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  1. #1

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    Default My God have they ruined Polo through reformulation (and other related reformulation rants)

    I know they've either stripped back or eliminated the oakmoss so here it goes. I've got a bottle sitting here with a bad sprayer circa mid 1990s. I'm a hurry to get to work and don't have time to fuss with it trying to get it to work. I have a bottle I bought on clearance at Target a month ago. I cracked open the new bottle sprayed it on and thought what the hell is this? It smells so much more wrong. It lacks the depth it used to. It is like the current Halston Z14 a stripped down imitation of its former self. I like Polo but would not buy this again, especially when imitations (of which there are many) still smell more like the original than the current version. It really is that bad. I've got a bottle of Parfums De Couer's old Lancer knockoff here and it shames the current varient.

    Sadly unlike Halston where I've got an old sealed 4oz bottle still full of its former greatness I only have maybe an oz or so of old Polo left, two imitations aside from Lancer (one of which is awesomely heavy on patchouli enough so that while it smells somewhat like Polo it is different enough in that respect that is has its own unique character). Unfortunately I had not know they'd done this until today because I'd never have wasted even the clearance price on this. It smells like a slightly altered version of Quorum now. The problem is it is not as cheap, and Quorum (even in its current state which IMHO is heavily changed) is still stronger.

    I'm all a fan for reformulation if it doesn't impact the fragrance. I don't mind if they water it down as long as its cheaper. What I don't like is when the fragrance is so far from what it was that it isn't the same but has the same name. You might as well call it something else. I've noticed it more and more with no real reason (other than what makes some scents smell like they are relies on cheaper ingredients others more expensive ones).

    The bad reformulations I've noticed:

    Polo, without the oakmoss or the limited amount they might be using it is a shadow of itself.

    Halston Z14, sure it is much cheaper than it was but it also sucks in comparison to what it was and I'm being gentle.

    Gravity, actually it is the same but they've watered it down and doubled its price. I didn't mind it at $10 when it was twice as strong. Now it is half as as strong but costs twice as much. Not really a favorite but a cheapy I'd throw on every now and then only it isn't cheap anymore.

    The good:

    Royal Copenhagen and Pierre Cardin Pour Monsieur, they've been watered down. Thats about it. RC was insanely strong and even watered down still is. You can get pretty close to the original if you double dose it. Do you want to? Pierre Cardin suffers the same fate. I remember that it was wow strong in its original formulation, now it is the same but 10 times weaker. Thankfully Five Star who is making these now sells 8oz bottles for $20 or so.

    Stetson, yes it has changed it has been cheapened (if that is possible) locate an original bottle and smell the difference, I have some from when it first came out. The overall difference this makes is only noticable for a few minutes after that it smells pretty similar, hasn't been terribly watered down, and is otherwise good enough that you'd almost never notice unless you'd tried it both ways. I'm sure this was a gradual progression over the years too, so you don't get a stark contrast. I'm comparing a 2010 purchased bottle with an original and only then is it noticable.

    Lagerfeld (original), rediscovered this like Pierre Cardin. Somewhat weaker but not too different. A little less sweet perhaps. Price is not over the top expensive.

    Giorgio Beverly Hills, I side by sided it just recently with the original and it is marginally less sweet and perhaps a touch less patchouli but it still lasts a long long time and the difference is so miniscule in the overall scheme of things given its price that it still is an amazing value.

    Avon Wild Country, I love this stuff as a cheapy but my god is it weak. I ran through a full bottle in mere months. Ever smelled the original? It is rich, bold and full. The deoderant smells stronger than the current cologne. The smell however is exactly the same. The stuff is so plentiful due to collectors bottle a vintage sample isn't out of reach. A vintage aftershave smells the same as the current cologne. Even the current version is dirt cheap. In the whole scheme of things it is still a decent value.


    My biggest gripe is when it doesn't smell like it should, or used to. I don't care if I have to use 10 sprays of RC from an 8oz bottle but get the same general smell logevity from one from a 1970s bottle, because its cheap.

    It is when I try the reformulation, it doesn't smell like the original, costs just as much and doesn't last as long that I get angry. When a $1 bottle of some Jean Phillippe knockoff from the Dollar Tree has more character than the original due to reformulaions I think they should revert back to what it was. End of rant, no more Polo for me unless it is vintage, a good knockoff or otherwise.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: My God have they ruined Polo through reformulation (and other related reformulation rants)

    Funny I felt the same thing the other day in a Sephora. I saw it on the shelf, and thought, oh I've just got to spray some of this on for a bit of nostalgia from the 80's / 90's.

    And as soon as I sprayed it, I was like - what the hell is this? It's SORT OF like what Polo was (is supposed to be) but most definitely different.

    Something was just 'off' about it, it lacked the depth and allure of the one I used to wear decades ago. I wonder where I might find an original bottle from 'back in the day'. I'd be interested to pick one up...

  3. #3

    Default Re: My God have they ruined Polo through reformulation (and other related reformulation rants)

    I got a 100 ml bottler of Mustang by Dorall at a yard sale in 2008. It looked old and the paint was peeling, so I'm guessing it may have been an attempt to duplicate the original Polo, because it is quite strong and natural smelling. I never really concerned myself with Polo after acquiring the Mustang, and after what you've said, I'm glad I didn't. Another good one like this, though not nearly as strong, is Jordache Man from 1983 (not long ago I got 100 ml for $11 delivered). I have some Pierre Cardin PM in the Tsumura version and it's plenty strong (haven't tried the 5 Star). Not sure how old my Z-14 is but it's fine overall and don't know if I would want it to be any stronger.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: My God have they ruined Polo through reformulation (and other related reformulation rants)

    I can say with certainty that it was the same up until at least 1997. There should be plenty around just have to figure out how to discern when the bottle was made.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: My God have they ruined Polo through reformulation (and other related reformulation rants)

    I tried the Drakkar Noir as well, and that seemed closer to the original to me. Still slightly different, but not as negatively manipulated as the Polo.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: My God have they ruined Polo through reformulation (and other related reformulation rants)

    I have not tried the new Drakkar, if I'm seeking Drakkar I usually wear English Blazer because it is similar but has more citrus and to me seems fresher, so I haven't used as much but I still have some of the old stuff. Maybe I'll wear it tomorrow and side by side it against the newer stuff if I find a place that has a tester of the current stuff for curiousity's sake.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: My God have they ruined Polo through reformulation (and other related reformulation rants)

    I like the new version of Polo and bought a bottle. However, I intensely disliked the version that was on sale back in 2000. I kept testing it and wondering how anyone could like it.

    Still, from an aesthetic point of view, it's sad that the real original isn't around and has gone for good.

    I had the exact same thoughts on Quorum, though I still have a 30ml bottle of its real original which I disliked, to compare with the current one which I like.
    Cheers,
    Renato

  8. #8

    Default Re: My God have they ruined Polo through reformulation (and other related reformulation rants)

    I understand exactly where you are coming from as I used to like Old Spice the original formula that had quite a spicy kick to it. These days it is so watered down its hardly worth owning. At least with Brut they do "Brut Classic" which is near enough how the orginal smelled in the eighties.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: My God have they ruined Polo through reformulation (and other related reformulation rants)

    you have to be very carefull as i had the same feeling , but before leaving the mall i went back to the tester bottle & discovered it was the new variant ! exactly the same bottle but written in small print

  10. #10

    Default Re: My God have they ruined Polo through reformulation (and other related reformulation rants)

    I don't know what the think about this one. Polo was the ONLY scent I ever wore that made my skin break out. I had a girlfriend buy it for me in the late '90's and she had to return it because it made my skin red and itchy. Too bad, because I like the smell.
    "He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative."-- G.K. Chesterton

  11. #11

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    Default Re: My God have they ruined Polo through reformulation (and other related reformulation rants)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimitrios View Post
    you have to be very carefull as i had the same feeling , but before leaving the mall i went back to the tester bottle & discovered it was the new variant ! exactly the same bottle but written in small print
    Mine isnt the modern reserve, however I'm easily able to tell when oakmoss is reduced or removed. I will just seek out the original or wear uncompromised knockoffs.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: My God have they ruined Polo through reformulation (and other related reformulation rants)

    The original Polo was wonderful stuff - a true classic. The current version is a pale shadow of its former self - however still better than that Modern Reserve abomination.
    Please feel free to check out my Swap Thread - Patou pour Homme, L'Instant de Guerlain PH Extreme, Dior Homme Intense, Pure Malt, Pure Coffee and many more! Click Here For My Swap Thread

  13. #13

    Default Re: My God have they ruined Polo through reformulation (and other related reformulation rants)

    Funny, I find Polo one of the few old-school powerhouses that hasn't been dimmed by reformulation; and yes, I've sniffed both current and vintage juices. And, and! I quite like Modern Reserve. Apparently my nose is an easy lay.

    (The current version of Obsession for Men, on the other hand...)

  14. #14
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    Default Re: My God have they ruined Polo through reformulation (and other related reformulation rants)

    I used to love Polo and I thought it was one of the best perfumes ever, but the reformulated one stinks, I bought a 4.0 oz bottle and regretted it big time. Drakkar Noir, is not as good as ut used to be, but still is very wearable and I still like it a lot. The reformulation of Quorum on the other hand was an improvement of the old lavender bomb, now the lavender is subdued and very pleasant while the predominant note now is pine, Kudos for Quorum that improved an already excellent perfume. I own the vintage Fendi Uomo and it is a classic, whereas the reformulated Fendi Uomo is pathetic. Vetiver by Guerlain reformulation is still good, but the original was, IMO the best perfume ever in the history of perfumes. Another reformulated Vetiver is Carven's, while the original was an excellent perfume, the reformulated one is worse that Lemon Pledge with some dirt and tar thrown in.
    In brief, most reformulations screw the original perfumes but there are exceptions like Quorum.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: My God have they ruined Polo through reformulation (and other related reformulation rants)

    Allure Homme has been reformulated a tad ever since they stopped selling the 3.4 oz bottles here in America. You can still find that size, but the fragrance is now mainly sold in 1.7 oz bottles only. since that time, I've noticed the fragrance is about twice as strong as it used to be. Almost headache-inducing. I wore Allure for 10 straight years, so I know upon returning to it that there's been a concentration adjustment. I just find it odd that, unlike so many other scents that have been tweaked over the years, Chanel chose to strengthen their formula. Maybe a twinge of conscience in downsizing the bottle?

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