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  1. #1

    Default Vintage die hards: help needed!

    Hi guys,

    I can't stop obsessing about this:
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/321...f-the-classics

    I really thought I didn't like vintage stuff. Here and there I smelled some good things, but nothing earth shatering. Till yesterday.

    So now I have a need to find out more about the 'old ones'.

    Please bear with me here: I know next to nothing of antiquités, I never cared much for bottle collecting or packaging.

    But I want to smell and re-discover the masterpiece classics: the first Chanel no 5, the first Jicky, the first Shalimar etc. etc.

    And maybe make a preservation project of it. Like finding out about the formula, key ingredients, reconstruction. Call it perfume- archaeology

    I would also love to visit the Osmotheque this year and would love to hear about your experiences if you've been.

    So any help on where to start, where to smell, where to look, where to read, where to visit, who to talk to, all hugely appreciated!

    Many thanks
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Vintage die hards: help needed!

    I could only help with Shalimar Extrait (from the 1960s??) in the black-white zig zag box in pristine quality. It was sealed and stored in a cool place. It has all the animalics in the base that made it so special.
    I'm thinking of going to the Osmotheque myself next July. Does anyone know how it works with the donation of a vintage perfume, which is the access to the special fragrant treats?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Vintage die hards: help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Larimar View Post
    I could only help with Shalimar Extrait (from the 1960s??) in the black-white zig zag box in pristine quality. It was sealed and stored in a cool place. It has all the animalics in the base that made it so special.
    I'm thinking of going to the Osmotheque myself next July. Does anyone know how it works with the donation of a vintage perfume, which is the access to the special fragrant treats?
    I think those animalics are the key. Plus I wonder if the aging process does favor some perfume materials after all? Especially base notes, I think?

    I have no idea how the Osmotheque works, but I will get to the bottom of this. I do enjoy this new impulse to do more research

    If anyone has more clues on where to look for more information on historic perfume masterpieces, please lmk, much appreciated!
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  4. #4

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    Default Re: Vintage die hards: help needed!

    As Larimar said, I think the Osmotheque uses combination of information on the old formulas (when available), and gas chromatography on old samples. For instance, Luca Turin tells of when he found a very old bottle of Houbigant Parfum Ideal and donated it to the osmotheque, which then did gas chromatography and replicated it as they could.

    The osmotheque has produced a few books listed, and perhaps available, on their webpage (which is very difficult to navigate). But as usual with perfumes, there's no substitute to actual smelling.

    I have no experience, but I would think you're right that part of the difference is not only the banned ingredients, but the animalics. Fashion has changed and things have been cleaned up, and aromachemical companies haven't really tried too hard to come up with good substitutes for the complexity of naturals. Yet, one should probably not emphasize these too much. For instance, Elena at basenotes reports evidence that real ambergris was never used in No 5, not even at creation (of course, nitromusks and real jasmine were).

    cacio

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    Default Re: Vintage die hards: help needed!

    hey Irina hello,
    )

    this post came as ordered because i really wanted to share my knew conclusions on that topic

    i tried yesterday vintage shalimar pure parfum, from 80s its not zig-zag box which is the best (forum consensus) , but its the gold box with black logo and it was dissapointment!! top notes evaporated completely!..there is no opening, the scent is so depressed you can hardly notice it, in traces,
    on the other hand i have put modern shalimar parfum, its bright opening is almost the same as in modern EDP,that synthetic sharp bergamot you cant miss , the base is more sunny, vanilla,creamy! not so haylike, dary and dark like modern EDP....and that modern parfum is still behind vintage EDT i have,which is from 80s in that special shape of bottle, the same as the best vintage juice PDT, which i believe is the best one to own!, but why obsessing?

    if you go to ebay most of those stuff delivers only to USA, and there you can find them, Europe 0! you have high chance to stumble on fakes!
    and here is my final judgment after few months of thinking, i am new to perfume world but i am sure of this:

    30 years do make any perfume weaker! its called enthropy...and whoever say you different it is not true becasue none of those people know how it used to smell like, noone can make you side by side test, so there is no firm proof of anything
    its only in peoples memories, which is scientificaly proven not reliable! you know it better then i

    so i would say this, it is true vintage perfumes are better , they are originals worn by time decay! so many comparisons come to my mind right now, many aspects to look: time decay and style!
    even if you like the style , you wear weaker version of it former self

    like comparing modern art and the one only 100 years olde,
    perfumes were more carefully built, were more complex, were more daring,perfumistas took much more time to build them (now they do it in 20 minutes)....today they all smell like what in the past was percieved for easy women -sweet (remember Tabu) , just like modern art: you make black dot on big white area and this is art , wheras you look at Chagal and you see this guy spent hours , days, months in analysis etc...(there are contemporaries who are great as well!not saying this)but in general today people live and work faster!
    everything is done in a rush and with cheaper stuff (profit considerations.....so that is the truth.....

    and to learn the beauty of those perfumes you must dig for vintages...so you can imagine how it was when that perfume was fresh!! imagine the strength of modern perfume and then...apply what you smell in vintage , do the facelifting for yourself ,
    but when you experience few of them i think one can imagine without smelling them as well becasue you will never know how the original was!

    and if you contemplate about wearing: i dont think that my vintage Shalimar EDT is best thing ever happened, its best thing from educational purposes and to understand the whole hype around vintage stuff! ineed perfumery of that age was different and you cant understand it from modern versions
    , if i could have PDT from 80s i could go crazy maybe.....but my search would not stop there there is allways something new to try and something better! the search is never over hahahaha and if you want obsessing you can do it whenever and with anything you like in this world



    btw vintages do smell old fashioned , i have vintage shalimar EDT, EDC (my friend told me i smell like grandpa), vintage Bal a versailles....i tried (thanks to some dear basnoters) vintage Joy EDT, vintage Mitsouko EDT, vintage L heure bleue, vintage Tabu, vintage Givenchy III, and some more....if you go for extraits it becomes so expencive and the risk is all yours

    what is perfume without strong top notes? for me it is like a man without a head it is beautiful.....but then again its too pricey for what it gives! sorry folks ..

    modern versions , like replicas of originals,really try hard with much smaller number of ingredients to do the job and you notice it ofcourse! there is noone in this world who can stop time...
    so
    i would conclude
    thinking vintage is something to die for is of ilusive nature and a bit of placebo effect

    i just bought 5 small minies of pure perfumes and will report when i get them....but i did it out of pure curiosity i dont intend to secure quantities for wearing...and think that is the best way to go if you want to try them for educational purpose

    check perfumed court

    just one more image:

    vintage is dress from 1880, preserved in a museum if lucky , and modern formula is .....the same dress made from synthetic fabrics, usually , so it has all the parts, you dont miss half of the shape! you just see its synthetic...some texture misses, it shines, its new thing of oldfashioned model , such detailing you cant find today for sure! and the devil is in the details.

    and as perfumista you know best what notes are hit the most....i have noticed it on civet note , and animalic notes that are kind of hit the most.....vintages shine less bright, have more details that come from natural ingredients, modern versions must have less ingredients

    but that vintage shalimar parfume, and his civet note hm....its really not something to rave about!! its not 100% better or should i say worth the pricetag .....but i agree if you never smell vintage you may miss the beauty! that happened to me, until i smelled proper vintage EDT i did not like Shalimar! did not like it!....modern synthetic bergamot is killing me

    what to check? well i think there are some books on vintage perfumes, who list their ingredients as well....i would go with everything that was made until 1990s vintages are usually something considered at least 20 years old...
    Last edited by iivanita; 18th January 2013 at 09:32 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Vintage die hards: help needed!

    I do not consider Shalimar from the 80s as vintage. Shalimar was launched in 1921, so something a bit earlier than the 80s I think. You are quite right livanita when you say that your memory can play tricks on you, but I do remember first smelling Shalimar on people. It was in Paris in the 70s, and I could smell it everywhere. The top note was a delicious rich lemon, made sweet and creamy by what was underneath. I think your 80s sample, if it is as flat as you say, has not been stored properly and the top note has gone. This is always a risk with older bottles.

    Fashions change but I think the classic, vintage fragrances have a richness and a finesse that modern fragrances, and modern versions of the classics sadly lack. I own a few samples of Shalimar etc. which are fairly old but have been stored well. When I compare them with the newest versions I can see how poor the comparison is.

    And if that is what grandpa smells like, I want to smell like grandpa!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Vintage die hards: help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    As Larimar said, I think the Osmotheque uses combination of information on the old formulas (when available), and gas chromatography on old samples. For instance, Luca Turin tells of when he found a very old bottle of Houbigant Parfum Ideal and donated it to the osmotheque, which then did gas chromatography and replicated it as they could.

    The osmotheque has produced a few books listed, and perhaps available, on their webpage (which is very difficult to navigate). But as usual with perfumes, there's no substitute to actual smelling.

    I have no experience, but I would think you're right that part of the difference is not only the banned ingredients, but the animalics. Fashion has changed and things have been cleaned up, and aromachemical companies haven't really tried too hard to come up with good substitutes for the complexity of naturals. Yet, one should probably not emphasize these too much. For instance, Elena at basenotes reports evidence that real ambergris was never used in No 5, not even at creation (of course, nitromusks and real jasmine were).

    cacio
    Thank you so much for your input, Cacio
    GC/MS for old perfumes requires such specific skills, it is not easy to identify raw materials that are long gone. So now I see that the Osmotheque probably works very closely with experts in the industry to do the job done.
    Those little bits of what other perfumers say about vintage are also so interesting! Thank you for sharing!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by iivanita View Post
    hey Irina hello,
    )

    this post came as ordered because i really wanted to share my knew conclusions on that topic

    ...
    check perfumed court

    and as perfumista you know best what notes are hit the most....i have noticed it on civet note , and animalic notes that are kind of hit the most.....vintages shine less bright, have more details that come from natural ingredients, modern versions must have less ingredients

    what to check? well i think there are some books on vintage perfumes, who list their ingredients as well....i would go with everything that was made until 1990s vintages are usually something considered at least 20 years old...
    Hi dear, great to hear from you! Yes, I was thinking of getting some samples, will pm our own Mumsy as well. See if I can get an analysis done, that would be most useful in this light.
    I'm not into collecting or buying the stuff as I can't wear it, but I do want to enjoy it and try to find out what makes it so wonderful.

    This 1923 Mitsouko I smelled was full of shine btw. Not a top notes shine but a bit like a green emerald, like the light that reflects off a very beautiful furred animal. I can't describe it, words come short. But it's locked in my memory and I know that I have never encountered something like this before.

    I did smell some of the classics in various vintage millage, I still have a few samples here and there but none compare. Maybe samples are also not the way to go? Because of the extra oxidation?

    Ivana, do you happen to have the titles of those books on vintage perfumes?
    Many thanks, dear xxx

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    I do not consider Shalimar from the 80s as vintage. Shalimar was launched in 1921, so something a bit earlier than the 80s I think. You are quite right livanita when you say that your memory can play tricks on you, but I do remember first smelling Shalimar on people. It was in Paris in the 70s, and I could smell it everywhere. The top note was a delicious rich lemon, made sweet and creamy by what was underneath. I think your 80s sample, if it is as flat as you say, has not been stored properly and the top note has gone. This is always a risk with older bottles.

    Fashions change but I think the classic, vintage fragrances have a richness and a finesse that modern fragrances, and modern versions of the classics sadly lack. I own a few samples of Shalimar etc. which are fairly old but have been stored well. When I compare them with the newest versions I can see how poor the comparison is.

    And if that is what grandpa smells like, I want to smell like grandpa!
    LOL David This is so wonderful what you share, it is exactly what I'd love to know more about: how perfumes smelled then, when they were in fashion. Perfume is part of our culture so it is mighty interesting.

    How do you store your vintage perfumes?

    Do you have any recommendations like books or places or people to talk to?

    Thanks again, your input is invaluable
    Last edited by Irina; 19th January 2013 at 12:50 PM.
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    Default Re: Vintage die hards: help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    I do not consider Shalimar from the 80s as vintage..

    I own a few samples of Shalimar etc. which are fairly old but have been stored well. When I compare them with the newest versions I can see how poor the comparison is.

    And if that is what grandpa smells like, I want to smell like grandpa!
    lol

    David do you own few samples of Shalimar etc. or just Shalimar EDC?

    i was referring especially to EDC version, the opening and first 30 mins do smell like old grandpa!....i have to be honest with myself, ok i thought it smells masculine , then it smelled like old grandpa to person that did not know what am i wearing , and 2 times and i remembered my 1st impression which i wanted to deny hehe because i bought it ......(this also explained why so many male basnoters recommend EDC i wondered why?- its definitely not what you describe from your memory EDC is more woody, bergamot-patchouly, and just a touch of vanilla, while parfum is as you described it

    i never labeled perfumes like old-fashioned before i tried vintages
    wear a dress from 1880 in the public , you can be used to it, you may like it, but if you agree perfumes are part of culture and fashion, and fashion changes, then why cant you admit that some things smell oldfashioned as well ?
    .....those vintages in many cases do smell old fashioned whatever that word means to us(to me it means like real old thing from the past, coat 50 years old), and it has nothing to do with weather you like it or not, its just beeing honest and appreciate all the facts there are

    because...when i go and smell lets say amouage Jubilation25 extrait, some say it smells like classic, some say old fashioned for Ubar(for women above 50!? jezus ...i cant get it! with any perfume that uses ingredients from today i dont smell oldfashioned perfume because i smell fresh new ingredients....and it may have old style structure, but is never oldfashioned

    hehehe

    sorry for writing too long, but i was inspired i did not want to go into vintage territory, but i wanted to understand what moves people with Shalimar so much when i tried new EDP, it was awful to me , ok as a model, but awful for wearing!

    its a real treat to find good vintages, of course!

    i offered my Shalimar EDC, which i think is properly stored, in cool place, to smell to a woman of close to 60, and she told me Ivana this is 1/3 of what it used to smell like, you could not bring your nose close to the bottle, how strong it was, and i knew this before she told this,because when i got it i was thinking myself how strong it must have been when now after 40 years it still smells from the unopened sealed bottle!!!,
    but because today you are exposed to such light versions of EDTs, let alone EDC, you may not even notice the difference, and think this is exactly how it used to smell, because it smells great!

    vintage EDT i have is also mini 15 ml bottle without box, and perfectly preserved , top notes are lighter then they used to be for sure, but if i have not smelled many things i would think this is exactly how it should be
    but from modern replica of Shalimar, you can get the idea! it must start STRONG! they did it , but with strong synthetics!! and instead of that nice woody, a bit incense, patchouly base they have put some haylike dry notes combined with sharp top note , it was killing me!like wearing Sahara with dry bushes on my neck hahaha

    @Irina type in search: collecting vintage perfumes, it will come up interview with Barbara Herman, here is what she say how to start after you finish classics, and i remembered as a reference book LOL:
    For example, figure out which perfume category you like the best, get the Haarmann & Reimer perfume guide, which lists perfume pyramids and organizes perfume into its fragrance category (Floral, Green, Chypre, Oriental, etc.), and start collecting some obscure perfumes in that category. I’ve found some incredible vintage perfumes that way, particularly in the Green and Chypre Animalic category (both of which are my favorite styles).

    she writes her blog etc....will publish some book soon, and reading this interview helped me a lot to finalize roughly my opinion on vintages , i like many things she said!
    Last edited by iivanita; 19th January 2013 at 07:20 PM.

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    Default Re: Vintage die hards: help needed!

    I own a couple of samples of Shalimar perfume, and recently smelled what was for sale in Fortnums; that is how I can compare. Whilst I agree that fashions change, and fashions in perfume also change, I really do think that some fragrances transcend fashion and become timeless.

    I store my fragrances in the dark and in a cool room. If there are boxes the bottles are stored in them.

    I guess I am lucky in that I have been a Perfumer for the last 30 or so years and had the chance to smell a lot of fragrances that are now considered to be classics, at a time when there was not so much reformulation and far fewer regulations to worry about.

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    Default Re: Vintage die hards: help needed!

    Good morning, oh pure perfume and EDC are very different! :-)

    Lucky you! I liked your description of how pure perfume smelled back then, and that's exactly how i imagined it in my head, and wanted to smell in vintages today but didnt smell as of yet, who knows if i ever get that oppo:-) but at least my curiosity is fed for now:-) .
    not so many people were paying close attention to what they have smelled back then i suppose when reformulations were not so often , so its allways nice to hear from someone like you how things smelled back then

  11. #11

    Default Re: Vintage die hards: help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by iivanita View Post
    @Irina type in search: collecting vintage perfumes, it will come up interview with Barbara Herman, here is what she say how to start after you finish classics, and i remembered as a reference book LOL:
    For example, figure out which perfume category you like the best, get the Haarmann & Reimer perfume guide, which lists perfume pyramids and organizes perfume into its fragrance category (Floral, Green, Chypre, Oriental, etc.), and start collecting some obscure perfumes in that category. I’ve found some incredible vintage perfumes that way, particularly in the Green and Chypre Animalic category (both of which are my favorite styles).

    she writes her blog etc....will publish some book soon, and reading this interview helped me a lot to finalize roughly my opinion on vintages , i like many things she said!
    This is awesome, thank you sooo much!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    I really do think that some fragrances transcend fashion and become timeless.

    ...

    I guess I am lucky in that I have been a Perfumer for the last 30 or so years and had the chance to smell a lot of fragrances that are now considered to be classics, at a time when there was not so much reformulation and far fewer regulations to worry about.
    I didn't understand what you meant by that, but now I do, so thank you. Does/did this knowledge influenced your work as a perfumer?

    And do you have any tips on what classics are still true to their roots till when? (like the shalimar example that a vintage version made before the 70's still shows its masterpiece structure?)
    Last edited by Irina; 20th January 2013 at 08:08 PM.
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