Santal Impérial 1850

Santal Impérial by Creed
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6.7 / 1018 Ratings
Santal Impérial is a perfume by Creed for women and men and was released in 1850. The scent is woody-citrusy. The production was apparently discontinued. Pronunciation
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Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesBergamotBergamot
Citrus notesCitrus notes
Heart Notes Heart NotesTonka beanTonka bean
Base Notes Base NotesAmberAmber
SandalwoodSandalwood

Ratings

Scent

6.718 Ratings

Longevity

6.317 Ratings

Sillage

5.316 Ratings

Bottle

7.029 Ratings
Submitted by DirkDS, last update on 01.03.2020.
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Reviews

7
Scent
6
Longevity
5
Sillage
7
Bottle
TruuMax
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TruuMax
TruuMax
   2  
Pencils in the bottle
Creed Santal Imperial, what a great name
Majestic, proud and a tiny bit arrogant
Nobody can prove with certainty whether the scent is really that old, even though it is certainly one of the oldest Creeds.

Since my bottle is already tilted, I can't really judge the start, but it recovers within a few minutes and a woody musty smell of pencil taste (Naaaa, who used to chew that? ;) ) comes out. Not fresh, not musty but very authentically woody with little frills.

The shelf life is around 6 hours and the sillage is about half an arm strong.

From today's perspective, this fragrance is probably too simple and old-fashioned for most people, but by no means disgusting or repulsive. Nevertheless, I would be happy about a new edition of this majestic classic, especially for the most die-hard Creed fans the bottle alone would be an absolute trophy, like the fur of a self-killing bear in front of the fireplace ;) AND his friends he would surely find.
1 Replies
ColinM

516 Reviews
ColinM
ColinM
   2  
Almost...
A joke for its retail price assuming it’s still in production (or however, for the price it had when it was available), but overall nice if you manage to get it for some substantial fraction of the cost. Santal Imperial opens – and more or less, so remains – with a distinguished whiff of citrus and bergamot blended with a sort of warm and creamy texture arising from a dusty, sultry base of ambergris and tobacco with some tame sort of mossy musk, and a really smooth and bright woody accord which I guess may contain some synthetic sandalwood too –I get very little of it though, close to zero; all the woody side feels to me more like earthy vetiver paired with some weightless sweet-plushy nonsense like cashmeran. A soapy, clean, really cozy woody base with a nondescript Oriental vibe of spicy, cocoa-infused tonka and probably some red pepper too. Quite generic, but it works, a bit in the same broad league of Tom Ford for Men with less ambery orange, less freshness and a earthier texture, with more ambergris and woods and also a bit more conservative, old school and formal than that (in other words I am not saying these two fragrances smell similar, this was just a matter of, say, a similar “vibe” with similar Oriental chords). Finally I also think there’s something floral, definitely a delicate sweet-grassy vibe which I can’t really identify but it provides an enjoyable sort of silky-powdery touch (someone mentioned iris in another review, it may be it in fact, maybe with a herbal touch of clary sage).

So this is it, you get the picture, an enjoyably mannered albeit rather weak and proudly uninspired spicy-creamy-woody Oriental scent with a sweet floral vibe and a sort of faint mood halfway pedantic and austere, distantly rooted into the classic citrus fougère tradition but also close to several Oriental masculine fragrances from the late 1990’s (to the point I feel this may have been created back then, but I’m not yet skilled enough in converting Creed years in human years so I don’t know what 1850 translates into in real world). Closer to a pale neurotic bourgeois chap than anything or anyone “Imperial”, but a fine scent for sure – a really discreet and close-to-skin fragrance which nonetheless, for some reasons manages to gift you with some sillage consistently coming and going for some hours.

6,5-7/10 (for a fair price)
5/10 (for its actual price)
5
Scent
2.5
Longevity
2.5
Sillage
7.5
Bottle
Rowannicus

1 Review
Rowannicus
Rowannicus
   5  
Santal Impérial by Creed
I had such high hopes for Santal Impérial - the fragrance so famously designed for the Habsburg Emperor, Austro-Hungarian Kaiser und Koenig Franz-Josef and reportedly popular among the crowned heads and the nobility of Europe, and blended from the very finest of ingredients.
Some years back I managed to obtain a vintage 75ml bottle, in pristine condition.
I was impatient to savour the scent that had graced the royal nostrils of Czars, Kaisers and Emperors, the rich and powerful, and hoped that this wondrous scent might anoint me with an aura of dignitas and grace.
Now I must stress that the box housing my bottle was marked "Eau de Toilette" (see pic). I have a number of other Creeds in my collection, and have seen and sampled many more, but this is the only one I have ever seen to bear that designation. I don't know whether there were also EDP versions of Santal Impérial but if not, the imperial courts of Vienna and St Petersburg must have been rather stinky on a hot Summer's day because this is without doubt the weakest Creed I have ever experienced.
It opens with a citrus-y note that seems to be typical of many Creed fragrances, which transforms very quickly into a pleasant, multifaceted transitional phase in which I find it extremely difficult to discern individual elements before the drydown, which to my nose is a pure, heavenly, sublime white sandalwood with ambergris.
And then it's all over.
I can only comment on the EDT version that I have, but the longevity is abysmal and the sillage is at first moderate, but within minutes it becomes a skin scent.
I imagine the reason for this would have been that, unlike 21st century metrosexual dandies, I imagine that the average 19th century Emperor had certain notions about masculinity and as such probably didn't want to appear as a "perfumed ponce" at his State Receptions and garden parties.
it is evident that Santal Impérial is made from extremely high quality raw materials - like all Creeds - especially because of its pedigree as an imperial favourite, but I was disappointed by the brief but glorious blossoming of its sublime, magnificent aroma.
In summary: a classic Creed citrus overture followed by the appearance of an exquisitely beautiful sandalwood, which all too quickly fades to become almost undetectable. Reminds me of something I read once in a book on the rules and manners of "polite society" which stressed that in social situations, one ought always "leave while they still want you to stay", and perhaps such was the thinking behind the fleeting beauty of Santal Impérial.
I have tried some old 19th century tricks for extending the longevity like applying cured ambergris before applying Santal Impérial, but have yet to find a successful means of boosting this wonderful, but dismally weak, legend.
if you're looking for a quality sandalwood, then this is undoubtedly that - but it's really just a tease, because it vanished so fast.
Along with a love of sandalwood (I grew up surrounded by the aroma of White / Mysore Sandalwood and it invokes happiness, comfort and serenity) I was primarily motivated by a sense of historical curiosity and nowadays I mainly wear this on special occasions for my own enjoyment, since I know that very few people will even detect it after half an hour. But if you can find this in an EDP concentration I imagine the experience would be much more satisfying.
1 Replies

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