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  1. #1
    New Member kristinc's Avatar
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    Default how do you tell whether vintage perfume has gone off?

    Hi, I apologize in advance as I'm sure this is a very boring question that has come up many times -- but I've bought some old Chanel no 5 on eBay (it's the edp so if I'm remembering correctly it can't be older than the 1980's) and now that it's here it... doesn't smell very good. The top notes seem to be almost completely gone, and all I can smell in the drydown is a sort of dusty amber that seems quite faint. Granted, my nose is inexperienced. I know that I like the modern edp and I expect the vintage to be more subtle and less sweet but I also expected to identify some rose, ylang or jasmine.

    I have the option to return it, but I don't want to be that person who returns vintage perfume because it doesn't smell like the modern version or "I don't like it". I only want to return it if I can be reasonably sure it's actually in bad condition.

    Where is the line for you? What defines "gone bad"? Obviously if it smells like 20 rotting corpses, but what if it's just very faded, or a shadow of what you expect it to be?

    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: how do you tell whether vintage perfume has gone off?

    I would also like to have some ideas on the issue from vintage experts. I bought a partly used bottle of no 5 parfum at an antique store. It definitely doesn't smell as it should be, though, in my case there's much that does resemble more modern versions of no 5 that rather than a fake I suspect some deterioration. I too detect a sort of dusty amber, or more precisely a note of old dusty books, whether original or not I doubt. And I don't get the oomph of modern formulation, though the smell is extremely crisp and clean, and, after dabbing more properly, I do also smell some florals (especially jasmine).

    cacio

  3. #3
    New Member kristinc's Avatar
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    Default Re: how do you tell whether vintage perfume has gone off?

    I also dabbed mine more generously and I noticed that after about an hour of wear (!) there is a brief flash of something lovely, a sweeter chord, maybe jasmine joining the amber. And then it's back into murkiness. The musty element is present in the background the whole time -- almost a stale smell. I'm beginning to think it must really have deteriorated. Sad.

  4. #4

    Default Re: how do you tell whether vintage perfume has gone off?

    If it doesn't smell like what you remember and you are truly unhappy with it, then I would say return it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: how do you tell whether vintage perfume has gone off?

    My criterion would be whether the fragrance is wearable ... albeit the top notes usually go

    first, an uncharacteristic sourness would be telltale ... and

  6. #6
    New Member kristinc's Avatar
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    Default Re: how do you tell whether vintage perfume has gone off?

    Thank you both I decided that no matter how much that brief glimpse of beauty makes me wish the perfume were wearable -- it is not. And I need to return it. How depressing.

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