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  1. #1

    Default Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    My suspicions were first aroused last year when I bought a 30ml of Shalimar in the new Jade Jagger bottle. It didn't smell as dark as I remembered it (from as recent as the bat-bottle version before it). My extensive online searches yielded nothing of any mention of this change. Now that I have the previous version and the Charms edition to compare with, it became immediately obvious where the changes were made:

    -The bergamot top is now less sharp, more natural, a little sweeter and more nectar-like.
    -Top notes are boosted and base notes muted.
    -Less opoponax and labdanum - effect slightly offset by the addition of more civet
    -There is an olfactory 'vacuum', a 'space' in the region between the mid-notes and top-notes, making it smell disjointed - something is missing..heliotrope perhaps?
    -Rose note smells wetter - same stock as that used in Idylle EDT.
    (Side note: Both the way the top notes were composed and the wet rose I have come to recognise as Thierry Wasser's signature. I came across speculations that Thierry Wasser may have reworked the bergamot blend the house is using to remedy the shrill,petrochemical smelling, lower-grade bergamot oil they started using since Vetiver was reformulated and bottled in the squarish frosty striped bottle, and this blend has obviously been implemented in quite a few classics: Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc. It may be a new blend, or a different source of raw material)
    -Different vanillin stock and composition - cleaner, sweeter, less plush, more candy-like (like the artificial vanilla flavouring used in ice creams) and more of it is used.
    -Overall impression: Less dusky/powdery/dark/resinous, more segmented vs the previous version which smells like more like an olfactory block, noticeably sweeter in a candy-like manner and less dry; louder and brighter/more sparkly top, missing mid-notes, thin base although more civet-y. It is now more focused on the interplay between the bright top notes and sweet (clean) vanilla instead of the smoky scent it used to be.

    Whether the reformulation works I think depends on which aspect of Shalimar's character you like. To give it credit, it is now livelier, airier, cleaner (which some might prefer), and more civet-y.

    Personally I think the newer version makes it more suitable for daywear and I can see myself using both versions depending on whether my mood takes me to prefer to wear Shalimar with a more simple vanillic sweetness of today's tastes or smoky resinous plushness of its old days of glory.

    I have also previously remarked on the reformulation following the repackaging of Guerlain Vetiver in this thread: http://www.basenotes.net/threads/271...een-repackaged
    but the buzz seems to be all about the new bottle instead of its juice! Habit Rouge, too, has been reformulated with thinned out mids like Shalimar and its bergamot top replaced. I really do hope to see more attention being paid to these reformulations! I'm wishing to read more reviews and comparisons because I am myself confused and lost - whether to embrace these reformulations or to stock up on the previous version.

    Has anyone else made comparisons? What are your opinions?

    *Update: 8 hours into the drydown in today's side-by-side comparison, I detect what seems to be a 50% replacement of vanillin with tonka bean, making the new Shalimar more hay-like and the older one still more resinous in the drydown.
    Last edited by Xen; 20th July 2011 at 07:10 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    I've got a bottle of the new Vetiver on it's way to me - but I don't know a good source for the new Habit Rouge online.
    I'm also eager to hear others' impressions!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    I've got a bottle of the new Vetiver on it's way to me - but I don't know a good source for the new Habit Rouge online.
    I'm also eager to hear others' impressions!
    Glad to see a reply so soon! I think the first thing you'll notice in the new Vetiver is its more natural smelling topnotes (which made me pleasantly surprised at first). I thought it was a reformulation that actually improved the scent. But latter I found they had thinned out its base. It had lost its dry woodiness and now has a wetter vegetal smelling vetiver. It seems like this is the way all the Guerlain reformulations are going. Less powdery, brighter, more distinct top, livelier, notes are individually cleaned up - so I wouldn't say the the scents are made cleaner because the notes are the same but perhaps the way they were synthesised process was made more efficient to yield a purer blend (this is what makes them smell livelier and gives a clearer representation of the structure of the scent as the notes smell more separate from each other):

    From Perfume Shrine:
    'The secret to the medicinal, smoky yellow vanillin of Jicky, reprised in Shalimar, was the remnants of guiacol and phenols, lending an autumnal darkness to what would otherwise be a confectionary sweet cream. This is the reason that Guerlain insisted on ordering the impure grade of vanillin even when the chemical process was improved.'

    Perhaps the house of Guerlain has changed their philosophy! If so, I would have preferred their old ways, but I can see that this is a clever way of modernising their scents - tweaking them for the tastes of a new generation. If you have tried Idylle EDP followed by EDT, you will be able to make out what Guerlain is up to, and perhaps even predict how their new creations will smell like. I hope I will grow to love their reformulations, just like the way I grew to prefer Idylle EDT over EDP (which up till this point I believed to be a singular case as I thought the EDT should be how Idylle should smell like, but now I can see the appeal of the reformulated Shalimar which has undergone similar changes to its structure as Idylle had from the EDP to EDT version).

  4. #4

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    A friend in N Carolina is trying rediscover his lost youth and keeps asking me about long forgotten scents and so after a long time absent I logged in to Basenotes (I fear for him to log on would be a step too far) and was delighted to read Xen's musings upon the Guerlain re-launches. It was all interesting and delightful to read. The only point i would make is that his eloquence and knowledge seems so profound. My impressions? No I think I'll keep my ignorance under cover. BUT please M. Xen post all you can because even if i feel a little intimidated there is still sufficient resonance that I can say to myself "yes I can see what you're getting at". Guerlain can do practically no wrong in my book anyway.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    I was very disappointed in Vetiver.
    Top Favorite Houses: Amouage / Tom Ford (name brand or private collection) / Hermes

    "Do the next right thing."

  6. #6

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarshallLaw View Post
    I was very disappointed in Vetiver.
    +1....

  7. #7

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xen View Post

    I have also previously remarked on the reformulation following the repackaging of Guerlain Vetiver in this thread: http://www.basenotes.net/threads/271...een-repackaged
    but the buzz seems to be all about the new bottle instead of its juice!
    Yours was the "lost thread" I referred to when I made this thread, about the Vetiver reformulation.

    I favour Vetiver and Vetiver Extreme in their current incarnations. As well as the vintage, of course. Its just the 90s/early 00's formula that I couldn't live with.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    boo. bloody marketing execs.
    Top Favorite Houses: Amouage / Tom Ford (name brand or private collection) / Hermes

    "Do the next right thing."

  9. #9

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    I agree with you, Xen;

    I bought a bottle of the new "Shalimar" designed by Jade Jagger and the difference with the older one is very noticeable. The new reformulation is more sweet, girly and soft. I detect a strong "lip balm" note and also some heliotropine. Shalimar has lost the dark, tarry and animal facets. The vintage version was sexual and the new one is simply... sensual.

    Yesterday, I tried "Vetiver" in the new packaging (recovering the same bottle of "Habit Rouge") and I can't tell the difference with the bottle designed by Robert Granai. I also tried the tester of the new "Habit Rouge" Eau de Toilette (the Guerlain writing in the label is now different, in a more ancient style of calligraphy) and I notice some interesting differences: it's more fresh and invigorating with a cleaner leather note.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    Really interesting thread(s) here. Thanks for posting and giving the info gentelmen.

    As of now, I really like the frosted bottle of Guerlain Vetiver. I am really curious as how the older Habit Rouge was ( pre-2003 ).

    Hopefully the "reformulas" are not for the worse.
    Seeking: Bottles/decants : of Feeling Man, Gucci pour Homme, Essence of John Galliano, Nicole Miller (vintage), Opium pour Homme, Oxford & Cambridge, Concentré D'Orange Verte...etc.

    Seeking decant/sample of Jil Sander Feeling Man, Cacharel Nemo, Bijan for Men EDC, Lanvin for Men, Giorgio VIP, Il Lancetti and other old school frags ....etc. I have samples to swap.

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  11. #11

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    By all means... stock up if you like an older version. We are going to see more and drastic new reformulations (IFRA)! It is dawning on me... new releases and the way they smell (floral notes). Extrait lovers in paricular (because of the overall concentrations) should go through their stock... there are a couple I would bet on to be changed if not already. My efforts in the past months were focused on backing-up classics.
    EDIT: In order to get the picture straight... I don't mourn the past things in general and I can see the good in modernizations of classics (new Vol de Nuit extrait), but maximum concentrations diluting florals into barely recognizable is something I can not accept. It will make many extraits pointless and deprive them of their ability to trigger emotions... soulless is the word! The oakmoss restrictions e.g. were no greatt loss for me personally as I favor the new Mitsouko extrait and less oakmoss rich bases in general.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    Hmmm... having sniffed Shalimar in the new bottle - I think there is a change but I will have to re sniff again. ( Is it my imagination or is the color of the juice is lighter too ?? )
    I prefer Idylle EDT to the EDP though. The EDT is absolutely wonderful .
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    Oh,well that does it for me-I'm out.Shalimar ignited my passion for perfumes many years ago and I've tolerated the reformulations up until now.The most recent changes were already pushing it,for me but I've grown to love the batwing.I can't bear the thought that the vanilla has changed-that note is the entire point of Shalimar in my mind.I've got enough batwing EDP to last me through my life and I'll snatch up some more extrait very soon,too.I won't be buying any more of the EDP or lesser concentrations.I guess as far as the major department store brands go,I'm officially a Chanel girl,now!The times,they are a-changin'.

    Xen,I have a charms edition bottle,too-it's a lovely delight to look at!
    The nose wants what it wants!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    (sigh) I usually suspect new bottling and new packaging with reformulation.

    I do like the Jagger bottle over the batwing bottle, though.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by george.lush@ntlworld.com View Post
    A friend in N Carolina is trying rediscover his lost youth and keeps asking me about long forgotten scents and so after a long time absent I logged in to Basenotes (I fear for him to log on would be a step too far) and was delighted to read Xen's musings upon the Guerlain re-launches. It was all interesting and delightful to read. The only point i would make is that his eloquence and knowledge seems so profound. My impressions? No I think I'll keep my ignorance under cover. BUT please M. Xen post all you can because even if i feel a little intimidated there is still sufficient resonance that I can say to myself "yes I can see what you're getting at". Guerlain can do practically no wrong in my book anyway.
    Thanks george.lush, you really are too kind! I see that you've known Basenotes from its early days. I have stuck around and seen it in all its phases - not just the change in servers but the culture and the way basenoters spoke of perfumery. In fact by the time you joined back in Feb 2007, if I recall correctly, there was a shift from poetic musings (inspired by the legendary de_Charlus and Naed_Nitram) to analytical breakdowns on fragrances. I remember that was followed by discussions on the character/texture/impression fragrances gave, which I thought was inspired by a long running thread reviewing the great classics that required reviewers to follow a certain format. It really is different these days and I don't see any familiar users now. I have also stopped posting because I felt my posts weren't getting responses; that perhaps I was incompetent in writing - there certainly are much more competent noses and writers here I believe, so I feel I do not deserve your compliments!

    I have just found another post that accurately describes this phenomenon we are facing with Guerlain:
    Maid of Many Names writes in Perfume of Life:
    'On smelling the 'new' Mitsuko and Jicky I was immediately able to identify them. At first sniff it seems that they are very true to the original but once the initial jolt of recognition is over, I found that the composition was not quite right. I used my samples of the old juice as a comparison and there is a depth that the new formulation lacks. It's like the old stuff was build from that base notes up, with an emphasis on those base and middle notes to give it roundness and depth. The newer versions of both Jicky and Mitsuko seem to have taken the opposite approach- with the top notes gaining preference with the base and middle notes really not prevalent at all.

    I also noticed that even after several hours, the new formulations hadn't developed like the old style juice. The progression was far more linear and the base notes didn't come forth in any strength until over five hours later. I'm not sure if this is because Guerlain was forced to use synthetics or if it's just that they've reduced the base and middle notes.

    The civet and oakmoss are by far the most sorely missed notes. While both perfumes have notes that resemble them, it's not the same at all. Depth and boldness is lost and there is a sharpness in both perfumes that was not there in the older version. I also found that Mitsuko's woods and spices were not as prevalent. Jicky seemed a little washed out and lacked the real edgy quality the civet gave. The vanilla base notes also became a little too sweet towards the end.

    My end judgment is that while the reformulations aren't *bad*, they are not what they were. I find them top heavy and not as vibrant as they used to be. When my stash is gone... I think eventually I will buy the new juice. There are still things about the new stuff that shows mastery of the art and make me go 'wow' but I will do it with deep regret. I can only hope that the regulations will change and Guerlain will be willing to return to the old formula. I'm not sure they will, though, as people don't have the old stuff to compare it to will find plenty to love. In fact, the SA blabbered on about how she had just found Mitsuko and it was now one of her favorites. I was tempted to say something and let her sniff my old stuff but I couldn't ruin the joy she found in the current formula.'


    I think she nailed it. The reformulations are made in an upside-down manner from the distinctive approach Guerlain used to take towards their creations. Jacques Guerlain's creations would feature lively mids bouncing off a lush base. It was only until 1921 that he used a strong sparkly top to counterpoint the overdose of vanillin in Shalimar. Jean-Paul Guerlain followed lightly on his grandfather's practice of hiding dirty, animalic, almost savage notes under a cloud of powder but explored the use of the entire pyramid and the concept of scent evolution. Mr G would be better able to speak about Guerlain's history and has already written an excellent article on it here: http://monsieurguerlain2.blogspot.co.../currents.html

    But back to my point..

    If my information is correct, it was Jean-Paul Guerlain who advised Thierry Wasser on Idylle EDT which was the first to clearly demonstrate this new top-down approach. Thierry Wasser himself was very enthused with injecting new life into the house and decided to debut with something cool and sparkly, a concept built on showcasing and preserving top notes - an idea that led to Guerlain Homme, only made possible with the warmth of rhubarb to support its structure on JPG's suggestion, but this trend wasn't apparent then..it wasn't 'Guerlain'. However, I believe that Thierry Wasser's influence can be felt on the reformulations now. It is his enthusiasm with the blend of the top notes, a subtly detectable reconstitution in the scents' structures - more separation, top notes communicating with a clean base and hollowed out mids. Does this remind you of something? Look at how the equaliser settings for the Rock genre is programmed in music players, just have a look at iTunes. It is, I suspect, how Thierry Wasser wishes to capture the attention of the new generation. Almost all of Guerlain's traditional creations had to be experienced with time and wisdom to construe. They need time to breath and develop on the skin. Shalimar would throw out voluptuous fumes of resins, incense, dark vanilla after its startling startup that was thought to be almost vulgar and obscene when it was first revealed to the world is allowed to settle. The reformulation now, however, makes it more accessible right from the start. Ladies who once feared to touch the legendary perfume worn by their mothers, immortalised in their memory, now mesmerised by the Jade Jagger bottle, pick it up for a spritz to suddenly find they had suitably matured to wear Shalimar without realising it is Shalimar that has lost its wonderful splendour of yesteryear. A few decades back, a lady in her 20s wouldn't even dare go near it. Now it might even befit a lady past her 20th birthday, should she be cultured, sophisticated and elegant enough to don it.

    I feel that Guerlain is passing into a new age. Thierry Wasser respects its history, and if indeed he did have something to do with the reformulations, he has done a good job, considering the year-on-year tightening restrictions on materials. If it was him who made the new bergamot blend then I believe he might just be the person Guerlain needs to steer their way through the new dictatorial world of synthetic perfumery. He fixed Vetiver's top, but the restrictions desecrated the rest of the scent. Now I await in hopes that he might find workarounds to implement in future reformulations and perhaps even restore some of the lustre of their great classics.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    Hmmm . great post. Thank you for your well thought insights. It was a good read.
    My own grieving for Mitsouko has ended - though it was a long and painful road. ( How dramatic ! *LOL* ) I wear the new juice well and I think it has its own merits .
    I have a new respect for Thierry Wasser after watching the BBC documentary .

    Times are a changin' as PerfumedLady has said.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    Thanks for the in-depth thoughts, Xen.

    I confess I have been too busy trying to round up one or two of the vanishing Parisiennes (Philtre d'Amour, Attrape Coeur) to even check in on recent changes to the more popular Guerlains. I think it's time to get down and see if there are any older Jicky or Shalimar bottles tucked away under the counter now as well.

    I actually think Thierry Wasser has his heart in the right place - he seems to be one of the few in the industry to go public with comments about IFRA and the talk of some sort of 'Heritage Collection' involving original pre-IFRA formulas sounds like a good idea to me - I have joked here before now that I'll happily sign a 'Held Harmless' in order to buy a decent rendition of some of the Guerlains that have been changed or dropped because of oakmoss or other ingredients (although all that is really required, I'm sure, is just a proper 'allergen notice' on the bottle or box).

    The quote you included rings true for me but in my case it has been more of a 'backing into' the same realisation about top and basenotes - structural stuff. I had never tried Mitsouko until 3 years ago and after trying the EDT & EDP I really wondered what all the fuss was about. I began to sense something of the depth I had read about when I got to the Extrait. A year later I picked up some 80s Extrait and PDT and it was only then I experienced the physical depth of the thing - the mossy forest floor, if you will. It made sense at last because I grew up in the 60s when real chypres were in the air - they had shape, they were three dimensional. I think that's what is being lost and it's easy for the IFRA, really, because as time goes by tastes change and as mentioned, 20 somethings these days have a different olfactory frame of reference than men and women that age did 30 or 40 years ago - most wouldn't have a clue if a classic has been diluted or even care - who is actually complaining?

    I do think we are due for some sort of backlash, though. Artistes I know who have the budgets are insisting on recording on 2 inch multi-track and using a real string section with real cellos - just as there are still perfumers and customers who want their oakmoss. The bottom end will be reinstated and all be well

  18. #18

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcery of Scent View Post
    Yours was the "lost thread" I referred to when I made this thread, about the Vetiver reformulation.

    I favour Vetiver and Vetiver Extreme in their current incarnations. As well as the vintage, of course. Its just the 90s/early 00's formula that I couldn't live with.
    Thanks for pointing me to your thread! I waited a long while for discussions to start on the new vetiver reformulation but it seemed like it was never going to..all the hype was about its new bottle. That was when I lost faith in Basenotes and stopped coming back for a while. That's how I must have missed your thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by Beau Garçon View Post
    I agree with you, Xen;

    I bought a bottle of the new "Shalimar" designed by Jade Jagger and the difference with the older one is very noticeable. The new reformulation is more sweet, girly and soft. I detect a strong "lip balm" note and also some heliotropine. Shalimar has lost the dark, tarry and animal facets. The vintage version was sexual and the new one is simply... sensual.

    Yesterday, I tried "Vetiver" in the new packaging (recovering the same bottle of "Habit Rouge") and I can't tell the difference with the bottle designed by Robert Granai. I also tried the tester of the new "Habit Rouge" Eau de Toilette (the Guerlain writing in the label is now different, in a more ancient style of calligraphy) and I notice some interesting differences: it's more fresh and invigorating with a cleaner leather note.
    I love your description! Yes, one of the things I most regret is how the 'dark, tarry and animal facets' you've pointed to that Shalimar is all about! Ironic how they made a limited 'Black Mystery' edition to signify that and then take it all away when they have finally gotten their bottle back to its iconic Isis wing look.

    I was pleasantly surprised when I first tried the 2010 Vetiver because they have finally fixed the petrochemical note (lower grade bergamot) that destroyed the scent when they first changed to the frosty bottle. But it takes about an hour for the disappointing base notes to step out in shame. The fix I believe is a new blend they have created to workaround the problem of using a poorer bergamot and is the only merit in their reformulations. About Habit Rouge, you'll also notice that it's less horse-y smelling - another irony! We can only hope the next reformulation doesn't make it depart completely from the equestrian world it describes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Surfacing View Post
    Really interesting thread(s) here. Thanks for posting and giving the info gentelmen.

    As of now, I really like the frosted bottle of Guerlain Vetiver. I am really curious as how the older Habit Rouge was ( pre-2003 ).

    Hopefully the "reformulas" are not for the worse.
    Unfortunately, the pre-2003 Habit Rouge is a completely different creature from the one after it and I find it difficult to even compare them. It will be like comparing vintage Vetiver, which was all about sweet decay, with the new Vetiver, which is about the clash of harmonious green notes against discordant, almost chaotic citrusy-tobacco-nutmeg notes. I guess if I should speak of pre-2003 Habit Rouge with the new one in the way I described Vetiver, it would be that the pre-2003 Habit Rouge was milky, smelled of decaying yellowed pages of leather bound books in an old Victorian library, dry hay, the smell of hot air on a summer's day in the countryside and of course, horses - in the way L'Artisan Dzing alludes to elephants.

    With the reformulations, one wins some and loses some. The top notes have never been so beautiful for the past decade, but the rest of scent is thinned and mid-notes hollowed out. Longevity is also greatly reduced.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larimar View Post
    By all means... stock up if you like an older version. We are going to see more and drastic new reformulations (IFRA)! It is dawning on me... new releases and the way they smell (floral notes). Extrait lovers in paricular (because of the overall concentrations) should go through their stock... there are a couple I would bet on to be changed if not already. My efforts in the past months were focused on backing-up classics.
    EDIT: In order to get the picture straight... I don't mourn the past things in general and I can see the good in modernizations of classics (new Vol de Nuit extrait), but maximum concentrations diluting florals into barely recognizable is something I can not accept. It will make many extraits pointless and deprive them of their ability to trigger emotions... soulless is the word! The oakmoss restrictions e.g. were no greatt loss for me personally as I favor the new Mitsouko extrait and less oakmoss rich bases in general.
    I too try my best to embrace the reformulations. My personal belief in selecting and buying fragrances for my collection is that there is a delicate point where the fresh juice, albeit a reformulation, might smell better/last longer/retain more structure than an aged vintage that would definitely have lost some of its notes, lost some of its balance and structure such that it is no longer an accurate representation of the original idea of the scent, or no longer lasts.

    I love the reformulated Mitsouko. It is a different scent from what it used to be, yes, but it is now alive and full of soul, albeit a more youthful one, but still one that has known and seen deepest desires and ailings of Man and taunts the mind of an intellectual.

    The last reformulation had its oakmoss replaced with tree moss which is thinner and frankly, I think worked well because it allowed its midnotes to shine and lessened the weight of the scent so it now has more movement. It is now a ghost that drifts and wanders compared to its old self who sat and wept.

    *However I suspect that Mitsouko might be due for change again. I read that IFRA had gotten it wrong; that it was treemoss, not oakmoss that causes allergies. This news came around late last year, so Mitsouko might be due for a glorious restoration. Lets just hope the same thing doesn't happen - that they fix the oakmoss and spoil the rest of the scent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mimi Gardenia View Post
    Hmmm... having sniffed Shalimar in the new bottle - I think there is a change but I will have to re sniff again. ( Is it my imagination or is the color of the juice is lighter too ?? )
    I prefer Idylle EDT to the EDP though. The EDT is absolutely wonderful .
    The colour of the juice is in fact darker, more ambery! The marketing was all cleverly done. New commercial, new bottle, darker juice. In fact I think had they not added more colourants to darken the juice, the reformulation would be noticed by more people. A psychological mask!

    I am happy to hear you prefer Idylle EDT to EDP too! In fact I think I was comforted into accepting this preference after reading your review. It just didn't feel right to prefer an EDT to EDP especially with Guerlain. I think the scent was meant to smell the way it does in the EDT! A mist of flowers..perfect. Coincidentally, I feel with this new Shalimar, I might grow to prefer the EDT to the EDP. A dynamic EDT is better than a thinned out EDP. I like the way the new Shalimar EDT shows its structure like a bare skeleton. I thought the whole point of the EDP was to pump out lush plumes inscrutable smoky sexiness. Now that it is thinned out, it has lost its purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by PerfumedLady View Post
    Oh,well that does it for me-I'm out.Shalimar ignited my passion for perfumes many years ago and I've tolerated the reformulations up until now.The most recent changes were already pushing it,for me but I've grown to love the batwing.I can't bear the thought that the vanilla has changed-that note is the entire point of Shalimar in my mind.I've got enough batwing EDP to last me through my life and I'll snatch up some more extrait very soon,too.I won't be buying any more of the EDP or lesser concentrations.I guess as far as the major department store brands go,I'm officially a Chanel girl,now!The times,they are a-changin'.

    Xen,I have a charms edition bottle,too-it's a lovely delight to look at!
    The Charms bottle IS delightful! I think they knowingly made it contain their last drops of the good stuff. Like an insider's thing. The extrait should still be in its original form. I have not tried the new one as I have the vintage. Guerlain would be courting death if they harm the extrait!

    Chanel is naturally surviving the restrictions better owing to the nature of their fragrances but Guerlain is irreplaceable for me, so I am very upset at what is happening. I love No.19 in its EDP form, but compare it with Guerlain Chamade, even in its most recent formulation, I'd pick Chamade if I could only own one of the two. Chanel has also done an excellent job with Eau Premiere - overpriced, but sensational. The concept of turning No.5 into a watercolour painting is just brilliant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Primrose View Post
    (sigh) I usually suspect new bottling and new packaging with reformulation.

    I do like the Jagger bottle over the batwing bottle, though.
    That's what compelled me to buy the Jagger bottle! Just when it's finally done right, they desecrate the scent. I think Guerlain needs stronger pressure on this. They need to be pushed to either restore their scents or find workarounds. I think the correct word is restore because it just seems like they are lowering concentrations to cut costs and that's what making their scents thinner. I don't believe that they have been compelled to simultaneously switch the stock of all their raw materials.
    Last edited by Xen; 20th July 2011 at 07:06 PM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    I have only compared Habit Rouge and Vetiver (have the original of both) with the newer ones. For me, no discernible difference.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xen View Post
    The Charms bottle IS delightful! I think they knowingly made it contain their last drops of the good stuff. Like an insider's thing.
    Interesting thought!You may just be right.I'm very sad about all of this,too.I'm sorry that no more eccentric teen girls will be able to discover the Shalimar I found back in those days.I'm sorry it may happen to Mitsouko again,too.I recently fell into instant love with Sous le Vent-I suppose it will be ruined,too?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xen View Post
    Chanel has also done an excellent job with Eau Premiere - overpriced, but sensational. The concept of turning No.5 into a watercolour painting is just brilliant.
    I love the watercolor description-it's spot on!EP is rather pricey but so well done.I really enjoy a lot of the Chanels,old and new.
    The nose wants what it wants!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    Xen - thanks for the info re. the color in Shalimar. I did see some bottles that appeared lighter colored in Asia and in Dubai duty free, this year - testers. Could be due to the light exposure ? I don't know . Very interesting.

    Yes, Idylle EDT has fully changed my mind about the way I feel re. this particular Guerlain scent. I also feel the EDT is more' Guerlain- esque' in style.
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
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  22. #22

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mimi Gardenia View Post
    Hmmm . great post. Thank you for your well thought insights. It was a good read.
    My own grieving for Mitsouko has ended - though it was a long and painful road. ( How dramatic ! *LOL* ) I wear the new juice well and I think it has its own merits .
    I have a new respect for Thierry Wasser after watching the BBC documentary .

    Times are a changin' as PerfumedLady has said.
    Thanks Mimi Gardenia I know exactly how you feel about Mitsouko because I've been through it myself. Now I keep a large bottle of vintage Mitsouko but so fear to use it. Feels like nothing can ever justify its use - no occasion grand enough; no state of mind receptive enough; no moments special enough. Now I am just about to start grieving over Shalimar, but not until I fully understand the merits of the new formulation - what I have lost, what I have to look forward for.

    I too found new respect for Thierry Wasser after watching the BBC documentary. Before watching it, I had lost much of my faith in Guerlain, but now I actually look to its future with renewed optimism. I know believe that Thierry Wasser will do all he can to preserve or even restore their classics. JPG himself must have instructed him to do so at some point. I also hope the company realises that they are losing customers with their aggressive cost-cutting measures, and as we know, these are the loyal long-time supporters that the house so thoroughly depends on.

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. reasonable View Post
    Thanks for the in-depth thoughts, Xen.

    I confess I have been too busy trying to round up one or two of the vanishing Parisiennes (Philtre d'Amour, Attrape Coeur) to even check in on recent changes to the more popular Guerlains. I think it's time to get down and see if there are any older Jicky or Shalimar bottles tucked away under the counter now as well.

    I actually think Thierry Wasser has his heart in the right place - he seems to be one of the few in the industry to go public with comments about IFRA and the talk of some sort of 'Heritage Collection' involving original pre-IFRA formulas sounds like a good idea to me - I have joked here before now that I'll happily sign a 'Held Harmless' in order to buy a decent rendition of some of the Guerlains that have been changed or dropped because of oakmoss or other ingredients (although all that is really required, I'm sure, is just a proper 'allergen notice' on the bottle or box).

    The quote you included rings true for me but in my case it has been more of a 'backing into' the same realisation about top and basenotes - structural stuff. I had never tried Mitsouko until 3 years ago and after trying the EDT & EDP I really wondered what all the fuss was about. I began to sense something of the depth I had read about when I got to the Extrait. A year later I picked up some 80s Extrait and PDT and it was only then I experienced the physical depth of the thing - the mossy forest floor, if you will. It made sense at last because I grew up in the 60s when real chypres were in the air - they had shape, they were three dimensional. I think that's what is being lost and it's easy for the IFRA, really, because as time goes by tastes change and as mentioned, 20 somethings these days have a different olfactory frame of reference than men and women that age did 30 or 40 years ago - most wouldn't have a clue if a classic has been diluted or even care - who is actually complaining?

    I do think we are due for some sort of backlash, though. Artistes I know who have the budgets are insisting on recording on 2 inch multi-track and using a real string section with real cellos - just as there are still perfumers and customers who want their oakmoss. The bottom end will be reinstated and all be well
    I too have been busy for a while, following the genius works of Betrand Duchaufour. I wasn't even aware there were talks of a 'Heritage Collection' and pre-IFRA formulas. Yes it does sound good. I fully support that proposition! However, I think a large part of the changes has also been due to price inflation on or even unavailability of raw materials (notably bergamot and mysore sandalwood for this house). I expect they will be exorbitantly priced. But I am sure most discerning customers would gladly pay the price of a L'Artisan for a Guerlain, no?

    Very well written on the modern changing tastes! It took me a long while to get acquainted with Mitsouko too. My realisation of its beauty may come more peculiar to you. It was actually the new EDT that eased me into Mitsouko. I have already had the vintage extrait (a large bottle in fact, which I thought I was laying to waste as I didn't fully appreciate it) and the new EDP (which I found to chokingly round and full - the vintage was rich, but did not overwhelm the nose like the new), but because they were so rich, I could not tell what I was supposed to look for in the scent. I think the way I grow to like a scent is when I find 'anchor points' in it - points of interest, like how a painting or photograph must have points of interests and use lines/light/shadows/texture to direct your eye from one subject to the other. Mitsouko remained inscrutable to me for the longest time until the new EDT simplified it for me and I found my 'anchor points' in its chypre mossy base that leads up to an ethereal sheen of surrealistic fruity notes - and that is only part of the picture! The rest of the scent is still an inscrutable mystery to me. It is the masterful strokes, the texture, the background, the light and shadows, the contrasts that fills out the rest of the scent, defines it, and then wraps it in a shroud of mystery.

    The backlash you speak of IS occurring even now! But not with Guerlain. Not so far as anything might suggest it is a direction they might be taking. The revolution is taking place in other niche houses, and Bertrand Duchaufour is leaving a very obvious trail for us to follow. Le Labo is making scents out of raw materials so divine, they'd smell good even if the composition was rubbish (I am not suggesting they are because I do so love their unattainably expensive works).

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    I have only compared Habit Rouge and Vetiver (have the original of both) with the newer ones. For me, no discernible difference.
    There is definitely a difference! Even if you cannot detect the difference in smell, you must surely have noticed that the new Vetiver only has 2/3rds the longevity of the old!

    Quote Originally Posted by PerfumedLady View Post
    I love the watercolor description-it's spot on!EP is rather pricey but so well done.I really enjoy a lot of the Chanels,old and new.
    I tried very hard to develop a passion for Chanel as I had for Guerlain but I realised it was impossible. There is something I don't agree with with the concept of their scents. I feel, and this might just be me, that their scents are soulless. They showcase and enhance the persona of its wearer. It is a face, something to identify with, something iconic nonetheless. They don't tell a story, but they announce the person who is going to live and write the story. It is to me an accessory. Guerlains however are soulful blends. While Chanels are accessories, Guerlains are companions. Someone you befriend; someone who takes you on a journey of self discovery; someone who shows you what was and what might be; someone to share your wistful moments with.

    As a fragrance lover, I too really enjoy the Chanels. Just No.19 alone I felt was so incisive in its construct that I have both the EDT and EDP because they have completely different shades of personality. I am however finding substitutes for its masculines because they were far less well-preserved than the feminines. Egoiste had lost its charm after it was robbed of its magnificent sandalwood base. In its place I am using Caron Le 3rd Homme which is like a mix of Egoiste and Pour Monsieur Concentree. Pour Monsieur used to be a sweet powdery, almost bank-note smelling chypre but has been reduced to a shrill citrus/hesperide scent with no lasting power the last time I smelled it in 2010. Antaeus is so poorly preserved that the classic Aramis carries off its idea much better (what's more, they have very kindly reintroduced the pre-reformulation Aramis under the name Aramis Concentree)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mimi Gardenia View Post
    Xen - thanks for the info re. the color in Shalimar. I did see some bottles that appeared lighter colored in Asia and in Dubai duty free, this year - testers. Could be due to the light exposure ? I don't know . Very interesting.

    Yes, Idylle EDT has fully changed my mind about the way I feel re. this particular Guerlain scent. I also feel the EDT is more' Guerlain- esque' in style.
    That IS very interesting! Because apart from the bottle, the colour of the juice characterises the change in formulation. Perhaps what you saw were early batches still containing the old blend. Or it could just be light exposure.. I have a 30ml EDP from Edinburgh (bought in Oct '10) and a 90ml EDP from Singapore (just this month) and they both look and smell the same, so I won't speculate on differences in stock between regions.

    I absolutely agree about it being more Guerlain-esque in style! Quite like what Allure Homme Edition Blanche was to Chanel. Idylle is to me a modern spectre of Mitsouko. If Insolence was Mitsouko's daughter gone punk, Idylle would be its innocent granddaughter.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xen View Post
    Thanks Mimi Gardenia I know exactly how you feel about Mitsouko because I've been through it myself. Now I keep a large bottle of vintage Mitsouko but so fear to use it. Feels like nothing can ever justify its use - no occasion grand enough; no state of mind receptive enough; no moments special enough. Now I am just about to start grieving over Shalimar, but not until I fully understand the merits of the new formulation - what I have lost, what I have to look forward for.

    That IS very interesting! Because apart from the bottle, the colour of the juice characterises the change in formulation. Perhaps what you saw were early batches still containing the old blend. Or it could just be light exposure.. I have a 30ml EDP from Edinburgh (bought in Oct '10) and a 90ml EDP from Singapore (just this month) and they both look and smell the same, so I won't speculate on differences in stock between regions.

    I absolutely agree about it being more Guerlain-esque in style! Quite like what Allure Homme Edition Blanche was to Chanel. Idylle is to me a modern spectre of Mitsouko. If Insolence was Mitsouko's daughter gone punk, Idylle would be its innocent granddaughter.

    Oh you are after my own heart re. vintage Mitsouko. I keep my bottles of vintage extrait safe . I chastise myself for not using them for EXACTLY the reasons you have written . Vintage Mitsouko is a bittersweet gateway into my old world - the one with no cell phones and life was more innocent - for me- and when I was a seemingly different person.Like you said , no moment today seems right enough for it and I don't use it at all . Sad.. really.
    I welcome a Heritage Collection greatly and with happy relief if it comes to pass !

    Re. Shalimar- you could be right re the old blend /early batches. One particular tester I saw was alarmingly light in color and before spraying my first thought was 'it's been tweaked 'again !

    Re. Idylle- I do foresee a bottle of the EDT in my collection soon. I fell in love with it duty free and sprayed myself soooooo much - it lasts surpsringly well for an EDT. I would have bought a bottle duty free but my LAG bag was already stuffed and stretched ( literally ) to the limit. That is ALWAYS the case with me !*LOL*
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xen View Post
    . Now I am just about to start grieving over Shalimar, but not until I fully understand the merits of the new formulation - what I have lost, what I have to look for.
    Thank you, Xen for your very thoughtful and interesting contributions! I fully understand and largely share for instance your feelings with regard to Guerlain vs. Chanel.
    Now with regard to Shalimar... I have the extrait from three different eras - the new blue boxes, the black-golden (only small refills of these two) and black-white zigzag box. In order to understand the magic and masterstroke Shalimar, one simply has to experience the dirty smokiness coming from the remainders on your clothes after a night out. This can be had in its best and dirtiest form from the oldest, the black-white zigzag box. I am picky here and eventually settled for only this form of the extrait. The black-golden extrait has to my perception something slightly strange (in the sense of artifical) going on (although still good) and the new is rather pointless in extrait smelling rather clean (and short-lived). Only the opoponax can make this a winner, but there are others and better still out there (Caron). I can enjoy the new EdP in the way I can enjoy Musc Ravageur, but I am growing tired of that very synthetic smelling accord right off the bottle and lasting through its heart. It is also getting very quiet on me rather soon. Eventually, for my own taste, Musc Ravageur is more 'daring' and more 'wicked'. I think I would choose this over Shalimar.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    Thanks so much for your breakdown of the latest Shalimar!

    Quote Originally Posted by Xen View Post
    -There is an olfactory 'vacuum', a 'space' in the region between the mid-notes and top-notes, making it smell disjointed - something is missing..heliotrope perhaps?
    I did a side-by-side with the batwing bottle and found it airier. It stumped me. I couldn't put my finger on it, but "vacuum" is exactly right.

    The best thing about the latest Shalimar is the brighter bergamot top (I'm a fan), but if they could only couple that with Shalimar's old resinous self...

    While I found the longevity to be about the same, the drydown was rather spare.
    Anakin: What was that all about?
    Obi-Wan: Well, R2 has been...
    Anakin: No loose wire jokes.
    Obi-Wan: Did I say anything?
    Anakin: He's trying.
    Obi-Wan: I didn't say anything!

    -ROTS


  26. #26

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    I agree with you on your thoughts re:Guerlain vs.Chanel,Xen.Chanel is fashion,an accessory like you said.There is something cold about their fragrances-happily,I can enjoy this,though!I love Chanel for dressing up and going out.Shalimar in particular is indeed more of a companion to me-I don't need a reason to spray it on,I just do when I feel like it,which is very often!Thank goodness I have plenty of the old batwing!Shalimar just feels like me,like going home,when I put it on.I don't even want to smell it reduced to a thin shadow of what it has been-maybe I should avoid going near the Jagger bottle?I'm so sad already,even though I have plenty for myself.It's always disheartening to me when anyone,corporations or individuals break down and give in to popular tastes.We need the strange,unique,hard-to-understand things in this world,too.Ah,but the almighty dollar sings so loudly,doesn't she?I'll be in mourning for a long time,like Mimi was over Mitsouko.We're two gals who were lucky enough to find "our" Guerlains early in life.Those fragrances have been with us through so many of life's stages-good,bad,sad and happy.Shalimar is such a dear friend to me!
    The nose wants what it wants!

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by PerfumedLady View Post
    It's always disheartening to me when anyone,corporations or individuals break down and give in to popular tastes.We need the strange,unique,hard-to-understand things in this world,too.Ah,but the almighty dollar sings so loudly,doesn't she?I'll be in mourning for a long time,like Mimi was over Mitsouko.We're two gals who were lucky enough to find "our" Guerlains early in life.Those fragrances have been with us through so many of life's stages-good,bad,sad and happy.Shalimar is such a dear friend to me!
    PerfumedLady - you are SO right !
    Also I don't think you should avoid the new Jagger bottle- firstly,the bottle is gorgeous . Secondly, ..you never know - you may enjoy the experience of ' a different' Shalimar.
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
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  28. #28

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    I'll certainly give it a try,then!I'm not averse to the sweeter modern vanilla-I'm always in the market for a good oriental vanilla precisely because Shalimar helped shaped my tastes.It's just that Shalimar's burnt,tarry vanilla is my absolute favorite part!Like a creme brulee all aflame.If I think of this new version as it's intended-a Shalimar for a new era,I believe I may enjoy it.Just not as a replacement for real Shalimar!
    The nose wants what it wants!

  29. #29

    Default Re: Guerlain 2010 Reformulations - Shalimar (Jade Jagger bottle), Vetiver, Habit Rouge etc.

    Lots of interesting thoughts in this thread... it's cool to see people who are so passionate about Guerlain. I don't exactly share such a passion but I do feel that they make some very special fragrances. Habit Rouge is a favorite of mine. It sounds like the reformulations are kind of a mixed bag. It's nice to get such in-depth opinions since the previous threads mainly focused on the new bottle designs. I'll have to try the new versions for myself when I get a chance.

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