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  1. #1

    Default question about Formulas, Names

    Does anyone here know about the Intellectual Property component of famous perfumes,because I am confused. Looking at sites like,

    it appears that the owners there have 'bought' at least the names or identities of discontinued or older fragrances, as they are able to sell them under those names.
    However, does that mean they also bought the Original Formulas, and that they make the perfume up to that original formula? SO is what you get now , exactly what a buyer got 50 years ago?
    OR, owning the name, does that now leave them free to change the formulation at whim (as presumably the original name-owners could do) and sell *anything* under that name?
    When they claim "genuine" or "authentic", what does that really mean, exactly? I know a name or a brand has a value in itself, separate to the formula, (which after all can -technically if not legally - be copied by gas chromatography these days).
    I know there was some issue with Ombre Rose along these lines, and a recent court decision regarding perfume formula as "copyright", but can anyone here please elucidate on these issues? WOUld the Copyright decision, (which is under appeal) be the reason DSH

    has discontinued her 'designer duplicates"??
    Also, if Irma Shorell at LLP 'bought' discontinued perfumes, why does she now market some under the Original name, and others under a different name?
    Also, someone here

    points out that Irma Shorell owns the name and formula for "Oh! de London", yet it is being offered as geniune on the timeless fragrances site.
    Sorry this is a long question, but I am really bamboozled......???????

  2. #2

    Default Re: question about Formulas, Names

    I'll start with a helpful blurb from the LLP site:
    There are three reasons why these perfume versions, while based on Our Original Recipe Perfume formulations, can not be offered under their original brand names. First, some of these fragrances may still be sold on the market, but the current owner has "modernized" the scent, taking it away from the original olfactive character which has been re-captured for you here. Secondly, some of Our Original Recipe Perfume Versions are discontinued, but because of the nature of the designer name we are unable to trademark it. Lastly, some of these perfumes are still sold in certain markets around the world, but they are impossible to find; so we offer our own freshly-blended Original Recipe Perfume Version as a convenience to our clientele.
    I personally tend to think of perfumes in the same vein as classic recipes or fine wines. I don't think it's possible to avoid inconsistencies or variations from year to year, batch to batch, since a perfume 'recipe' will include dozens or even hundreds of separate ingredients coming from different sources. Ideally, when a fragrance name and formula are sold to a new company, the original 'recipe' should be followed as closely as possible, but I think most of us feel that that's usually not the case. Mr Dame (the owner of LongLostPerfumes) once responded to a question about the discontinuation of a particular LLP 'Perfume Version' by explaining that one of the principal ingredients had been pulled from the market due to it's supposed carcinogenic properties, and no adequate substitute had been found that reproduced the character of the original scent.

    In many cases, the real change in character may come when the scent is still produced by (ostensibly) the same company. Witness the changes in the 'new' Rive Gauche or the reformulated Vent Vert, for example. A change in ownership of a company doesn't automatically equate to an immediate change in their scents. Caron has changed hands several times, but I've never noticed (or heard second-hand) about a change in the quality of their extraits, only their EdTs and EdPs. I've recently read complaints about the loss of quality in the body products for Patou's Joy, yet Procter & Gamble owned the House of Patou for several years before these supposed changes were noticed. Many people (including me) feel that Guerlain's fragrances have been altered (for the worse) since the House was bought by LVMH, but it seems more like a gradual erosion, scent by scent, rather than a wholesale change in character in all their scents.

    I hope someone more knowledgeable than me can comment on the legal issues. But I think it's clear that the formulas for perfumes are changed all the time, even by the original companies: it's simply more apparent when the fragrance is produced by a different company than the original maker.

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