Originally Posted by Mr. Guerlain
The topic of reformulation can be tiresome because no one really knows anything factually. I know that my old (orange) Heritage box says both Tree moss and Oak moss in full words. I don't know anything about them being reformulated or not, neither by whom if so.
Some people like reformulated versions, some hate them. I am one of those that love all versions of Vetiver, for example. They are to me like different variations of a theme - impossible to tell which one i like the most. "Old" is not necessarily "better" for me...
Ulrik, you are right. We should not always assume that new is worse, for example I prefer the newer version of Habit Rouge, partly because the old one sometimes gives me headaches but also because there is a new definition to the notes and accord which seem to slip into each other in a way I prefer. However, I can clearly smell the difference from old to less old heritage (orange with heritage in the middle to red with gold band on the boxes). The moss is noticeably stronger in the older one. The drydowns are different, the newer one lasts longer holding the heritage accord, while the older one is richer but breaks down quicker. The older has more weight and body. I prefer it.
I think that reformulations always have and always will happen due to availability of ingredients/regulations/fashion trends. Guerlain had a Vetiver infusion they sold in Mexico before they made the formulation we think of as the first (from your film Ulrik). If you like a formulation, you need to buy it now because sooner or later it will change.
Also consider this hypothesis: perfumery used to be divided into folk perfumery which involved using local ingredients and high perfumery which meant that rich people had access to the best ingredients from around the world. Nowadays there are lots of rich people who all "want a bit" and global wealth discrepancies make this possible. The supplies of natural products cannot keep up so even without regulations a switch to synthetics is inevitable - and indeed desirable for the industry, which can then redefine luxury as using the rare stuff. Normal rich people (on a worldwide index) buy expensive synthetic stuff and the super rich buy even more expensive natural and synthetic stuff for a premium.
I know Scentemental has been speaking of a post about reformulations which he is brewing up and I await it eagerly.