When a reputation is exceptionally positive, it almost dooms the thing or person it’s attached to. Going into a piece of art with sky-high expectations guarantees some level of disappointment; the image we construct in our head belongs in heaven while the reality is grounded on this flawed and familiar planet. Most recently, I went to see Across the Spider-Verse after hearing it hailed as the greatest animated movie of all time and found myself, in turns, blown away and utterly underwhelmed. Across the Spider-Verse was not only competing against my favorite animated movies of all time; it was also at a disadvantage without the nostalgia and memories surrounding those movies. It will be a while before I can give that film a fair and honest evaluation. It needs time to escape the reputation that had been thrust upon it by both others and myself.
The fact that smell is the sense closest to memory makes this phenomena especially bad when it comes to evaluating goliaths of the perfume industry. The phenomena is even worse when it comes to less-experimental perfumes that don’t have the advantage of wowing a nose with novelty or shock value. Roja Dove’s Enigma, off which Creation-E is based, long lived in my mind as a gold standard for boozy perfumes, and I imagined it as a slightly-better version of those I already knew and loved: perhaps Grand Soir with even more luscious warmth and depth. When I finally got my nose on it, I was inevitably disappointed. It was, and is, a lovely boozy perfume. But it is still just a lovely boozy perfume and not some actual miracle of the art that automatically turns those who smell it into lifelong disciples (and thank goodness for that. Shiver.) And then of course, there’s the sky-high price, which makes it virtually impossible to rationalize purchasing unless you’re truly head-over-heels for the fragrance.
Months after my initial encounter with Enigma, Scentbird presented a special opportunity to pick up a decant of its lighter-concentrated version for an absolute steal of a price. I picked it up, had a few pleasant wearings, and proceeded to stash it away in a box with neglected samples. So why am I writing about it now? Well, I guess you could say it’s escaped its reputation, and now I can see why this perfume – specifically in its cologne form – earned the love it maintains today.
Creation-E Parfum Cologne Notes
Bergamot, Geranium, Rose De Mai, Neroli, Jasmin De Grasse, Heliotrope, Cardamom, Ginger, Pepper, Patchouli, Cognac, Tobacco, Sandalwood, Benzoin, Vanilla, Ambergris
I’ll admit that I was cynical when I first came across Roja’s Parfum Cologne line. It seemed like a cash grab to market a previously-inaccessible fragrance to a different price bracket by watering down the product. However, that perspective has been completely washed away by the excellence that is Creation-E. We take for granted that boozy, woodsy fragrances are heavy, and the ‘original’ Creation-E certainly is. It turns out that all you need to turn something borderline-cloying into something utterly magical is to ease the foot off the gas pedal.
Creation-E Parfum Cologne opens with an elegant, fizzy cocktail of delightful top notes over its substantial base. It’s a testament to the perfume’s overall strength: its ability to mesh traditional cool and warm weather fragrances to create a novel middle ground that thrives nearly anywhere. The array of soft florals, specifically geranium and neroli, provides a wonderful opening act which transitions seamlessly into the spicey middle notes and hearty base notes beneath. By the time you reach the boozy, slightly smoky base, you’ve been granted a perfume journey through some of the artform’s most friendly accords.
In all honesty, this is a perfume that functions well in cooler weather, but absolutely sings in warmer and moderate climates. As a Las Vegas resident, I’m thrilled to have a woody-spicy offering that can withstand ninety-plus degrees with ease. In cooler temperatures, the subtleties and softer notes of the perfume can hum a little too close to the surface. The perfume may duck out of the way a little early in the wear. For the price point, that could certainly be disappointing for some wearers. However, the reward – versatility in a perfume whose peers are usually loud and difficult to reign in – is more than worth the trade.
The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.
Have strong thoughts about this piece you need to share? Or maybe there’s something else on your mind you’re wanting to talk about with fellow Fandomentals? Head on over to our Community server to join in the conversation!
Be the first to leave a review.