Perfume Pen Pals: Davidoff Cool Water vs. Creed Green Irish Tweed


I've been getting constant messages on my YouTube channel from a fellow who keeps asking me slightly differently worded variations on the same question: "What cologne do women find the sexiest?"

I told him that's like asking "What is women's favorite food?", but he won't be satisfied. Here's the latest from him:

"Would you prefer Cool Water or Green Irish Tweed?"

I don't f*#king know! Tell me, Dan. Which would I prefer? Cool Water is a Calone-stuffed thing that is perceived as a dated cliche, and Green Irish Tweed is a well-made but conservative thing that smells like a posher Cool Water. Help.



“Cool Water versus Green Irish Tweed” is a constant source of discussion on Basenotes. They were both (allegedly) created by Pierre Bourdon (Creed keeps its perfumers' names a secret -- yet another lame-ass thing about Creed) and I guess they smell similarly. I sampled them fifteen years apart so I can't say. But I remember I liked neither.

Yes, Cool Water is dated and cliched, except guys who wear stuff like that never understand those concepts. It's one of those '80s crap ozone scents that smells like some 24-year-old former frat dick who used to date-rape, and now he's making $35,000 a year working as a low-level media planner at a second-rate ad agency. And thinking about how great his life was three years ago.

Green Irish Tweed is for the same guy, ten years on, married and desperate and now making $70,000 a year at the same second-rate agency, but he's topped out career-wise, plus he has to work weekends. Which is fine because there's so much tension at home, he can't bear to be there. Oh, and he's thinking about how great his life was ten years ago.

There. Send that to your correspondent. And tell him to find his soul.

Wow, where did this sudden hostility come from? You know I'm only joking. I love everyone.



  1. ha ha ha. this is so funny. (well, to me it is.)

    but i can't help feel for the nice guys who wear these two scents and get compliments from people. i think it would make them confused and hate perfume blogs.

  2. Dan: HA! Insightful, evil and true! I love it when you pull no punches.
    If one HAD to choose between these two, I think the choice is fairly obvious. The Creed, while a bit staid and conservative, smells of quality ingredients and is a bit more complex (there is the slightest touch of something animalic). The Cool Water smells of fizzy, adolescent focus groups. Also, to my nose, Green Irish Tweed is in fact "greener", while Cool Water provides an explanation as to where the ozone layer went.
    Love you and Katie, keep it snarky, from a fellow fume head in San Francisco.

  3. If I had to choose I would choose Green Irish Tweed- it smells like Cary Grant kissing you after a boozy dinner when you are wearing a cocktail dress. Which makes it sound really sexy but the point is it's not too sexy. Cool Water is very sexy but sometimes we don't like the obvious. Hope that helps Dan. (PS I do know Cary Grant may not have liked kissing girls but I can dream).

  4. Ok, I just wanted to add that I don't see the big similarity between the two scents. . . and why it keeps coming up. But after reading much stranger comparisons elsewhere, I'm not too surprised.

    You know, Cool Water is not a terrible scent-- as in awful ingredients and toxic effects (unless the recent formulation is really downsized from the original). Much as with Polo it is a time capsule of context and, also like Polo, is a victim of user overapplication.

    Most of us over 30 were gassed by Calone rich scents all through the 90's and the ingredient now makes us sick (whether it's from the memory and bitter regret of youthful indiscrections and/or just the Calone, I'm not sure)

    Green Irish Tweed has better ingredients and no Calone (i think?) but if you've been gassed by some douche wearing too much GIT, you will be reminded in a post traumatic flash montage of past douches who wore loud, fresh-ish, green scents.

  5. Heh! Thanks for all of your tart and trenchant remarks. Having smelled into the matter further, I'd have to go with Green Irish Tweed, too. But I ended up advising the fellow to check out Ormande Man by Ormande Jayne - it hits the accessible suave mark of GIT, and is a more off the beaten track.

  6. Katie,

    I decided to give Ormande Man a try again. I really want to like this one. After all it was a gift from my son.I'll let know the verdict. Anything is better then trying to relive the 80's. I still have nightmares over some of my choices! You need to be careful about the initials GIT. You lived in England. Git is not a nice term to be called, and suave don't even come close to it.LOL


  7. Wow, to receive Ormande Man as a gift from your son! you must have a wonderful son.

    I am so aware of the double entendre of GIT. completely intentional. :-)

  8. Green Irish Tweed was my introduction to the world of male Basenotes reviewers, and we haven't been on very good terms since. GIT constantly wins "Best Male Fragrance of the Year!" award at BN, which piqued my curiousity, so a I gave it a spin and was *thoroughly* repulsed.

    I threw the bottle in the trash shortly after because that was where I felt it belonged. Of course, I don't like Cool Water, either, so maybe I just don't groove to that particular beat.

  9. This post is hilarious. Thanks for a good laugh. For the record, I like neither of them.

    But I should admit this also: I wore Cool Water in high school back in the mid-90s. As a Girl. I thought it was totally contrarian and cool to wear this instead of Pleasures or Sunflowers, or god forbid, Malibu Musk. Or CK One.

    Did I actually like Cool Water then? I don't even remember. Thank goodness I survived my teen years and grew up to have an actual opinion about things.

  10. ahsu, oh, I LOVED ck one! It just seemed perfect in the mid 90s: a little fresh, a little musky.

    Rest assured, Gojira, I was *especially* careful in referring to Green Irish Tweed as "GIT"! *low fives dea*

    Nathan, you delicate flower, you! I wouldn't say GIT is repulsive -- I find it reasonable and elegant, in a conservative way. But I think due to its play on Basenotes, I do associate it with baby niche bunnies learning to hop.

  11. A little harsh on Cool Water there. While I'm not fan of the Davidoff, I don't find it to be nearly as bad as the rap it gets. The biggest problem I have with it is, it's dead boring. After the little aquatic/synthetic lavender shimmer off the top, it just kinda does nothing but rapidly fade out. It's clean, blue, and has this recent-reformulation cardboard note that makes it smell awfully . . . drugstore.

    Then there's Creed GIT. The way to put this is, Cool Water smells like Green Irish Tweed, not the other way around. The Creed was first. But what I don't really get is why no one ever mentions the drydown of GIT - which smells remarkably like Grey Flannel. Which came before the Creed. And Grey Flannel is pretty amazing stuff. The use of violet leaf in both these frags is terrific.

    I dislike the top of GIT,because it does smell too much like Cool Water, albeit much greener, but I do really like the drydown. It's green, dark purple, and just like Cool Water, this scent seems to get a raw deal from reviewers online. GIT isn't all that exciting either, but there's nothing wrong sometimes with smelling clean, green, and fresh!

  12. Thank you, Bryan, for such a trenchant - not to mention color-coded - analysis of CW/GIT.

    It's hard to know if the boredom we feel with CW has to do with its perception as "common". Popularity kills the mystery, doncha know. Even Kurt Cobain didn't like his fans when Nirvana hit the big time.

  13. My opinion isn't super-valid, I myself am I fragrance bunny just learning to hop.

    Cool Water didn't choose its fan club! I mean, moving on to new things is fine, but I don't think it should be totally dismissed.

    I'm experimenting like crazy. I just bought Grey Flannel and Halston Z-14, on the advice of the A-Z guide.

    Halston smells as 70s as shag carpet to me. I don't really like it, but I didn't understand why. I kept trying to make a case for it. My husband (who is a musician) said it smelled "dated."

    "But you use vintage pedals and stuff."

    "Yeah, but I don't wear polyester shirts with butterfly collars."

  14. Nora, your husband's "butterfly collars" response comes off as snappy and clever, but on closer examination, the logic falls apart. He's equating Z-14 with cheesy 70s clothes, but just as he doesn't wear polyester shirts while utilizing a wah-wah sound or backwards fuzz on his guitar, nor does Z-14 need to worn by a Burt Reynolds "Smokey and the Bandit" lookalike. Re-contextualizing is the key, so you wearing Z-14 (if you were so inclined, which it seems you aren't, but I'll see this devil's advocacy through to the bitter end) turns it into an "interesting choice".

  15. Green Irish Tweed is a great fragrance in my opinion. It's involved, smells like you spent some money, and will surely turn heads if worn correctly. I love the way it smells when you first put it on, it lasts a long time, and throughout the day the fragrance evolves and changes. With Cool Water, it smells just like GIT when you first apply it, and then it just sort of fades away with time. I love Green Irish Tweed because it does smell like the high-class version of Cool Water with a wonderful dry down in expensive cologne fashion. Cool Water is just the top notes of Tweed, which sustain for a meager 3 or 4 hours on my skin. I just bought myself a small bottle of Cool Water, because don't get me wrong, I do like the way it smells. Maybe if I had more years to my name this would bring me back to some acid trip gone wrong but I like it, I'm just not willing to shell out that kind of cash for the Green Irish Tweed that I'm sure is being worn by countless idiots worldwide. So is Davidoff's creation, but for $13 you can't complain. I like them both.

  16. Don't feel shy about buying "Cool Water." It smells good. I haven't purchased a bottle only because perfume dollars are precious, and I like to explore a little.

  17. Anonymous, when Cool Water/Green Irish Tweed is unfreighted by the baggage of their own success and associations, it's easy to see they both smell good. It's a plus that you're coming to them fresh.

  18. When I began to explore fragrances (which was recently) I saw GIT, GIT, GIT with apparently unanimous glowing praise. And I thought how could it not be utter perfection? And I read that CW was so similar some insisted they were indistinguishable. #1 = #1? And I could barely restrain myself from ordering a lifetime supply of the stuff! But, uncharacteristically for me, I decided to sample them. And much to my surprise! meh. I could summarize my thoughts with the comments on this article. Spot on with my thoughts! So I know I'm in the right place. And Perfumes the Guide lists CW as one of the Best. So I looked into it a bit more. And I don't find either GIT or CW unpleasant, I don't enjoy them on me. On others, at least with moderation, they are not disagreeable, maybe even pleasant enough? They don't make me sick or repulsed and I might imagine something green and pleasant? But on me I am just so bored with it and kind of want to walk away from them but they keep following until they get tired and drift away, but it takes a while. So thank you to KP and Dan and the insights of seasoned commenters!

    1. Darin, you *are* in the right place. Welcome to our kvetchy club. CW and GIT may be technically accomplished, and a good use of a once-novel aromachemcial, but now smell dated, the worst kind of dated, which is to say, recently old hat. There's just no getting around the fact that perfumes that make a big splash for a few years are forever associated with those years.

  19. Fuck you all.

    I remember when stereo system snobs used to pretend to hear such fine differences between Marantz vs B&O stereos, etc, and they'd bash inexpensive systems. On month, a mag did a blinded test among these snobs and guess what - their "skilled abilities" to tell expensive vs cheap apart was bullshit.

    I'm not saying there are NO differences, you prick snobby nihilists, I'm saying that MOST of your conceited fragrance attitudes are NOT backed up by any Real World ability to tell Windex from Fierce. You clowns READ notes lists and THEN pretend to detect them. If kill to see you clowns be put through blind smell comparisons.

    Have a really super day.

    1. Well, you certainly have an ax to grind, but in your eagerness to spew bile, you've missed the thrust of the conversation here.

      This is less a discussion about the actual smells of Windex and Fierce, than a rumination on the cultural signifiers conveyed by perfume. Fragrance choices are ostensibly made because of a desire to smell nice, but are also tribal affiliations, consciously or not.

      As for cheap vs posh perfumes, regular KP Smells followers know that Dan and I delight in budget fumes that smell gorgeous. It's the ugly fragrances that stick in our craws.

    2. Anonymous, you should read the article and comments on the Chandler Burr Untitled series, where Dan (despite owning a bottle and having it for reference in his possession) couldn't tell the difference between L'eau d'hiver and Infusion D'iris when the latter was presented to him in an anonymous packaging.So maybe you do have a point. I guess if you do wear Cool Water or work at an advertising agency you could find this post offensive; or- alternatively- are that person Dan is saying should go find their soul.

    3. Ah man, Anonymous, when will I get to forget that moment?

      Anonymous #1's criticisms are not unfair, nor are they new (wasn't there a recent wine tasting in which many experts identified a cheap bottle as something vastly superior?), but his hostility is where he loses me. It indicates an investment in the subject far beyond my own.

      That's my defense: I'm an enthusiast not an expert. On distracted days I can't smell my way out of a paper bag and while I still think L'Eau d'Hiver and Infusion d'Iris smell similarly, I don't care enough to go back and check my mistake. Because for me perfume is a little hobby, an amusement, certainly nothing about which to throw around expletives. Unless they're fun expletives. Like "Bejabbers!"

    4. Wow. Somebody loves him some Cool Water.

  20. I see your point. But why are you so angry?

  21. Kristin-Hope ThamesNovember 17, 2013 9:26 PM

    Never ask why, it only encourages them.

    We all have our fragrance pet peeves. When my boyfriend got a bottle of Eternity Aqua from his boss, I found it to be just another Cool Water-ish assault of colone and unnecessary freshness. It was irritating and actually put me in a grumpy mood. I asked him not to wear it around me. Pine-sol is fresh, but I wouldn't want to cozy up to it.

    In protest, I got him a bottle of Halloween Man. That's the stuff, baby. Warm, spicy, a little sweet, cloaked in leather and clean musk.

    I've never tried Green Irish Tweed, but if colone has anything to do with it... *buzz* wrong answer!

    1. K-H Thames - yep - once you ID the foghorn blare of an aromachemical with a nuclear half-life, it's hard to mentally reintegrate it with the rest of the perfume's bouquet.

  22. A "nuclear" half-life can be anything from a split second to thousands of years. I think you mean a "long half-life" in which case "the half-life of plutonium" which has a long half-life, and does not exist in a non-radioactive form would be a more appropriate, albeit hyperbolic, figure of speech.

    1. Thank you for helping me to sound smarter. I shall endeavor to work "the half-life of plutonium" into any future hyperbolic expressions!