I’m a big fan of Millesime Imperial, but don’t always have the budget to pick it up without thinking. It’s a beautifully fruity, powdery, bergamot-infused daydream – but $300 is still $300.
Over the past few years, I’ve been digging out the best Creed Millesime Imperial alternatives, and have been able to find some picks that I actually prefer to the original for just a fraction of the cost.
My top pick is Club De Nuit Milestone by Armaf, which to my nose is a 90% similar scent that lasts almost twice as long as the Creed original. All of that for about 15% of the cost.
I’ve also included a couple of picks that take the Millesime DNA and put a new twist on it – perhaps by prioritizing florals over fruits like Osaito M. Micallef, or the addition of white musk in Citron Del Mar by Alexandria Fragrances.
$62.99 ($34.99 / Fl Oz)
$168.15 ($168.15 / Count)
One of the few gripes I had with the original Creed cologne is it just doesn’t last particularly long – so most of the scents on this list have been chosen with improved longevity in mind.
I’ll step you through the 7 Prada colognes that I’ve enjoyed the most, and let you know when and where to deploy them, based on:
- Note profile (what does it smell like)
- Projection (how subtle/strong is it)
- Occasion (season, time of day, setting)
- Longevity (how long does it last)
- Value for money
So, let’s see which similar scent is best for you.
Best-smelling Millesime Imperial Alternative in 2023
- Club De Nuit Milestone Armaf – Best Creed Millesime Imperial Alternative
- Citron Del Mar Alexandria Fragrances – Closest Original Batch Alternative for Creed Millesime Imperial
- Osaito M. Micallef – Best Millesime Imperial Inspired Scent
- Quality Fragrance Oils’ Impression – Best Budget Creed Millesime Imperial Alternative
- Unforgivable Sean John – A More Masculine Version of Creed Millesime Imperial
- Ed Hardy Love And Luck For Men – The Cheapest Creed Millesime Imperial Alternative (That’s Still Worth It)
- Rush Of Unicorns Parfums Vintage – A Premium Creed Millesime Alternative
7 Best Creed Millesime Imperial Alternatives
Club De Nuit Milestone Armaf – Best Creed Millesime Imperial Alternative Overall
Armaf has hit a home run with Milestone. It smells 90% identical to the original Millesime Imperial – and lasts twice as long.
The most faithful alternative to the current blend. Will pass a blind test - which is amazing for the price
Great longevity compared to the original. Lasts around twice as long.
|Longevity||6 – 7 Hours|
|Value for Money||5/5|
Milestone opens with the same beautiful, salted watermelon accord that made the vintage batches of Millesime Imperial so special. It’s a refined, smooth, and natural-smelling opening that I can’t get enough of.
These opening minutes are a little more metallic in the Armaf than with Creed, but only for 3-4 minutes.
Personally, I’ve got no problems with Armaf taking a leaf out of Creed’s playbook. I’m just happy that there’s someone out there keeping pressure on them to match their prices to the quality provided.
Millesime Imperial has never been the same since Creed updated the formula, but Milestone brings back the scent we all love.
And if Creed doesn’t either upgrade Millesime Imperial or lower the price soon, I’m convinced everybody will turn to Armaf Milestone, sooner or later.
Milestones’ oceanic and marine-inspired dry down is a little airier than the musky base of Millesime Imperial. The ambroxan and woodsy notes linger on for 6-7 hours – certainly longer than 2-3 I’ve come to expect Millesime Imperial, at least.
You get a decent scent bubble for the first few hours two, while the Creed original is notoriously light in terms of projection.
So, twice the firepower for a tenth of the price? Sign me up.
- Check out our guide to the best-smelling Armaf fragrances to learn more.
|Top Notes:||Sea Notes, Red Fruits and Bergamot|
|Middle Notes:||Violet, White Woods and Sandalwood|
|Base Notes:||Musk, Ambroxan and Vetiver|
Citron Del Mar Alexandria Fragrances – Closest Original Batch Alternative to Creed Millesime Imperial
Citron Del Mar opens up with the same salty melon fruitiness as Armaf’s Milestone, reminiscent of the OG Imperial Millesime.
This pick makes me nostalgic for the original Millesime Imperial formula.
The perfect scent for Gents seeking musky masculinity.
|Longevity||4 – 5 Hours|
|Value for Money||4.5/5|
But unlike the Armaf fragrance, it maintains the Creed muskiness throughout its powdery dry down, balanced against sensual salty notes that evoke the sea breeze.
I also love the woodsy quality in the base, like a sturdy scaffolding for the brighter citruses to swing around on. This Alexandria fragrance smells noticeably well-balanced, with just enough of every element to be a very similar scent.
It doesn’t last quite as long as our top pick, clocking in around 4 – 5 hours of meaningful projection. However, that’s still better than the $300 original, so there’s still plenty of value to be had. If this had 6 – 7 hours of power it would be a no-brainer as a must-have alternative.
|Top Notes:||Fruity Notes and Sea Salt|
|Middle Notes:||Iris, Bergamot, Lemon and Orange|
|Base Notes:||Sea Notes, Musk and Woody Notes|
Osaito M. Micallef – Best Millesime Imperial Similar Scent
Osaito is one of those colognes that “reminds me of” Millesime Imperial, rather than being a very similar scent. A beautifully blended twist on the classic seaside aquatic sense.
A fun twist on Millesime Imperial that prioritizes florals over fruits.
Still mid-range at $100, but far more affordable than the $300 Creed option.
|Longevity||7 – 8 Hours|
|Value for Money||4/5|
It’s a great pick for sunny days when you’re looking for an aquatic, salty, woodsy fragrance – but don’t necessarily need all of the fruitness you find in the Creed original.
Compared to Armaf Milestone and Citron Del Mar, Osaito feels a little more unisex. The powdery base of cedar and sandalwood is more neutral than the vetiver in Milestone, for example.
Sure, it has a masculine tilt, but there is greater emphasis placed on floral inflections of marigold, and it feels more exotic than deep.
However, despite not being 100% similar, Osaito makes up for it in terms of longevity and performance. In my experience, 2 – 3 sprays in the morning will keep you going for 7 – 8 hours. In other words, enough to comfortably cover you for a full day at the office.
Osaito is not the cheapest cologne on this list, but it’s still vastly more affordable than Creed Millesime Imperial itself. I’ve been able to find full-sized bottles for around $100, which is a great deal.
|Top Notes:||Sea Notes, Citruses and Grapefruit|
|Middle Notes:||Myrtle and Marigold|
|Base Notes:||Musk, Exotic Woods, Sandalwood and Amber|
Quality Fragrance Oils’ Impression (Roll On) – Best Budget Creed Millesime Imperial Alternative
Here’s a pick for anyone where budget is the primary concern. Fragrance oils are the cheapest way to achieve a strong representation of a fragrance without resorting to low-quality imitations.
|Value for Money||5/5|
These essential oils are basically the same as regular colognes, but without the evaporating alcohol that dilutes and releases the fragrance in the air.
As such, it clings a little closer to the skin, but you only have to use a very small amount to achieve the same power.
On average, fragrance oils last me twice as long compared to regular colognes. When you factor in the fact that they also cost far, far less, the value starts to become pretty clear.
In a blind smell test, I think you’d really struggle to tell the difference between Creed Millesime Imperial and the Fragrance Oils’ impression.
The main difference is how you apply it, really. While I would use a spray on my pulse points for maximum projection, I’d apply this roll-on to my underarms or lower back. Normally I can smell it pretty well once I’ve worked up a bit of a sweat.
|Top Notes:||Fruity Notes and Sea Salt|
|Middle Notes:||Iris, Orange, Lemon, Bergamot|
|Base Notes:||Musk, Wood, Sea|
Unforgivable Sean John – A More Masculine Version of Creed Millesime Imperial
Compared to the bright, fruity freshness of Millesime Imperial, Unforgivable by Sean John is sort of like a more seductive, darker Casanova figure. While still in the family, it’s more of a 3rd cousin than a direct twin.
|Longevity||7 – 8 Hours|
|Value for Money||4/5|
The opening is a strong blast of citrus that projects really well. It’s sweet mandarin, lemon and grapefruit, with a green freshness that I find even more appealing than the juicy opening in Millesime Imperial.
As that calms down a little, it’s rounded out by flickers of bergamot as we descend into a boozier, woody base. It reminds me of drinking a stiff rum in a sandalwood cabin – it’s incredibly warm, smooth, and homely.
There’s a little bit of nuance in touches of sweet florals like lavender and iris, but they never tilt overtly feminine. Unforgivable is seductive and passionate, but it’s refined and masculine at its core.
Performance is more impressive than most of the colognes on this list, lasting a full 7- 8 hour work day before it becomes a skin scent. For the first 2 – 3 hours, people will be noticing your fragrance from a couple of feet away – and probably saying very nice things.
While Unforgivable is an approachable and versatile scent, the boozy quality in the base makes it best as a night scent, to my nose.
To give you an idea of the quality, Sean John hired David Appel to produce Unforgivable. He’s the guy who worked on a number of Creed imitations with Bond No. 9, so it’s no surprise they’ve been able to pull it off here again.
The problem is that Bond No. 9 colognes are almost as expensive as Creed fragrances themselves – but with Sean John, it’s half the price.
|Top Notes:||Tangerine, Green Mandarin, Grapefruit, Sicilian Lemon, Bergamot, Birch Leaf, Basil and Juniper|
|Middle Notes:||Lavender, Clary Sage and Iris|
|Base Notes:||Rum, Cashmere Wood, Australian Sandalwood, Tonka Bean and Amber|
Ed Hardy Love And Luck For Men – The Cheapest Creed Millesime Imperial Alternative (That’s Still Worth It)
Love and Luck is very similar to Sean John Unforgivable – the main difference is the price tag.
|Value for Money||4/5|
This sweet, orange-led scent is perfect for relaxed spring and summer days. The bright opening mirrors the effect in Creed Milliseme Imperial but introduces muted herbal elements of sage, cypress, and cardamom in the heart.
It reminds me of a cross between Milliseme Imperial and Green Irish Tweed, another one of the best Creed colognes.
Sure, it can get a little synthetic at moments, but not in a way you’d notice unless you were looking for it. This will not smell like a cheaper cologne to most people you meet you meet, that’s for sure.
It lasts for around 4 hours of decent projection before becoming a more intimate skin scent of dark vetiver, oud, and musk. It’s an earthy and masculine conclusion to a decent little budget cologne.
|Top Notes:||Mandarin Orange, Bergamot, Orange and Cardamom|
|Middle Notes:||Violet, Cypress and Sage|
|Base Notes:||Musk, Cedar, Vetiver and Agarwood (Oud)|
Rush Of Unicorns Parfums Vintage – A Premium Creed Millesime Alternative
Rush of Unicorns is pretty similar to Millesime Imperial, but it’s not quite the same. It’s about 60% similar to the current batch, sharing more with the sweeter and musky Imperial of yesteryear.
|Longevity||4 – 6 Hours|
|Value for Money||2.5/5|
To me, it smells more floral and unisex that the current Creed offering. It has a similar salty fruitiness in the opening but lacks a bit of the vibrancy that makes Millesime Imperial (and Armaf Milestone, for that matter) special.
Despite lacking that sharpness, it still smells classy and confident – it just cares more about the airy, powdery dry down than most other colognes on this list.
The sweetness is still there, but it’s toned down, and the overall scent feels more balanced and airy.
Performance is superior to Millesime Imperial at 4 – 6 hours, which is perfectly satisfactory for what is still ultimately a mid-range summer freshie.
If you’re after an MI alternative reminiscent of the older batches, honestly just go for Armaf Milestone. That thing gets you 90-95% of the way there for a fraction of the cost. Rush of Unicorns smells good – but nowhere near $180/100ml good.
|Top Notes:||Melon, Sea Salt and Sicilian Lemon|
|Middle Notes:||Bergamot, Lavender, Iris, Mandarin Orange and Black Currant|
|Base Notes:||Ambergris, Sandalwood and White Amber|
What You Should Know Before Buying a Creed Millesime Imperial Alternative
Which Creed Imperial Millesime Alternative Lasts Longest?
The longest-lasting Imperial Millesime alternative is Armaf’s Club de Nuit Milestone. It lasts twice as long as the Creed original, clocking an impressive 6 – 7 hours of fragrance.
However, if you’re interested in branching out into fragrances that are a twist on Imperial Millesime rather than a like-for-like scent, you can get even more mileage.
|Club De Nuit Milestone Armaf||6 – 7 Hours|
|Citron Del Mar Alexandria Fragrances||4 – 5 Hours|
|Osaito M. Micallef||7 – 8 Hours|
|Quality Fragrance Oils’ Impression||8 Hours|
|Unforgivable Sean John||7 – 8 Hours|
|Ed Hardy Love And Luck For Men||4 Hours|
|Rush Of Unicorns Parfums Vintage||4 – 6 hours|
Osaito M. Micallef, for example, lasts 7 – 8 hours if you don’t need all the fruitiness of the original – and Unforgivable by Sean John matches that longevity with its darker, boozier profile.
Quality Fragrance Oil’s roll-on lasts just as long, but it’s hard to compare directly to sprays because it has a much subtler projection.
What’s the Strongest Creed Millesime Imperial Alternative?
The strongest Millesime Imperial Alternative is Club de Nuit Millestone by Armaf. It really kicks out fragrance for the first couple of hours, and you’re bound to pick up a couple of compliments when you wear it.
It’s stronger than the original Millesime Imperial, so you’ll want to spray it lightly if you’re looking for the same sort of intensity.
Which Creed Imperial Millesime Alternative is Best Value for Money?
The best value Imperial Millesime alternative is Armaf’s Club De Nuit. It strikes the right balance between a premium scent and a budget price tag.
|Fragrance||Price||Size||Price per Oz|
|Club De Nuit Milestone Armaf||$36.55||3.6 Oz||$10.14|
|Citron Del Mar Alexandria Fragrances||$62.99||1.8 Oz||$34.99|
|Osaito M. Micallef||$163.88||3.3 Oz||$49.66|
|Quality Fragrance Oils’ Impression||$7.95||10 Ml||Roll-on|
|Unforgivable Sean John||$32.99||4.2 Oz||$7.85|
|Ed Hardy Love And Luck For Men||$34.03||6.7 Oz||$5.08|
If price is your primary concern, I strongly recommend checking out Quality Fragrance Oil’s Roll-on. It’s a faithful recreation that, albeit subtler projection-wise, would be a great choice for indoor environments like the office.
Consider Picking up a Decant of the Real Deal From Microperfumes.com
If none of these similar scents are jumping out at you, maybe consider getting a sample decant of the real deal instead.
Stores like Microperfumes will let you order 2ml vials of fragrances for just a few bucks so you can try out designer colognes without blowing the bank.
The most affordable place to try genuine samples of designer colognes - starting at 99 cents.
A huge range of the most popular colognes, with quick and easy shipping options.
Once you’ve tried Creed Millesime, there’s a good chance you’ll fall in love and be able to justify splashing out on a full-sized bottle. At least, that’s what happened to me.
- Check out our full Microperfumes review for more.