With a history dating back to the 1760’s, CREED has had no less than seven generations of perfumers being involved in building the brand.
Regarded as artisanal perfumers in the industry, The House of Creed has not always been in the perfume business: from artisans to tailors to today’s master perfumers, the family has a varied gift for creation
After working closely with the brand since 2020, Sarah Rotherman has had a background in niche perfumery and is now bringing her expertise to the table.
By focusing on the brand’s unwavering quality to commitment, Rotherman continues to strike a balance between creativity, service and always driving bottom line results.
To understand more about her journey at Creed, Emirates Woman spoke to her to see how it all began.
How did you develop your passion for fragrances?
When I first started my career in the industry, I was super fortunate to spend my initial weeks working in the perfume labs with the technicians, evaluators and the perfumers themselves. It amazed me how it was possible to create such an incredible new olfactive experience for the world to enjoy from these workings of a lab. For me it was like being back at school, I love every moment of the creative process.
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Tell us more about your role?
It’s a privilidge to work for CREED. With hundreds of years of incredible history it’s my job to protect and polish the brand, not change it. My team and I are here to create a legacy, we are curators of the brand and as such we a carry a huge responsibility. I work hard to create the right environment and support for both the brand and our people to flourish.
CREED has a strong history when it comes to fragrances – tell us more. It was also the “first perfumer to celebrities”, including many monarchs, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor – how did it all begin?
Working for a brand with 260 years of history is a never ending pleasure for me. The legend begins in 1760 when a pair of scented leather gloves was delivered to King George III by a new London tailoring company. Founded by James Henry Creed in the same year as the young king’s accession, the House of Creed has created fragrances for the discerning clients for generations. CREED continues to create a legacy of unrivalled scents with a unique creative spirit. There is so much history to this brand that we have a professional archivist who has helped us unearth to most fascinating insights on the brand. For instance Charles Creed was a founding member of what is now the highly influential British Fashion Council. CREED’s rich history of couture extended to London, New York and Paris over the centuries at a time when international travel was highly innovative. CREED was pioneering and took a risk in putting the CREED brand name on its couture long before the fashion we have for that today. It was ahead of its time and created garments over 150 years ago that helped change the lives of women around the globe innovating to create fashionable and comfortable items meaning women could ride horses the same way as their male counterparts. This particular CREED Riding Habit is on display in the famous Kyoto Fashion Institute in Japan. Today Erwin Creed, the 7th generation of the family travels and works tirelessly to establish unique, sustainable and innovative raw ingredients for the brand. CREED perfumes contain some of the most exquisite and high concentrations of natural ingredients found in all corners of the World. Erwin works directly to support individual farmers and their communities, some of whom we have had relationships with for generations to ensure the most sustainable approach is taken. We know we have had many famous clients over the years and we remain discrete and humble in our approach.
Creed is 250 years old. How do you maintain your core brand?
My job is to protect this beautiful brand and help ensure its continued enduring success for the next 260 years. We do this with and unwavering commitment to the quality of raw ingredients, sourcing right from seed to scent combined with our elaborate creative process. We have to unlock the perfumes that will continue to delight our clients around the world in the future.
What are your favourite notes as a perfumer?
Peony, rose, orange blossom, iris and oud all have a special place in my heart.
The House of Creed has now added Carmina to its extensive portfolio – could you elaborate on this scent and tell us about the ingredients.
Carmina holds a remarkable story. The inspiration can be traced back to the fashion sketchbooks meticulously kept by Henry Creed, a treasured family archive that has been handed down through generations. Recently rediscovered in the private rooms of Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, these sketchbooks offered a glimpse into a world of opulence and grandeur. Within the pages of these sketchbooks, one could find vivid depictions of luxurious, voluminous dresses in an array of colors. These sketches not only conveyed a sense of extravagance but also evoked the spirit of bold and passionate women, ready to embark on their next adventure. Carmina, in essence, captures the essence of these remarkable heroines. Unapologetically bold with a powerful sillage, we envisioned a perfume that radiated vibrancy and mystique and captured the soul of a bold and passionate woman. Rose de Mai, one of the rarest is placed at the heart alongside vibrant peony and powdery violet, all wrapped in cashmere wood. Opening with rich black cherry, sparkling pink pepper and warm red saffron. A seductive base of myrrh and frankinsence unfold alongside amber and smouldering musks in the base. It is decadent and sensual and I’m wearing it as I speak.
Can you share with us what your creative process is like when you decide to produce a new scent?
At CREED we are inspired by nature, by our exquisite ingredients in their natural habitat. But generally we take our inspiration from so many different places, our rich heritage, walking through fields of vibrant clary sage or even whilst inhaling a dewy mist while strolling through the bergamot fields of southern Italy. Our archives always trigger a thought or a moment for myself and my team and we build out these multiple inspirations in our creative thought process.
In keeping with the brand’s latest launch, do you have any tips when it comes to trying a new fragrance?
Always on the skin, close your eyes, consider how you want it to make you feel; sometimes we want to feel powerful sometimes we want to feel sensual. Always try the dry down, at CREED our perfumes develop over hours and it’s fascinating to experience this aspect.
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What’s your first olfactory memory?
Probably the smell of my mothers dressing table. The incredible smell of those 70s lipsticks combined with the aroma of the iris touch in the base powder, this is a beautiful memory that is imprinted on my mind for life.
What’s next for Creed?
Continued exploration of the CREED olfactive palette, sustainable sourcing and full traceability of our products from seed to scent and exploring other fascinating areas that are inspired by our wonderful heritage.
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