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  1. #1

    Default Men's Reformulations - Let's play Sherlock Holmes and see what we find

    I've heard much about many of the 70's/80's frags being reformulated. Isn't it just a matter of comparing the ingrediants on the boxes? I myself have both the vintage and reformulated version Oscar Pour Lui. On the vintage bottle which is a tester, it lists 3 ingrediants - Alcohol, Water & fragrance. On the reformulated version, it lists a lot more ingrediants in addition to Alcohol, Water & Fragrance. So, obviously more synthetics have been added to better approximate the original formula. Now, I'm thinking about doing some research on each of the synthetic ingrediants to determine what each one does and where it comes up short.

    I'm not much versed in biology or chemistry and just from general speculation, I would think Oakmoss and Amber are the big culprits in the reformulation game. Per Osmoz.com, Oak Moss adds a "richer" dimension to perfumes. When reformulation discussion comes up, usually words like "watered-down", "weakened" and "limp" come to mind. This would lead me to believe that an inferior synthetic Oakmoss is the culprit. Plus, I seem to recall somebody mentioning the exorbidant price that natural Oakmoss now commands. Further, mossy classics like Antaeus, Pour Lui, Azzaro PH & Paco Rabanne PH have all been reformulated.

    I also hear that Egoiste & Obsession for Men have been tinkered with too though I've never come across the original versions. Here, I think the main culprit is the Amber. No doubt about it, natural ambergris & ambrette cost more than gold these days and are rarely, if ever used anymore per Osmoz.com. So it would seem that an inferior synthetic amber is at the root of the weakened juice.

    So, if anyone has any other theories and speculations on these reformulations or other ones I haven't mentioned and why you think they come up short, feel free to do your speculating here.
    "I exist for myself, and for those to whom my unquenchable thirst for freedom gives everything, but also for everyone, since insofar as I am able to love - I love everyone. Of noble hearts, I am the noblest - and the most generous of those that yearn to give love in return. - I am a human being, I love death and I love life."

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    My classics: Dior Homme EdT, YSL Rive Gauche PH, Helmut Lang Cuiron, L'Occitane Neroli (vintage), Davidoff Zino, L'Occitane Eau des Baux

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  2. #2

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    Default Re: Men's Reformulations - Let's play Sherlock Holmes and see what we find

    the worst reformulation i've ever tried is the 'new' Bel Ami......which is simply an empty shell of the original.....couldn't even believe they were the same scent.....they're NOT the same scent anymore! It's a totally different scent with the same name.

    I think you may have found a valid point about Amber and Oakmoss.....although some scents like Paco Rabanne don't really have a poor reformulation, it's nearly as good or similar to the original IMO.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Men's Reformulations - Let's play Sherlock Holmes and see what we find

    Quote Originally Posted by everso View Post
    the worst reformulation i've ever tried is the 'new' Bel Ami......which is simply an empty shell of the original.....couldn't even believe they were the same scent.....they're NOT the same scent anymore! It's a totally different scent with the same name.
    Can't believe that, Bel Ami is one of my favorites. I'm going to have to track down the vintage one in the clamshell bottle

  4. #4

    Default Re: Men's Reformulations - Let's play Sherlock Holmes and see what we find

    The chief concern about oakmoss is allergy, I believe.

    Synthetics are a piece of the puzzle, but a lot is hidden under the term 'parfum'. It is like a food package with 'spices' as an ingredient. You may know what everything else is, but what are the spices?

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Men's Reformulations - Let's play Sherlock Holmes and see what we find

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron01 View Post
    Can't believe that, Bel Ami is one of my favorites. I'm going to have to track down the vintage one in the clamshell bottle
    i will say that before i tried the original one, i thought the 'new' Bel Ami was an alright fragrance.....after i tried the original clamshell bottle one, i realised that the 'new' version was a totally different affair than the original....and lost a great deal of respect for it.....as the original one was such a nice smooth leather scent....something the new is not...IMO.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Men's Reformulations - Let's play Sherlock Holmes and see what we find

    The problem with using ingredient lists as a guide to reformulation is that labeling laws have changed a lot over the years. An unreformulated scent from the '70s might well have a very different, less elaborated ingredient list than the same scent today.
    Last edited by PhinClio; 30th December 2008 at 08:06 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Men's Reformulations - Let's play Sherlock Holmes and see what we find

    The problem with using ingredient lists as a guide to reformulation is that labeling laws have changed a lot over the years. An unreformulated scent from the '70s might well have a very different, more elaborated ingredient list than the same scent today.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Men's Reformulations - Let's play Sherlock Holmes and see what we find

    Just a note: Regulations for declarations have changed, and that why that long list of chemicals is now on every perfume - they were in there before and many are actually components of natural oils:

    AMYL CINNAMAL
    BENZYL ALCOHOL
    CINNAMYL ALCOHOL
    CITRAL
    EUGENOL
    HYDROXYCITRONELLAL
    ISOEUGENOL
    AMYLCINNAMYL ALCOHOL
    BENZYL SALICYLATE
    CINNAMAL
    COUMARIN
    GERANIOL
    HYDROXYISOHEXYL 3-CYCLOHEXENE CARBOXALDEHYDE
    ANISE ALCOHOL
    BENZYL CINNAMATE
    FARNESOL
    BUTYLPHENYL METHYLPROPIONAL
    LINALOOL
    BENZYL BENZOATE
    CITRONELLOL
    HEXYL CINNAMAL
    LIMONENE
    METHYL 2-OCTYNOATE
    ALPHA-ISOMETHYL IONONE
    EVERNIA PRUNASTRI EXTRACT
    EVERNIA FURFURACEA EXTRACT

    But you are right, of course, that there have been numerous reformulations. The reasons are usually that a fomer ingredient is practically no longer available or is too expensive (ambergris, Mysore sandalwood, natural musk) in times of shrinking perfume budgets for mass market fragrances, has been banned or "regulated" (nitro-musks, recently oakmoss) . Luca Turin has pointed out that sandalwood fragrances no longer deserve the name, and if you smell recent versions of Santal Imperiale or Floris Sandalwood you know he's right. They may be nice, but they are a far cry from their former selves. Egoiste with its original percentage of sandalwood would probably be a Chanel Exclusif today. I do think there may be a few examples where perfumes have been "improved," i.e. adapted to contemporary tastes in an intelligent manner. Jil Sander Scent 79 is a very good reinterpretation of Man Pure.

    btw. amber & ambergris are not the same thing, though frequently not clearly distinguished in note pyramids. Amber refers to tree resin (yellow amber,ambre jaune) and is shorthand for a note composed of spicy-resinous components (as in Ambre Sultan, Ambre Précieux), while ambergris (=grey amber) refers to the whale product fixative with its uniquely sweet-organic scent (Creed Ambre Cannelle, probably Ambroxan these days, rather than natural ambergris).
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Men's Reformulations - Let's play Sherlock Holmes and see what we find

    From my wardrobe:

    Antaeus, old cap was round, new cap is semisquare and fitting the bottle below
    Aramis, Aramis, old one had a black cap that fit the bottle. Another version had a leather case. Not everyone agrees on this one's reformulation. Maybe Scentemental can eleborate, he's far more up to date on this world than i am, with only a year of experience
    Azzaro PH, with the bottle change also a change in the scent, people tell it's less rich
    Bel Ami, look above, never tested them side by side
    Caron PuH, old Caron bottle was more powerfull and deeper (rounder and bigger cap)



    Givenchy Gentleman, 2 reformulations probably. The new version has a rectangle sticker on the front, the old one went all the way around. The first verison had a glass area below the cap. The 2nd version had a black area around the cap.
    Jacomo de Jacomo: Don't know about the bottle for sure. Less stronger in the new version and probably lost depth / animalic quality.
    Heritage: Got reformulated, don't know much about it.
    Oscar de la Renta: Bottle changed, old version didn't have a line circled around "oscar de la renta" on the front. Got much weaker, lost complexity. Search for bottle pictures.
    Photo: Less depth, Used to have old fashioned numbers on the bottle i think. New bottle looks the same as Lagerfeld Classic but in a purple / gray colour.
    Trussardi Uomo: Shamefull refomulation. Lost strenght. Lost depth and darkness. New one is sweeter, and that's sad.
    Ungaro 3: Bad rose note in the new one. Search for bottle pictures.
    Van Cleef and Arpels Pour Homme: 2nd, 90's version is watered down. New one of 2008 got better but not back on track
    Tsar (VC&A) Same as VC&A PH.
    MPG has reformulated their scents and now they come in 100ml's. Buy up the 90's while you still can. Don't know how bad (or perhaps good ) the refomulations are...

  10. #10

    Default Re: Men's Reformulations - Let's play Sherlock Holmes and see what we find

    Quote Originally Posted by everso View Post
    i will say that before i tried the original one, i thought the 'new' Bel Ami was an alright fragrance.....after i tried the original clamshell bottle one, i realised that the 'new' version was a totally different affair than the original....and lost a great deal of respect for it.....as the original one was such a nice smooth leather scent....something the new is not...IMO.
    Guess I will have to keep my eyes open for a bottle

  11. #11

    Default Re: Men's Reformulations - Let's play Sherlock Holmes and see what we find

    Quote Originally Posted by InconcievableZen View Post
    Caron PuH, old Caron bottle was more powerfull and deeper (rounder and bigger cap)


    .
    Yatagan has been reformulated a couple times. One version has a bottle that looks like that. Another is the newer shape with the black cap and red label, and then the newest version with silver cap and white label. There are a couple different versions of the black cap one too, mostly a different box, not sure if the scent was changed for those...

    Not everyone agrees on the difference in scent though...
    Last edited by Aaron01; 30th December 2008 at 08:28 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Men's Reformulations - Let's play Sherlock Holmes and see what we find

    Here's a quick analysis I did of the "vintage" vs reissue versions of Nicole Miller for Men ingredients: http://community.basenotes.net/showp...5&postcount=46

    Reinforces PhinClio and the_good_life's posts I think.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Men's Reformulations - Let's play Sherlock Holmes and see what we find

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    Just a note: Regulations for declarations have changed, and that why that long list of chemicals is now on every perfume - they were in there before and many are actually components of natural oils:
    Very well said! These types of ingredients have always been there just not fully listed in the past. Also oakmoss and other oils have been found to be toxic and now have been replaced by synthetics or just cut back on. This is why some scents like Obsession, Kouros, Antaeus, Polo - smell different from their earlier days.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Men's Reformulations - Let's play Sherlock Holmes and see what we find

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron01 View Post
    Yatagan has been reformulated a couple times. One version has a bottle that looks like that. Another is the newer shape with the black cap and red label, and then the newest version with silver cap and white label. There are a couple different versions of the black cap one too, mostly a different box, not sure if the scent was changed for those...

    Not everyone agrees on the difference in scent though...
    This is true, Yatagan is rebottled 3 times. At least one fragrance reformulation.

    Probably in this way:

    The "round" bottle above that looks like Caron Puh.

    Then the rectangle bottle came in, first with a white label and black cap, after that a red label and black cap, and finally a white label and metallic cap (the one you will now probably get when you order online)

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Men's Reformulations - Let's play Sherlock Holmes and see what we find

    the person in charge of Caron bottle design should be executed , they look cheap and ugly. Only L´Anarchiste is fine.
    For a fine juice you need a fine container. just my two cents

  16. #16

    Default Re: Men's Reformulations - Let's play Sherlock Holmes and see what we find

    Quote Originally Posted by manicboy View Post
    I'm not much versed in biology or chemistry and just from general speculation, I would think Oakmoss and Amber are the big culprits in the reformulation game. Per Osmoz.com, Oak Moss adds a "richer" dimension to perfumes. When reformulation discussion comes up, usually words like "watered-down", "weakened" and "limp" come to mind. This would lead me to believe that an inferior synthetic Oakmoss is the culprit. Plus, I seem to recall somebody mentioning the exorbidant price that natural Oakmoss now commands. Further, mossy classics like Antaeus, Pour Lui, Azzaro PH & Paco Rabanne PH have all been reformulated.
    That's interesting. At one point, I was involved in Purplebird's Note Identification Thread (too lazy to do a search on it, right now for a link), but now there is an entire section of the forum devoted to single notes. I was looking into how to obtain some oak moss to see if I could tease out the difference between the original Montana Parfum d'Homme (red box) versus the reformulation.

    You might be able to find some at Eden Botanicals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron01 View Post
    Yatagan has been reformulated a couple times. One version has a bottle that looks like that. Another is the newer shape with the black cap and red label, and then the newest version with silver cap and white label. There are a couple different versions of the black cap one too, mostly a different box, not sure if the scent was changed for those...

    Not everyone agrees on the difference in scent though...
    'Makes me wanna go sniff a lot of Yatagans.
    "Embrace those things which give you pleasure, after all, there is so much mediocrity to endure elsewhere." -- Inselaffe

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