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  1. #1

    Default Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    There is much hue and cry about how a reformulation can ruin the spirit of the original fragrance. In fact, I don't recall ever reading anyone stating that the newer version was better than the last iteration. Ever.

    We live in a world where constant change and improvement is expected. We rarely read about a new version of an Apple product, for example, that has been RUINED by adding or changing the mix of functionality. And yet, that too, is a "reformulation." We just take it for granted that the new mix is an improvement. But not with fragrance.

    So this got me to thinking: are people just being nostalgic when they attack a reformulation? It seems quite inexplicable that while new fragrances that people love are made all the time, those very same ingredients and molecules are considered an affront when applied to an old favorite. And lacking any reference to a reformulation that people agree is an improvement, and given all the research and money spent on creating new and interesting molecules with an ever more nuanced quality, it seems rather peculiar that ALL reformulations should be found to be naturally inferior.

    So can anyone point to a reformulation, a "second draft" if you will, that was an improvement on the original?

  2. #2
    Basenotes Junkie Profumo Saggio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    For me, the reformulated Quorum is better than the original. I tested the original several times when it came out but never had any urge to buy it. More than 20 years later I found a bottle cheap and bought it just because I thought I should have it in my collection. When I tried this new version I found I actually quite liked it and have worn it out on occasion. Still not among my true favorites but much better than the original in my opinion.
    I don't have a signature fragrance. My signature changes a little bit every day, why shouldn't my fragrance?
    Currently wearing: H.M. by Hanae Mori

  3. #3

    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    It's going to be a very short thread...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    Some talk recently that Tom Ford Neroli Portofino has been tweaked for the better.

    I tried it when it was released and found it to be over synthetic but dropped in today at a new TF counter stocked up with new stuff (the line seems to be moving from boutiques to malls here) for a squirt and it seems not bad.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    Quote Originally Posted by Trebor View Post
    It's going to be a very short thread...
    True. Examples of successful reformulations are few and far between.

    However I do prefer reformulated Femme to the original. The cumin is beautifully done, it's earthy and carnal IMO, not foody or sweaty. Knocks it out of the ballpark for me.
    "I felt something so intense, I could only express it in a perfume." - Jacques Guerlain
    Currently wearing: Aimez-Moi by Caron

  6. #6

    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    I believe Ubar also falls into the category of well done reformulations.
    @SomethingSmelly

  7. #7
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    None come to mind.

  8. #8
    Basenotes Institution sjg3839's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    I don't think this one is better, but not bad for a reformulation even though there may some debate about is DHI.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    I'd say Azzaro PH is better in its current formulation than vintage. The vintage formulation is milder and balanced and some say the current one is pretentious and drier. The vintage is indeed softer, lavender driven. The current is definitely drier with more anisic vibe.. to each his own!
    On Sillage:

    If someone can smell me at more than an arm's length away, I'm probably wearing too much of whatever I applied; if she can distinctly make out the top notes, then perhaps I left the house a bit too soon..

    On icebreaker:

    I tend to compliment people on their frags to make short talks rather than anything more meaningful.

    Si o No?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    None. When a fragrance is reformulated it is not the same as the original; therefore it cannot be an improvement. It is not the same. You may prefer the reformulation, that is your prerogative but it cannot be an improvement.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    I prefer most of the reformulations of the 80's powerhouses. Sniffing is one thing and I can see why people love these, but when you actually have to wear them it can be challenging and the reformulations make them more versatile and wearable. As far as new reformulations I'm pretty happy with what Dior did to DH, DHI, and DHS. As far as Fahrenheit I'm highly disappointed with the original's reformulation, but in Aqua Fahrenheit the reformulation works really well with those notes. Also I'm sure there's tons of fragrances that are reformulated for the better, but the only ones that really get noticed are the popular mainstream fragrances that get talked about over and over again on here.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    None. When a fragrance is reformulated it is not the same as the original; therefore it cannot be an improvement. It is not the same. You may prefer the reformulation, that is your prerogative but it cannot be an improvement.
    So....originals can NEVER be improved upon, because, therefore, they would no longer be original? So once it's on the market, that's it. It's as good as it's going to get.

    I don't agree, in theory. It's a sad world when there's a whole class of things that can not ever be improved upon by default.

    There are plenty of newer frags that I like. I haven't sought out any older ones, because I don't want to get into the very expensive and time consuming and difficult hunts for the last vintage frags on earth...I'd rather find something readily available that I like.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    None. When a fragrance is reformulated it is not the same as the original; therefore it cannot be an improvement. It is not the same. You may prefer the reformulation, that is your prerogative but it cannot be an improvement.
    I like your way of thinking - it frees me from the delusion that I have to convince anybody about my preferences.

    I tend to prefer the modern reformulations - it just seems that I love current fragrance trends. I was pleasantly surprised by Egoiste and Yatagan when I smelled the new formulations, after having smelled vintage first. And in an opposite way, I was not wowed by vintage Fahrenheit, when I finally got to sniff it. The newer stuff just continues to seem more interesting to me.

    But I don't have to defend them as "improvements" - because, as you point out, they're not.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelee View Post
    So....originals can NEVER be improved upon, because, therefore, they would no longer be original? So once it's on the market, that's it. It's as good as it's going to get.

    I don't agree, in theory. It's a sad world when there's a whole class of things that can not ever be improved upon by default.

    There are plenty of newer frags that I like. I haven't sought out any older ones, because I don't want to get into the very expensive and time consuming and difficult hunts for the last vintage frags on earth...I'd rather find something readily available that I like.
    Perhaps the idea of improvement (as something other than personal preference) really only makes sense statistically. So if a company tweaks a formula and it sells better, they could call it an improvement. Customers are free to agree or disagree individually or in groups, but to the company, it's an improvement.
    * * * *

  14. #14
    silentrich's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelee View Post
    So....originals can NEVER be improved upon, because, therefore, they would no longer be original? So once it's on the market, that's it. It's as good as it's going to get.

    I don't agree, in theory. It's a sad world when there's a whole class of things that can not ever be improved upon by default.

    There are plenty of newer frags that I like. I haven't sought out any older ones, because I don't want to get into the very expensive and time consuming and difficult hunts for the last vintage frags on earth...I'd rather find something readily available that I like.
    Fragrance is a mass produced product. Some people see it as art..some don't. Personally I think if something is made of chemicals it can be improved upon, but since it's mass produced it's all about the money not the art.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    I prefer the current version of Fahrenheit. That great flopping old gentleman that Dior displayed with abandon in the eighties, has been sheathed in a tidy pair of briefs. Now we can be seen in public together
    Formerly known as Inselaffe

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    I second the newer version of Yatagan as an improvement. It's still somewhat "out there," but the earlier one I tried some six or so years ago was to my an industrial stringy Eau de Pinesol and would best be used for household applications, however, I could see myself wearing the reformulated version.
    Currently wearing: Benedictus by Excelsis

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    I could not wear the original version of Dior Homme. It made me sick, but I so wanted to love it. The reformulation is perfect for me. I have no idea what they changed, but I'm glad they did.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    reformulations are rarely due to a genuine concern to provide better quality to the customer.

    it's mostly corner-cutting, abiding by bureau regulations and sometimes making the fragrance more modern.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    Quote Originally Posted by silentrich View Post
    Fragrance is a mass produced product. Some people see it as art..some don't. Personally I think if something is made of chemicals it can be improved upon, but since it's mass produced it's all about the money not the art.
    I guess I see SOME of them as art. It depends on who makes them, and why. Comparing Duchafour's creations to Axe is like comparing a Rembrandt painting to a Twilight poster.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    Francois Demachy really did a very good job with the Dior Homme / DHI / DHS reformulations. Many will argue DH/DHI aren't as good as their originals, but as far as reformulations go, he came pretty damn close, and I could imagine this was NOT EASY to accomplish. When it comes to DHS, many have argued he has actually improved upon the original. I've yet to sniff the new one, so I can't comment.

    Agree with silentrich for the most part too on the powerhouse frags being more wearable, and on Aqua Fahrenheit. Though it's not a reformulation per se, it's a thoughful re-interpretation flanker IMO. Credit again to Demachy on this.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    I can't think of any...
    Current Top Favorites:
    1) Portrait of a Lady original formula (EdP Frdric Malle)
    2) Giorgio for Men vintage/V.I.P. for Men (Giorgio Beverly Hills)
    3) Dia Man vintage edt (Amouage)
    4)
    Anat Fritz Original Formula and Classical (Anat Fritz) - tie
    4) Lalfeorosa (O'dri) - tie

    6)
    Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio)
    7) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
    8) Tzora (Anat Fritz)
    9) Javanese Patchouli (Zegna) - tie
    9) Monsieur de Givenchy vintage (Givenchy) - tie
    9) Coeur de Vetiver Sacr (L'Artisan) - tie
    9) X for Men (Clive Christian) - tie
    9) Patou pour Homme Priv (Jean Patou) - tie
    9) Oud Shamash (The Different Company) - tie
    Currently wearing: Enygma by Onyrico

  22. #22

    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    Didn't Luca Turin claim that contemporary Poison was an improvement on the original?

    I disagree with him but each of our views is valid

  23. #23

    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    I've done some very careful sniffing job between the latest formulation of Van Cleef & Arpels Pour Homme and the vintage formulation. I've found the latest formulation to be a bit nicer and more balanced.
    "Le parfum est la musique du corps"
    (Marcel Rochas)

    Signature: Rochas Macassar (Nicolas Mamounas / Roger Pellegrino, 1980)

    Current Top 7:

    Chanel Antaeus (vtg) (Jaques Polge, 1981)
    Terre d' Hermes EDT (2006-2009) (Jean-Claude Ellena, 2006)
    Green Irish Tweed (Probably Oliver Creed / Pierre Bourdon, 1985)
    Eau de Rochas Pour Homme (Gilles Romey, 1993)
    Bleu de Chanel EDP (Jaques Polge, 2014)
    Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme (vtg) (Max Gavary, 1994)
    Chanel Allure Homme (vtg) (Jaques Polge, 1999)

  24. #24

    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    Yosh Sombre Negra is much better in the newer version.
    I don't know much about medicine, but I know what I like. -- S.J. Perelman
    Currently wearing: Costes by Htel Costes

  25. #25

    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    Quote Originally Posted by Furriner View Post
    Yosh Sombre Negra is much better in the newer version.
    Only smelled the new version, but from what I hear, this is correct. Good juice, btw.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelee View Post
    I guess I see SOME of them as art. It depends on who makes them, and why. Comparing Duchafour's creations to Axe is like comparing a Rembrandt painting to a Twilight poster.
    I LOLed pretty hard at this.

    "But.... but.... but..... the Twilight poster has that cute actor girl whose face never changes!"



    LOL.

    OK. But what about a can of Axe signed by Ann Gottlieb?

    http://www.axenewsroom.com/experts/anngottlieb

    (PS - I seriously have cans of my favorite Axe scents. And I still have a Farah Fawcett poster from the '70's! )
    * * * *

  27. #27
    Dependent rubegon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    Some people prefer the current version of Habit Rouge EdT to the previous one, including Monsieur Guerlain and Luca Turin I believe. I still like the older one, but I think the current is very good too.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    I LOLed pretty hard at this.

    "But.... but.... but..... the Twilight poster has that cute actor girl whose face never changes!"


    Dude! Totally! Kristin Stewart is way hotter than any chick in a Rememberant paintings?
    - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  28. #28

    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    Kenzo Air Intense to my nose is identical to the original Kenzo Air. However the juice has a slight blue tint.

    Yang by Jacques Fath was better as an original.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    None. When a fragrance is reformulated it is not the same as the original; therefore it cannot be an improvement. It is not the same. You may prefer the reformulation, that is your prerogative but it cannot be an improvement.
    Hmmm... I am wondering if this assertion can be looked at another way: When a fragrance is reformulated it is not the same as the original; therefore it cannot be worse. It is not the same. You may hate the reformulation, that is your prerogative but it cannot be worse.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by noirdrakkar View Post
    reformulations are rarely due to a genuine concern to provide better quality to the customer.

    it's mostly corner-cutting, abiding by bureau regulations and sometimes making the fragrance more modern.
    Dior's repatriations (i.e. taking back control of formulas by recreating them) would seem to be a departure from the common motivation for reformulations then.

    I would think modernising fragrances does not necessary result in worse formulations; they are simply different, which may raise the ire of purists/loyal fans.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Reformulations that IMPROVED on the original...

    Dior Homme Sport 2012 reformulation is apparently better than the original

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