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Thread: Creed History

  1. #1

    Default Creed History

    Another Creed thread? Sorry guys, I can't help it.
    I've always wanted to learn more about this house's history. Usually there are fascinating stories to be found and juicy cultural history. The story of the Farinas, who first created Eau de Cologne, certainly reads like a thriller (e.g. German trademark law came into existence in the 1880s in large part as a result of Farinas battle against competition usurping the name - forcing the major pseudo-Farina at the time to become - you guessed it, 4711).

    But back to Creed. It's difficult to find any sources and the House itself eternally renarrates a very "controlled" version of its past focusing on perfumery. But as another basenoter pointed out in an older post, Creed was primarily a fashion house and that's what it's internatíonal reputation was based on. Perfumes were a sideshow. Like so many established companies serving the prewar elites, Creed apparently missed the boat to the 'new modern' after WWII and went into decline. I'm guessing Olivier saved the business by rebuilding it as an exclusive perfume house, using its rich heritage of royal warrants and elite cientele to sell the smells.

    Anyhow, I've managed to snag a copy of Olivier's uncle Charles Creed's ghost-written autobiography, "Maid to Measure" from 1961which will hopefully reveal some more interesting information.

    Charles was a couturier as well, who was quite succesful in the family business until after WWII. He then set up his own house, several ventures starting and folding in rather quick succession in the 1950s. He was married to Patricia Cunningham in 1948, a fomer top model and key figure at vogue in the 1950s, who died only last year.
    Her obituary from The Independent.

    Here's a pic of Charles and a costume he donated to the V&A

    He has a 900-word entry in the Oxford National Biography which copyright does not permit me to reproduce here. But perhaps you're asleep already?
    Last edited by the_good_life; 14th March 2008 at 11:03 PM.
    My Wardrobe
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  2. #2
    evogel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Creed History

    Asleep?!?!?!? On the contrary! I almost didn't click on the thread but I'm glad I did.
    It's the first Creed thread to hold my interest in quite a while. I wish I had something to add to it.

    I do have a question though; is Creed a house that continuously produced it's fragrances or is it another one that claims to have such a long tradition but at one point was defunct and then raised from the dead yet still claims continuous production? Were fragrances such as REL, CdR, etc. truly in production continuously from the time they were created?

    Eric

  3. #3

    Default Re: Creed History

    Very interesting and not the usual Creed thread.

    Please keep us updated!
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  4. #4

    Default Re: Creed History

    Quote Originally Posted by evogel View Post
    Asleep?!?!?!? On the contrary! I almost didn't click on the thread but I'm glad I did.
    It's the first Creed thread to hold my interest in quite a while. I wish I had something to add to it.

    I do have a question though; is Creed a house that continuously produced it's fragrances or is it another one that claims to have such a long tradition but at one point was defunct and then raised from the dead yet still claims continuous production? Were fragrances such as REL, CdR, etc. truly in production continuously from the time they were created?

    Eric
    That's a great question I'd really like an answer to. The fact that new fragrances did appear regulary (Cypres Musc 1948, Vetiver 1948, Ambre Cannelle 1949, Orange Spice 1950, Cuir de Russie 1953, Jasmal 1959, Epicea 1965) suggests the perfume side of the business was doing well enough at a critical time - though it would be interesting to know whether, say, REL or RSL had disappeared and were reintroduced by Olivier (he reformulated RSL in 1975). And there are evidently numerous fragrances that used to be, but are no longer, on the market which are never officially mentioned, but occasionally pop up on ebay.

    The issue of (re)invented traditions or unmentioned discontinuties is worthy of a thread of its own, really - Acqua di Parma, Penhaligon's, Carthusia, Farina (they were owned by a Swiss company for a while, then by Roger & Gallet and when R&G was acquired the family bought their house back - but who knows what was happening to the perfumes at these times?) come to mind.

    And I still know nothing, zip, nil, nada on the mysterious Dukes of Pall Mall yet, either .
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Creed History

    How do you know that your copy of Maid to Measure isn't a fake?
    Currently wearing: Tardes by Carner Barcelona

  6. #6
    zztopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Creed History

    Great thread - looking forward to more info!

    Seems like Olivier Creed is a great entrepreneur. And Erwin Creed might bring fashion back into the limelight.
    -

  7. #7

    Default Re: Creed History

    Quote Originally Posted by noggs View Post
    How do you know that your copy of Maid to Measure isn't a fake?
    Check the lot number :P

  8. #8
    Brielle87's Avatar
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    Default Re: Creed History

    Found this link, it may prove interesting;
    http://www.historyofashion.com/histo...ion/creed.html
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser à sa source

  9. #9

    Default Re: Creed History

    I have the book in my collection. Hope you aren't too disapointed after you have read it.
    Fine fragrance is alive; it breathes, unfolds and unravels with each passing hour....

    Roja Dove

  10. #10

    Default Re: Creed History

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Barry View Post
    I have the book in my collection. Hope you aren't too disapointed after you have read it.
    more skirt chasing than anything else?
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Creed History

    Creed, A House of Games.
    Rumour has it Oliver Stone will direct the film version.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 15th March 2008 at 01:22 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Creed History

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    more skirt chasing than anything else?
    Exactly. I took a dislike to the man after reading it.

    Barry
    Fine fragrance is alive; it breathes, unfolds and unravels with each passing hour....

    Roja Dove

  13. #13

    Default Re: Creed History

    Excellet post, TGL. My first thought on seeing the title and author: "Oh No! It's the sign of the End Times!"
    I'm curious about where you found Creed's autobiography, as I find this hobby a bit more frustrating than others I've dabbled in with respect to general reference material. Information, historical or otherwise, can be found with effort, but it's nowhere as easy as, for example, wine or clothing fashion.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. Daniel Moynihan

  14. #14

    Default Re: Creed History

    Quote Originally Posted by Snafoo View Post
    Excellet post, TGL. My first thought on seeing the title and author: "Oh No! It's the sign of the End Times!"
    I'm curious about where you found Creed's autobiography, as I find this hobby a bit more frustrating than others I've dabbled in with respect to general reference material. Information, historical or otherwise, can be found with effort, but it's nowhere as easy as, for example, wine or clothing fashion.
    I googled "Charles Creed" whose name I knew from aztec's post here, and ultimately found a reference to this book. I fond a copy at amazon.co.uk for three quid. Abebooks had a number as well, strangely all in NZ or AUS.

    As to literature, I agree. however, there are two wonderful resources, one by our own Marcello, listing tons of literature:
    http://www.scentedpages.com/
    http://www.biblioparfum.net/index.php?lang=en

    I haven't bitten the bullet yet due to the price ($165), but Nigel Groom's "Perfume Handbook" supposedly covers all bases pretty well. Edwin Morris' "Fragrance" provides a good introduction to perfume history as well, though I find the chapter on the late 19th century, when modern perfumery took off, too short. There's very little on perfume houses and what there is tends to French. I'd love a monograph telling the story of English houses like Penhaligon's, Crown, Trumper, Dukes of Pall Mall (wink wink). There's a dissertation from the 1930s on Farina Gegenüber which I'll have to ckeck out some time.
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Creed History

    Is this the thread you are referring to?

    I posted a few threads about the history of the house of creed back in 2005 or 2006 but I think they got eaten up.

    http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=176745

    AZTEC
    Last edited by aztec; 15th March 2008 at 10:25 PM. Reason: CLARITY

  16. #16
    zztopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Creed History

    Is this Count (Alfred) D'Orsay from the house of D'Orsay ?

    http://www.parfumsdorsay.co.uk/history.php
    -

  17. #17

    Default Re: Creed History

    Quote Originally Posted by aztec View Post
    Is this the thread you are referring to?

    I posted a few threads about the history of the house of creed back in 2005 or 2006 but I think they got eaten up.

    http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=176745

    AZTEC
    Yes, that's the one, and your post here which I only found after I knew the name of Creed's memoir.

    So, do you know anything more ?
    --------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    Is this Count (Alfred) D'Orsay from the house of D'Orsay ?

    http://www.parfumsdorsay.co.uk/history.php
    Yes. Everything is connected
    Last edited by the_good_life; 15th March 2008 at 11:20 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Creed History

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    Is this Count (Alfred) D'Orsay from the house of D'Orsay ?

    http://www.parfumsdorsay.co.uk/history.php
    Count Alfred d'Orsay had no connection with the perfume house that used his name.

    Note, my avatar image is Count d'Orsay.

    Barry
    Fine fragrance is alive; it breathes, unfolds and unravels with each passing hour....

    Roja Dove

  19. #19

    Default Re: Creed History

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Barry View Post
    Count Alfred d'Orsay had no connection with the perfume house that used his name.

    Note, my avatar image is Count d'Orsay.

    Barry
    Oops, see, even historians can fall for company PR

    Found some more detailed info on the French site:
    The French d'Orsay site notes that "the Count d'Orsay left a considerable olfactory legacy upon his death and his family decided to take advanatge of this, authorising, in 1908, the establishment of the Compagnie Française des Parfums d’Orsay." "In 1916 the company was continued [meaning, I suppose taken over] by M. Bader, the founder of the Galeries Lafayette and Mme. Guerin, the majority shareholder."

    Held by the Guerain family until 1983 but essentially defunct since the 1960s it was relaunched in 1993 after changing hands many times by a M. Broll, the current owner.
    http://www.dorsay-paris.com/historiq...ique_frame.htm
    Last edited by the_good_life; 16th March 2008 at 09:49 PM.
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Creed History

    According to the definitive biography of Count d'Orsay........

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Last-Dandies...5707471&sr=8-3

    Nick Foulkes goes on to say after discussing a failed play based on his life...' D'Orsay's name was invoked with rather more commercial success by a French perfumer, which registered the trademark Parfumerie d'Orsay in Berne in 1911 and by the 1920s had shops across Europe and in New York..........'

    It does share some parallels with the perfumery's story, I must admit.

    Barry
    Fine fragrance is alive; it breathes, unfolds and unravels with each passing hour....

    Roja Dove

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