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  1. #1

    Default Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    I noticed that some extremely popular, classic (i.e., talked about a lot) fragrances are rather inexpensive at most of the online purveyors. Examples:

    Yatagan by Caron

    Caron pour un homme

    Rive Gauche

    Opium

    Guerlain Vetiver

    On the other hand, some "old-time" fragrances seem to have held onto their retail value with a vengeance, e.g., Polo.

    My questions are:

    1. Why is this (is this a f(x) of simple demand)?

    2. Could you please give me suggestions for classic fragrances that are still relatively inexpensive and that are great additions to the wardrobe? I may end up purchasing blind, but I noticed that most of these classics are very swappable!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    This is a topic that has interested me for a long time. I do not know why some older fragrances keep their retail price, while others decline. It may simply be continuing demand, as you suggest. It may also be whether the manufacturer keeps its supply chain tightly controlled: Estee Lauder/Aramis and Guerlain both continue to charge relatively high prices for older fragrances. (And I would argue that they are both worth it.)

    Anyway, there are many older, historically significant fragrances that you can sample quite cheaply. As a sort of tour of the development of men's fragrance, I would suggest:

    • 4711: One example of the original eau de cologne concept.
    • Pinaud Bay Rum: A perfect example of the bay rum type of scent.
    • Dana Canoe: An excellent fougere in the old-fashioned style. (And incidentally, the only fragrance that Dana seems to be producing with any acceptable quality these days.)
    • Guerlain Shalimar: One of the few Guerlains that can be found cheaply, and still a masterpiece. This one is not a men's fragrance, but it is beautiful and some men enjoy wearing it.
    • Some representative examples of the heady 1970s: Halston Z-14, Lagerfeld Classic, Royal Copenhagen, Grey Flannel.

    If you can visit a JR's Outlet, you can find many fragrances for $10 or less, including some obscure classics. Perfumania is also your friend. Have fun exploring.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Thanks Advocate:

    Hey, I had forgotten about Grey Flannel, an amazing $12.95 at Fragranceshop.com for a large bottle. I checked the directory here and found overwhelming support for GF. Interestingly, the negatives were EMPHATIC, referencing cat pee, feces, day care....all nasty things. Still, it wouldn't be a big loss if I didn't like it.

    I'll check into JR's outlet....not familiar with it around here....

  4. #4

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Francesco Smalto (100 ml for $10 or less). Also, you should be able to find an Azzaro tester cheap, and if you think you'll like a green incense frag, One Man Show is worth a shot (just don't spray too much). I've got a huge number of samples to swap or sell if necessary (I prefer swapping). Just click on the link !
    Last edited by Bigsly; 6th April 2009 at 04:12 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    +1 on Azzaro PH.

    Awesome fragrance and you can get it for pennies at Marshalls or TJX.
    Last edited by monsieur_sparkle; 6th April 2009 at 08:10 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Let me be the first to say Quorum!

    Awesome, spicy fragrance. I bought a 2-pack of 30mls for dirt cheap recently. 30ml is too much - you only need one spritz each wearing. I gave one to my brother.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    It's all about who the distributor is and how much unsold and aging merchandise they have on hand. I think Caron must have a lot of unsold product, partially due to the fact that their men's fragrances are way off the radar with mainstream consumers.
    Polo still sells well, so there's not much of a need to discount it. On the other hand, Chanel men's fragrance inventories, whether they sell well or not, are highly controlled, so very little falls through the cracks.
    LVMH has tightened their distribution and you see less and less of their brands discounted. What is discounted, is usually old, which could be good news as you can sometimes find un-reformulated versions. Bottle design is key to dating the perfumes vintage.
    My advice, get all the Carons. The deals will dry up on these beauties sooner or later and they're going to inevitably be re-formulated.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 6th April 2009 at 08:27 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Another vote for Azzaro pour Homme and also Moustache by Rochas, really an original classic citrus

  9. #9
    Dependent

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    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    MY best bet is Guerlain Vet and Opioum

  10. #10

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan View Post
    Hey, I had forgotten about Grey Flannel, an amazing $12.95 at Fragranceshop.com for a large bottle.
    It has a unique violet note that many find unfamiliar and therefore undesirable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Francesco Smalto (100 ml for $10 or less). Also, you should be able to find an Azzaro tester cheap, and if you think you'll like a green incense frag, One Man Show is worth a shot (just don't spray too much).
    Those are also good fragrances. The Smalto has aged very well and would still be suitable for mainstream wear; it is a lot like Drakkar Noir with more tobacco.

    Quote Originally Posted by dynendal View Post
    Let me be the first to say Quorum!
    Quorum is one of my favorites, too!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    My advice, get all the Carons. The deals will dry up on these beauties sooner or later and they're going to inevitably be re-formulated.
    This is spot-on advice. What is cheap and easily available today may be rare and expensive tomorrow. I wish I had the forethought, when I first began collecting, to buy all of the Guerlain Coriolan that Perfumania had for $5 a bottle.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Whether or not a fragrance holds onto its retail value seems to largely be a function of distribution, hence why Polo has never become dirt cheap. Anyway, here's a few ideas....

    I just bought a Clinique Aromatic Elixir at the Clinique counter for $40... it's as classic a green chypre as has ever been made. I'm sure it can be found for even less.

    Dior Fahrenheit - can be found at drug stores or online for under $40.

    Givenchy III - sellers on eBay try to gouge for this, but if you're patient you can find great deals. I recently got a 'new' vintage bottle for $15. Make sure you don't get the re-release, which isn't as good.

    Aramis - poke around online and on eBay and you can find amazing deals on this man-classic.

    Dior Eau Sauvage - I got a bottle at Perfumania for about $30, maybe a little more.

    Hermes Eau d'Orange Vert - I bought 5x30ml bottles on eBay for $28, and the seller has many more....

    OK that's what I can think of right now....

  12. #12

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Escada PH,
    Jacomo de jacomo rouge,
    Tell Hugo, he isnt boss anymore.
    Nieruchomości Gorzów

  13. #13

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Ruggles, re your point about aging merchandise, I am under the impression -- just a theory -- that the online providers can offer discounts due to higher volume (24/7 distribution channel) and less overhead. Just a guess, but their warehouses may expose fragrances to less heat and bright light....which could help preserve the quality too.

    So places like Chanel and LVMH control supply to artificially increase demand and price? This is actually how DeBeers can sell certain rocks created under high heat and pressure for thousands and thousands of dollars!

    Thanks for your input everyone. Lots to investigate here!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    My advice, get all the Carons. The deals will dry up on these beauties sooner or later and they're going to inevitably be re-formulated.
    I thought they already were reformulated....

  15. #15

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan View Post
    Ruggles, re your point about aging merchandise, I am under the impression -- just a theory -- that the online providers can offer discounts due to higher volume (24/7 distribution channel) and less overhead.
    No, they are not authorized dealers, they buy their stock discounted, usually from an authorized dealer who couldn't sell the product, from the distributor/importer that has unsold goods or even directly from the producing factory. This is how stores like Marshall's, TJ Maxx, etc. get merchandise. It's sold for off-price and does not follow the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price or MFSR. In the US, retail prices, by law, can only be suggested. Sometimes manufacturers actually make products that are intended to go directly to discounters. Ralph Lauren actually makes product for their Outlet Stores, that is never intended for one of it's Full Price boutiques even though it has a MSRP price on it. (There must be something illegal about this particular practice.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan View Post
    So places like Chanel and LVMH control supply to artificially increase demand and price? This is actually how DeBeers can sell certain rocks created under high heat and pressure for thousands and thousands of dollars!
    Not really the same. DeBeers is part of the diamond cartel, a formal organization of producers that agree to coordinate prices and production.
    Chanel and LVMH are both manufacturers and distributors of their own products that follow, not set, industry standards. The entire perfume industry would have to sell their products for the same prices in order for it to be a cartel. They'd also have to coordinate with the other brands how much they make available on the retail market.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 7th April 2009 at 07:30 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Two words

    Supply & Demand

    Nothing more, nothing less.

    G

  17. #17
    Dimitrios's Avatar
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    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Over the past 4 or 5 yrs I have noticed this too ... tho no expert this is based on years of observation ...
    I break them down into 3 groups ..
    The real cheap >> eg F Smalto , Grey Flannell , One Man Show , Z-14 etc etc
    The middle >> Paco Rabanne , Azzaro , Yatagan , 3rd Man etc etc ...this section has the most frags & some fluctuate up or down .
    The Top Line >> Kouros - Polo - Santos , Armani PH ... very few of these in the top price bracket seem to fall

    >> Tip I noticed Tumulte jumped into the higher prices in the past week .

    SALES
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    *** SPECIAL - LUI ROCHAS , 3.3oz Sealed ***

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  18. #18

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    The entire perfume industry would have to sell their products for the same prices in order for it to be a cartel.
    Not for lack of trying, though: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2006...fx2592193.html

  19. #19

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Yeah, if you're in the market for cheap classics, the Carons are unbeatable. 4.2oz bottles abound around the 30 dollar range.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Ruggles, off-topic a bit, but I don't think DeBeers is part of a cartel; I believe DeBeers IS the cartel. They have for all intents and purposes a monopoly, buying up their competitors and intimidating those who resist. DeBeers even bribed GE to stay out of the luxury diamond business when GE's industrial-use cutting diamonds were found to be of equal or better quality and GE was planning on retooling. Retool never happened.

    Watched the "Diamond Empire" with Bill Curtis on FrontLine years ago.....

    made my wife watch it too....;-)

  21. #21

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Worth Pour Homme, not as good as the original formulation, but an excellent fragrance nonetheless. Imagine Paco Rabanne without the soapy accord.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    The original Montana Parfum D' Homme (red box) comes rather cheap.
    Considering Havana as a (future?) classic,that is.
    It's never too late to mend.

    WARDROBE:http://www.basenotes.net/wardrobe/1256

  23. #23

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Quote Originally Posted by discovolante View Post
    The original Montana Parfum D' Homme (red box) comes rather cheap.
    Considering Havana as a (future?) classic,that is.
    Off topic, but Disco Volante is an incredible album

  24. #24
    Dimitrios's Avatar
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    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Another designer range thats cheap & good quality is Alfred Sung
    Another designer frag thats holding its price on the other end of the scale is Gucci Pour Homme

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    *** SPECIAL - LUI ROCHAS , 3.3oz Sealed ***

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  25. #25

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Dunhill for Men, which may be discontinued (reports differ) is widely available for a song. I got a bottle for under $30 from a reputable online store.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    as to why the rate are high? i think Griff has nailed it down in his reply. also, there is something about the ingredients used in older scents which gives it a very smoother, sort of much fuller experience of wearing a scent...maybe most of those ingredients used are banned now...for eg. take Leonard Pour Homme, it's has such a gritty, mossy openin to mids followed with one of the most luxurious and sumptous basenotes...these kinda accords are totally missing nowadays, now add to fact that these are now discontinued...hence!

    At the same time, not all classics generate as much enthusiasm. only select few do...

    Scents worth investing: Beautyencounter still has some stock left of Monsieur Leonard. it's a classic "green" fougere. Parfums dEmpires Fougere Bengale smells almost like it (for reference). then there is Ungaro II, which is still available with them...believe me, once they run out of these two scents..it'll be very hard to get hold of em at the rates mentioned. other scent that are worth investing are Guerlains, try getting hold of Habit Rouge edc (preferably older versions thru ebay) and Heritage to begin with. The scents mentioned above are of top quality..
    Last edited by jenson; 8th April 2009 at 06:22 AM.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Classic fragrances @ great prices?

    Try to find Gucci Rush for men
    It disappeared from the shelves here - must be a future Ungaro I
    Vetiver The Great!!!

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