Sorry to hear that, Paul, but from what I gather, that is pretty much what happens to perfumers 4/5 of the time or so. Casting call for a new perfume - most go home without the job.
On the plus side, comparison to Creed is very interesting. There was a great interview with Olivier Creed recently, and you really get the sense that he's a guy who likes to make stuff that HE likes, and that his customers like and appreciate, no matter what anybody else thinks about it (there is little love between Creed and Turin, for example).
Why do you have to make something that fits somebody else's brief? Is that your long-term goal? Meeting another person's brief is more the calling of the paid professional perfumer-for-hire - NOT somebody with their own line.
I just know that some people do their best work when it is dictated to them from an arbitrary client or patron, others do their best work when they follow their own direction, and some people work best with one colleague or two, or maybe a single director. To each his own, I say!
PS - Sorry - I didn't mean to come off as critical, and hope it didn't seem that way. I am just worried that somebody else's ideas of what is right may distract you. As long as it's a good growth experience, no problem.
In Burr's book, Jean-Claude Ellena talked about not wanting his daughter Celine to be subjected to the disheartening aspects of professional perfumery, and I can kinda see that.