Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Ted Lapidus Creation- When Chypres Where Cheap

Picture this: The mid-eighties. Me as teenager who wants to swallow the world, be rebellious, glamorous, creative and most of all: hide my extreme geekiness and insecurity. So I experiment and make my parents crazy with inappropriate makeup and terrible clothes (what did you wear in the 80s?). For some reason, the one thing I could get away with wearing was perfume. And I did. Boy, I did.

Creation by Ted Lapidus was launched in 1984 and even then it was probably inexpensive, otherwise the bottle would never have landed in the hands of my high school girl self. I remember loving it instantly, the way I adored animalic chypres long before I could name perfume genres or identify notes. I must have recognized it as sexy, slightly inappropriate and felt very womanly when I wore it. It allowed me to escape a little from my daily life as an awkward high school chemistry major whom the only boy who liked her was the school principal's son, who was even nerdier than me.

Searching online for this Ted Lapidus scent has unearthed the notes (from

Top Notes: Black currant bud, mango, passion fruit, peach, bergamot, lemon, mandarin, galbanum
Heart Notes: Gardenia, jasmine, tuberose, narcissus, rose, ylang-ylang, carnation, lily of the valley
Base Notes: Amber, oakmoss, musk, sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla, civet

It sounds like a hot mess, but what I smell is a fruity-green chypre with a deliciously dirty base. It's not as overly sweet as one would expect from all the fruit, and doesn't smell like a screechy white floral, either. It's not elegant or refined by any means, but it smells good. Or maybe it's nostalgia speaking.

Ted Lapidus Creation is widely available as an EDT, mostly under $20. Since it's a chypre with quite a bit of oakmoss I wouldn't be surprised to learn that newly manufactured juice has been reformulated (the license holder for Ted Lapidus perfumes is Elizabeth Arden, not exactly the fountain of luxury high-end perfume). I managed to score a couple of pure perfume bottles, which was what I reviewed here.

Creation ads:


  1. Gaia, it's hard to imagine you as "an awkward high school chemistry major" -- now I'm even MORE impressed. Chemistry, math...those subjects were my nemesis in high school.

    I'd never heard of Ted Lapidus Creation before, but it sounds like the kind of thing I love.

  2. Oh the 80s! I wore Opium, Giorgio, Azzaro 9, did I miss Ted Lapidus Creation? Green chypre? Adding this to my list of must gets.
    What did I wear? Well, my 21 year old daughter was quite upset that I didn't keep my emerald green acid wash denim jacket and skirt...with the asymetrical Star Trek style collar...oh my.

    PS- got my bottle of SL Fleurs de Citronnier yesterday and your review of this is spot on. I love the way it shape shifts and sneaks up on one with it's sultry beauty. Will try it dabbed today. Thanks!!!

  3. I think I would love this, I like "bright" chypres almost as much as I love the darker ones!

    I probably smelled it way back then but I don't remember it - must have been drowned out by all the Giorgio and POison.

    janedaly, I wore Azzaro 9 sometimes back in the day too ,and I still like it - dazzling-bright and floral on top, and down and dirty in the base. Yep, that's me. :-D

  4. Gaia, I stumbled onto your site in my never ending and delirious quest for the finest scents.
    Just recently I read your entry about CB's Revelation Absolute after acquiring the scent myself, and am so excited by your suggestion of adding CB's musk!
    Anyway, I guess I'm not surprised to find that our favorite high school scent was one and the same: Ted Lapidus' Creation.
    I was wondering recently how I would find it now, having sampled some of the best. It seems our love of Chypres started early, which has to be a good thing!

  5. I must admit that it had the same effect on me during my high school years and I was in love with this perfume. Unfortunately here in Europe you cant see it at the shops (except a cosmetic chain store in Paris).. And I am never sure if it is the real one or a new one.. It is costs a lot, I mean not like Arden's perfume prices, maybe double.
    Basak ;)

  6. The 80s were the Bad Hairstyle decade for me - I look at photos from that time and wince. What was I thinking?

    As for perfume, that was long before my perfumista days. Chypres were way too sophisticated for my untutored nose. I wore perfume sporadically, and was wild about Lauren for a short time before it went totally sour on my skin.

  7. my mom got a gift of a mini set of perfumes, and it ended up on my lap. i remember it contained 5 bottles, and at least 2 of them made a mark. the first was a charles jourdan oakmoss and orange galore, l'insolent. i ended up hunting full sizes, and now still has a tester EdP bottle (a 300ml one, ha!). another in the set was creation. i remember quite liking it, but not enough to acquire a bottle. the third in the set was a nina ricci in a swan bottle, which was not my thing, as was the rest of the set.

    here's to starting young, and starting big!

    1. Lena, I'll spend the rest of the day hunting down that Charles Jourdan perfume.


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