I really like Love In Black. I think critics tend to pan it and perfumistas ignore it because it's Creed, but I believe it's a really fine perfume. Oh, and Frederick Malle has named it as a favorite, so that should earn it some amount of snob credibility...
In terms of smell, it comes on strong with nuclear but not-too-sweet violets colored with rose and cassis, which hover over a rich mix of suede and iris with sandalwood in the background, ending up as slightly funky soap. It's essentially a classic Cuir De Russie smell of violets over leather, but smoothed out and made quite beautiful by the iris. Seriously, that suede and iris with hints of rose and woods and subtle spices and musks with the heady violets on top are exceptionally well done - it's a glorious drydown that most perfumers should be jealous of.
I can understand the criticisms out there - it's loud in a very chemical way, but I find it that to be in balance because it's also very rich in the style of a classic extrait. It does scream "violets" at the top of its lungs, yet I don't find it anywhere near as "shrieky" as most violet perfumes. I honestly believe this is one of the best from Creed, certainly the best of their newer, non-classic scents.
I'd like to describe Love in Black in detail, but there's no detail to describe. This is simply a crushingly potent, chemical, woody violet and iris accord, lent extra destructive power by an overdose of the most fiercely abrasive aldehydes imaginable. I have trouble sharing a room with this scent, much less wearing it.
That a scent as crude and unpleasant as Love in Black should be linear and last forever is a horrible irony. When, after several hours, the violet accord descends from excruciating to merely distracting, it reveals an equally piercing fruity rose base note, which in hindsight I realize had been adding an extra layer of subliminal torture all along. People who hate perfume cite scents like Love in Black as evidence of all that's wrong with wearing personal fragrance in public.
Mommy, make it go away!
It starts off in a strangely pungent-synthetic way, but after about ten minutes a darkly violet develops, that later is sweetened by iris and a hint of rose. Although, apart from a touch of berry at times, this scent is clearly composed as a brooding floral composition, it does not develop convincingly on my skin. Longevity is about two to three hours.
I’ve never read another review of Love in Black, so I’m sorry if I’m repeating what others have said. I saw a bottle of this in a shop and just had to try. The bottle is that matte black that people spend thousands of dollars on to paint their AMG Mercedes a sort of urban camo so that they won’t be seen wasting their 500+ horsepower in gridlock in LA traffic. This color on expensive cars is an example of the strained symbolism of contemporary demonstrations of wealth that reads like an overbred poodle. It’s so particular, so focused, so self-conscious. The desired message (“I’m hip/fashion forward/a trendsetter…”) gets lost in the actual communication (“I’m so effete that if you could see inside these blacked-out windows you’d see me fussing with my pocket square and cuff links.”)
But who cares about the bottle? It’s clearly an iris perfume, but there’s something off-kilter about the angles of iris that are emphasized. The papery and bread-like aspects of iris root are there, but they smell stale and sour. The fascinating bit isn’t the notes, though. It’s the progression. After 10 minutes of topnotes, I couldn’t smell a thing. It’s as if I could ‘feel’ with my nose that the perfume was still on my skin, but I literally couldn’t smell it. Did I go nose-tired that quickly, or is it the composition? I thought this was the briefest perfume in history, then oddly, another 30 minutes later, I sniffed again and found a lingering but noticeable sweet scent like inky bubblegum.
Stale bread wrapped in moist paper. Then silent running. Then bubble gum. Was this commissioned by Etat Libre? Not my thing, but pretty god damned clever.
I bought this one at my usual Creed corner in Milan where I've been told it was an unisex perfume.
I was looking for something with black violets notes other than Tom Ford black violet and I did a big mistake.
This fragrance is soaking and above all smells too much synthetic.
05th May, 2012 (last edited: 09th May, 2012)