Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Millésime Impérial by Creed

Total Reviews: 232
Millésime Impérial (1995) is one of two unisex fragrances released in 1995, the other one being Silver Mountain Water (1995). Both were effectively subverted by male power wearers looking for the biggest, most expensive alpha dawg siren songs to woo the women and strike fear into the hearts of lesser competition, but only until Aventus (2010) arrived to take up that mantle once Creed saw there was profit to be had in coddling fragile egos flush with cash. In the 1990's Creed's business model wasn't to nurture sociopathic narcissism in it's male audience like it arguably would become after the 2010's, but rather just honestly offer an "elevated" take on the styles current with the mainstream perfume world. Ever since mostly-abandoning their by-appointment-only boutique model in the 1980's to become more of a global force with an ultra high-end department store presence, Creed did a mix of new compositions and re-released past commissions from former clients (with dubious re-writes of their history to increase their mythos), but by the time Millésime Impérial came around, they were done filling in the blanks to prove their heritage. Silver Mountain Water is honestly the "most unisex" of the two with it's ultra-fruity top and base of white musk over ambergris, a real winner in my opinion if the price is right, but Millésime Impérial veers more masculine due to it's salty dry personality that feels like a slight cannibalism of the composition behind Erolfa (1992). With Erolfa, Creed was making their ultra-luxe take on an aquatic, but a heavily synthetic fragrance at that price point proved controversial even among those with the money to buy it, so some of that was folded into Millésime Impérial and presented more eloquently. Of all the 90's Creeds men like to wear in the fragrance community, this one seems to get the most talk, the most wear, and retains its price point in the aftermarket more, although it's still less expensive than most popular 21st century Creed masculines, for what that is worth.

Ultimately, Millésime Impérial is a more-natural take on the ozonic accord also proving extremely popular in the 90's, a style that would strikingly come into it's own by the early 2000's before the bubble burst, but remained a louder underdog option for those not fancying aquatics or bland fresh fougères, at least until gourmands like A*Men (1996) or retro-revival scents like Gucci Envy (1998) appeared. Millésime Impérial follows in the footsteps of Claiborne for Men (1989) and L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme by Issey Miyake (1994), but borrows a fruity twist from late 80's/early 90's freshies with its use of calone to bridge the ozonic and the aquatic, then anchoring it with the classic Creed ambergris base. Millésime Impérial opens with this calone (a deal breaker for some), merged with grapefruit and bergamot to provide a sparkling tart melon citrus that is dried by the sea salt borrowed from Erolfa. This effervescent sharpness creates the required "ozonic" effect without using a chemical ozone note in the compositions like others of this ilk, proving that such stinging sharpness is possible without as much artifice. I'd still say it's an acquired taste, but one that many evidently acquired due to Millésime Impérial's popularity. More citrus and a dry floral note awaits in the heart, as mandarin and lemon join with some violet to create a sparkling accord similar to the later Ed Hardy Love & Luck for Men (2008), but much simpler and with a better dry down than that often-compared fragrance. White musk, ambergris, dihydromyrcenol (the aquatic accord), cedar, Iso E Super, and a light oakmoss finish out the wear which veers masculine by the end, hence it's greater popularity among the "bro segment" than it's peer Silver Mountain Water, but at least nobody calls it a wife stealer. The usual 10+ hour wear time is expected, and booming projection if over-applied, plus this has enough vavoom for all seasons but the most bitter cold, making it a good generalist for the guy wanting a signature daily driver that's a cut above but not wanting to go overboard with a bottle of Aventus or Viking (2017), which are exorbitant regardless of where you find them for sale.

Millésime Impérial is likely the peak of 90's Creed style for young men, so for guys wanting to know what the Hollywood jet set likely wore twenty years ago, this is a good place to start, and discounters can get your foot in the door with this for about the same price as a large Tom Ford signature line selection or bottle of Parfums de Marley, over which I'd gladly take this any day. As mentioned, a lot of comparison is drawn between Millésime Impérial and the later Ed Hardy creation Love & Luck for Men. I won't deny similarities in the heart phase of both fragrances, and maybe Tom Ford/Ed Hardy perfumer Olivier Gillotin was indeed inspired to some degree by Olivier Creed's work on this, but they open differently and dry down differently, so I feel folks calling them the same are just smelling them on other people from afar. If you wear fragrances for your own emotional enjoyment, you'll find the full dry downs of both are entirely worlds apart, as you can paint a Porsche and a Pontiac the same shade of red to marginally fool some people from afar, but not when they sit inside the car themselves. Millésime Impérial is a good Creed entry point for guys looking for a less-challenging introduction than something like Royal Oud (2011) or Bois du Portugal (1987), and Millésime Impérial is less ubiquitous among Creeds than something like Green Irish Tweed (1985) too, so you won't feel like you joined the haute-bourgeois herd just yet. Creed called this unisex back in the day, and it's still marketed as such, but I don't see anything that a more feminine-leaning perfumista would like outside the violet and musk, which are both slight compared to all the dominant clean citrus. Thumbs up from me, but definitely sample or buy a small decant first, as this kind of "ozonic" category hasn't aged as well as other 90's genres, and the salty melon note might be off-putting to some, but overall this is a solid warm-weather wear for those with the money to burn. Also, this appears in an older clear bottle with a label affixed, and a newer all-gold bottle which compliments the all-silver Himalaya (2002) quite well, but both are the same juice inside.
25th November, 2018 (last edited: 26th November, 2018)
I think this is one of the best cologne's I have ever smelled. However, I struggle with wearing this too often.

The scent itself is very fruity (in a sweet kind of way) and very salty. Many people say it smells like melon - I think general fruit basket with some raisins and dates thrown into the mix. The combination leads itself to this brighter marine accord that remind me of Erolfa, yet is like Erolfa's better looking younger brother.

I have found that I cannot wear this more than 1 day in a row. In fact, I need a few days usually between wearings to re-charge. If I wear it too much, it starts to get sweetly cloying and I think my nose starts to pick apart the elements of it that are synthetic. Despite some people saying it has terrible longevity I disagree. I spray this 2-3 times and I am a walking fruit basket next to a heap of salt.

I think that this is also the genius of the cologne - the overly salty, fruity accord. I notice that if I go without it for a few days, I take a whiff of the bottle and absolutely want to put it on.

It comes off very strong - a lot of people say the opening is one of the greatest openings ever. I can how many people would say that. I think the opening is a bit too overpowering. After about 15 minutes, this drydown on this scent is one of the most intoxicating you will ever put on. It competes with Green Irish Tweed in my book for best drydown, though given they are meant to be two completely different scents I don't think its a useful comparison. I put this on and think I am falling into fairy-tale land with it.

Good stuff.
06th October, 2018
Fresh watermelon with salt maybe some musk melon. A very nice clean scent perfect for summer and spring maybe into fall. I like other creeds more but this is definitely a classic. It being widely available for a fairly reasonable price is also a plus. Not a bad starter I to the niche fragrance or creed world
03rd August, 2018
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Very beautiful scent of salted watermelon with rum and aquatic nuances to my nose. Reminds me of a summer barbeque. Is maybe the quintessential summer scent. However, it smells like a slightly more refined version of Sean John Unforgivable so I don't think this is full-bottle worthy at least for me. Projection is moderate while longevity is also moderate, with good projection for about 4 hours and as a skin scent afterwards. Performance is basically identical to Sean John Unforgivable. Due to this, I think it's a nice fragrance but the Sean John provides the same experience for a far cheaper price.

4/5
21st July, 2018
A summertime pleasure! I had wanted to try this for a long time, and finally had the opportunity. Starting out, this smells a lot like Creed Erolfa to my nose. So if you have Erolfa or are thinking about buying both, save your money and go with MI. I like Erolfa, but it's a bit pungent and harsher to the nose. MI is smoother, but still has many similarities to Erolfa. I don't think both are necessary in ones arsenal.

MI has a wonderfully-crafted mixture of melons, lemon, salt, light musk and Creed's almost constant signature bergamot. It's blended well, transitions nicely and leaves me feeling beach-side with white linen button-down. I like MI because it's not too marine, but also not too office. It's right in the middle: I am wearing this today to the office with a dress shirt, but could totally spray this on after a summer surf session just before heading to the shrimp shack for dinner and cold ones.

It does not jump out; be aware it will stay fairly close to the skin as so many Creeds do. But I find myself sniffing my wrist often, and this transports me outside to a warm and sunny place, filled with seagulls and Jimmy Buffet songs. You can't go wrong with MI!
19th June, 2018
The opening is combining sweet and salty accords; it is crisp, fruity (melon), salty, sweet and green. It smells of a sunny day at the ocean. The scent is interesting and quite nice for a couple of hours after which it just becomes a banal musky/synthetic scent that barely stays on the skin.
13th June, 2018
Very pleasant and easy to wear. Nice melon vibe - perhaps watermelon, perhaps another type of melon - with aquatic notes. The drydown develops into a fade-to-white iris. This doesn't smell "of the 90s" like so many aquatics ended up being, but rather the mark of a true perfumer performing their craft well. It's timeless.

If this were a star-based review, I'd probably knock off a star for the performance, which isn't great. Here, though - it's not enough to knock it down to neutral. I'm glad to have this bottle in my collection.
30th March, 2018
Green, salty, melon, the idea perhaps of an under-ripe watermelon.

One of the more unique creed creations I own. I may have previously smelled melon-ish things slightly similar in lotions and so forth, but the quality of ingredients, I believe, makes this scent shine. And it's the salt and musk that lifts it out of the mediocrity of some bath and body works watermelon body spray.

As with ALL creeds, some claim disastrously short longevity, others claim that they sprayed it on a shirt 10 years ago and that it's still there, projecting.

I find its longevity to be moderate to good. Certainly not a disappointment in that department. I think a lot of people, because of creed's price tag, demand and expect a longevity outside of time itself. If Jesus wore it, they'd want the shroud of Turin to still reek of it. This is due to a misunderstanding of ingredients and chemistry.

In any case, a solid thumbs up.


Edit: I like this scent more and more each time I wear it, and I find myself going to it more frequently.

Edit 2: Creed is my favorite house by far, and I never thought anything would come close to Aventus, but honestly I’ve never had a scent grow on me like Millesime Impérial. If it had the longevity of Aventus, there would be a sure tie for first place in my wardrobe.


10th March, 2018 (last edited: 08th April, 2018)
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Fruity-citrus-salty: this is the triad cluster that greets me in the opening blast. And what an amazing cluster it is: a fresh bergamot-cum-lemon-cum-mandarin citrus with a nigh-peachy undertone, a lovely melon impression, and with added marine undertones intertwined with the citrus-fruity core - brilliant. This is all combined is a unique mix, making for a unique experience in the top notes. This is an opening blast I can identify amongst hundreds of others.

The drydown loses some of the freshness, yielding space to a pleasant iris, whilst a marine -ambergris saltiness makes for a nice counterbalance. It is less intensive now and more settled.

The base continues the ambergris, now combines with woodsy undertones.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and five hours of longevity on my skin.

This archetypal great summer scent features one of the great openings in the history of perfume over the last quarter of the century. The rest is well done too, but less outstanding. The quality of the natural ingredients is splendid indeed; the longevity is limited, but given the citrus component this is not unexpected. The bath product series is a beauty. 4/5.
02nd March, 2018 (last edited: 03rd March, 2018)
My wife thinks it smells like hairspray. It has natural amber (Sperm whale fecal matter) at its base, that is generally used in all Creed fragrances and has very natural notes to it. It's something that you'd expect to smell on an older gentleman in an old folks home. Overpriced and overrated in my opinion.

5/10.
08th February, 2018
One of the most casual summer scents I've had the pleasure of trying ..like many have said ..melon and salt water ..some floral's simular to the ones used in silver mountain water and git. This would make a great day time summer scent but can be used anytime really in summer. This and Virgin island water are extremely thought provoking and would make a great double act for a nice hot vacation. Don't understand how this could offend anyone as it's pretty much the scent of sea air and melon, done extremely accurately, if only this and Virgin island water had a little bit better performance we say but then they would be obnoxious and attention seeking.
25th August, 2017 (last edited: 19th November, 2017)
Great summer scent. Quite unique actually. It has this aquatic/fresh vibe going on but also has notes of melon and sea salt which stops it becoming generic. Usually garners positive feedback. Would be a top 10 for me if the longevity wasn't so poor!
06th June, 2017 (last edited: 26th May, 2018)
The beautiful melon/fruity opening lasts for about 10 minutes, the mid phase smells like highly saturated salt water with hints of melon or like the watermelon is completely covered with salt.

The dry down after 2-3 hours which is a combination of mild cream/salt/musk/fruit is to die for.


Projection: 8/10
Longevity: 8+ hours on my skin

9/10
30th April, 2017 (last edited: 26th September, 2017)
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Melbourne man
This one has been a sleeper for me.
First wears i didn't really notice it and thought i'd finish my decant and be done with MI.
But with each time i've worn it, the fragrance has revealed aspects of itself (that or probably my nose has developed ;)). Regardless, for me this is now an essential warm weather fragrance for me. Not for others though, because projection is not strong, but sometimes you want the fragrance to yourself.
Beautiful, exotic fruit blended with the right amount of mediterranean sea water and then thatdrydown. One of the loveliest clean musky drydowns i have in my collection.
My second favourite Creed behind GIT.
19th April, 2017
Doing a complete 360 degree turn on MI having loved it, then found it too cloying and now loving it again. The key is to not overspray. Can be very cloying with the florals, so 2 sprays are enough.

The ambergris (ambroxan) is amazing and why I love it so much. Projects well and lasts all day on me.
31st March, 2017
Seaside holiday affair. Crisp linens, espadrilles, mild sunburn. Slight breeze from the ocean as you sip an overpriced Campari and orange juice whilst listening to the evening combo band playing. Faint aroma of ripe watermelon and sandy beaches. The yacht is ready and waiting, alas it's not your vessel. Until next Summer....
06th February, 2017
Brash
23rd January, 2017
A more tolerable, less cloying Royal Copenhagen.
24th December, 2016
Not very excited by this one. The shiny gold metallic bottle was the prime reason that I blind bought this niche scent - as well as anecdotal info about some rich Middle Eastern sheikh allegedly liking it. LOL!

Anyhow, this fragrance is definitely rife with the Creed ambergris accord through and through; but its melony tartness and airy spice-woods mix didn't impress me.

Plus, Millésime Impérial didn't last too long on me. That fact would really have bothered me if I DID buy it at full retail cost! (I bought a discounted bottle online.)

Acquired taste, I guess.
17th December, 2016 (last edited: 12th September, 2018)
This one isn't exactly for me. I've tried it a few times and I do enjoy Creed fragrances, but it's an odd sour-salty-sweet fragrance, but more sour and salty than sweet. After the extended sour-fruity top phase fades into the middle, I'm left with the floral/Sandalwood/ambergris middle of Erolfa but a bit more sour and less pleasant. Might as well just stick with Erolfa, which is far more interesting to me, and where that middle phase is truly blissful.

This doesn't smell "like money", that's an illusion that I think must be perpetuated by the cost of the fragrance.

As far as longevity, most Creeds use Ambroxan as part of their ambergris approximation, and it lasts for a very long time but fatigues your nose so that you can't really smell it anymore. This is no exception. Fragrances tend to last forever on me, so I detect MI on my skin for about seven to nine hours (most people seem to experience 4-6), but I can almost bet that when I jump in the shower in the morning I'll smell it again thanks to that chemical base.

Overall, this is essentially an Erolfa flanker to me. I'll stick with the original this time around.
17th September, 2016
A brief fruity melon replaced by the smell of perspiration. That salty aquatic vibe I just don't care for. It's evident in Tom Ford's Mardarino d'Amalfi as well, but in the Tom Ford fragrance, the mandarin works for me with the perspiration smell and comes across more like sweat washed over by salt water on the beach with oranges mixed in. Millesime Imperial smells to me like an antipersperant trying to cover the smell of body odor. That's how most aquatic style fragrances smell to me though. Definitely not one I'll invest in.
17th August, 2016
Future Jason:

One of your very first full-bottle purchases; almost a blind buy, based on a previous review using the words "money" and "melon" in one sentence.

It's more dry "money" and "dry cleaner" for you, with a bit of sweet underneath. It should probably say something that you've got 90+ percent of a bottle left after five or so years.

It's good. A lazy thumbs up. Probably won't buy again when you're done... in 50 years.
13th April, 2016
Creed - Millesime Imperial

I'm new to this website and I have been reading reviews and I've seen quite a bit of hate towards the creed brand which I don't understand but to each their own. I'm new to fragrances in general and have recently be obsessed by the search for that scent that I could wear for the rest of my life or at very least be my trademark for the next period of my life. Day to day until very recently I've been wearing curve. I'm 31 and it's been a daily driver since I was 17. A generally pleasing sent that has always been quite unique among the common selections in department stores most of which seemed to be bastard brothers fathered by drakkar noir in bathroom stalls during coke benders in 1980's nightclubs. Until very recently I didn't know there were alternatives, just because I thought curve was just a anomaly in a sea of shit and aqua velva. So for years that has been my signature sent and it has served me well. Then it all changed last month. My girlfriend and I took a trip to Las Vegas and we happened upon the creed boutique. The girl at the counter asked me what I was looking for, and all I could say was something "unique" and that Curve is all I wear and I'm getting sick of it and so forth. So she pulls out the scent paper and coffee beans and we begin. Running off Colognes that meant nothing to me at the time. "here try this it is our most popular scent, Aventus", I took one whiff and thought, "meh". Then she goes through a roster with names like tabarome, royal mayfair, spice and wood, and many others with nothing really impressing me. Then she pulled out Creed's millesime Imperial. on the card it brought me right back to the time I used to work at a flower wholesaler. Summer's of cutting and sorting flowers in the heat of July. Hundreds of buckets filled with the likes of delphinium, iris, Asiatic and oriental lilies, purple status, baby's breath, roses, eucalyptus, and countless others. All the scents gathering together into a floral bouquet that filled the room. Millesime imperial reminded me of the scent that my hands had after handling these flowers for 10 hours. My hands would smell spicy with a raw floral smell, and it was intoxicating. Millesime Imperial shared this quality but refined. So I took a spritz on my wrists and on my neck and my girlfriend and I continued wandering Vegas. The scent instantly elevated my mood and I felt like royalty while I wore it. I knew that this was going to replace curve in a big way, and that I would buy a bottle before I left Vegas. Unfortunately that feeling didn't last long. within the next two hours the scent quickly faded and I could only smell it if I put my nose to my wrist. I felt cheated. I felt like I had been brought into this bright new world the closest thing to heaven, but it was just a mirage, and at 300 dollars it was a very expensive mirage.

In conclusion, this scent is amazing. It's short lived but life changing(for me at least). It's like the one that got away. like that woman for whatever reason slipped into then out of your life, but forever changed you and set the standard for the women you look for in the future. That's why I'm here I guess, to find the love of my life in terms of scent, that perfectly compliments me, a scent I can't live without, and sticks around for the long haul.

Overall rating : 7.5/10
11th April, 2016
I loved the sample much better than my bottle. It seemed overly sweet and didn't have the intriguing factor and failed to deliver the notion of regality that I remembered...so I returned it with no questions asked. It was extremely weak (like Skin @ 1hr and Nonexistent @ 4hr mark weak) and for $385, no thanks. Aventus grew stronger during the first month to the point I need only one spray so perhaps returning was unfair, but the value for MI was terrible if paying full retail. Will make another attempt but super disappointed.

I prefer weaker, less invasive scents like MI, but it didn't do it for me. Maybe batch issues? Easy to accuse the ol' batch but...
03rd March, 2016
Man what an amazing fragrance but yet so disappointing. So fruity and fresh with that classic melon note. After 15min, on my skin this produces such a wonderful half an arms length scent aura. After 2-3hours it just gets stuck on my skin. For the performance the price cant be justified and doesn't deserve a thumbs up. IMO
12th February, 2016
Smells like watermelon and fruit bowl on the beach. In the most positive way.

One of my summer favourites!
13th December, 2015
Most people seem to like this fragrance, but there's some that will knock this for a few different reasons. They're certainly not wrong, but I think it's important to keep things in perspective.

First, the most common complaint about MI is the performance. I have to agree that performance is rather poor, but you have to remember that most fresh scents with bright openings tend to fizzle out pretty quickly. However, what I like about this fragrance is that the "freshness" lasts throughout the length of projection where most other generic fresh scents will turn woody and dull. That feat is commendable. Also, I think performance issues are a bit exaggerated because I wore 3 sprays of this to work the other day, and a coworker said I was wearing too much cologne. So there's that.

Now, coinciding with the previous complaint, another common knock is the price. Lots of people will argue that $200+ for a fresh scent that only lasts a few hours is not worth it, but this is completely subjective because not everyone has the same budget for fragrances. You have to decide for yourself if this is worth a purchase. Keep in mind that you can find this heavily discounted. I got my 2.5oz for just $117 from a reputable online retailer.

Lastly, I'll talk about the scent. While this is definitely not a daring scent, I don't find it to be generic like some will say. I guess I would categorize this as an aquatic, but it's far superior to any aquatic I've smelled. It's brighter than Acqua di Gio with more interesting fruity top notes, and the marine base never comes across as dirty or synthetic like Bulgari Acqua or Marine. There's also this cool, metallic feel that makes it feel more luxurious and mature than purely casual.

Based on scent alone, this is a perfect fragrance for me. It's fresh, likable, and versatile without coming off as cheap or generic, and it garners lots of compliments (even from the girl who thought I was wearing too much). The performance and price are not ideal, but, in the world of niche fragrance, I believe there are very few that are worth their hefty price tag. I happen to think this was money well spent.

Star Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: One of the most beautiful, well-crafted scents I've ever smelled that only suffers from performance
02nd November, 2015
I'll give it a thumbs up, but it deserves a thumbs down for the price and what you get. This is good for a date night or some close quarters love making, but that's about it. Outside of intertwining your body with your significant other and hugging someone, nobody even knows you are wearing it. I have asked many people their opinion of the scent by having them smell me because you can't smell it from even a foot away, and nobody was particularly impressed except my girlfriend.

The scent leaves a lot to desire at $330. It really is heavenly, for about 10 minutes, and only to you and your significant other.
20th September, 2015
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom
This is about the fifth time I have tried this. I thought I might stumble into a wonderful batch.
MI just doesn't work for me. The opening accord tanks imo -- sweet and saline jut means hissy in my book.

The drydown is ok and lasts a fair while on me, but this overriding salty screechiness just won't go away and it comes across as just too synthetic.
01st September, 2015
Millesime Imperial is not the champion of the fresh Creeds to me, but its popularity certainly gives it more consideration than I might give other fragrances. While it smells overwhelmingly orange on me, I admit that it's grown on me, and I've come around to agree that it rightfully has a place in the Creed pantheon, I nonetheless wouldn't opt to purchase a bottle, as I prefer the citrus in Himalaya and Aventus much more, and even the top notes of Green Irish Tweed, Silver Mountain Water, and even Original Santal are more on point with what I like, and with what I believe is flattering on me. That said, I can understand why MI is a staple for many, as I imagine the citrus is more pleasant on many others than it is on me.

More objectively, MI is at least an interesting composition, with orange (the dominant note of my experience) and lemon in the heart, a mix of notes on top, and musk and woodsiness (cedar always seems like a safe guess when it's slightly sweet). Its projection is probably more limited than its fresh Creed brethren, and longevity is about the same (medium range, 6-8 hours). Surely an entry worthy of trying with the all the hype, if you haven't already. Many swear by it, and while I'm not one, fresh input is always welcome.

6 out of 10
24th August, 2015