A joke for its retail price assuming it’s still in production (or however, for the price it had when it was available), but overall nice if you manage to get it for some substantial fraction of the cost. Santal Imperial opens – and more or less, so remains – with a distinguished whiff of citrus and bergamot blended with a sort of warm and creamy texture arising from a dusty, sultry base of ambergris and tobacco with some tame sort of mossy musk, and a really smooth and bright woody accord which I guess may contain some synthetic sandalwood too –I get very little of it though, close to zero; all the woody side feels to me more like earthy vetiver paired with some weightless sweet-plushy nonsense like cashmeran. A soapy, clean, really cozy woody base with a nondescript Oriental vibe of spicy, cocoa-infused tonka and probably some red pepper too. Quite generic, but it works, a bit in the same broad league of Tom Ford for Men with less ambery orange, less freshness and a earthier texture, with more ambergris and woods and also a bit more conservative, old school and formal than that (in other words I am not saying these two fragrances smell similar, this was just a matter of, say, a similar “vibe” with similar Oriental chords). Finally I also think there’s something floral, definitely a delicate sweet-grassy vibe which I can’t really identify but it provides an enjoyable sort of silky-powdery touch (someone mentioned iris in another review, it may be it in fact, maybe with a herbal touch of clary sage).
So this is it, you get the picture, an enjoyably mannered albeit rather weak and proudly uninspired spicy-creamy-woody Oriental scent with a sweet floral vibe and a sort of faint mood halfway pedantic and austere, distantly rooted into the classic citrus fougčre tradition but also close to several Oriental masculine fragrances from the late 1990’s (to the point I feel this may have been created back then, but I’m not yet skilled enough in converting Creed years in human years so I don’t know what 1850 translates into in real world). Closer to a pale neurotic bourgeois chap than anything or anyone “Imperial”, but a fine scent for sure – a really discreet and close-to-skin fragrance which nonetheless, for some reasons manages to gift you with some sillage consistently coming and going for some hours.
6,5-7/10 (for a fair price)
5/10 (for its actual price)
Very gentle and smooth sandalwood base fragrance, definitely one of my favorite sandalwood scents along with Bois De Santal. Immediately after application, I get a blast of citrus which last briefly for about 5-10mins. After this short period, the prominent sandalwood takes center stage flanked by a hint of tonka bean which sweetens the scents slightly. The ambergris provides a soft backbone for the scent. As others have already said the silage is rather weak but the scent does linger for a while roughly 3-4 hours. IMO, another well done scent in the classic Creed collection.
Just received Santal Imperial and I am in love with it. I find SI to be quite pleasant and enjoyable; SI is creamy and sweet, I don't detect so much wood as others have noted nor extreme citrus. I detect a light citrus note and hints of vanilla. This would be for me classified as a unisex scent and not 'pure' masculine in my opinion. Now, this is very different from OS but there or small hints and very reminiscent of Himalaya and MI, again in its own class still...no one has mentioned a similarity of Royal Delight then again, maybe that's just me with the sweetness detection. Overall, wonderful fragrance that I highly recommend!!
The citrus and bergamot start off well but the citrus is particularly nice and noticeable. A few minutes after top notes appear the tonka bean and sandalwood show up. The dry down is similar to Bois de Santal and Royal Scottish Lavender.
Sandalwood, smoothed over by a judicious touch of suave tonka bean on a very soft, soapy base. That's it, and it's completely linear. Elegant, impeccably put together, and classically poised, Santal Imperial is also overwhelmingly conservative. We are talking about a fragrance that's seen its 150th birthday, after all.
This is old world aristocracy, British gentry, and 19th century American plutocracy in a bottle. Strictly starched, buttoned down, and ready for the boardroom. Wear Santal Imperial when you're feeling dignified, or need to project a sense of authority, but don't wear it to a party. It's flawlessly dressed, but it doesn't know how to smile.
I think this might be one of the great sandalwoods, but it has some concentration issues.
The sandalwood here is the perfectly pleasant sawdust variety,with just a hint of buttery richness. It sits on a fougere skeleton of lavender and tonka, so there are times when it reminds me of a sandalwood-drenched Pour Un Homme. There's a piquant top of vetiver and black pepper hovering quietly, as well as a surprising dusty iris that comes in later. Really, it smells wonderful and really sings with a heavier application (that's when the vetiver and iris really come out).
Unfortunately, this suffers from the same Creed disease as Aventus: Sometimes I swear it just goes away and I can't smell anything. But then, an hour later, it smells wonderful again. My best guess is that it's not quite concentrated enough to smell consistently rich, but there's an errant note (my guess would be the lavender) that's so highly concentrated that it knocks out my nose. It's sort of clever, but also quite maddening. I still like the smell enough for an enthusiastic thumbs up, but with a better concentration, this could have been a serious contender for best sandalwood ever.