I still have a half-full bottle of the vintage formulation of Obsession, given to me as a gift ca. 1987. I haven't tried recent testers of the scent since then, only because what I have now is truly AWESOME...even after so many decades. Obsession introduced me to the wonderful world of oriental fragrances, and I owe a debt for my many years of loving this family of scents whatever the brand!
The original formulation always was smooth and sensual, full of sweet notes that lasted forever. It never became cloying on me, and no matter what time of year or occasion, I could rely on Obsession to instantly carry me into a zone of confidence and calm.
A classic, a legend, a statement of elegance, warmth, and masculinity.
Many of the negative reviews are very likely based on the reformulation. I have smelled both original and current formulations and there is a keen difference. The current is a shadow of its former self.
Get the vintage! You will do yourself a favor. And because of subtle bottle differences, it's actually pretty common to find a vintage bottle not listed as vintage and get it for a very good price. 120ml for $25 is not bad!
For the first hour all I could smell was old lady's perfume and vinegar then after an hour it settled into a floral talc smell which I liked. I find the deep dry down far more pleasurable than the first hour, I felt a little embarrassed wearing this after spraying my hand in liverpool city centre as it feel's so dated in a bad way ..thankfully the dry down is less potent. I can see this suiting a man in his 60's in a formal occasion. I also think the scent itself didn't suit my skin chemistry.
I recently acquired a mini of the original Obsession and did a side-by-side with the modern iteration and I was pleasantly surprised. I have worn the modern one rarely over the last decade but I always enjoyed it for what it was- a super smooth and resilient myrrh and nutmeg bomb. My Lady claimed it smells like the sunscreen brand, Skin So Soft. The older mini I found is nuanced in such a way that the herbal aspect of Obsession isn't totally consumed by the incense resins and spices. I prefer the old but I understand that modern day masculines tend to shy away from uncommon green notes and definitely do not favor the sharp, austere dryness of sage, so I can appreciate the reformulation as an honest attempt to keep this iconic creation in the major rotation. That, and it hasn't diminished in strength, which (as far as reformulations go) is a small miracle. All in all just really nice stuff if you don't mind linear scents.
It does, or used to carry(massive longevity...could wash shirts and they'd come out smelling like this. Kind of smells dated(it is) cheap, and old man ish. At xmas, or in the cold 'round there, can be tolerable. The odd time I've purchased those l'il travel sets that have it, so I guess if I do again, I'll notice if it's been reformulated.
My boss wore this for a while after finishing a whole bottle of Eternity that sat on his desk. A sweet, syrupy concoction with something vaguely spicy, smells cheap. His wife asked him to throw it in the bin a week after he had been clearing whole floors with it and she got him another bottle of Eternity. We were all releieved she got rid of this, but Eternity is not much of an improvement.