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  1. #1

    Default Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    Hey guys, I'm a huge fan of Drakkar Noir and previously wore it throughout high school. I recently started to wear it again and was disappointed in the lack of longevity. So, I read every thread and review here on Basenotes and initially came to the conclusion that the original formula was altered over the years to a weaker fragrance. But I wasn't totally convinced. Why would a popular fragrance like Drakkar change its formula and legendary strength?

    Well that question set me on a hunt to find the truth. I sampled many bottles of Drakkar--some of which I estimate to be fairly old, maybe 10 years in age--and purchased a few bottles, only to return them because the juice wasn't as strong as I remember it. I even emailed Guy Laroche in France asking them straight up if Drakkar had been changed; they denied it and said it's the original fragrance. Here's the thing: I believe them.

    At one point I think the formula no doubt changed to a weaker fragrance, but I think they--Guy Laroche--switched it back, perhaps because of all the negative feedback here on Basenotes.

    Here's why I believe this: I've sampled over the last year quite a few bottles of Drakkar Noir and was always let down by the strength. However, I recently purchased a 3.4oz bottle from a major department store and was completely floored--it was as strong as the original and smelt exactly the same as I remember it. I think there was a period (2000-2011?) in which Drakkar produced a sub-par Drakkar. Why else would all the samples I smelt seem off and not as strong?

    Just think about it. Shamu has written extensively on here about Drakkar Noir. He too was let down by its strength until he purchased a 3.4oz bottle. I'd be willing to bet he purchased the bottle at a major department store where there is high turnover, thus he got a newer bottle of Drakkar.

    I could be totally wrong, but suspect Guy Laroche went back to the original formula. Besides, they assured me that nothing has changed in the formula.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    neal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    I think you've been drinking to much Drakkar Noir

  3. #3

    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    LOL. Perhaps, but it's a big deal when one of your favorites colognes changes the formula to a weaker version.

  4. #4
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Smellin.Good View Post
    I even emailed Guy Laroche in France asking them straight up if Drakkar had been changed; they denied it and said it's the original fragrance. Here's the thing: I believe them.
    Therefore problem solved.

  5. #5
    shamu1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    I've been going bananas trying to figure out the Drakkar puzzle. I'm not sure Guy Laroche went back to an old formula or not. However, for me I think it's simply a case of the 3.4 and 6.7 oz. bottles having better atomizers than the smaller bottles.

    When I first wrote about how much weaker I thought Drakkar was than it used to be, I was judging it from a small 1.7 oz. bottle that had a crappy atomizer that shot out dinky little spritzes. When i applied it, I didn't compensate by overspraying. Since then, I've bought a 3.4 oz. bottle, which sprays out a nice full spray, and the difference is like night and day. I now get brutal sillage and 12+ hrs. of staying power with this new bottle, just like I did from my old splash bottle I'd bought in 1988. Any more than 4 sprays from this new bottle, and I'm transformed into a medallion-wearing Cologne Guy for the rest of the day.

    On the other hand, the OP might be correct about a reversion to an old formula. The other thing I notice about this 3.4 oz. bottle is that the juice smells a lot more leathery than in the 1.7 oz. bottle I had. In other words, it smells just like I remember it back in the day, with plenty of power.

    P.S., The 3.4 oz. bottle I bought is a tester from an online retailer, not a department store.
    Last edited by shamu1; 18th July 2011 at 03:11 AM.
    Check out my blog Pour Monsieur, a no-nonsense guide to men's fragrances:
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    Any fragrance that should not be worn in public, should be worn in public.

  6. #6
    dwrestle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    I hear tale that the $8-10 Classic Match version from Belcam is exactly the original, and I prefer it to the 2 actual Guy Laroche bottles I have had. So if all else fails you can save some dough.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    I liked much the vintage version many years ago.Then Drakkar Noir became the most imitated fragrance in the world and I cooled off to it.

    Maybe this 100 ml new version is worth to buy.
    Last edited by pirop; 28th February 2014 at 07:34 AM.
    Currently wearing: Versus Uomo by Versace

  8. #8
    shamu1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    dwrestle is right - the Classic Match knockoff is awesome and smells exactly as I remember Drakkar smelling like back in the 80s. Athkar Noir is also an excellent cheap knockoff.
    Check out my blog Pour Monsieur, a no-nonsense guide to men's fragrances:
    http://pourmonsieurblog.blogspot.com/

    Any fragrance that should not be worn in public, should be worn in public.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    Very interesting topic. I have a 1oz and a mini of DN that have both disappointed me. The 1oz. has an atomic atomiser so I dont think that is the problem. The mini is a splash. They smell the same to me. The problem is that neither smells as I remember. I had initially thought that my memory was faulty (it had been 10+ yrs), but these posts intrigue me. Perhaps I'll try the Classic Match, but I would like a bottle of DN that smells like I remember.

    Of course, I have the same problem with Cool Water. I have two bottles and they both suck compared to my memory of 10+ yrs.

    Regards,

    ...NDN-01!!!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    Read this. http://www.perfumersapprentice.com/p...s/overdose.pdf

    Cross reference that with current IFRA standards and you may have part of your answer.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    I have the Classic Match and Akthar Noir, both are good but not quite as good as the original Drakkar. Between the two, I'd give the edge to Akthar Noir if you're looking for a cheap knock-off. Akthar lasts longer on me than Classic Match and just smells better.

    But I prefer the real Drakkar because, as Shamu said, it has a leathery dry down. My current 3.4oz bottle smells exactly like it used to when I was in high school in the mid-nineties. I'm convinced that Drakkar changed the formula along the way and recently went back to the old formula.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    ^^^
    OK,you've just convinced me to buy a new 100 ml bottle
    Currently wearing: Versus Uomo by Versace

  13. #13

    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    Let me tell you a little fact. You most likely remember Drakkar from your younger days for all its glory and bravado. Young men have move active metabolic activity face it we are in our studly prime. With that said we have greater skin oil production our pH levels are perfect not tainted by any medication or vitiam in takes. Not to mention also that our sense of smell is to peak level too!

    Therefore scents like Drakkar or Polo were powerful to us and held great sillage. It is a fact that with age our sense of smell is the first to deteriorate not to mention all the smells us scentheads bombard our noses with on a yearly bases.

    I can't vouch if Drakkar was changed but I would doubt it the fragrance has its own established age brackets and I dont see it gearing itself to the teen market.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    Even if you buy the 100 ml bottle of Drakkar, make sure you get a newer version of it. I tried a couple 100 ml bottles that weren't too strong.

    Scentimus brings up an interesting point in his post. I agree that our senses change over time and we probably had better skin chemistry when we were younger--thus some fragrances might feel as if the formula has changed.

  15. #15
    renzo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    Therefore problem solved.
    nope... Due to new regulations, almost evry frag has been reformulated ! Even the boss of Dior (read this 3 weeks ago) said it, and he said, some reformulations are better than others... So, I have the 100 ml bottle and it"s defenatly not the same as it used to be !

    how sad...

  16. #16
    shamu1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    I wore Drakkar in the Eighties too. In fact, back then I wasn't the perfume freak I am now, and it was the only scent I wore. My point is that the juice in the bottle I recently bought gives me exactly the same scent and overall feel that it did back in the day, plain and simple. That's all that matters to me. Assuming this is a reformulation, it was a damn good one. Drakkar is still great, and is still a powerhouse.
    Check out my blog Pour Monsieur, a no-nonsense guide to men's fragrances:
    http://pourmonsieurblog.blogspot.com/

    Any fragrance that should not be worn in public, should be worn in public.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    Since finding and becoming a fan of Lomani pour homme, it has piqued my interest in Drakkar Noir again.

    Having purchased a 3.4 oz (100ml) bottle of Drakkar Noir about three years ago, and being very disappointed with its strength, longevity and overall lack of the swagger I assocaite with it (to the extent that I gave away that bottle), I am intrigued by the suggestion that now a newer version may have restored it to its former glory.

    Has anyone else experience of this? Is Drakkar Noir restored to its former glory?

  18. #18

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    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    First off, I think Drakkar Noir is awesome - very unique indeed. I first smelled it in college in the mid-80's. We wore it then and a friend gave me my first bottle when we graduated.

    After reading this thread, I decided to purchase a bottle. I got a small splash bottle and then a small 1.7oz with sprayer. I have to say, I am a bit disappointed. First, the scent is similar to what I remember. I always thought Drakkar Noir smelled awesome - and this is close but not the full awesomeness I remember. I can chalk this up to nostalgia or having a more discerning nose now. The thing that disappoints is the longevity. 3 hours at best. I dont remember what it was like in the past, but this is disappointing.

    I dont want to use more sprays as a means to longevity. This just creates an overdose for the first couple of hours. I would rather use 1-2 sprays but have a more consistent sillage for longer (at least 6 hours).

    Can someone advise where to pick up the 3.4 oz bottle so I have the best chance of trying the best formulation?

    thanks
    (I am wearing DN now as I write this - and lovin it)

  19. #19

    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    Sorry to hear that, Marcuccio88. The current version of Drakkar Noir on the market is indeed different from the 80's and 90's, despite my earlier post claiming otherwise. I know this for a fact because I recently purchased a bottle of Drakkar from the late 80's/early 90's (I can tell because the copyright on the box is 1989 and the bottle style is slightly different from the current bottle) and the scent is 100% different for sure, but somewhat similiar--if that makes sense. The older Drakkar Noir smells much more richier and heavier; however, the older Drakkar doeasn't last any longer on me than the current one.

    I actually think Drakkar has undergone several formulations. Bottles produced in the 80's and 90's were no doubt the best. The early 2000's were the worst with poor longevity and sillage. I believe the bottles on the market today have been reformulated again and are much better than the ones made in the early 2000's.

  20. #20
    Dependent ericrico's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    I've been chiming in on Drakkar Noir threads and need to say this...I recently bought a nice set of 100ml EDT, 100ml After Shave (in the nice bottle, not tube) and a deodorant stick that is very good - I feel it has changed slightly...more green notes, a lighter tree moss (or possibly synthetic moss) versus real oakmoss (key ingredient) but, overall, I really like it. Old-school vibe and actually something I find myself reaching for quite often. It smells fresher, lighter and more green than Vintage Drakkar Noir as I remember it - but it is still very good, especially in warmer weather and one can layer.

    Here's the catch - I just picked up a true Vintage bottle (100ml) of Drakkar Noir...in fact, a splash! Retro, bad-ass, macho juice! Just the nose from the bottle and you get hit with the fantastic green notes (artemisia, fir) all layered on REALLY rich Oakmoss. The smokiness is there along with a stronger and deeper leather note. I got it from a reputable seller with taste on eBay. Damn lucky! Akthar Noir, Classic Match, etc. can play a few notes, but a true Vintage bottle of Drakkar Noir simply cranks out power chords like a Marshall stack!! That said, I will also strongly advocate current formulation (and buy a big bottle - 100ml or bigger, to make sure you get a good atomizer). I don't think Guy Laroche can or will ignore IFRA standards...so, sorry Mr.Smellin.Good, but the juice has changed over the years. Know that, but enjoy what you wear as that is the point of fragrance. Olfactory pleasure is like art though - we all have our own tastes and they change with time. For me, I am still a very big fan of Drakkar Noir and I can say that the vintage stuff is, in a word, stunning.



    Quote Originally Posted by shamu1 View Post
    I wore Drakkar in the Eighties too. In fact, back then I wasn't the perfume freak I am now, and it was the only scent I wore. My point is that the juice in the bottle I recently bought gives me exactly the same scent and overall feel that it did back in the day, plain and simple. That's all that matters to me. Assuming this is a reformulation, it was a damn good one. Drakkar is still great, and is still a powerhouse.
    Last edited by ericrico; 28th September 2012 at 03:38 PM.
    “Some perfumes are as fragrant as an infant’s flesh, sweet as an oboe’s cry, and greener than the spring; While others are triumphant, decadent or rich; Having the expansion of infinite things, like ambergris and musk, benzoin and frankincense, which sing the transports of the mind and every sense.”

    ― Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil & Paris Spleen

  21. #21
    Super Member Charlie2000's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    I think you should tight roll your jeans when you wear Drakkar.....everybody is doing it : )
    Sounds like someones having a case of the Mondays

  22. #22

    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    I too now agree with you, ericrico, despite my earlier post. The formula has no doubt changed. I also own (actually trying to sell it on eBay, but I'm thinking about cancelling the sale) a vintage bottle. You can easily tell the difference between the old and new stuff, for sure. However, I don't get better longevity out of the old and I somewhat prefer the newer stuff. Quick question: how much did you pay for your 100ml vintage splash bottle? I'm trying to sell mine for $100.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Smellin.Good View Post
    I'm trying to sell mine for $100.
    lolololololololololoooooooooooooooolllllllllllllll lllllllllllllllllllllloooooooooooooooooollllllllll lllllllllllllllllllllllll
    Want to trade - Chanel Platinum Egoiste for Dior Eau Sauvage...
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/394...82#post3308582

  24. #24
    Dependent ericrico's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    The new stuff is really good (as I firmly have said) - I think Guy Laroche have done as well as they could with reformulation here. It's not about longevity (as much) to me - as it's about the notes. Some people, in today's fragrance world, don't like oakmoss. Ironically, this forum is "Basenotes" and, well, oakmoss has been one of the most important base notes ever included in male fragrance. It is, since times have changed, become dated to most people. Personally, I love moss. It "dampens" a fragrance and enriches an entire pyramid of scents. Synthetic moss that you find today can be decent (as in DN), but it doesn't hold nor does it have the warmth on the skin. It becomes more of a middle note and less obvious...which is fine. That is how things evolve. Shamu mentioned before about the "greasy" vibe to the leather in Vintage Drakkar Noir - again, I give props to the man...he's spot-on! The leather in the new formulation is cleaner and much more refined - nothing bad, but updated. It is still plenty powerful and when wearing the after shave, several shots of the EDT and the deodorant - I can radiate the scent 10 feet out or more! Funny thing...I don't get olfactory fatigue from DN - never have. Never too much of a good thing.

    As to your question, I will say (professionally and humbly) that I paid far less than $100 for my bottle of Vintage Drakkar Noir Splash. It was a fantastic price and there is a batch number and it is authentic. However, as someone said on this forum once, they do not discuss specific financial matters with others. What you get for your bottle is what one is willing to spend, so if I was to mention a number, that could become a yard stick that you do not want to measure the "value" of your bottle. I wish you the best for your sale, though, and hope the buyer is happy with it...sincerely.

    Cheers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Smellin.Good View Post
    I too now agree with you, ericrico, despite my earlier post. The formula has no doubt changed. I also own (actually trying to sell it on eBay, but I'm thinking about cancelling the sale) a vintage bottle. You can easily tell the difference between the old and new stuff, for sure. However, I don't get better longevity out of the old and I somewhat prefer the newer stuff. Quick question: how much did you pay for your 100ml vintage splash bottle? I'm trying to sell mine for $100.
    “Some perfumes are as fragrant as an infant’s flesh, sweet as an oboe’s cry, and greener than the spring; While others are triumphant, decadent or rich; Having the expansion of infinite things, like ambergris and musk, benzoin and frankincense, which sing the transports of the mind and every sense.”

    ― Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil & Paris Spleen

  25. #25

    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    How to know if the bottle is the new stronger version?
    I want the potent stuff, i wanna be that guy on the other side of the street

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    I want to clear the air - I don't believe there is a "newer" reformulation of Drakkar Noir. I believe there is Vintage and the current reformulation. If I am wrong - then someone please correct me. I stand by what I have smelled and purchased.

    Please, someone chime in - Shamu, Scentimus, or anyone who knows...I don't know of a more current reformulation. If you want the more potent, vintage vibe - the recommendation that others have made is the very affordable Akthar Noir or possibly Classic Match's bottling (which I tried and did not like, personally - very screechy and synthetic). My current bottle of DN is very good indeed and it was on the shelf at TJ Maxx with the After Shave bottle and deodorant as a discounted set. It brought me back to the scent and now I am blessed with the vintage splash bottle I got for a more than fair price.

    I will throw a change-up into this thread. If you like Drakkar Noir, then try Francesco Smalto Pour Homme. It is very similar to a lot of Drakkar Noir's notes, yet also adds a nice smoky component that is well-integrated. Some may like while others may not - I love it, personally and will wear Drakkar Noir during the day and then refresh with a couple of shots of Francesco Smalto Pour Homme at night. This blends perfectly, in my opinion and the scent is bolder and darker! :-)
    “Some perfumes are as fragrant as an infant’s flesh, sweet as an oboe’s cry, and greener than the spring; While others are triumphant, decadent or rich; Having the expansion of infinite things, like ambergris and musk, benzoin and frankincense, which sing the transports of the mind and every sense.”

    ― Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil & Paris Spleen

  27. #27

    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    I hear you, ericrico. Thanks for your candor. I'm also a big fan of Drakkar Noir; it's one of the best male scents around in my opinion.

  28. #28
    Super Member aquariuz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    Gents,

    How to spot pre-formilation DK without testing - are the tall (slim, not as current round shape) bottles vintage with original formula?

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    Label is different on mine and it's a splash. The bottle looks almost identical to the standard spray though.

    Look around - you will see the subtle differences, but there are numerous sizes, etc. to consider. Personally, I would try to find a bargain on a current formulation first if you are not familiar with the scent. The latest version is everywhere and you can get great deals on gift sets, etc. - and it smells great. Unless you really want old-school moss and heavier, greasy leather...I would go with current formulation which has excellent notes and very good longevity and projection.

    Cheers!

    Quote Originally Posted by aquariuz View Post
    Gents,

    How to spot pre-formilation DK without testing - are the tall (slim, not as current round shape) bottles vintage with original formula?
    “Some perfumes are as fragrant as an infant’s flesh, sweet as an oboe’s cry, and greener than the spring; While others are triumphant, decadent or rich; Having the expansion of infinite things, like ambergris and musk, benzoin and frankincense, which sing the transports of the mind and every sense.”

    ― Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil & Paris Spleen

  30. #30
    shamu1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drakkar Noir - Old Formula Again?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericrico View Post
    I can radiate the scent 10 feet out or more!
    Great job, man! That's some serious power!
    Check out my blog Pour Monsieur, a no-nonsense guide to men's fragrances:
    http://pourmonsieurblog.blogspot.com/

    Any fragrance that should not be worn in public, should be worn in public.

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