Making Waves: Creed Virgin Island Water
Coconut, as I have noted before, tends to have one of two characteristics in perfumery--to my nose, at least. Either it's warm, sweet, and edible (think coconut cream pie, or a pina colada), or it's biting, greenish, and raw. If I had to wear a coconut scent, it would be the former and not the latter, which I find disagreeable but which some people obviously love.
When I first put on Creed's new Virgin Island Water, I smelled bright, sparkly citrus notes (lime, mostly, with a little mandarin and bergamot, all thoroughly delightful), with a baffling, rather industrial undercurrent that, I realized with a shock, smelled remarkably like Play-Doh. This may be a valid commercial scent, since a lot of people have fond memories of the smell of the stuff, but it seems like an odd note for a high-end scent of the sort that Creed produces.
The Play-Doh scent welled up and became stronger and stronger, and soon resolved itself into coconut, the harsh green sort I detest. Of course, I thought, fresh coconut: it's meant to smell like someone's holiday in the Virgin Islands.
It's not just coconut. There are the obvious island flowers (ylang-ylang and hibiscus) wrapped around it, too. The scent does eventually warm up and smell a little more like the coconut I prefer--not quite toasted, but creamy-sugary--which may be attributable to the sugar-cane note.
Once it's past that hideous raw coconut smell, Virgin Island Water isn't a terrible scent. Whether it's worth the stratospheric prices that Creed charges ($185 for a 75-mL bottle) is a matter of personal opinion, but it's not something I would ever consider investing in: it just isn't worth waiting though that baleful opening to get to the good stuff. There are lots of nicer tropical-island scents out there, if one must have one.
It's worth noting that Virgin Island Water is enormously popular at the moment; you can find many positive reviews of the scent all over the Internet. I'm just paddling my boat against the tide.