I like fragrances with a bit of shady nuance. I have to admit, that’s one of the reasons I tend to get drawn to the perfumes with “Black” or “Noir” in the name. Those words have got certain connotations, doesn’t it? Dark, mysterious, evocative, hidden, forbidden, and somewhat dangerous… Am I shallow? Maybe so. If I see a perfume with a somewhat dark sounding name, I feel compelled to try it. But so often, I get disappointed by the actual scent. Usually there’s just nothing dark or black about it. A lot of “Black” or “Noir” fragrances are just as light, pretty and airy as so many thousands of others and these words are just used as a marketing ploy. I know, I KNOW! But still…
When I decided to try Love in Black by Creed, I wasn’t holding high hopes for this one. I’m not a huge fan of Creed – having said that, I do love Green Irish Tweed, Silver Mountain Water, etc. – and wasn’t particularly impressed by the predecessor “Love in White“. The only reason I picked this one up was because of the listed note; Violet.
As some of you might have noticed, I’m obsessed with fragrances but that’s not the only thing I’m crazy about. I also have an obsession with violets. I’ve trekked up the Japan Alps, driven through the desert in the Middle East, and waded down the rivers just to see some flowering violets in their natural habitat. On my bookshelf, you’d find so many encyclopaedias and botanical reference books about genus Viola. So, the combination of Black and Violet, I knew I had to try Love in Black.
The first time when I sniffed this, I didn’t like it. It smelt decidedly synthetic and chemically. The perfume vial was thrown into my “sample chest” and has been forgotten for a long time. Then, just the other day, something prompted me to try Love in Black again. It must have been a divine inspiration from the goddess of perfumes. (By the way, the Egyptian cat-headed goddess Bast or Bastet, perfumed protector, is regarded as the goddess of perfumes.)
This time, I couldn’t believe why I didn’t like this one in the first place. The opening was a little harsh for my liking but it settled nicely within minutes and turned velvety & earthy violet fragrance entwined with iris and blackcurrant. The cedarwood and musk undertones are comfortable and attractively enhancing the dark creaminess of this scent. Somewhere in the background, I could smell very faint rose but it never came out strongly. It is unique – to say the least. Feminine? Yes. But the drydown can be described as unisex. It’s filled with contrasting aspects.
Love in Black was created, inspired by the former US first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. To me, Love in Black smells like a scent of hidden love. It is a sort of love, not celebrated out in the open, and kept secret from the prying eyes but nonetheless, the love the lovers feel is so real, undeniable and pure. Akin to the afterglow of the love on the edge of the dark night, the sweet but somewhat dry afternote lingered on my skin for a long time.
I’ve worn Love in Black quite a few times since. Am I smitten by Love in Black? It is indeed a dark and sweet fragrance I should like, and I would like to say yes. But, each time when I wear this fragrance, I sway between certainty and uncertainty; I can’t help feeling a certain degree of ambivalence.
The Notes : Top note – Night-blooming wildflowers from the Greek isles where she wed; Violet from Italy, where she later visited; Virginia cedar. Middle note – Iris from Florence, a favorite city; Clove; Tonkin musk. Base note – Blackcurrant from Bourgogne in her beloved France, where her ancestors were born; Bulgarian rose (Official notes according to Creed Website.)
It is available in 75ml Eau de Parfum, £165.00 from Creed.
Disclosure: Review is based on a sample I purchased.
I’m not a fan of violet perfumes, but you make paint a nice review of this. And I love your art sooooo much!
Thank you, Mr. Hound. 🙂 I still have love and hate relationship with this fragrance. It might sound weird but I really want to like this one but there’s something stopping me…
Sometimes I like violets and sometimes I think they are just an obnoxious weed that is overtaking my flowerbeds and lawn. In perfumes I like a touch of violet but too much is well, too much for me. I think I have sampled this at some point and thought it was nice. It wasn’t a must have scent at the time but perhaps I need to sniff it again.
Hi Poodle. 🙂 When I was living in Japan, one spring I decided to let violets grow anywhere they like. 7 different species, all wild, took over the each area of the garden and the result was quite spectacular! As for LiB, I can’t commit myself to a full bottle… I might get another decant though.
To be honest, I’m not a big fan of violet in fragrance. In a small dose I can tolerate but violet main is a no-no. By the way, I too get drawn to Blacks and Noirs 🙂
Hiya, Paula. I know some people just can’t take violet scent. I have a violet head so I get attracted to almost anything violet. They won’t come to the top of the list, I must admit. There are so many other fragrances I’d rather wear… But the smell of violets give me comfort. 🙂
Hi there ThinkingMagpie,
My Mum & I used to get the runners from violets and take them to other parts of the garden so they would grow as ground covers, they are excellent for growing so crowded that weeds don’t stand a chance. The garden still has pockets of those initial violets and when they spring up each year anew I often smile and think of Mum.
Love In Black I have yet to try, but I will now.
Violets are wonderful ground covers, aren’t they? I’ve seen one of the cute little violets native to Australia, Ivy Leaf Violet, used in the gardens in many warm climate countries. 🙂 Most people see violets as weed – I do understand why – but they can be such a charming garden accent. 🙂
Really good for lazy gardeners too ThinkingMagpie.
Ha ha ha, that’s so true!!
This post is very timely as I own a bottle of Love in Black and have flipflopped shamelessly back and forth about it. The other day I decided I would have to brave that strange rubber tyre opening again to decide if I am going to keep it or put the bottle for sale – and now your review has galvanised me to try to find that loving connection again. 😉 Actually, if I ever did try to sell it, I would have a hell of a job estimating how much juice was left. Not for nothing did I class ‘opaque perfume bottles’ as a Scent Crime, hehe.
Hi Vanessa. I agree, those opaque bottles should be criminalised! Once I picked up a bottle of Jasmin Noir and casually shook it to feel how much left… Guess what? It flew out of my hand but fortunately, landed on my settee. It’s truly problematic for a clumsy & accident-prone person like me. 😉
Haha, I used to own that one too, and periodically muttered at its glossy black form.
I’m not in love with Creed fragrances but you’ve made Love in Black sound magical. Like you I just love the smell of sweet violets.
I can’t resist violet fragrances, in fact, I just love everything about violets. Every winter I buy a bunch of violets from a street flower vendor. They don’t last long but they look so pretty and make my room smell so lovely. 🙂
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