A grand fragrance indeed! Epicea reminds me of something the 17th Century Russian aristocracy would have worn (along with their fur kaftans and leather boots before Peter the Great forced them to adopt silk shoes, bows, knickers, silk stockings, and powdered wigs) around a fire in an ancient pine forest perhaps roasting a wild boar. The pine, smoke, and birch tar are founded in powdery, slightly sour ambergris and slightly sweet, but still robust musk.
You can smell a realistic high quality pine (like Windsor) mixed with a light clove. This is probably THE quintessential winter scent. Unfortunately the sillage isn't so great. It's still more potent than Bois de Cedrat but not much so.
Is it any coincidence that most of the Creed scents I enjoy predate Green Irish Tweed? Green Irish Tweed is delightful, but I wonder if its success didn’t tempt Creed into a color-by-numbers approach to composition in much that followed. So much that’s come since plays like minor variations on a standard theme: start with Ambroxan, dihydromyrcenol, and violet leaf, tweak the proportions here and there, sprinkle a bit of this or that on top, and…violà! A new “Millésime.” Add Calone and fruit, and you’ve got Millésime Imperial. A bit of tea and black currant, and it’s Silver Mountain Water. Tobacco? Tabarôme Millésime. Some oriental gestures and pink peppercorn? Himalaya. You get the picture.
Up through the mid 1980s, Creed’s house style ranged more widely. For every Angélique Encens or Orange Spice there was a Fleurissimo or a Chèvrefeuille Original. For Every “Vintage” Tabarôme or Cyprès-Musc there was an Aubépine-Acacia or Sélection Verte. There were also oddballs like Acier Aluminium or Baie de Genièvre. Epicéa fits squarely in that “old” Creed tradition – the one that saw its last hurrah in Bois du Portugal.
Epicéa’s top notes are true to its name – a mélange of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon in roughly equal measure. The spices rest on a soapy barbershop fougère arrangement of lavender, geranium, and coumarin, with vanillic amber, warm musk, and a mere touch of leather among the base notes. The composition feels robust and assertive, yet also comfortable. It has none of the animalic swagger of a Jules or Kouros, but no trace of stodginess either. While not terribly exciting or earthshakingly original, Epicéa is a pleasant, dignified, and well-constructed fragrance that ranks for me among this inconsistent house’s stronger offerings.
This may be the best pine scent that I've ever encountered. The scent stays close to the skin and the longevity is respectable considering it is an EdT. The scent has a dominant cardamon note that is augmented beautifully by lush, spicy, and rich cloves. This scent is reminiscent of a calm, cold, clear night after a snow storm. Icicles are clinging to the trees, the cold, crisp air is bracing against your face. The scent of pine needles permeates the air.
This fragrance was a very pleasant surprise for me. I can't stress enough how high quality and authentic is the pine note. Outstanding.
A straightforward experience: Bergamot, lavender and gentle spice that leads to a pine drydown that is delightful in its simplicity. Conservative with reminiscences of Christmas in the snow. Winter forest in a bottle.