A Creed Green Irish Tweed Smell-Alike? (Impressions)
Creed’s Green Irish Tweed (1985) has been, without dispute, one of the mainstays and major successes of the Creed line since its release over twenty-five years ago. The fragrance is iconic and instantly recognizable, and love it or hate it, it’s successful for a reason: It’s that bloody good.
It was a conversation that occurred recently with my wife when I commented that “Creed Green Irish Tweed now smells almost dead common when walking the streets of Manhattan.” Little wonder: Creed sells a lot of it, men like it, and it has a refined elegance about it that shouts to the commoner, “I smell expensive!” Despite the Creed heritage and price, it’s become ubiquitous in New York. And it was for that reason that I gave up my bottle about two years ago and donated the balance to a colleague of my wife’s.
So it’s not very surprising to understand the desire to copy or improve on the recipe. Doing so could tap into the collective marketplace that views Creed Green Irish Tweed (GIT) to be a reference standard for a contemporary, classic men’s fragrance representing elegance and quality. What is surprising is stumbling upon that realization that someone possibly came very close to creating a close-enough smell-alike of GIT as to create just enough confusion on what someone might smell.
Enter Bond No 9 Chez Bond (2003). Yes, I’m not kidding. A Bond that smells very close to a Creed, save for some stylistic queues that segregate the two (the underlying Bond and Creed signature notes differ, as do the composition elements). Despite those changes, Bond No 9 has mastered the art of the Xerox when it comes to making a close cousin of the iconic Creed scent. The realization came upon me when I tested the Bond fragrance at Saks — Chez Bond is easily missed as Bond doesn’t promote it as fervently as they do more recent releases — and found enough olfactory similarity despite the significant variance of ingredients. And this isn’t a one-off occurrence, though I’ll return to this shortly.
Chez Bond is composed of notes of citrus accords, tea and sandalwood. Straight-forward, simple, not fussy. Creed Green Irish Tweed’s notes? Well, there are more of them, beginning with an opening of iris and lemon verbena, a heart that includes violet and violet leaf, basil and vetiver, and a based of sandalwood, cedar and amber.
Wait, the only thing in common is sandalwood? Apparently, yes, but the outcomes are incredibly close, so either the notes aren’t making as much a difference or we have a very clever variation that reaches a similar outcome nearly as effectively. So what are the other differences? Price, namely. The cost for the 100ml of the Bond is $230 where Creed Green Irish Tweed is $260 for 75ml. The 120ml size of the Creed? $315. Other differences such as the bottle are more preference aspects. Longevity and sillage are roughly equal between the two.
The two scents are very close. They’re not quite the same, but they are close in outcome. From a minor point perspective, there is something specific about the Creed that simply ‘smells’ slightly more refined and sophisticated, and that’s not just knowing which body part or paper card was sprayed. The Creed still retains that certain panache that just isn’t equaled in a replica.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had such a deja vu experience with a Bond fragrance, however. A more recent example is found in Bond No 9 Cooper Square. The smell-alike there? You’d need to go back a while further and the comparison is one that most people will not recall unless they’ve experienced the compared fragrance enough for close recollection. In this case, the smell-alike is the original Calvin Cologne from Calvin Klein (1981). Once again, those two fragrances are a good example of achieving a very close result with a much different set of component notes. Shame it’s too difficult to compare side-by-side.
It’s true that “great minds think alike” and “there are often multiple roads to the same destination”. For me, both Bond seemed to highlight the truth in those statements. While both are excellent outcomes, when compared to the originals to which each resembles, they’re just different enough to notice.
And after all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.