Creed Erolfa, 1992

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(image Ernest Hemmingway)

Perfumer Olivier Creed

I’ve tried many of the fragrances in the Creed line. Scorecard: Really like Irisia (bought it.) Had to try Love in White after having read Luca Turin’s review. Virgin Island Water, Love in Black, Fleurissimo, Original Santal. A fairly random sampling.

But there are three that are of a piece. Original VetiverHimalaya and now Erolfa. They’re quite similar in overall shape and could easily have been three submissions to the same client brief requesting a fresh men’s scent of the broad mid 90s – mid 2000s style. That is to say, easily recognizable as a fresh, fruity, ‘ozonic’ masculine but with its own name and a narrative/description/fantasy that gives the appearance of comparative distinction. That is to say, mine’s better than yours.

Here we have the disjointed dance of the contempo-masculine. A blanket, clannish similarity balanced with the appearance, but not the fact, of distinctiveness.

So, Erolfa. Melony, buzzy. Aquatic and ozonic (two words that, so far as I can tell, have no intrinsic meaning in fragrance, but have gained descriptive value through repitition.) Not much different, therefore not much better or worse than many others of its time.

There. I’ve offended the Creed fans. Now, to Luca Turin. Erolfa could just as easily have been a response to the client brief that gave us Beyond Paradise for Men. They are remarkably similar, varying in exactly the contempo-masculine manner described above. To Creed’s credit, Erolfa came only four years after its step-uncle Cool Water, but twelve before Beyond Paradise for Men.

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