Creed 1849: Is It Worth It?

So Creed has done it again: released a department store exclusive, this time for a department store people have actually heard of, and they're charging an arm and a leg for it, of course. How much, you ask? 1849, so named to commemorate the establishment of Harrods at Knightsbridge, is going for about $350 a pop in NYC while limited supplies last. Why they carted Harrods exclusives to New York is a question only Creed reps can answer with any accuracy, but I think the obvious applies here - broadening sales to the American marketplace is good business, especially if you're trying to gauge whether a future re-release, possibly under a different name, is worth it. Meanwhile I can't help but wonder at this phenomenon. 1849 is one of those super-rare Creeds that any old Joe can walk in off the street and buy (provided he knows it exists and his timing is good), but that's the only chance he has to test the stuff. Dropping $350 on a bottle without testing it first would be insane, right? Who would blind buy a two-ounce bottle without knowing what they're getting first?

Creed fans, that's who. Basenoters especially. This thread is really interesting, because you can read people's excitement, and literally follow along as they plunk their good money down, wait for their package, and then give their impressions upon its arrival. The general consensus is that 1849 is excellent. Most of the media on the fragrance has been positive. Creed has, by all accounts, done it again and produced a beautiful perfume, and for that I'm happy. I happen to love Creed, and the thought that they're still knocking people's pants off puts a smile on my face.

There's still the nagging question, though - is buying 1849 worth it? It's already more expensive than Creed's other department store exclusive, Scent of Oger. It's an unusual fragrance - apparently a unisex woody-floral with traces of vanilla and quite a bit of feminine sweetness. A few sources mention oud being in there, which naturally makes me think of Royal Oud, which I don't care for. And the bottom line is pretty stark. Because 1849 is so hard to come by, and sampling is nigh impossible, there's no chance on Earth I'll ever buy a bottle. It's not that I doubt its beauty. I fully recognize the merits of those who declare it a masterpiece, as many intelligent noses across the blogosphere and on BN/Fragrantica have said it's wonderful. I'm sure that if I bought a bottle and opened it, sprayed some on my wrist, I would immediately fall in love.

So what's the problem? It's the principle of blindly spending $350 that cuts this thing off at the knees for me. Whether I love the product or not is immaterial at that point. When so much money is being spent, it should by law be spent intelligently. The only way I can spend that much money intelligently is if I know what I'm buying. I mean, really know it. Not suspect. Not imagine. Not figure. Not believe. Know. I must have no doubt that the bottle I receive contains juice of divine proportions. I must know that its structure is lovely, its balance exquisite, its drydown divine. These expectations must be based on memory, and not precognition. Therefore, buying a bottle is out of the question, as memories of 1849 aren't happening in my lifetime.

Does that mean this Creed isn't worth blind buying at all? For me it isn't. Everyone else can do as they please. I don't think less of anyone who splurges on it. I understand completely. I'm just not gonna go there.


  1. I've never smelled any Creeds, and so have no opinion on them. But just playing Devil's advocate here: I wonder if one's esteem for a fragrance increases in direct proportion to how much one has paid for it? In one's mind, does a perfume that costs $350 of necessity *have* to smell splendid as opposed to one that costs $35? Maybe we can't accept that something we paid a lot for isn't all that special, because that would mean we spent our money foolishly. Just putting it out there.

    1. That's a good point. My own qualm with that idea rests with the fact that whenever people overpay for something that they wind up not really liking, a lot of self-convincing follows. You tell yourself, "look, I paid a metric fuckton for two ounces of fluid that I'll only enjoy a few hours at a time. I need to keep evaluating and comparing this stuff until I find the reason to love it." So not accepting being wrong just makes it all the more wrong.


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