In honor of the 2016 Olympics, The House of Creed explores winning scents that best evoke the thrill of competition. Between world cups, opens and championships, it may seem like the globe is in a constant state of competition, but no event channels the same mix of patriotism and athleticism as the Olympics. Based on Ancient Greek tradition (legend has it Hercules himself founded them to honor Zeus) and revived in 1896 with help from the French Pierre de Coubertin, the games have a long tradition of international splendor and a reverence for history (a few things inherent in the Creed legacy, as well). As the world watches the athletes in Rio, The House of Creed highlights scents that capture the grace, strength, and skill brought out in sport. Fragrances described as ‘sporty’ usually share a few traits: they’re light, citrusy, and often ‘aquatic’ – crisp and a little effervescent. Within that single category, there’s a wealth of variation: below, five favorites and the thrilling moments they bring to mind.
Haitian vetiver is a prized ingredient in the perfumer’s palette — lemony, earthy and lush, the roots are commonly harvested, but Original Vetiver goes a step further, incorporating the leaves of the grass as well, adding a bright, fresh element to the finished product. It immediately calls to mind age-old games of the field (after all, the first recorded games were foot races). Today’s fleet-footed contenders may not be sprinting on fresh grass, but the olfactory association is still strong.
The embodiment of an ‘aquatic’ fragrance, Royal Water is the height of understated cool. The pared-down combination of citrus top notes, clean, botanical juniper berries, and an herbal hint of basil make for a clean, magnetic bouquet favored by men and women alike. In name and scent, it recalls swimming events in the Olympics games, where freestyle champions have made record-breaking strides up until the very last meter.
The most popular fragrance in Creed’s storied collection, Aventus evokes strength, power, and success, and like the games themselves, it features a mix of elements from around the globe: Louisiana birch, Corsican blackcurrant and Egyptian jasmine are just a few stand-out ingredients. While a scent like this brings to mind the competitive spirit in all sports, we think it best channels one of the very first Olympic sports — wrestling. Athletes in a world-class match show dominance and unbridled power, traits Olivier Creed distilled when he created Aventus.
Another creation from Olivier Creed, EROLFA was specifically created to capture the sensory experiences his family shared while sailing on the Mediterranean. Upon application, the fragrance blooms with nautical elements: the bite of salt air, a citrus element that recalls a breeze blowing off the coast, and rich, herbal base notes. Those sailing in this year’s games may not have time to stop and take in their surroundings, but if they did, the effect wouldn’t be too far from what’s bottled here.
Millesime Imperial may not correspond to single sport, but instead to a singular sensation: the thrill of victory. Originally created for a king, it has a multi-faceted fragrance profile that embodies the good life. Elements of sun-ripened fruit like lemon, bergamot and mandarin come to the fore, balanced by sea salt, iris and musk for an intoxicating finish. Its designation,millesime, indicates the formula has the highest possible concentration of natural ingredients: the perfumer’s equivalent of the gold standard.