Interesting point. Perhaps it's just a matter of habit. I've never worn perfumes until a few years ago, and my father wasn't big on fragrances either, so I didn't have much acquaintance and familiarity with the more recent perfumes. So when I started smelling, it was pretty much empty territory, old or new. The only thing to overcome was the initial reaction to richer and stronger perfumes, but once that's gone, no difference. In general, I feel that the surviving pre-50s stuff tends to be richer and sometimes with more notes we think dirty now (like civet). Which, to me, is a plus.
By the way, are you thinking about masculines, or in general? Not having an extensive collection, I cannot think of many masculine perfumes from before the 50s still in existence. What would be examples? In addition to Caron puh, I can think of Knize Ten, Jicky, and that's pretty much it. Mitsouko and Vol de Nuit could qualify. And all of these smell great for me.