A pleasant blend of pine, bergamot, and lavender, Creed's Epicea achieves the "fresh/citrus pine" categorization effectively. More bergamot in the opening, and more pine revealed in the dry down, but otherwise pretty linear, Epicea has the woodiness of a woodsy fragrance but the freshness of a citrus/aquatic fragrance. I don't get as much spiciness as most seem to---the clove is slight at most.
The only pine-dominant fragrance I own is Imaginary Authors' Cape Heartache, which is a heavier expression, blended mainly with strawberry. Epicea is a fresh, woody experience that really has all-year wearability, despite the popular association of pine with colder weather. This goes hand in hand with Epicea not being outstanding with respect to projection or longevity. It's definitely poorer on projection than longevity. Frankly, though, I don't regard this as much of a departure from the other fresh Creed scents. Most--Aventus, Silver Mountain Water, Himalaya, Green Irish Tweed--aren't terribly strong either, and I see their performance exaggerated. While I'd generally argue for the stronger being better, in the case of Epicea and other fresh Creed kin, the silver lining is that one need not at least be so judicious with sprays.
Epicea is definitely not an all-star in the realm of Aventus, but it feels a unique spot in the Creed house, and for fans of pine, it could prove essential.
8 out of 10
Epicea is one of the best pine smelling fragrances that I’ve came across. It reminds me of fresh Christmas trees when picking one out to take home a few days after Thanksgiving. It’s more or less the same idea of walking around in a pine forest although Christmas trees come first to mind whenever I smell this. The scent starts off with subtle citrusy ‘bergamot’ and lavender notes which give off a fresh crisp opening. Within five minutes this opening completely disappears giving away to spices ‘cloves’ and pine notes which are present at both the heart and the base. Overall, it was quite linear but in a good way as you will get a consistent pine and spice aroma from start to finish. Similar to Cheverfeuille, Epicea is a very simplistic scent. Longevity and silage isn’t too great here. I got about 2-3 hours of longevity and below moderate silage upon application which quickly became a skin soon after. Despite both longevity and silage, I think this is better suited for the colder months. This would work fine in both indoor and outdoor settings. Overall, Epicea is a good pine based fragrance and worth trying if one is into pine fragrances or classic Creeds.
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.