Interesting. Thanks for the info.
Hello everyone, Surrender to Chance, a notable sample company, sent me this email, and I just wanted to share it to spread a bit of knowledge to people. For many of us, this information is nothing new, but hopefully this will reveal to some the dire state the fine fragrance industry is in.
Reformulation of fragrances is one of the hardest things that perfumistas have to deal with. That's one of the reasons why sampling is such a great idea. Smelling a fragrance now may not be the same as it was when you first smelled it and this can be said of both vintage and fragrances from just a few years ago. If you are all set to buy another bottle of your favorite fragrance, it might not smell the same. With all of the regulations by the IFRA, many ingredients can no longer be used in fragrances as they once were. In the latest amendment, the proportion of oakmoss extracts in a finished fragrance must not exceed 0.1% and the proportion of jasmine absolute must not exceed 0.7%.
For those of you who do not know, IFRA stands for International Fragrance Association and their purpose is to promote the safe enjoyment of fragrances. They represent the fragrance industry worldwide and have a Code of Practice which applies to the manufacture and handling of all fragrance materials. Its members create over 90% of the world's fragrances. They issue a catalog of perfumery ingredients' guidelines which the manufacturing companies comply with in order to minimize potential customer complaints and lawsuits. This has been sanctioned as law by the EU Commission at Brussels. Now restricted is not the same as prohibited, but allowing ingredients to be used just up to a certain level will change many of the classic fragrances.
Perfumes get reformulated all of the time due to many reasons, not just the IFRA. Companies may use cheaper ingredients, once plentiful natural resources can become scarce, pre-made specialty bases are no longer available and natural resources may change from year to year such as a crop of jasmine.
Many fragrance materials are now on the banned list by IFRA including tuberose absolute, oakmoss, jasmine grandiflorum absolute, jasmine sambac absolute, coumarin, bergamot leaf and peel oils, birch tar oil, ambrette seed oil, carnation absolute, cassie absolute, heliotropin, styrax, fig leaf absolute, grapefruit peel oil, lemon peel oil (are you crying yet?), lemon verbena absolute, narcissus absolute, orange blossom oil and absolute, orange peel oil, peru balsam oil, rose absolute, rose oil, (how about now?), Australian sandalwood oil, opoponax and the list goes on and on. In 2008 IFRA standards stated that companies were supposed to reformulate all existing perfumes by August, 2010, to be compliant with their standards. So fragrances have been reformulated and many people are finding that their old favorites just don't smell the same. And, in some cases, perfume houses have decided not to continue producing a fragrance if they can't be at the standard that they once were (Guerlain Parure and Creed Vetiver 1948 for instance). This is a source of hot debate on fragrance boards!
Probably the most hardest hit are oakmoss-based fragrances (such as Guerlain Mitsouko) which have changed significantly. Reformulation is not something that the perfume houses publicize; and in many cases, their formula may not have changed but perhaps instead of using Mysore sandalwood as they once had done, they are now using a cheaper grade sandalwood. A perfumista will know that their fragrance does not smell the same.
Synthetic scents are nothing new to the perfume industry and today they make up the majority of components of most fragrances but natural elements such as oakmoss serve to add richness to the scent. Virtually all modern fragrances are a combination of natural and synthetic ingredients in different proportions and concentrations. It has been said that new perfumers have no great difficulty working within these guidelines as they do not feel restraint in not being able to use what they have not worked with before, but the real problem is more with the classics from the bigger brands - Chanel, Guerlain, Dior, etc.
In 2010 a group of perfumers got together in the Outlaw Project to create perfumes using botanical perfume materials that are on the IFRA/EU restricted and/or banned list. In the past years, more and more natural ingredients have been considered to be hazardous and the Project was born out of protest by those feeling that a simple warning label suggesting caution should be enough. The Outlaws were defying IFRA standards by making perfumes with large amounts of such common perfume building blocks as jasmine, rose, bergamot and oakmoss. It was spearheaded by natural perfumer Anya McCoy of Anya's Garden and includes the following perfumers: Anya McCoy (Ambresse and Light), Elise Pearlstine of Belly Flowers Perfumes (Rose of Cimarron), Jane Cate of A Wing & A Prayer Perfumes (Notoriety), Adam Gottschalk of Lord's Jester (Daphne), Alfredo Dupetit-Bernardi of Bio-Scent (Cannabis), Lisa Fong of Artemisia Natural Perfume (Belle Star), Dawn Spencer Hurwitz (Mata Hari), Charna Ethier of Providence Perfume Company (Gypsy), and Jo Anne Bassett (Amazing).
Surrender to Chance does offer a variety of vintage fragrances and we only say that a fragrance is pre-reformulation if we are positive that it is. If we are certain that a bottle was purchased prior to 2010, then it would have been prior to the reformulations. So if you have a favorite fragrance that you loved before and are nearing the end of your bottle, trying a sample might be the way to go as you never know if you will still be crazy about your beloved scent after its reformulation!
Interesting. Thanks for the info.
Reformulation is terrible....unless you happen to be in the sample business. Then it's fantastic.
Oh G, they only want to save you from disappointment...
You can read some info here:-
It's always good that this information is out there for people to inform themselves.
Thank god the government is protecting me from all these harmful chemicals. I wouldn't know what to do with myself otherwise.
Surrender To Marketing.So if you have a favorite fragrance that you loved before and are nearing the end of your bottle, trying a sample might be the way to go as you never know if you will still be crazy about your beloved scent after its reformulation!
I'm not saying reformulation doesn't happen. Of course it does, and it happens not just with perfume, but with just about any product made from a list of ingredients. Coke isn't the same as it was years ago. Your favorite brand of ice cream isn't the same as it was years ago. Even shoelaces have changed (less cotton).
You can spend your whole life being one of those people... the ones who always find a reason to be disappointed by what they can't have or what isn't as good as it once was... or, you can realize there are literally thousands upon thousands of fragrances to choose from. Yes, it's a shame when one of my favorites gets changed and isn't as good as it used to be. To me, reformulation means it's time to either accept the change or find a new favorite, and it's not like there's a lack of options to try.
"Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam
Sorry if there was any confusion: this is not a marketing plug, it's a piece of information for people to know what's going on with restrictions. Please don't misconstrue it.
1. I've done business with Surrender To Chance. Excellent quality, shipping and service at a really good price.
2. Reformulations do matter to certain people. We aren't all the same. But considering all of the BS that Basenoters have been promoting as "OMG ITS JUST THE SAME AS ___", I can sympathize with the people who say that their fragrance smells much different than it used to.
"Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam
The 'Perfumed World' is full of reformulations. We already knew that otherwise the word 'vintage' will not enter the discussion boards. I have a feeling the recent crackdown on fragrance shipping via air is hurting the decanting business.
I am not a customer of this place but I think the way they have laid out the information is quite helpful for people who don't know what's going on.
And despite the whistling in the dark attitude of many it is a fact that this last decade marks the end of an era in perfumery. Of course there will continue to be good and some great stuff made but the fact that the building blocks and key ingredients of chypres and fougeres are not available for use, and that many florals have been wiped off the perfumers pallette is akin to the body supposed to represent the music industry banning the use of the cello and double bass section in orchestras and replacing them with a keyboard triggered sampler, and shooting all the harpists and flute players while they're at it.
Read what Terry Wasser has to say on the subject, or if you get the opportunity talk to some of the perfumers and creative directors privately and see if they think 'this whole IFRA and reformulation thing is over-rated'. Denial can be a great comfort in times of change or if you're not in possession of all the facts, though, and I can understand why it's so prevalent amongst certain factions - but to the naysayers I can only ask please don't try and make a case for 'it's all cool, dude' when it really isn't unless you are actually quite comfortable with looking stoopid
Last edited by mr. reasonable; 1st March 2013 at 04:33 AM.
Maybe we should be grateful we has the chance to know the old ones/versions in the first place - although I really miss Quadrille
As a collector of vintage frags... I know which ones I prefer. To find, keep and maintain an older frag is a matter of chance, fortune and then great care. Many have previously been kept on dressing tables and warm, so a good quality one is hard to find and then takes some proper care in the right conditions to maintain.
If Surrender to Chance have bothered to collect these treasures, then promote themselves and are finding the current market difficult, then who is to criticise? It is a fairly hefty investment to be sitting on with lower sales. You don't have to buy. Loads of people use basenotes for their own soft marketing and why not? It is the right target market. These treasures are only going to be around for a while and then gone forever. If you don't really care about reformulations, then that is just fine. All the more left for those that do.
Give me vintage any day at twice the price and if you're lucky.
this is like reading love story novels ONLY!, i like versatility a little bit of science book , a little bit of history, and not love stroy books all the time!!
there is very little versatility in nowdays perfumes world...and this all subject sums up in realizing how much synthetics is it used nowdays, its 90% minimum!! if not more! so tell me please what versatility it may hold? no more versatile then love storys are!!
i started my thread here so pls suggest some of the houses you think use 30% of naturals
Whilst the IFRA restrictions are bad news for those of us who love the classic vintage fragrances that have been ruined by reformulation there is no need to spread panic and lies, as the opening article does. None of the Oils mentioned in that article (paragraph opening with "Many fragrance materials are now on the banned list by IFRA including tuberose absolute...") are in fact on the banned list of IFRA. Google IFRA and look for yourselves.
I think the situation with perfume reformulations is terrible. We shall be losing (have already lost) much of the classics of Perfumery; but let's not spread rumours that are lies.
Last edited by David Ruskin; 3rd March 2013 at 10:18 AM.
I cannot vouch for any authenticity
Chris's list is the most likely to be accurate and up to date
Last edited by mumsy; 1st March 2013 at 08:55 AM.
mumsy would be easier to know which naturals can still be found in perfumes .......so we know where to focus on
i know what i will do wont buy new things at all (i stopped buying designers probably 8 years ago when they were better let alone today!!)....
only if i get that wooooow effect which i can never get if i dont smell something aromatic in a perfume
@mumsy - yes, buying vintage, as you say, is risky.
Someone sent me one that was covered in dust, so had obviously been badly stored, but I buy with caution & bear in mind that it's a gamble. At least it gives me the opportunity of smelling it again, albeit fleetingly!
From memory, Quadrille never kept as well as some so I refuse to buy at a high price - one of my Grans was a French scent fiend, so it was always understood that they were to be kept properly (and worn every day!).
Google "IFRA". You will find a list of banned materials (Oils and synthetics), and a list of restricted materials.
An extremely smart marketing tactic by Surrender to Chance.
from the IFRA website:
So, if I understand correctly, only members of the IFRA need to comply with their standards? I'm trying to find a list of which producers or manufacturers are members, but IFRA has different regional organizations, which have different websites, some links are broken or information is incomplete. I can't seem to connect the dots between Fahrenheit and IFRA, for example. Is the Christian Dior, S.A. corporation an IFRA member, or does CD license its name to some other producer which is an IFRA member? (similar to the way big brands license to Luxottica)The Standards amount to 174 substances which have been either banned or restricted in their use in fragrance products. All members of IFRA are required, as a condition of membership, to observe the IFRA Code of Practice.
It doesn't look to me like this is all quite as mapped out and simple as some make it seem.
Look in DIY, where there is a sticky by perfumer Chris Bartlett re. IFRA stuff.
Link earlier in thread.
Mainsteam houses will be members, it appears to me that even Amouage was affected, ? hence attar problems.
? Otherwise have 2 list all relevantly offensive ingredients & scare nervous people!
But I don't really know either, as I just buy what I like
Last edited by lpp; 1st March 2013 at 09:08 PM.
As I suspected, houses themselves are not members, they just license their brand to multinational manufacturers. Out of the above list, only Givaudan gives a partial list of their products--including Le male, Armani Code, and 1 Million. They probably have made quite a few more.
I dig up this information because I think all the reformulation anxiety is overstated. People seem to think all fragrances will be affected and that IFRA is compulsory law; Taur says there are "no, zero, nada, niente third level supporting members such as small producers." IFRA is a voluntary association. Even if you get a solid link between a particular fragrance and IFRA (like 1 Million), reformulation isn't a foregone conclusion.
David Ruskin will know! 'Cos he's clever!
I think that large manufacturers of scents need to comply, but David will know the situation & can maybe explain the exact situation to you.
Re-formulation must, presumably, depend on the degree of current compliance of the previous formula.
Last edited by lpp; 2nd March 2013 at 01:48 PM.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's the end of the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There's a bit more reading to be done, though, because if you read between the lines you will see that pretty well anyone making perfume, including artisanal outfits where it brewed and bottled on the premises, are now living under the shadow of litigation if they are found to be selling perfume that someone might claim has caused a rash or allergic reaction and they do not have the 'but I am IFRA compliant' backstop to fall back on. The IFRA / EU regulations are a protection, and in this ambulance chaser world anyone selling stuff that may be fair game needs a backstop. Chris mentions this himself somewhere with regard to his own line.
Of course if there was a clear warning label on the packaging like there used to be with cosmetic products, all this could have been avoided BUT the industry, the IFRA members, in their wisdom no doubt decided it would scare off customers and cast a scary scientific light on the romance and luxury of 'perfume' so they dug themselves into this hole. Perfume is made by vestal virgins collecting flowers under a full moon at the equinox, not be people in white coats in labs, right? And they use 'only the finest natural ingredients', no chemicals . . . God forbid.
It's just staggering to me how this has all come about - talk about shooting yourself in the foot. BUT, as long as people keep having babies there will be a new customer base turning up to buy whatever confection has been foisted on the market and with absolutely no basis of comparison (because 10 years will be sufficient for most perfumes that are 'real' to vanish from the shelves) they will sail on blissfully unaware that they are paying to wear a facsimile, a poor copy, a distant echo of something that was once quite beautiful. It's an easy business decision for a company to make - they literally will not know what they are missing, unless Mum or Dad have a few old bottles lying around that somehow smell and feel different, so why not? The perfumers don't get a lot of say in the matter - the up and comings work with the budget they have been given and the more established ones mostly just shrug and roll their eyes . . . Wasser is one of a very few who have commented on this in public.
There will continue to be certain types of wonderful perfumes made, and some older ones need not change because they did not rely on the ever-increasing list of regulated or banned ingredients, BUT I don't think this issue is overstated because I know for a fact that many of the fragrances I know and enjoy have either been discontinued because they were impossible to make anymore, OR have been substantially changed to bring them in line with the current IFRA regulations. I'm pissed off about that but I knew it was coming and have back-ups etc. but that's how it is . . . the industry has effectively screwed itself when it comes to producing quality, while trying to maximize profit. No-one gets killed, so whether this is important or not is a personal decision . . . but to deny it is simply willful ignorance.
In a former thread I tried to explain in layman's terms about EU and IFRA and why perfumes change:
Besides the clever marketing, perfumes ARE changing because not only perfume making changes (how perfumers are trained, how perfume is manufactured and marketed) but ALSO because the customer themselves force the perfume market to change due to different tastes and simply because they have no clue how the 'real' thing is supposed to smell:
Customized consultancy on perfume formulation, safety, training and marketing & olfactory research
I also offer individual online personalised advice on perfume making to anyone eager to learn how to smell and design like a pro
Social platform & research network on all things smelly, daily smelly science twitter feed @SomethingSmelly
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Clearly, you're not even looking at your own collection. More than HALF of the scents in your top ten list are less than 10 years old... but apparently nothing great is being made anymore? Holy cow. You crack me up.
1. New Haarlem - 2003
2. Aventus - 2010
3. Green Irish Tweed
5. Dior Homme - 2005 or do you prefer the 2011 version?
6. Silver Mountain Water
7. Millesime Imperial
8. Virgin Island Water - 2007
9. Tobacco Vanille - 2007
10. YSL L'Homme - 2006
The idea that, ohs noes, the world of perfumery is over... that's silly. Yes, reformulations happen. Some ingredients are banned. Others become scarce or too cost-prhibitive to use - both of which, by the way, were a problem decades ago too and the world of perfumery did not end. My bottle of L'Air du Desert Marocain is proof that absolutely astounding perfume is still being created. Sombre Negra by Yosh, from 2011, is more proof.
If you think about it objectively, you'll see that there is good news as well as bad. Some ingredients are banned, yes, but others are created. Some marvelous perfumes utilize those new(ish) ingredients. As proof, I cite your own top ten list. So many marvelous scents have been created in the last ten years.
...how's that 1945 bottle of Aventus treating you? LOL!
"Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam
People, relax. My title was a half-joke--you can't make a pun with R.E.M. and not find it just a bit funny. It is certainly NOT the end of the perfumed world, although that world is certainly being invaded by little green philistines who think they can uproot native law and principle. To sum up: 1.) perfumery is not yet dead; 2.) yes, this article is marketing, but I think sampling services are invaluable, so who the hell cares; 3.) my taste in titles is inappropriate. Have a nice day, friends.