Creed’s one of those fragrance houses that always lands in the, “Meh, I don’t know” category when it comes to a full on purchase. They’re billed as a niche fragrance house. I like most of what they have to offer but I’m also turned away by the price and the fact that a percentage of the fragrances I’ve smelled from them tend to smell very similar to more affordable fragrances. Virgin Island Water suffers from this, “Oh, this is nice but it also smells like . . .”
In Bottle: Rummy coconut and crisp lime. The rum note is getting a lot of help from the alcohol base of Virgin Island Water, and making the scent a tad more authentic. Virgin Island Water is a clear, crisp, clean fragrance with a slightly floral, gingery treatment.
Applied: The rum is up front and center then steps aside for the coconut and lime. Many people have noted the similarity between Virgin Island Water and Bath and Body Works’ Coconut Lime Verbena. I don’t blame them, it was the first thing I thought when I smelled this too. But there’s subtle differences between the two. The most prominent one being that Coconut Lime Verbena is a much simpler fragrance with less boozy personality than Virgin Island Water. The latter has a crisper, greener lime note, a less aggressive coconut note and then there’s that rum which Coconut Lime Verbena lacks. In addition to the rum and the purity of the lime and coconut, Virgin Island Water also has an interesting evolution where its Bath and Body Works counterpart tends to stay one-dimensional. As the scent ages, the ginger comes up, spicing up the fragrance and giving it a more exotic feel. Hibiscus and jasmine also help separate Virgin Island Water and add sophistication to the scent as the dry down starts showing off a bit of flower power. The only thing I can’t say for Virgin Island Water is its lackluster staying power as I approached dry down within a few hours. At least dry down was beautiful as a crystal clear, rich coconut rum fragrance.
Extra: Creed is a fragrance house that began sometime in 1760 in London by James Henry Creed and is still run by the family today by Oliver Creed. There is some speculation as to some of their former clientele, but I’m not much of a Creed history buff nor does it affect the fact that I like the fragrances they put out so they’re doing something right because they have a lot of fans.
Design: Most Creed fragrances come in similar bottles. I have a sample vial straight from Creed itself that’s just a generic glass vial filled with the good stuff. There are glass flacons and spray bottles available that tend to look the same depending upon the fragrance gender. I’ve never held nor seen a Creed bottle in person so I cannot attest to the quality of the packaging. I can say that I’m not much of a fan of the pretty plain looking spray bottles but the splash flacons look elegant and functional.
Fragrance Family: Fresh
Notes: Bergamot, lime, mandarin, coconut, copra, jasmine, hibiscus, ylang-ylang, ginger, tonkin, rum, sugar cane.
So it comes down to one question. Is it worth it to shell out the hundred-something bucks for a bottle of Virgin Island Water when most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the hundred dollar juice and the ten dollar juice from Bath and Body Works? Try them both out first. Perfume is a personal experience and not everyone’s nose can detect every note in a fragrance. If you can tell the difference between the two and like Virgin Island Water more, then buy it if you feel it’s worth it. If you can’t tell the difference and like them both just fine, it’s probably better to get Coconut Lime Verbena and save yourself quite a bit of money.
Reviewed in This Post: Virgin Island Water, 2010, Sample vial.
I agree. My main disappointment with Virgin Island Water (my favorite fragrance in the universe, which I did purchase and use – it lasted me 2 months) is that it only lasted 15 minutes on my skin before disappearing. 🙁 I’ve been told that this is because VIW by Creed is a tonic – not a perfume/EDT/cologne – so it is not long-lasting. I wish Creed fragrances lasted as long as Bulgari. Nordstrom’s fragrance department is very helpful; they’ll make small trial spray-vials for you to take home, and if you purchase a fragrance but want to return it, they’ll let you! (shoes, too!) They recommended Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino as a similar fragrance to Virgin Island Water. It’s classier than Coconut Lime Verbena, and costs less than VIW but nothing is exactly as good as VIW.
Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment about your experience with Virgin Island Water, Emily. I find VIW lasts a little longer with lotion on first, but you’re right, there’s nothing we can do to make it last as long as other perfumes. It’s so easy going that it disappears really quickly. It’s entirely too bad because I do have yet to find a coconut fragrance that smells as nice as this. I’ve tried Neroli Portofino once before and it didn’t remind me much of Virgin Island Water. It lacked the coconut and rum I liked so much in this fragrance and had a more herbal quality to it that I didn’t detect in VIW, but definitely give it a try yourself if you haven’t yet because it is quite a nice fragrance too. 😀