Spice and Wood smells great. There is no denying this. Amazing apple opening. Fresh citrus and wood. Maybe some white florals?? Extremely fresh and uplifting. The problem I have is that this is just all too quiet. Amazing while it lasts but becomes a skin scent within the hour. I own a large decant which I am more than happy with.
The Les Royales Exclusifs collections represents the top shelf of an already expensive and exclusive brand that literally prides itself as being such. Taking the concept of Veblen goods and conspicuous consumption to one of the furthest degrees imaginable one can perhaps take a perfume brand that isn't bespoke per-client, Creed had outdone itself when introducing the collection, particularly on the heels of then-recent successes that allowed the house to jack up prices exponentially in a short order, giving social class distance between themselves and their niche perfume peers. Stroking the egos of the nouveau riche with affected marketing ploys and old money alike with claims of royal pedigree, Creed is good at teasing the money out of billionaires and the white collar pseudo-rich, so the idea of a range that's even more elevated than their already ridiculously-priced standard line isn't all that incredulous, although most of what is in that range doesn't really smell more elevated. Creed Sublime Vanille (2009) would be the first in this upper-ten series, followed by Creed Spice & Wood (2010), then a rehash of Original Colonge/Pure White Cologne (2011), and the introduction of Jardin d'Amalfi (2011), White Flowers (2011), and relative silence until White Amber (2017) finally came along. Of all those, Creed Spice & Wood gets the most talk, and I can sort of see why, since this mostly feels like something that could have also been released in the main line as the next big male pillar for the house too, but strangely wasn't.
The first thing to realize here is this came out the same year as Creed Aventus (2010), the fragrance that took the place of Green Irish Tweed (1985) as the flagship scent for the house and would further go on to be the defining moment for the brand, establishing it's "high-end mass-appeal" style going forward and causing the house to vault literally everything not that (including all the more classically-designed eau de toilette range). Spice & Wood by comparison feels a bit more of a "let's play catch up" with the benchmarks making the rounds in the men's niche and designer market at the time like L'Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu (2004) and Terre d'Hermès by Hermès (2006). Creed utilizes a very sharp airy woody chypre structure similar in many respects to the work in Timbuktu here in Spice & Wood, but infuses a bit of the old "Royal French Perfumer" hullabaloo into the mix to make it feel higher-end. The opening has lemon, bergamot, and a dry crisp green apple note we would see again in Creed Vetiver Geranium (2014) from the Acqua Originale line. Beyond this, we get a very Hermès-like transparency, with a dry patchouli heart free from the usual heft of full natural patchouli, but the arrangement is different since the focus is on birch tar, pepper, pimento, and angelica root rather than anything mineralic. a hint of clove creeps in but before long a familiar Creed house ambergris note is joined by oakmoss and Iso E Super. The birch and ambergris mixed with the apple top draw parallels to Aventus, but this is nowhere near as sweet. Wear time is about 8 hours but Spice & Wood wears rather light, making it best in warmer weather casual or office situations spring through fall.
For me, this sorta presages the thing Dolce & Gabanna K (2019) would do for men with it's combination of bergamot, dry blood orange, and pimento over ambroxan, but tosses in some apple and dry spices to give the Creed a bit of autumnal feel. Part of me feels like this may also have been considered by Olivier & Erwin Creed as one of the formulas used for Aventus, with what ended up in that bottle winning out instead for being just a bit more youth-friendly and mass-appeal, since it was clear by 2010 that Creed was trying to move away from "mature rich men" scents like Bois du Portugal (1987), and Creed Himalaya (2002), as neither of those captured the hearts of their target demographic the same way Green Irish Tweed did despite having the same type of person in mind. Spice & Wood honestly would have been another such example had it been dubbed Aventus and shipped out to counters in place of what we ended up getting, but it was spared that fate and shipped out as a fancy Les Royals Exclusifs fragrance, being visited by guys so head over heels for Aventus that they circled back for more options from the house. As a more-mature cousin to Aventus that borrows elements from woody masculines like Terre d'Hermès, Spice & Wood is a winner to me, but whether or not it informed the creation of D&G's K doesn't make much of a difference to me either, since at $575 for 7ml (or nearly a grand for a 250ml flacon), Spice & Wood is only worth considering if it's a deep love or if you have deep pockets, especially due to its light performance. Still, this is another well-crafted and thoughtfully-composed Creed. Thumbs up.
The good: A fresh woody/citrusy opening, like a high quality cologne. From there, more warmth and some mild spice and cedar wood, in a pencil shaving, slightly dusty way. Nice balance and transparency. Good performance.
The bad: It's price. This smells classy, balanced and natural, but conceptually there's nothing groundbreaking and it's not particularly exciting.
The final: Reminiscent of a cross between the best of some the Lalique's for men (Lion, White) and Cartier's Déclaration. For those who can afford it, I could see how this can be a signature scent.
My Number 1 fragrance for many years, Spice and Wood presents a fantastic, realistic apple note over alluring, spicy notes of cedar and birch. What makes Spice and Wood so impressive and enjoyable to me is the crisp clarity with which it conveys these accords and the warm, almost sensual touch that accents its woods. I find the performance to be fine: 6 to 8 hours with good projection. This one doesn't scream, but it has a nice presence and its projection is appropriately calibrated for this style of scent. Due to its crispness, Spice and Wood is fairly versatile, and can be worn all year around without a problem. It's elegant but extremely comfortable, classy and rich without the slightest pretense. If you're a fan of Aventus, Terre d'Hermes, and masculine woods in general, it's definitely worth checking out Spice and Wood. Creed's best offering, in my opinion. Final rating: 10/10.
Indeed wood with spices and a citrusy /apple opening.
What is done well is that this is a wood fragrance than does not scream wood which is often 'wooden' and overpowering and can make you feel you are in a freshly sandpapered sauna.
Masculine, powerful yet subtle. A great statement. Lovely from start to finish unlike Creed Viking which has that challenging opening but then settles to pure poetry.
Horrifically expensive but then it would have to be as it would outsell most of Creed's other connoisseur's offerings -which does not by inference give them mass appeal.
It is a distant cousin of Frederic Malle's excellent French Lover which has more pazaz and as such is less subtle but dare I say it may seem too austere for cold days. This one works.
Creed's Spice and Wood is the second to be released in the Royal Exclusives line.
I've always found Spice and Wood to be a very pleasant, wearable, and distinctive scent to wear casually. Holding the Pochet glass decanter is an experience in itself; as for the fragrance, Spice and Wood has such a respectable collection of notes to titillate the mature olfactory palate.
Spray-on starts with a citrus-fruit combo that leads into the spicy-herbal mix of angelica, clove, pepper, and patchouli, blending with starchy birch bark and cedarwood, and floral-sweet iris plus earthy smoky oakmoss touched with a slight muskiness. The potion is bright, aromatic, animated with life within and pleasing without.
Spice and Wood is masculine, classy and balanced. Highly recommended!