White Flowers (Creed)

I would need to be pretty wealthy to purchase any of Creed's Royal Exclusives. My wealth would not be the hard-wrought kind, but rather the "nouveau riche" kind, an overnight sensation, like winning the lottery, or stumbling on an internationally-wanted terrorist with no fight left in him. A wealth awarded, not earned. I'd have no problem blowing six hundred dollars on a few ounces of mediocre perfume if someone else had no problem blowing a few million dollars on me.

No one knows the identity of the person hired to compose these fragrances, but judging by their shoddy quality, I'd say it was someone with a very disorganized perfume organ, pardon the pun. Someone with more subtlety, more creativity, and much more finesse is behind the regular Millesime lineup, because most of those fragrances smell better than any of these "REs." It's hard to pin-point exactly what went wrong with this line. Spice and Wood smells very nice, but forced, with an awkward and surprisingly loud base accord that crescendos, and goes on forever. Pure White Cologne smells like a rough draft of Spring Flower, or rather like Spring Flower if its dewey petals were swapped out for dusty plastic. Sublime Vanille is an elegant vanilla, and one of the better offerings in this range, but still mind-blowingly dull, even for a vanilla fragrance. It's all very disappointing.

My expectations for White Flowers were fairly straightforward and reasonable. Given that this is supposed to be a fresh bouquet of rich white flowers, I imagined a sweeping implosion of dense sweetness, and indoles up the yin-yang. My imagination held something better than what I'm smelling, basically. There's nothing especially exciting at any stage here, and while I didn't think it would intrigue me, I figured it would at least impress me somehow. The fragrance is a fancy schmancy high-cost version of your typical fruity-sweet drugstore floral. Actually, it's not even that fancy schmancy. It's just a remake of a mall-rat fruity floral using a few expensive aroma chemicals, instead of the cheap stuff. The way it reads on skin, White Flowers isn't even much of a composition. These aroma chemicals, maybe five or six of them, were simply mixed together very loosely, in poorly-measured proportions, giving the impression that the perfumer thought their priciness alone would endow them with the magical ability to do all the hard work for him, simply by existing. Newsflash: you can drop twelve dollars on three ounces of Cabotine and get something just as good as this.

Come to think of it, Cabotine and White Flowers smell remarkably similar after the Creed dries down, at around the four-hour mark. As for notes, the structure is as banal as it gets. There's green apple on top (lucky I like that note), followed by a smidgen of that awful filthy-coin rice note Creed seems obsessed with lately, and then a pleasantly sheer and fresh bouquet of narcissus and something jasmine-like, yet incredibly far removed from actual jasmine. There's a hint of peppery violet leaf fusing these floral elements together, and in truth the pieces fit together nicely and smell good. Aside from the brief rice note, I like how White Flowers smells, but for the money it's a joke. There's nothing innovative or sophisticated about it. If you're a well-to-do laddie or lass who enjoys casual springtime florals, this one is beneath you.

If you're not as well-to-do, and you enjoy trashy springtime florals, congratulations! You can find something just as good as White Flowers at Walgreens, buy it, and wear it without feeling like a cheapskate, because you smell just as good as whoever fell for this weird and godawful-expensive olfactory prank.

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