I'm reviewing my 2016 bottle (as the new ones are awfully synthetic and weak), Original Santal is an absolute joy to own in the British climate, it has a structure and scent dna that lends itself to any season I think, smells like soapy cinnamon and vanilla with fruity touches, now that joop is a faded memory this dna will be new to a whole generation of people, assuming they don't watch Jeremy fragrance they won't have tried MB individual, it is a cosy scent but at the same time loads of fun, I've smelt high quality Amber based fragrances with a similar sillage, it's a sort of classy bubblegum type of smell, I don't mean like invictus by any stretch I just mean it's like a spicey bubblegum vibe but ultra classy, I mean how can chewing bubble gum be a classy thing..this is where the quality and blending comes in, like most early formula Creeds the perfumer has a natural talent for saying to himself when something is finished and a complete product, the balance of performance, quality and fun are all here in perfection and in my opinion way better than joop, original santal has always been in my top 3 Creed fragrances and I've managed to buy a 2016 back up bottle, now be warned the new formulas are not good at all in my opinion, one third of the performance and more synthetic which is where most people will judge this scent, maybe Creed will improve things going forward hopefully but for now I suggest people buy vintage or avoid altogether.
It's actually a nice, casual fragrance, and regarding all the commentary about cost, I've purchased it twice now at acceptable discounts. It smells good. No, it's no Egoiste, no Bois des Iles. Just a fun spray and go. Light application, please.
First Creed that I ever called a scrubber. Don't know what happened here but like some have already posted, it doesn't even seem like a Creed at all - just maybe someone else's interpretation or something but definitely a failure. Why anyone would pay $355 for even the smaller bottle is beyond me. My observations are from a sample atomizer. There is no sandalwood, just a mess of synthetics that, granted, do last a long time. After 3 hours I just couldn't take it anymore.
First Creed fragrance I have actively disliked. ZC brings the heart of my objection to the fore straight off the bat - there's no effing sandalwood.
General marketing rant - if ran a Brasserie and put steak frites on the menu, then served a single poached egg with a mountain of fries and salad, how would my customers react?
If you're naming a fragrance after a note, by all means, add depth and dimension, but don't forget the effing steak.
On the upside, the vanilla and tonka in the base aren't overdone (a la Versace Eros with its rank ambroxan bombing), and while the opening is just on the passable side of cloying, the performance, as expected, is above average.
I don't have the knowledge or points of reference about the fragrances this has followed (I'm only vaguely familiar with montblanc individual), but overall I just found this too sweet, characterless and tepid to be interesting. Steak and sandalwood free thumbs down.
Well I mean, if you really want to pay $500 for a bottle of prestige Joop! Homme (1989), go ahead, but you're not doing so on my recommendation. Oh wait, I'm supposed to say more than that. Where were we? Oh yes, Creed Original Santal (2005) is an unmitigated disaster of a fragrance that suggests a novel presentation of sandalwood with the relatively high quality Creed is known for (even if the prices at the counter are beyond stupid), but instead gets confused with Montblanc Individuel (2003) more than is fair to the latter, and really smells most like the aforementioned Joop! Homme. On that same token, one could argue Creed Himalaya (2002) smells like a cross between Chanel Platinum Égoïste (1993) and the later Cabaret de Grés Pour Homme (2004), but fresh fougères always have intertexuality because the style is narrowly defined. Original Santal is supposed to be an "original" fragrance, so what's the excuse Creed? Here we have another example of "selling your dad's cologne back to you for five times the price and calling it exclusive", and shooting themselves in the foot with naming to boot.
For starters, I get no discernible sandalwood at all; none, zero, zilch sandalwood in this puppy. Sorry guys, but if you're lying out the gate this bad, you're gonna have a bad time with people's reactions to your fragrances. Cinnamon like a truck load of red hots hits your face with some juniper and bergamot, making the whole thing smell like candy for the first few minutes on skin. Original Santal doesn't have the nuclear sweet mushroom cloud of Joop! Homme thanks to a lack of neroli and honeysuckle, but the similarities are undeniable once the heart emerges. Lavender, mandarin orange, jasmine, all the key players of Joop! Homme are also in the core of Original Santal. Rosemary helps keep the Creed a bit drier and more aromatic, but that's it. The supposed sandalwood is likely the pasty polysantal that fills designers whjch once relied on Mysore, but it isn't here enough to ring true as sandalwood, instead just feeling thick and aromatic in a generic way. There's a sort of ginger vanilla tonka soup in the base, accompanied by Creed's magic ambergris note which may be partially genuine and blended with ambroxan or just pure ambrox, although it doesn't matter since it too registers little.
Wear time is sufficient for an EdP and thankfully this doesn't have the notorious sillage of Joop! Homme, but is it better? Not for $500 it isn't. The kind of accord Original Santal utilizes was a love or hate thing back in 1989 when it first appeared in Joop! Homme, and this kind of spicy-sweet floriental thing will never not be polarizing. I barely like this vibe more so for nostalgia when encountered in Joop! Homme, but I could never conceive shelling out so much more for a slightly drier and toned-down take on it like Creed has delivered here. All I can say is Olivier Creed must have secretly been a Joop! Homme fan. As for the ties to Montblanc Individuel, they're there, and perhaps that's why Montblanc struck back with Explorer (2019), but Original Santal sits between the two designers in my opinion. If this is your thing, go for it, but I'm not okay with a prestige sandalwood perfume that doesn't smell like sandalwood, and perturb even when one tries to obviously steal the thunder of an infamous powerhouse masculine in the name of "luxury". I like Creed's general house style, but this one is a hard pass. Thumbs down.