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  1. #1

    Default Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    This may seem like a naive question, but really, economics are economics, if something sells, presumably the makers are gratified, and continue to serve the public with what the public wants. No? So, why have so many "great" fragrances like Patou Pour Homme, Havana and others we all know and love and lust after been discontinued? They didn't sell? That would be the obvious answer, and if they didn't sell, well? Is every masterpiece doomed to a short life equivalent to that of the May Fly? How many reviews have you read castigating manufacturers for discontinuing this or that fantastic fragrance. I guess I wonder why... And did they make a mistake, or are we the one's who are naive in thinking that greatness is in itself a justification for an economic life without a large constituency outside of this website to justify the cost of production and distribution. Further, is it simply fair to say that manufacturers are philistines who don't know what they are doing?

    Or, one other option, does time simply march on?
    Last edited by Joe_Frances; 3rd March 2008 at 03:17 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    I really think it's because it costs more to keep them on the shelves than by pulling them out of the market.

    Good scents often don't equal scents that bring in the money for a company.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    People like us (sophisticated? discriminating? deranged?) appreciate fragrances with character, fragrances that break new ground, fragrances that are individual - even fragrances that are confrontational . Fragrances that are individual, groundbreaking, or confrontational generally don't sell at a million gallons a month. (Kouros is a notable exception.) That I suspect, is why Patou pour Homme, Havana, Ungaro I and II, Tuscany Forte, and Dunhill for Men have all been discontinued.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Not every masterpiece/great fragrance is a failure. Like everything in the universe, there is a balance - not every artistic success can be a commercial smash hit. Some great fragrance are commercial failures, while others sell bucketloads (Fahrenheit, No. 5, Eau Sauvage, Tabac Blond, Jicky, Mitsouko, Shalimar, etc.)
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    Not every masterpiece/great fragrance is a failure. Like everything in the universe, there is a balance - not every artistic success can be a commercial smash hit. Some great fragrance are commercial failures, while others sell bucketloads (Fahrenheit, No. 5, Eau Sauvage, Tabac Blond, Jicky, Mitsouko, Shalimar, etc.)
    True enough. Some groundbreaking fragrances capture the popular imagination. Others don't. This depends in part upon whether a manufacturer is willing to give the product enough time to find its audience. As I recall, the first two Ungaros disappeared awfully quickly after their release.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    It's all about economics. Every bit of it, without exception.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    All of the above and also because they have "shit for brains"

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimitrios View Post
    All of the above and also because they have "shit for brains"
    Well yes, that too.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    I don't know why myself. From the Versace "jeans" line, Black Jeans is arguably the best out of them all and it's been discontinued (although it can be easily found on the internet), and Metal Jeans was also one of the best but it was discontinued as well and is impossible to find now, while crap like Baby Blue Jeans is being sold. On the women's side, Organza Indecence smells amazing and is a very good perfume, and I'm pretty sure it's been discontinued because you can't find it at most stores and you can't find it online either unless you go to e-Bay. I have no idea why they do this, but it really is stupid.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    I agree with dimitrios and vibert. Its all about supply and demand. Its that simple. My greatest dissapoint is with Avon. So many wonderful fragrances have come and gone from there. Look in the directory at how many fragrance they have come out with and how many are discontinued. I think Avon is the worst of anyone about this.

  11. #11
    Dimitrios's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Frags that were great should never have become absolete .
    Frags that have risen to greatness after they were discontinued should again see distribution ...

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  12. #12

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    If only those executives would listen to us humble but knowledgeable basenoters!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    But unfortunately we Basenoters only count for a miniscule fraction of the general population...

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    In the case of Shiseido's Nombre Noir (probably Lutens's best fragrance), despite its significant retail price, it lost money due to the extravagant packaging. Leathers are almost always heroic commercial failures. There are all kinds of reasons, but it is always based on economics.
    Last edited by pluran; 3rd March 2008 at 06:46 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Hmm, this pisses me off too as i'm new to fragrances I wish they kept them uber exclusive and even amped up the price a bit, but still kept a few (say 1000 pieces) in production every year!

    Why do you guys think Egoiste and Antaeus are slowly being pulled from the normal sources? They're not making enough money, but according to some Chanel SA's, the scents will still be available, just slightly pricier and just at Chanel concessions/boutiques!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Its is probably that "supply and demand" thing PLUS ignorance in the general population about the REALLY good ones when they're still around. Even I feel ignorant about many of them and I'm learning some new things all the time! There has been a huge proliferation of fragrances and it is very hard to keep informed (kind of similar to the music industry) about what's available! In the "old days" it was easier as there were fewer fragrances to choose from.

    People STILL have these discontinued fragrances in their closets, attics & drawers and, fortunately, some of them find their way onto the internet marketplace.

    There are some really excellent and valuable reviews here on Basenotes. I was checking out some of scentemental's threads and posts yesterday. Wow! He mentions quite a number of discontinued as well as fragrances that are still available.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Good points! I would like to add that I so so sick of a line comming out with 5 off-shoots of the original. For example, we have dicussed the progeny of channel allure homme as of late.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Just my 5 cents.
    How we could get our bottles, and they could get their money?

    The most expensive part of launch (or re-launch) - is advertising, distribution, and others margins.
    The bottle with juice itself costs about tenth of the price. So brands still could make some perfume juice. And get all the profit - if they make a small enterprise, web-shop-powered.

    Well, bottles are made by hundreds of thousands - like, 100 000 - 500 000 items in one time.
    Ok, nobody would argue to got a plain bottle of Coty Chypre original 1917, or DK Men, or L`Hombre de la Nuit Ungaro, or whatever discontinued frag.
    If one get some sertificate with the bottle, that the juice is just the very same as in the days of launch.

    The problem is - producers of fragrance and copyright-owners are different persons. How they should divide their profits?
    And more fact: some time ago President of Lubin, Gilles Thevenin, admitted that it is easier to launch some new perfume than restore the old one. Due to new restrictions in ingredients, due to ingredients and bases changes, etc...
    Vetiver The Great!!!

  19. #19

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Licenses also expire, and technically it is not impossible to rebuild the formula of most perfumes. There are a few small companies in America trying to produce/sell remakes of older perfumes. Long Lost Perfume is one of them. It would be a new niche thing for business of a certain magnitude. Problems: (a) creating a central market (or bundling the diverging interests) (b) quality control (c) institutions who make the originals available in written form at least. It should be possible to view and copy the formula of an old Farina Cologne as it is to copy and read the formula for Aspirin or a Tolstoi novel. Global internet markets, and global perfume blogs are the way to go! It already happened: Tauer perfumes are now carried by a few commercial e-traders, but he started via small blogs, then the biggest internet male fragrance community - BN!
    Last edited by narcus; 3rd March 2008 at 10:36 AM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    "Hi Donna, we'd like to buy your name to use exclusively for a new line of perfume and cologne products. We know your name to be quite successful and see that you already have a line of colognes, such as DK Men and DK Unleaded. We're going to dump those immediately."

    --Estee Lauder to Donna Karan

    Have I basically got it right? Idiots!!!!!

  21. #21

    Post Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Their concern is their board of Directors period. Fragrances to them are products, and nothing more. If they don't turn a dollar SEE YA!
    Don't panic. Just stay calm, and reload....

  22. #22

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Well, can't blame them, right?

    Perfume houses are no NGOs for a better world.
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  23. #23

    Post Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stereotomy View Post
    Well, can't blame them, right?

    Perfume houses are no NGOs for a better world.
    Totally agree!
    Don't panic. Just stay calm, and reload....

  24. #24

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    But somehow if my money goes to 'real' labour or a piece of masterfully crafted art, I feel less bad than to know my money is going to a multi-million marketing campaign.
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Are fragrances really different from other consumer products? If not, profitability is the key. Unfortunately, profit maximization, not pleasing perfume aficionados,is the goal of most fragrance manufactuers.
    Last edited by OKJazz; 4th March 2008 at 03:32 AM.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Yes, but how do they decide to re-launch one fragrance and dump another? Why do they keep advertising Eau Sauvage many years later and stop advertising Lanvin Arpege or Tumulte or M7 a week after launch?
    Only based on how the scent sells in first week? or month?

  27. #27

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boal View Post
    Yes, but how do they decide to re-launch one fragrance and dump another? Why do they keep advertising Eau Sauvage many years later and stop advertising Lanvin Arpege or Tumulte or M7 a week after launch?
    Only based on how the scent sells in first week? or month?
    probably something like the first quarter or so ?

    edit: m7 is not THAT good..
    Last edited by smellyliquid; 4th March 2008 at 01:08 AM.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    So far I've read about supply and demand, but I haven't read anything about the economics of production. Perhaps these discontinued scents were too hard or too expensive to make, even if they sold a million bottles. Take Dark Rose from C&S; they tried to keep that afloat but couldn't make it work and still be profitable.

    TNMA
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    -- Jane Austen (Sun, and Mercury in Sagittarius)

  29. #29

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by thenmarcher View Post
    So far I've read about supply and demand, but I haven't read anything about the economics of production. Perhaps these discontinued scents were too hard or too expensive to make, even if they sold a million bottles. Take Dark Rose from C&S; they tried to keep that afloat but couldn't make it work and still be profitable.
    TNMA
    Good point, and certainly true in some cases. The continuation of other old fragrances which even stay true to the original formula, like Knize Ten, speaks against it. K10's only 'fault' - they missed raising their prices to the current levels pf prior competitors, like Chanel, Guerlain or Creed. Generally speaking, German colognes have been sold for too little over decades. They lost the image of luxury items even when they never aimed at the mass market. Tabac Original is another example. Koelnisch Juchten was obviously considered obsolete in Germany, and is now a (licensed) niche product in California.
    'Il mondo dei profumi un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by thenmarcher View Post
    So far I've read about supply and demand, but I haven't read anything about the economics of production.
    TNMA
    If the supply excedes the demand, then it is not economical to produce. In short, they are related.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scentologist View Post
    If the supply excedes the demand, then it is not economical to produce. In short, they are related.
    The cost of materials must be factored into this equation. Sometimes scents may be retired from the market because the cost of production becomes prohibitive as certain ingredients become rarer or more expensive, and there isn't an apparent way to keep the character of the fragrance with substitutions.

    You can add to this the EU's recent laws regarding the control or banning of allergens in perfumes affecting the use of many natural materials, which are claimed to have a high proportion of the controlled substances. In Annick Le Guérer's book, Le Parfum: Des Origines à nos jours (Paris: Odile Jacob, 2005), the better part of a chapter on the economics of perfume production deals with the banning or control of certain substances derived from natural sources. She details the effect of these new regulations on perfume ingredients from natural sources. They fall most heavily on substances found in natural citrus oils (limonene and citronellal) and florals (linalool, geraniol, citral, and various benzoates). She writes that if these bans continue as they have been going, only woody and fruity constituents from nature will remain in the perfumer's palette. "An end to citrus, florals, green notes, and spicy notes" (p. 261).

    Some of the noses and designers of perfumes feel that the pressure on the EU to control or ban natural perfume ingredients comes from the synthetic aromatics industry. That may just be another conspiracy theory, but then again, there may be something to it. Many companies want to avoid the listing of suspected allergens on their boxes (now required by EU law) because they feel that will discourage some consumers from buying their products.

    So what will happen to Sicilian lemon essence, or Calabrian bergamot oil, or clove oil from Amboina, or nutmeg essence form the Banda Islands? All the florals from Grasse are becoming more suspect, orange flowers and many of the rest. Oakmoss resinoid, classical staple of perfumers, is now restricted to a very low percentage of finished scent products.

    Perfumers are faced with more and more difficult choices. I'd like to post in greater depth on this in my blog when I can find time. That may not be too soon, given that I'll be grading midterms for a while starting soon. Even so, this topic is certainly worth thinking about for people who love fragrances.
    Last edited by JaimeB; 5th March 2008 at 12:29 AM. Reason: typos
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  32. #32

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    If it is all about economics and making the most money possible then I have an idea. If a company has no intention of ever producing the product again then why not sell the formula to someone else. That way they could squeeze out some money at the end rather than just sitting on the formula forever.
    Oriscent, AgarAura Pure Ouds, Creed, LIDGE, Patou Pour Homme, tons of niche and rare stuff for sale!
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/253...er-100-items!!

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Yes, it's all about economics.

    If you go to the Christian Dior site, for instance, there's a big link named "financial results".

    As any company in the stock market, they want to please their investors, more than our demanding noses.

  34. #34

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    shit for brains and the ole invisible hand...it sucks but the fragrance industry seems to aim their sights on teenie boppers and the non-discriminate...i wish nicole miller and dk fuel were still available

  35. #35

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scentologist View Post
    If the supply excedes the demand, then it is not economical to produce. In short, they are related.

    I disagree on concept here; beyond supply and demand, it may be too hard to produce a product despite the demand (per Jaime's explanation). That is, just because something is in demand doesn't mean it can be supplied.

    TNMA
    "Why not seize the pleasure at once?"
    -- Jane Austen (Sun, and Mercury in Sagittarius)

  36. #36

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by thenmarcher View Post
    I disagree on concept here; beyond supply and demand, it may be too hard to produce a product despite the demand (per Jaime's explanation). That is, just because something is in demand doesn't mean it can be supplied.

    TNMA
    I see your point. However, the harder something is to produce, the more expensive a good gets. The more expensive a good gets, the likelihood that the demand will decrease becomming uneconomical to produce. So, the price reflects the difficulty of procurement and the quality. I still say they are related. Beyond economics, it is a demographical issue as well. Although there may be a certain cult following in concentrated, stratified areas, it may not be enough to offset production costs to continue the brand. Just thinking.

  37. #37
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    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Agree with ZZTOPP

  38. #38

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Yep its all about the money. I must had seen five d&g light blue commercials the other night. Looks like that one will be around for a while.
    Any opinions I post here about frags only reflect MY PERSONAL TASTE and only my personal preference which could change at any moment.

  39. #39
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    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    My guess is economics and difficulty in sourcing certain materials.

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    The charitable explanation would be that current formulation regulations makes it impossible to continue making them smell as they once did, and so regretfully they must be discontinued.

    But I suspect the real reasons are a lot less romantic than that.

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    I'm certain it has to do with cost. If the profit margin is not up to par with the manufacturer, no matter how great the fragrance is, it will be discontinued.

  42. #42

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    All about money and that's why instead of making a new fragrance they'll go with flankers. Even worse when they put out so many flankers that they devalue the original. YSL anyone.

  43. #43

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    I also tend to agree that the profit margins on great scents might not comply with the company's business plans.

  44. #44

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by pluran View Post
    It's all about economics. Every bit of it, without exception.

    Exactly.
    Manufacturers discontinue great fragrances in an attempt to make more money by doing so.

  45. #45

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by martinijo View Post
    Exactly.
    Manufacturers discontinue great fragrances in an attempt to make more money by doing so.
    This. The fact that so many people here are still able to obtain discontinued fragrances years after discontinue is a testament to how slow sales are of some of these fragrances. Why make something if its going to take the better part of a decade to move one production run?

  46. #46

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    its real simple why they discontinue great fragrances, two reasons....MONEY and people who don't know any better. why would they keep making a more expensive quality cologne when all they have to do is discontinue it and use junk for ingredients, people will still buy them. and the classic colognes they do keep are a joke, paco rabanne for one example, was a great unique cologne. the new(CHEAPER) version is horrible. bijan, now bought out by five star fragrance,ruined, kouros, same thing. I could go on but I wont. the poor excuse for cologne they are passing off today is a disgrace. hey, you really cant blame them. they are, have, been getting away with it for years. why stop if people keep buying the junk. laughing all the way to the bank.

  47. #47
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    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Quote Originally Posted by soldanovht View Post
    its real simple why they discontinue great fragrances, two reasons....MONEY and people who don't know any better. why would they keep making a more expensive quality cologne when all they have to do is discontinue it and use junk for ingredients, people will still buy them. and the classic colognes they do keep are a joke, paco rabanne for one example, was a great unique cologne. the new(CHEAPER) version is horrible. bijan, now bought out by five star fragrance,ruined, kouros, same thing. I could go on but I wont. the poor excuse for cologne they are passing off today is a disgrace. hey, you really cant blame them. they are, have, been getting away with it for years. why stop if people keep buying the junk. laughing all the way to the bank.
    It's kind of like a celebrity that is known for one or a few good roles/hits, then starts pumping out drek. They still have a massive fan base and sell-out crowds. Everyone keeps hoping for a repeat performance.

    I'm amazed there are as many classics that are still good and available as there are. They are never advertised and they are costly. Creed is one example. I never see ads for them. Tabac Blond, many Guerlains, etc. when was the last time you saw an ad for 'Vol du Nuit'?

  48. #48

    Default Re: Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Fragrances?

    Lack of sales maybe?

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