Creed Spice and Wood opens on a peppery note of clean cedar that also reads as quite boozy to my nose, at least in the first few minutes. I have sometimes noticed that the combination of pepper (especially pink pepper) and cedar can produce a sort of boozy effect, because it’s something I’ve also picked up in Guerlain’s Spiritueuse Double Vanille and even Ambre Nuit by Dior Privee to a certain extent. Either way, it strikes a precarious balance between vinegar-pure alcohol and a deeper, sweeter booze note.
The booze note burns off quickly, leaving a clean, simple cedar note. On top of the cedar, I notice a fresh green apple note, and what I thought was something sharp like violet leaf – but it turns out that this is angelica. The overall impression is of a classic cologne, fresh and almost sporty, like Cool Water, over a warm cedar skeleton. It is pleasantly clean and natural smelling, basically one of those things you could throw on and know that you smell discreetly good.
But to me, it lacks any purpose beyond its overall pleasantness – it is not distinctive enough to make me want to pay for a full bottle of it, or even a decant, and it seems a bit too shapeless to hold up under scrutiny for a whole day’s wear. It is quite weak and short-lived, which strikes me as unfair when you consider the price.
On the other hand, its genial, undemanding woody loveliness does have a time and place. Perhaps if nobody had told me the price of this, I would have enjoyed my sample more. As it is, this is a good, discreet woods scent that would suit someone who has the money to pay for it and prefers, in general, the watery, natural-smelling colognes that Creed does so well. Me, I prefer heavier, less fresh stuff, and I am not really your average Creed customer anyway, so keep my prejudice in mind!