The new bottles look cleaner and much better, but the fake ruby still looks cheap and just silly.
With all this talk about the MPG line shutting down stores and all, I have to wonder if the new bottles have had a negative effect on their sales and are a big culprit! We all know that bottles are a big deal when paying retail price for high end items, and I sure loved those old 90ml bottles, vs the more modern 100ml ones, though those are nice too.
Am I in the majority on this, or was switching bottles actually a smart move for them?
Why do you think the line is being hit so hard?
If marketing is the answer, then what are marketing strategies for these little niche houses? I must say I've never seen any ads for any of the niche lines, though I don't really read mainstream magazines.
Last edited by GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR; 15th April 2009 at 07:46 PM.
The new bottles look cleaner and much better, but the fake ruby still looks cheap and just silly.
I prefer the newer bottle.
Perhaps the consumers have been unable to instantly recognise the bottle on the shelves - this might (in part) account for a minute slip in sales. My guess though would be that it boils down to the economic downturn. Times are tough and fewer people (outside these forums) are investing in luxury items.
MPG's collection lacks true gems in every possible way.
I actually liked the old bottles. It's so gaudy, that it ends up actually looking kind of hip and cool (in an ironic kind of way).
Yes, I think changing bottles is way confusing. I guess the question that I was thinking when I read your thread Caeser is: has another niche perfume house changed their bottles while successfully keeping their branding/marketing successful?
I also like the new bottles
I thought every question on basenotes was the inane question of the day.
Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them. - Immanuel Kant
Is it the bottles or the juice?
I love this house and I own RdV, IBG and SN. IBG and SN are in the new bottles and i have never tried them from the old ones but I have read posts on a possible reformulation of SN. I own two old bottles and one new of RdV and I can assure you what is inside is completely different. In fact the old bottle is my holy grail while I cannot stand the fragrance from the new one. The reformulation is so radical that it should have come with a different name, Jasmin de Vetiver is my choice. Imagine buying a coke tomorrow only to find out that a strong cherry flavour has been added..... Would you buy it again? Would Coca Cola go bankrupt?
It is just fragrance discussion. lol. We aren't finding a cure for cancer or saving whales here.
Last edited by Jock_With_Scents; 15th April 2009 at 11:26 PM.
I prefer the look of the new bottles, the caps are still guady.
The juice inside appears to be the same. I don't notice any difference between my new stock Parfum d'Habit and my decant which came from the old stock
I think the new bottles and the reformulations are perhaps an attempt to save the house, and not the opposite. I've only experienced the old vs new Santal Noble, and the new one is defintely a bit lighter, fresher, and most noticeably less discordant in the top notes. Discordant top notes don't sell frags.
I'm guessing that Jean Paul Millet-Lage took over a dying house - perhaps one neglected by original owner LaPorte? and is trying to restructure it to make it more profitable. In the meantime, he has to shut down some stores to stop from bankrupting himself.
I mean, this is all just a guess on my part, but seriously, why would you reformulate things that were selling well and making a good profit?
Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 16th April 2009 at 04:30 AM.
I prefer the old bottles. To me they look more interesting and distinctive. But in the grand scheme of things, I find neither very attractive.
Product ID is also a bit of a problem. All the bottles look alike. It's too hard to tell one scent from another unless you look on the bottom. They aren't clearly labeled. IMO this makes the line look rather anonymous.
So in these small ways I think the bottle design has had an effect on sales.
I also do not like the reformulations. These are relatively recent products, not something from 60 years ago, and shouldn't have required reformulation. Tinkering with the formulas just makes loyal customers disappointed, if not angry. Bad move IMO.
Distribution is also a problem. Very few shops carry MPG products. They are just too hard to find.
I think most of the problems are due to poor marketing decisions, as all of my statements above imply. There's nothing wrong with the fragrances themselves, except for the unnecessary reformulations.
While I understand reforumulating is going to upset the old customers, I just have to wonder.. even many BNers - we who like the challenging, the interesting, the odd - find many MPGs just too discordant.. too raw. If that is the case, how does the general public perceive these scents? How many are going to sit through a discordant opening to wait for a glorious drydown. A discordant opening sprayed onto a card is going to last even longer than on skin. For many, I'd imagine it goes like: spray -> sniff -> ew -> tester strip into bin.
I'm not a fan of reformulating in general (despite actually liking the new Santal Noble better than the old), but from a business perspective, especially with a house like this, I can understand why it may have been necessary.
1. Um---the bottles were all red, cheesy and looked alike? Bigger printing?
2. Not enough insane marketing for the insane prices charged? They should have taken a page from Creed, which made a fragrance exclusively for The Pope and created one bottle exclusively for The Dalai Lama.
SculptureOfSoul, glad to hear about the reformulated Santal Noble, btw. My favorite of their frags.
Hey, having finally had a bottle in hand, do you guys think the caps would suddenly cease being as cheap and gaudy looking if they were made of metal instead of plastic and if the fake jewel was dyed quartz instead of just plastic?
I think so!
Yes, Jasmin is the one bottle I don´t mind keeping in a box :P
But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
I guess I'm the only one who loves the old bottles (including the colour!). I just think they should have metal caps like L'Artisan and quartz jewels...
I'm with you on the EDP's though - expensive niche lines that offer short lasting EDT's are rather frustrating (thinking about l'artisan) but at the same time, you just can't make the same fragrances as EDPs as you'd have to change the composition to make them stronger and last longer. I think it's just the nature of the beast.
And EDP doesn't necessarily equate with longer lasting or more potent - look at l'artisan's Fou d'Absinthe - you need to use half the bottle to get two hours out of it. The only made it EDP because it's so weak. It's the same with the Lutens haute concentration line, they need to be extra strength just to be weak regular strength.
Yeah, some EDPs really don't live up to their concentration tag (like L'Artisan and alot of the MPG offerings for women) but I'm sure it would have been in their interests to try (but much harder than L'Artisan).
Last edited by Trebor; 24th April 2009 at 05:16 PM.
This is only marginally related to MPG's financial difficulties, but I was on their site recently and the english translation from French is really weak! Even if you don't have much money, it doesn't cost that much to hire a competent translator! I also noticed they list bottles as 3.0oz/100ml which is a mistake since 100ml is 3.3oz - they updated the mls from the old 90ml format, but not the ounces. PLus I hate websites with stupid beats on the opening page! So cheesy and also out of sync with the image they should be trying to cultivate!
Last edited by GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR; 28th April 2009 at 04:20 PM.
Hey - am I the only one whose noticed that the new bottles tend to be leaky vs the old? Still the the old ones look alot better!
I haven't noticed aleaking problem but definately the old bottles had the power to put the hideous plastic gem out of the picture.
Does anyone know if these are legit sellers of the vintage MPG scents? I know some advert as such but many get the new 100ml bottle when it comes in the mail.
Last edited by nsamadi; 6th July 2009 at 04:25 AM.
You have to write them and ask - several retailers have the vintage bottles pictured and 90ml listed, but when you ask they admit they only have the 100ml bottles. I never asked either of these sellers though - I'd guess they have a higher chance of having the old bottles since they are selling them at full price and thus are likely to be moving less stock than other places.
Most sellers are unaware of the difference between 90 and 100ml bottles so they use the old descriptions they used in the past for the new bottles. In one case I contacted a seller which had no idea of the difference but he actually then correctef the description changing 80ml to 100ml.
Okay, here are my responses back.
Enchantetx wrote - "I have weights in both."
Whatever that means.
Fourseasons wrote "We do carry the MPG - Maitre Parfumeur line. We sell the 90 ml bottles."
I don't know, maybe they were just confused by my question, but I guess they do have the vintage bottles. Anyone want to try?
There's a guy who's been listing a bunch of male and female MPG's on ebay, and the mens were all listed as 90ml, including ones like Bois de Turquie which never existed in 90ml. I asked him specifically what was what, and he told me that x and x were 90 ml, and then another was 100ml etc. I bought one that he said was 90, and it ended up being 100ml! But then another one was actually 90ml...
I guess it's a risk and in a worst case, you might be able to get a partial refund based on the false info.
I doubt fourseasons and Enchante will have the older bottles as they seem to be authorized sellers.
That's why I usually make a point of explaining that there is a new format, and website often have the wrong ones listed, and to please confirm with your stock etc - most stores tell me that they only have the 100mls after checking, even if it's 90ml listed. This guy actually checked, and then made mistakes which was annoying. But in any case I don't think Secret Melange was reformulated so it doesn't matter that I have the newer one, though I like the older bottles better aesthetically. I got a ton of MPG's off that guy.
Four Seasons is a reputable boutique from the high end hotels. They're less likely to be a bunch of jokers - if the other websites were honest and actually went to check their stock I'm sure they did as well. It's just that ebay guy who was wonky - he ships his stuff in paper envellopes with no bubble wrap even!
The good thing is that it ships in like 5 seconds, but still!
I think both bottles are rather ugly but of the two definitely prefer the original.
I emailed Enchante in Austin a few weeks ago (Found them via L'Artisan's website, but noticed they carried MPG and I'm in Austin frequently) Their original reply stated that they would no longer be carrying the MPG line, but here is the comment I received regarding looking for an "older" bottle of RdV.
"The boxes I have are 100ml. However, people have purchased this size who have personal experience with MPG vetyver and I have heard no comments regarding a defect or deviation in the original blending.
I am extremely dubious about popular claims regarding fragrances or shaving products that have been "reformulated." Over the years I have dealt repeatedly with these claims across a wide range of products. Not once have I actually encountered such an instance where such claims have been verified. Yet, I personally know of several different fragrance products that have been in fact reformulated; however, no one on the internet knows what they are. I wonder why.
Thanks again for your inquiry."
What a load of sh**t!
Selling fragrances does not make one an expert. Quite the opposite, in fact. I have found, in most cases, those who sell fragrances really care nothing about fragrances and know even less.
Ab74, I would trust those here on Basenotes first and foremost with anything to do with reformulation. It's unanimous that MPG fragrances have been reformulated. Some more than others. In some cases, the reformulations are preferred by some individuals, but MPG fragrances have definitely been reformulated.
Last edited by scentemental; 6th July 2009 at 11:18 PM.
I don't think there is 5% of difference between the old and new bottles. The impact of the bottle design changes on MPG sales would very slight. The only way that the bottle design might affect sales would be if they changed to an entirely different design and they didn't. The new design holds a bit more juice, has a larger top, etc. but othewise it looks very similar. The bottle has no affect on sales at this point.
I personally don't like either old or new bottles. It was one of the more glaring bottle designs on the market. But, if the perfume is good then I love the bottle. My opinion of the bottle will change with my opinion of the fragrance. Good fragrance = good bottle.
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