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  1. #1

    Default The rave about vintage formulations

    I've noticed that perfumistas can become neurotic about suspect reformulations. Although minute changes can be perceived by some, there is much debate whether this phenomenon is psychological or objective. While the rant about reformulations may be just a scare in some, it is valid in others. I personally validate this phenomenon with my bottle of Davidoff Cool Water circa 1995. The cap is thicker and not so "cheap", but more importantly, the juice is glorious and vastly superior to the latest incarnate. I dug this bottle out of my store box and one spray in the air lingered for nearly 2 hours. It was lively, vibrant, crisp, and very fresh. The juice currently on the market is a shadow of itself and almost unrecognizable compared to what I have.

    This is a shame. Would we go back and tinker with a picasso because there might be lead in the paint? Would we change a note in a Beethoven sonata because it doesn't adhere to current theory and counterpoint? No! These works are masterpieces. They are studied and appreciated the world over. So where is the integrity in the perfume industry? It is evident that some juice touted among designers is nothing like the product we've come to love. Another case is CK Obsession. My bottle, again circa 1995, is glorious compared to current offering. I don't want to be on a forever rant about reformulations and I agree that many rants are not warranted. However, I'm writing this because I'd like to see more integrity to keep the artist's original concept in tact. Whether its due to IFRA or productions costs, companies should be concerned about putting out quality, even if they loose a nickel per bottle.
    Is the juice worth the squeeze?

  2. #2

    Default Re: The rave about vintage formulations

    I understand what you are saying. Why do houses have to adhere to IFRA regulations? My knowledge is negligible on the matter. Recently, I did acquire an older bottle of Derby(love it) so Im curious about the IFRA system.
    Re: Avatar-So are they whats known as subwoofers?

  3. #3

    Default Re: The rave about vintage formulations

    What Armani did to one of the old school Eighties greats that was Armani Eau Pour Homme is a tragedy. In it's day it was a fresh long lasting citrus fragrance with depth, today on me it's shallow and barely lasts forty minutes or so.

  4. #4

    Default Re: The rave about vintage formulations

    It's all about money. No matter how you may think of perfume as a work of art, it's just a commodity like any other. If a house thinks they can change to cheaper ingredients without decreasing sales, it will usually do so. For many scents, too, the manufacturer knows that if it tinkers with the formula to make it cheaper, 90% of those buying it casually won't notice.

    There are lots of things in life that used to be higher quality, but are now made cheaply. I used to wear Cole Haan shoes, but find they're not the same quality they used to be, and now wear Allen Edmonds. My parents used to drive Buicks, but got sick of the repairs and now drive Toyotas. Even Wendy's hamburgers were fresh and (relatively) tasty for a few years, but now every time I get one it's a reheated, tasteless patty.

    I'm getting grumpy in my middle age.
    Current Top Five:

    1. Creed Green Irish Tweed
    2. Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
    3. Hermes Concentre d'Orange Verte
    4. Bond No. 9 New Haarlem
    5. Creed Original Vetiver

  5. #5

    Default Re: The rave about vintage formulations

    I try not to get too upset about the 'reformulation issue', however, as with most people, it becomes emotive when an old favourite becomes a shadow of its former self: eg. Paco Rabanne, Azzarro Acteur and D&G Pour Homme.

    The new versions aren't terrible but they are nowhere near as rich and complex as their original formulations. The better one knows a fragrance the more the changes stand out...!

  6. #6

    Default Re: The rave about vintage formulations

    I'm honestly surprised there isn't some kind of organization made up of perfume lovers lobbying the IFRA and perfume makers. I would totally get behind something like that. Unfortunately, I just don't know enough about the intricacies of the industry to start it myself...but some sort of 'perfume-as-art' preservation organization...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The rave about vintage formulations

    I do not invest as much emotion in reformulations as others. They simply happen.

  8. #8
    Basenotes Junkie SirNosebleed's Avatar
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    Default Re: The rave about vintage formulations

    I had a big revelation last night with vintage Lauder for Men. The current formulation isn't even close. With that said though I prefer the new Edt version of Jicky and the new version of PdN New York.

  9. #9

    Default Re: The rave about vintage formulations

    Quote Originally Posted by barclaydetolly View Post
    It's all about money. No matter how you may think of perfume as a work of art, it's just a commodity like any other.
    I wish more perfumistas kept this in mind... permanently.
    Last edited by Trebor; 17th January 2013 at 11:28 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: The rave about vintage formulations

    Yeah, try not to take it too personally. It's just business. Vote with your money and buy the nicer stuff even if they cost more. The vast majority if consumers don't really give a damn 'cuz they have no point of reference where quality is concerned.

  11. #11
    Dependent heperd's Avatar
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    Default Re: The rave about vintage formulations

    Beethoven and Picasso would be changed if a profit was to be made from it. Cool Water has been a best seller since it was released so they gradually watered it down and made the bottle in cheaper ways so the overhead is lower, while the price has remained the same or even increased. Same with coffee, potato chips, bacon, khaki pants......

  12. #12

    Default Re: The rave about vintage formulations

    Who says Picasso or Renoir have never been 'reformulated'? There's a thriving market in reproductions of these old masters, not all of them legal.

  13. #13

    Default Re: The rave about vintage formulations

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    The vast majority if consumers don't really give a damn 'cuz they have no point of reference where quality is concerned.
    So true. All of you make valid points.
    Is the juice worth the squeeze?

  14. #14

    Default Re: The rave about vintage formulations

    Quote Originally Posted by barclaydetolly View Post
    It's all about money. No matter how you may think of perfume as a work of art, it's just a commodity like any other. If a house thinks they can change to cheaper ingredients without decreasing sales, it will usually do so. For many scents, too, the manufacturer knows that if it tinkers with the formula to make it cheaper, 90% of those buying it casually won't notice.

    There are lots of things in life that used to be higher quality, but are now made cheaply. I used to wear Cole Haan shoes, but find they're not the same quality they used to be, and now wear Allen Edmonds. My parents used to drive Buicks, but got sick of the repairs and now drive Toyotas. Even Wendy's hamburgers were fresh and (relatively) tasty for a few years, but now every time I get one it's a reheated, tasteless patty.

    I'm getting grumpy in my middle age.
    I thought so too... Till yesterday's mind blowing experience with a 1932 Mitsouko. Life changing.

    I'm going to get to the bottom of this vintage & preserving old perfume art stuff. Might have found a new obsession (like I needed another LOL)
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    The facts on IFRA restrictions & EU regulations

  15. #15

    Default Re: The rave about vintage formulations

    It's not only driven by money - (Complexity equals cost, and includes naturals which is more costly...)
    But also Fragrances are driven by the Marketing/Sales Departments, and use focus groups to determine the most acceptable formulations for the highest sales figures.

    Most fragrances are not driven by the Art of Perfumery, nor by the creator/perfumer.
    If they were, then we would still have what I call "Real Perfumery".

    As it stands now, it is the niche perfumer creators/composers who work from the start, as driven by the Art of Perfumery, but even then some of them don't even believe in Real Perfumery either.

    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    www.PKPERFUMES.com

  16. #16
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    Default Re: The rave about vintage formulations

    its not all red-tape and cost cutting.

    reworking old classics into something that smells more modern is part of selling it to a new generation of consumers.

    so, naturally powerhouses will be toned down.

  17. #17

    Default Re: The rave about vintage formulations

    Quote Originally Posted by pkiler View Post
    It's not only driven by money - (Complexity equals cost, and includes naturals which is more costly...)
    But also Fragrances are driven by the Marketing/Sales Departments, and use focus groups to determine the most acceptable formulations for the highest sales figures.

    Most fragrances are not driven by the Art of Perfumery, nor by the creator/perfumer.
    If they were, then we would still have what I call "Real Perfumery".

    As it stands now, it is the niche perfumer creators/composers who work from the start, as driven by the Art of Perfumery, but even then some of them don't even believe in Real Perfumery either.

    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    www.PKPERFUMES.com

    So actually, what you are saying is that apart from a percentage of "niche" perfumers, it IS all driven by money.

  18. #18

    Default Re: The rave about vintage formulations

    Well the niche perfumers are just chasing a smaller, more wealthy sector of the market. They certainly aren't doing it for charity. As for high ideals - hell, some niche perfumers even work for dictators!

  19. #19

    Default Re: The rave about vintage formulations

    Related mini-rant:

    We pour opprobrium on the IFRA and EU (and rightly so), but rarely acknowledge that houses were re-formulating fragrances long before such regulatory bodies came into existence and continue to reformulate for reasons other than to simply comply with guideline X.

    As pointed out in the posts above, the situation is a complex one.

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