. I've been told by Fragrancenet customers that their Creeds were satisfactory, but none of these people seemed to know anything about spotting a fake Creed, or a used Creed, so I take positive reports with a grain of salt. It's tempting to spring for the discount, but trust me on this one, it's not worth the agita of trying to determine if you've acquired the real article or an elaborate fake. And there are certainly some elaborate fakes out there.

Fortunately, Creed treats its packaging like the Federal Reserve treats its monetary designs - like precious currency in need of protection from forgers. Like American money, Creed boxes and bottles are surprisingly intricate, full of details, and sometimes it seems no two boxes and bottles are entirely the same. I have a 4 ounce bottle of Green Valley purchased from the Creed Boutique that has no lot number anywhere on it, not etched, and not stickered. But as you will see, my Green Irish Tweed bore all the usual markings expected of the real thing. Without further ado, let's examine what a real Green Irish Tweed should look like.






Top:
As you can see, this is Green Irish Tweed with the box. This is the latest version of the bottle and box - the bottle hasn't really changed, but the box has. Earlier versions of the box (going back about two years) did not have the Creed logo and name embossed all over it - BUT COUNTERFEIT BOXES DID! This complicates the quest for truth. But fortunately there are plenty of other details to check out besides the embossing. The real box should be as pictured, about the same height and width as the bottle, and three colors: white, moss green, and gold.

Middle:
Let's take a quick look at the atomizer. The Creed logo should be fairly well-centered with the nozzle. However, don't be put off it yours isn't mathematically precise in its centering - mine isn't, which tells me that the stamping on this piece is close but not 100% centered. Prior versions of the atomizer may have been more accurate, but the current version is not. Also notice that the nozzle is depressed from the atomizer cap and is black. The atomizer attachment to the bottle is the same shade black as the atomizer itself - glossy black metal. There should be a uniform glossy black look to the entire atomizer mechanism, which is clearer in the image below.

Bottom:
The bottle is the hardest thing to spot when dealing with the difference between real and fake. Unfortunately, the GIT bottle is pretty basic-looking, simple in design and coloring, and therefore subject to easy manufacturing by counterfeiters. However, there are quite a few things to look out for - here is what a real GIT bottle from 2011 looks like at a glance. Really the only thing to notice here is that the cap lines up nicely to the short "collar" that extends up off the top of the bottle. This collar should have three semi-smooth sides as pictured (no hard lines are anywhere on the bottle itself).







Top:
Here we have a good look at the bottle with the cap off. Again, notice the proportions of the atomizer to the bottle. It's a pretty good-sized mechanism. Look at how the glass bottle extends a little ways past the collar before connecting with the glossy base of the atomizer - this is only evident when the cap is off. Counterfeits probably won't have these proportions exactly right. Also look at the fine ribbing of the base to the glass, airtight against the bottle.

Middle:
Here we have one of the most well-known telltale signs of a real Creed - the white atomizer ring. When you remove the atomizer, the ring at its base should be white plastic. If it's black to match the bottle or atomizer, it's fake, fake, fake. The nozzle itself should extend a little ways up and is also white.

Bottom:
One thing I notice with counterfeit Green Irish Tweed bottles is that the bottle itself has centered seams connecting two units of glass, which are visible from the top. These seams are usually very distinct and sharp because the glass is not coated the same way as the genuine article. Here, from a top view, you can see how the flask-shaped bottle does have a seam, but it is very soft-looking. Obviously the real Creed bottle manufacturer connects the two parts before the matte black coating process, and that makes the seams somewhat indistinct. Anything that looks like fancy plastic in the seamwork should be regarded with suspicion. Take a look at the more obvious seams on the fake GIT here:


And in this instance, one would be hard-pressed to even consider this "fancy plastic."






TOP:
If you're feeling particularly nervous about your atomizer, take a look at the inside of it. There should be a rather complex arrangement comprised of a milky, semi-translucent plastic fixture to the outer black plastic shell.

Middle:
All Creed caps should have a cap within a cap, made obvious by the wedged ring around the inside seam. GIT, Silver Mountain Water, Original Vetiver - they're all the same, and all look like this, albeit in different colors depending on the type of scent.

Bottom:
I tend to ignore the caps of my Creeds because I think looking at the bottle and box are far more important - caps are interchangeable, and just because you have a fake cap doesn't necessarily mean the whole deal is fake - just that your merchant dabbles in both real and fake Creeds, and mixed up the merchandise. In any event, it's not a bad idea to know the basics behind what a real GIT cap looks like - the same rules apply to all Creed caps. Here you see the top, which has the circular impressed logo (the Welsh crest) firmly centered on it. You should get the impression that rather than this being one piece of plastic, it's two, mainly because real Creed caps are two pieces of plastic put together. NOTE - THE WHITE FLECKS IN THESE PICTURES ARE DUST.






Top:
The bottom of GIT bottles look very simply like this. It should say MADE IN FRANCE/PARIS and have a rather feeble-looking version of the Creed insignia centered on it. The HP and a number (in my case 7) should be there as well. Other letters/numbers may apply, but the most important thing is to see that the logo is there, and that it says PARIS, NOT RARIS. They sneak those "Rs" onto the fakes.

Middle:
At the back bottom part of the bottle should be the lot number. This should be engraved into the glass coating of the bottle's lip and shouldn't really be any other color than the matte black, although if there's some dust or debris in those little numbers and letters, I wouldn't worry about it. If this lot number is present, it's a good thing. If it's not, it's a bad thing.

Bottom:
So let's now look at the Green Irish Tweed box. The new version of the box is pretty spiffy. It should have the Welsh Crest and Creed insignia embossed all over it. 1760 should be just above the label. The main Welsh crest and the framing of the label should both be matching gold. I've seen plenty of GIT boxes pictured by discount online retailers that have a white frame around the front label. That's wrong. I've also seen the Welsh crest in white. Also wrong. There should be an abundance of gold going on here. The framing of the label has a braille-like pattern on it. Looking at the label itself: the green should be a nice mossy green - I've got to say that the mossy green very cleverly matches the color of real moss. If it's a dark forest green, it's wrong - if it's an olive green, it's wrong. This part is actually a fuzzy felt. Creed's insignia, date, the words GREEN IRISH TWEED (NOT Green Frich Tweed), and the Paris address should be impressed into the felt in gold. On the bottom part of the box: Again we see Creed, and a rather dainty version of the word MILLESIME (with an appropriate accent mark) and those two lines of French text beneath. Metric and Imperial measuring units are marked on either bottom corner that state the weight of the fluid within.







Top:
I've read online that a way to spot a fake Creed is by how flimsy the box is. This is misleading - real Creed boxes are basically just as flimsy. What separates them from the fakes is the rigid cardboard box-lining, which I've taken out and placed next to the exterior box. This part fills up the real GIT box and keeps it rigid. It should be totally un-foldable, as it's not entirely connected at the seams.

Middle:
So this is the back of the GIT box. It matches pretty much all the Millesime boxes. But notice how the word MILLESIME does not have an accent mark like its counterpart on the front of the box. Intentional Creed curveball to throw off counterfeiters. If you see an accent mark here, question it and examine the rest of the box thoroughly. It might be a typo, an intentional variation, or fake.

Bottom:
Here's a closeup of the text on the back. You can match your box to this accordingly. Make sure the spelling and accent marks are all there. This should match perfectly. Ignore those on basenotes who claim that a few typos here and there are nothing to worry about - if you see more than one, you should worry. Sometimes large production lines slip up and miss a letter, but usually never more than once, and even then only rarely. If you're seeing two or three inconsistencies in the text on your box, you have a fake box.






Top:
The top of the box should have three fonts on it - the Creed insignia, the de pere en fils line in script, and the famous sans-serif List of Royals. Really a bitch to do, but it's important if you're in doubt to check the list against your box. If someone is missing, someone is added, someone's name is misspelled, or your name is there, you have a fake.

Middle:
Pop the lid open, and the first thing you should see is that silly little card that comes with all Creeds. If you buy from Creed boutique directly then of course the card is there, the card is real, and this point is moot. But any other online retailer may or may not include the card. An absent card is preferable to a card that is on flimsy paper, printed in blurry ink, or without gold. If they went to the trouble to stick a crappy counterfeit card in there, imagine how much work they put into counterfeiting the rest of the product. The real card should be on solid stock, have a bend at its bottom so you can stand it up on your desk, and should have James Henry and Olivier's portraits very clearly printed and gold-framed on them. The de pere line is clearly printed on there as well.

Bottom:
Just under the card is the literature. This is on stiff, grained paper, unfolds to a considerable size, and is in several languages. I can't say if all the Green Irish Tweeds come with the same literature - Creed may or may not change up the languages they print on it depending on where the product is stocked. However, if your literature is in all Arabic, this is cause for worry. Another myth circulating on basenotes is that Creed's middle eastern distributors carry literature written only in Arabic. This is false - there should be at least English and French written on it - if Arabic accompanies these two languages, then I wouldn't worry. If it's going to take a college course in Asian languages to read the literature, you've got a fake.





Top:
It's a bitch to do, but if you're a stickler for detail, you'll have to match up the text on the inside of your box to this photo of mine. Check out Google Translate for the French translation, but the first line should read that the Creed Millesimes are made only with the finest essences and rarest infusions, etc. Olivier's signature should be printed beneath this statement, and the address should again be in script below.

Middle:
The bottom of the Creed Green Irish Tweed box is the part that looks most fake, even though it's not - the technical specs are unsightly and wisely relegated to the part you never see. One mistake basenoters make is in thinking that the sticker should only read INGREDIENTS and not CONTAINS - the authentic sticker has both. Unless you buy directly from the Creed boutique, the barcode sticker may not be located here. If it bothers you, look for the barcode as it's probably stuck somewhere else, or nowhere at all. Barring some foreign release, 99% of real Green Irish Tweed boxes have Arabic printed on only one place: the bottom of the box.

Bottom:
Last but not least, a little extra detail regarding that rigid inner cardboard sleeve of the box - there should be a cut on its top for the cap to fit through. When you open the box and remove the card and literature, the cap should be peeking through that to greet you.


In Conclusion
The 2011 version of Green Irish Tweed has nothing printed on the sides of the box, but older and newer versions may have places for lot numbers and other various words here and there. If your box matches mine to the letter, but the sides have all kinds of weird things and Arabic writing all over them, double check the French and the bottle for authenticity. Also, regarding the Creed insignia and text printed on the bottle - I had a hell of a time getting a readable shot of the de pere en fils line and size labeling on my actual bottle - Green Irish Tweed and the rest of the text is written in a matte text that is only about two shades darker than the rest of the bottle. Here's what I suggest: run your thumb over the text and feel if it's slightly raised off the bottle. If it is, that's good. The real thing has the text printed at a slight emboss on the glass. Also, the CREED insignia is raised, and painted a darker, glossier black than the matte backing.

I hope this blog post helps. I've grown tired of the misinformation about faked Green Irish Tweeds - it's a classic, it deserves to be documented in its real form as opposed to its fake alter-ego. My wish is that by posting these photos, you'll never have to wonder what a real Green Irish Tweed looks like again.


2 comments:

  1. Great job! I acquired the 4 ounce black GIT bottle in a swap about a year ago. It's clearly authentic but part of the white tubing somehow broke off into the black spray cap (before I got it). I can attach it to spray normally but it will fall off if any small amount of pressure is applied, other than straight down to spray it. When attached it is always on a slight angle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. sounds like you got the short end of the stick there pal.

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