many scents seem to have changed drastically over the last few years; the most annoying thing for me is that they seem to have been reformulated to last far less long once applied and overall, some nice peculiar scents are hard to notice. I had a large stock of scents purchased years ago, but when I bought the same last or this year, I was shocked and angry having spent a fair bit of money :(
Does anyone know why this is? Are there new regulations in effect since a few years that forced formulation changes? Is there a general trend, for what reason, I wonder, for fragrances to be much weaker these days?
Any insights very much appreciated!
The main reason is restrictions on certain, mostly natural, ingredients forced by IFRA, the aromachemical companies cartel association. If you search for IFRA restrictions, you'll find many posts on this. In addition, there's often a trend downward in quality, as perfume progressively cheapen their formulas afte the initial launch.
@cacio Thank you very much for explaining, now I see why. Problem is that in good department stores or perfumeries, the sales personnel is not exactly forthcoming if a scent has drastically changed. At premium prices, it's a total gamble what one buys. And, with personnel not in the know - how to find replacement scents that will last. Oh dear...
ps: reading what you suggest to google for I can't help but think that eventually all perfume will be banned eventually
You can thank the animal rights activist and bleeding heart liberals. They all want to eat organic and natural and smell synthetic...go figure. We want real musk, civet etc.
I want to smell like I just cut down a giant oak tree and wrestled a bear... but the IFRA will never allow for a fragrance to capture the accurate smell that would only come from natural ingredients
What scents are you specifically referring to?
Kouros EDT, Gucci pour homme EDT
Yes, we can purchase almost unlimited amounts of guns & ammo, eat quadruple-deep-pan pizza kebap margherita with extra cheese, and drown ourselves in oceans of alcohol - but natural ingredients in scents? I just don't get these IFRA issues; I mean, why and when did all these changes come into effect? I mean, most allergies originate, because our kids are kept in almost sterile condition these days. Next, some organisation will ban G# from classical music because of low frequency vibration damage...
Is there actually a list out there somewhere that lists scents that are now a pale shadow of their former selves?
After reading Luca Turin's "Death of Parfumery" article from 2009, I think I will just have to go for my own scent; probably old-socks-in-damp-sneakers-on-a-hot-summer-day or whatever. Oh my.
Last edited by systembolaget; 22nd May 2012 at 11:22 PM.
IFRA or not, I think fragrances like Terre or AMen and many classic Guerlains have been watered down... not as strong as I used to feel them
... And do me a favor - don't disturb my friend. He's dead tired.
Welcome to the Bwahahaha! era...
TUM TUM PISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, the industry dilutes and reduces intensity so as to make people apply more and buy more. And anyway, it is all mainstream "light" products everywhere now. Like, in Sweden, there is now Camembert or Perigord cheese with "only 5% fat". In the end, we all live off tasteless tofu or some kind of soylent green or whatever.
The House of GUERLAIN and the House of CARON - even their reformulations - still produce some very good scents. Looking at "the remains of the day" positively ...
There are no answers, only choices. (Stanislav Lem)
It makes me mad also. Many fragrances today are pale imitations of their former selves. That is why I go vintage- there is nothing like those natural ingredients and stepping back into the world when fragrances smelled 'real'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
La vita è breve, la morte vien.
Wanted!!! Rectoverso Tea Tobacco by Ulric de Varens. PM Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I absolutely agree MOST fragrances are watered down. But about the reason ? ............ Maybe the origin countries' economical issues ??? Using less perfume ingredients and more alcohol & water ???
''Sam ! Don't be detected.''
Not so much watered down, and in fact some of the new versions I find stronger, and in some cases outright obnoxious. However, top notes in the vintage ones I have may have lost some potency, so that aspect is unclear. One thing I don't understand is why so many frags were reformulated missing their sandalwood notes, when in fact synthetic sandalwood is not expensive. It is possible, though, that they tried that idea and the result wasn't good. In many if not most cases, it seems like top notes are made strong and bases are made generic (strong cedar wood and amber notes, for example).
Visit my huge swap page: http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=211135
Or visit my Sales page: http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=211407
Samples, etc. for Sale at my Crystal Flacon page: http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=282
My fragrance blog: http://bigslyfragrance.wordpress.com/
I can mention Dunhill Edition and armani eau pour homme that feel like they have been watered down. The original formulation on both was stronger and long lasting and they are both a shadow of what they were now.
I used to think everything is so vastly less potent these days. Then I suddenly remembered I used to dab some cologne on my upper lip as a teenager. This no doubt explains at least part of the discrepancy.
Quite honestly, I think it's partially in response to the many people out there who take offense with fragrances that others are wearing that have a lot of projection/sillage. It used to be that other people could smoke cigarettes and wear generous splashes of STRONG powerhouse fragrances and it was considered socially acceptable. I'm glad they've gone after the second-hand smoke, being that it's literally deadly to breathe in. These days people complain, and there are even many "fragrance free" zones - some of which make sense in certain settings (an allergy specialist's office, for example).
Reformulation is the other factor, of course, where companies are hoping to always increase profit margins and get away with charging more for less.
My Top Ten:
1: Guerlain - Habit Rouge
2: Guerlain - Jicky
3: Guerlain - Mouchoir de Monsieur
4: Guerlain - Shalimar
5: Knize - Knize Ten
6: Caron - Yatagan
7: Caron - Pour Un Homme
8: Jean Desprez - Bal a Versailles
9: Yves Saint Laurent - M7
10: Salvador Dali - Dali Pour Homme
My interest in acquiring new fragrances is drastically dwindling, to be perfectly honest.
Apart from general sampling, my interests lie more in:
1) The relatively newer releases (in other words, get them before they're reformulated)
2) Vintage formulations (but only when the opportunities present themselves)
3) Essential oils (I'm currently on a vetiver kick and am thoroughly enjoying the discovery process)
Apart from that, the fragrance industry can go and f**k itself. My interest in perfumery still remains healthy but my money is being spent elsewhere...
Just want to say welcome to Basenotes systembolaget- the more you post here, the deeper into the rabbit hole you will go
A Scent Rescuer
Every great perfume deserves a good home
I agree that overall, scents are being watered down and/or ingredients used which distort the original formula. My pet peeves are the scents I once loved and wore lots - Mille, Joy, First, Mitsouko and even Paris (which I still wear, but sprayed on fabric now, as that seems to best approximate the original scent).
Profits, IFRA regs, unavailability of former ingredients? Whatever the reason, it's a Bad Thing. I wouldn't mind so much if the manufacturers put some kind of guide on the box, say, Joy 2010; or Mitsouko, third edition. As it is, we think we're buying one thing but actually getting something else.
My rule these days is to never, ever buy without sampling first, even with a scent like the above, which I think I know well.
Companies want to make money. Read Chandler Burr's The Perfect Scent or Dana Thomas's Deluxe : how luxury lost its luster for reference.
Consumers, for the most part, don't seem to notice ( or care ?). At the same time, if they do, its not like they can demand the company to switch back. If the reformulated product is a low seller, it will simply be discontinued. The companies respond to shareholders, not perfume lovers. Thankfully many companies do produce nice fragrances as well. Still, I am very concerned. No one wants to see watered down reformulations.
Last edited by socalwoman; 25th May 2012 at 11:05 PM.
Seeking: Bottles/decants : of Feeling Man, Gucci pour Homme, Essence of John Galliano, Nicole Miller (vintage), Opium pour Homme, Oxford & Cambridge...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.
Please PM me !
If I am a liar as you say, then explain why a company would reformulate an established scent and remove the natural ingredients. Yes, the natural ingredients are costlier, but not necessarily due to shortage. Look at the fur industry, also part of the fashion scene like the fragrance industry. Do you think there is a shortage of mink? Have you noticed who has raised the most opposition to fur? He mentioned scents he bought years ago, when natural ingredients, especially in the base, were used to make fragrances richer, deeper and longer lasting. Yes, corporations answer to shareholders, but they also must maintain a fairly respectable image in the publics opinion. The animals that provide these natural ingredients could be farmed and harvested, just like beef, pork and chicken. We all know why that isn't happening!I had a large stock of scents purchased years ago, but when I bought the same last or this year, I was shocked and angry having spent a fair bit of money
To come out in a public forum such as this and call me a liar...thats just bad taste and lack of diplomacy. Whatever your problem is, it isn't my fault. Have a nice day.
Gentlemen please, no ad hominem attacks. Keep your disagreements focused on the arguments' reasoning and substance.
I apologize to Albion9 on behalf of our community.
The nail that sticks furthest up is the one that tends to get pounded down, and the fact that others can actually perceive the smell of perfume as an unbidden presence within their sacred personal space.....that in itself is enough to excite the suspicions of certain members among the hyper-vigilent.
I think the Frag Industry is shaking in their boots that sooner or later there will be some big expose that sets perfume squarely among the list of other previously-seen-to-be-harmless toxins, both real or imagined, that are apparently playing havoc with our lives and health.
After all, we sometimes put perfume on clothing so it will last longer, because when we put it on our body.....some of it disappears into our skins. And also enters the bodies of unsuspecting others through their noses.
So I think that's one of the main reasons makers are watering down their perfumes. The whole "skin scent" / lack of projection trend is probably a reflection of their worries : the less that people are able to smell their product, the less likely it is that second-party non-wearers are going to start blaming it for their ever-increasing list of ills.
I don't think that perfume companies are particularly interested in protecting the wearer ( after all, it was their choice to purchase and wear it ), I think they are more concerned about the reactions of vigilant non-wearers who are forced to endure what they may come to view as an obvious toxic intrusion into their personal space. Whether they have allergies or not.
If that's the way things evolve, it may not be long before we see punitive "sin taxes" being applied to perfume, much in the way they are now applied to other permitted-but-toxic products like cigarettes and cigars.
So really, I think the trend toward weaker perfumes is a part of a larger "image management" campaign.
Producers dearly want to preserve the public's perception that "Perfume is your friend".
In this age of the anxious and hyper-vigilent, coming up with fragrances which contain only "safe" ingredients, and better yet, which no one further than a couple of inches away can smell, would seem to be the safest way to protect that image.