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Thread: Guerlain: Derby

  1. #1

    Default Guerlain: Derby

    GUERLAIN DERBY

    Review: Current formulation

    Perfumer: Jean Paul Guerlain


    Notes per Fragrantica:
    Top notes: bergamot and orange

    Middle notes: spices, carnation and exotic woods

    Base notes: leather, birch, patchouli and woody notes.

    Jean Paul Guerlain was an avid horse admirer and very fond of the derby, which is where he got his inspiration. The vintage formulation might reflect this imagination better and evoke the spirit that focuses from the horse to the dirt. However, this new formulation arrives from the horse up; a classy gentleman poised upon his champion on a day not meant for races, but a casual stroll through the estate where citrus trees are here and there, where mud is not kicked up on the track but rather the essence of carnation and vetiver is disturbed beneath the hoofs. As this essence rises, it mingles with the leathery saddle beneath the rider and together envelops the soft citrus in the air from the trees.

    From initial spray, this is gorgeous. It begins its ride with fresh and lively citrus; bergamot and lemon seem to dominate more than the orange with brings it some depth. I don’t detect much mint, if at all. If so, its treatment was minimal. I do detect the beautiful and ever-present “Guerlainade” that runs through the creation. Immediately I notice a powdery vibe that is very high quality and balanced; no powder bombs here and this is something I wished lasted longer as this starts to transition into carnation, leather, and dries to a very bright and uplifting vetiver. Vetiver is not listed in the note pyramid above but it is there, and ever it is! Overall longevity and sillage are excellent. One to two sprays is all you need.

    Comparatives: None. However, this is what I feel Guerlain Vetiver wanted to be. GV is muted, linear, and the vetiver is not uplifting to me. Derby is lively, goes through three distinct phases, and the vetiver is bright and woody. Derby is far superior.
    Is the juice worth the squeeze?

  2. #2
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    I will always have the fondest regard for Derby. A true classic.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Both are very good IMO

  4. #4

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    I think this is probably my favorite scent... I have decants of vintage, but love the current formulation, I think I even like it better than vintage...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Quote Originally Posted by gtsb View Post
    I think this is probably my favorite scent... I have decants of vintage, but love the current formulation, I think I even like it better than vintage...
    I agree 100%. The new formulation is flawless, seamless, and stellar!
    Is the juice worth the squeeze?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    I am going to have to go against the grain here...
    I was in Vegas on vacation and stopped in to the Guerlain
    boutique to test both Jicky and Derby.

    Did not enjoy either. I knew I would not like Jicky, so no surprise there...
    But Derby really upset me because it sounded like something I would really like. It just smelled dry and synthetic to me.
    Signature Rotation: A* Men, Pure Havane, Dunhill Pursuit, Varvatos Artisian, Guerlain Vetiver

  7. #7

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigtruck260 View Post
    I am going to have to go against the grain here...
    I was in Vegas on vacation and stopped in to the Guerlain
    boutique to test both Jicky and Derby.

    Did not enjoy either. I knew I would not like Jicky, so no surprise there...
    But Derby really upset me because it sounded like something I would really like. It just smelled dry and synthetic to me.
    How long did you test it? Did you give it a proper wearing? It has a very natural and niche feel to me. It's a classic Guerlain and IMO is one of the pinnacles along with Vol de Nuit.
    Is the juice worth the squeeze?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    My Derby is in the bee bottle. This is vintage, isn't it?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    It's an incredible scent but the price has kept me from owning it.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Quote Originally Posted by Papi Le Bon View Post
    My Derby is in the bee bottle. This is vintage, isn't it?
    No, the bee bottle is the re-issued stuff. Generally, vintage juice is considered coming from the "Eagle" Bottle.



    I LOVE Derby!
    I've trademarked the color bleu

  11. #11

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    I've not tried the most current formula, but I have a decant from about 10 years ago. It's stupendous and one of the greats.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    The Eagle bottle is the vintage. Both fantastic.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Derby was my Christmas present to myself a few months ago. I was especially good last year. It's the new, much-hated wood-framed bottle, which actually kind of grows on you. The tall, thin proportions are elegant, and the type treatment of the name on the bottle is kind of groovy and retro-modern. Formulation is fine. I like the new bottle more than the bee bottle because it's a handy, sealed spray bottle. No atomizer fussiness, etc. Of course the fragrance itself is fine, fine stuff. Fairly high-priced, but a good value compared to many other fragrances in this price range. One or two sprays and you're good for 6+ hours -- though the top notes are so seductive that you might be tempted to sneak in a little refresh spray. Try to resist that temptation. Derby is on the powerhouse side. Best to exercise a little restraint in application.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    I did not wear any fragrance when I stopped in the boutique. I was planning on spending some coin on Derby - maybe my hopes were too high.

    I pumped a good spray on each wrist and one to the chest. It lasted forever, but I never really got the olfactory payoff that everyone else seems to get. The price didn't scare me, and I actually thought about picking up a bottle for the collection...but after walking around with it on all day, I got bored and put the $250 into the roulette wheel.

    I am a fan of Guerlain...and own about 5-6 from the line. Maybe I'll try again in 6 months.
    Signature Rotation: A* Men, Pure Havane, Dunhill Pursuit, Varvatos Artisian, Guerlain Vetiver

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Quote Originally Posted by shadesofbleu View Post
    No, the bee bottle is the re-issued stuff. Generally, vintage juice is considered coming from the "Eagle" Bottle.



    I LOVE Derby!
    Thank you Shades!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Quote Originally Posted by mrcologneguy View Post
    Derby was my Christmas present to myself a few months ago. I was especially good last year. It's the new, much-hated wood-framed bottle, which actually kind of grows on you. The tall, thin proportions are elegant, and the type treatment of the name on the bottle is kind of groovy and retro-modern. Formulation is fine. I like the new bottle more than the bee bottle because it's a handy, sealed spray bottle. No atomizer fussiness, etc. Of course the fragrance itself is fine, fine stuff. Fairly high-priced, but a good value compared to many other fragrances in this price range. One or two sprays and you're good for 6+ hours -- though the top notes are so seductive that you might be tempted to sneak in a little refresh spray. Try to resist that temptation. Derby is on the powerhouse side. Best to exercise a little restraint in application.
    I absolutely agree. For such a beautiful and light feeling fragrance, it really is a powerhouse. I've only worn 1 spray so far and hope to test out what 2 sprays will do.
    Is the juice worth the squeeze?

  17. #17

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Quote Originally Posted by Scentologist View Post
    GUERLAIN DERBY

    Review: Current formulation

    Perfumer: Jean Paul Guerlain


    Notes per Fragrantica:
    Top notes: bergamot and orange

    Middle notes: spices, carnation and exotic woods

    Base notes: leather, birch, patchouli and woody notes.

    I do detect the beautiful and ever-present “Guerlainade” that runs through the creation.

    Comparatives: None.
    I've never really been a fan of the "Guerlainade", not because I don't like the smell, but because I find scents containing it to be a little too mature and proper for versatility. Guerlain's Derby does fill the niche for me as being a power scent, very well suited for when I'm dressed to the nines, business meetings, going out with the wife to plays, etc.

    As far as comparatives, fragrances that I find provide a similar vibe and overall feel, I like the hard to find and legendary Creed Vintage Tabarome and Patou Pour Homme.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Quote Originally Posted by shadesofbleu View Post
    No, the bee bottle is the re-issued stuff. Generally, vintage juice is considered coming from the "Eagle" Bottle.



    I LOVE Derby!
    The one in the "suitcase" bottle (like Habit Rouge) is also vintage juice.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Quote Originally Posted by rubegon View Post
    The one in the "suitcase" bottle (like Habit Rouge) is also vintage juice.
    Ok!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Quote Originally Posted by PEARL View Post
    I've never really been a fan of the "Guerlainade", not because I don't like the smell, but because I find scents containing it to be a little too mature and proper for versatility. Guerlain's Derby does fill the niche for me as being a power scent, very well suited for when I'm dressed to the nines, business meetings, going out with the wife to plays, etc.

    As far as comparatives, fragrances that I find provide a similar vibe and overall feel, I like the hard to find and legendary Creed Vintage Tabarome and Patou Pour Homme.
    I habe vintage tabarome and find them nothing alike and feel derby is more potent. I wore derby to the gym and with success. I place no pretentions on my frags.
    Is the juice worth the squeeze?

  21. #21

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Derby is a true classic along with its sister, Sous Le Vent.

    Both are unisex.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  22. #22
    Basenotes Junkie lionheart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    This was probably my second niche to buy. That was a couple of years ago. To this date, I pull Derby out only for the most special of occasions. It is just that special. I feel like a Prince when I wear it.
    My Top 5!!!
    1. 1740: Marquis de Sade, Histoires de Parfums
    2. Sweet Redemption, by Kilian
    3. Tirrenico, Profumi del Forte
    4. Je Suis un Homme, Etat Libre d'Orange
    5. Derby, Guerlain

    "Coincidence is God's way of winking." --Me

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  23. #23

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    I don't really consider Derby as having the 'Guerlinade' at all, which leans more towards the lightly herbal pastry accord that is more obvious in Mon Precieux Nectar, 180 Ans, Quand Vient la Pluie, Tonka Imperiale and classics like L'Heure Bleue, Apres l'Ondee (esp the Extrait) and Shalimar.

    Derby is more of a classic restrained, slightly aromatic leather chypre style to me - the current version, anyway. Vintage is fuller all round, of course.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    This was a love at first sniff for me.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    As a fan of many Guerlain scents, it's always puzzled me why I actively dislike Derby.

    I, like mr. reasonable above, don't get much 'Guerlainade' from Derby at all. What I do get is a clear chypre accord (bergamot, patchouli and oakmoss), that sort of doesn't sit well for me and comes across as bitter (almost terpenic), muted and (dare I say) boring.

    One time I smelled Mitsouko that had not aged well, and it had a sort of rotting green vegetation smell, atop the chypre smell. This reminded me a bit of how Derby smells on my skin. I love Mitsouko. I love chypres. But for some reason I cannot wear Derby (and note, I have smelled/worn new and vintage juice).
    "You are here to enable the Divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are."

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  26. #26

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    I don't know what to say mike, I get nothing that's rotten, bitter, or the sorts. It's all fresh and lively. It smells like a true classic artisanal masterpiece on me. Anyone else get a rotten vibe? Next time I wear it, I will pay extra close attention because I think your nose is credible but either my juice doesn't have the character you speak of or perhaps you're picking up on something that I can't. Maybe skin chemistry??
    Is the juice worth the squeeze?

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Most likely skin chemistry Scentologist.

    I wouldn't go so far as saying it smells 'rotten' but the rotten vibe I got from the improperly aged Mitsouko reminded me of that same brown/sepia toned accord I get from Derby.
    "You are here to enable the Divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are."

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  28. #28

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Generally I love all things Guerlain. On many occasions my paths crossed with Derby. I tested and re~tested, but never bought it.
    I saw it in shops many times, in the eagle bottle and the standard mens flacon. Kept trying, but was never interested enough to buy.
    Then along came Heritage and it was love at first sniff. I was also swept off my feet, (though to a lesser degree) with Coriolan when it came out. I just couldn't muster up the same enthusiasm for Derby.
    About 6 years ago I found a small french perfumery that had 9 or 10 of the eagle bottles of Derby. I knew they were becoming rare, so I bought all of them ~ half in the hope I would one day change my opinion.
    I didn't give up on it, but for me Heritage and Coriolan remained streets ahead. I ended up selling all bottles except one.
    Last night your thread prompted me to wear it one more time. It was a windy night and after 2 sprays I went outside for a walk. The opening was stunning and when the wind direction was right it stopped me in my tracks, literally ! I couldn't get enough. It was the best experience I have ever had with Derby.
    Later I went to bed. With it being very cold here at the moment I sleep under the bed covers. This gave me a very different Derby experience. By this time, (probably an hour into the wearing) a dominant clove note came into play. I had never noticed a prominent clove note before, but it was most definitely there, "loud" and clear. At this stage it became annoying and unpleasant. Perhaps it's this note, or this stage of the fragrance that I have problems with. I will keep wearing Derby, but single sprays on the forearm rather than neck.
    I hope basenoters can forgive me, and indeed perhaps respect my honesty.
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  29. #29

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Nice read David. I don't get clove in the new formulation but can see where you might with the vintage. Habit Rouge is great but can get almost headachy on my with the EDT. Heritage will be a future purchase for me and I agree that it's a stellar fragrance.
    Is the juice worth the squeeze?

  30. #30

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Sorry to bump this thread, does anyone know the precise month when the 2012 reformulation of Derby took place?

    If you look at Fragrantica there is "Derby 2012" which means, I think, that some of the rectangular bottles have an older formulation (e.g. those from 2011), and some of them have the newest formulation. I just was wondering if anyone had any information when Guerlain started distributing the newest reformulation (luckily because this scent is not so hyped I don't think there is any risk of the DHI drama)....

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    I don't think Derby was reformulated. The Fragrantica entry looks to be just for the release of Derby in the rectangular bottle.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  32. #32

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    To my nose it was rather recently reformulated. I know of three distinct versions:

    1. vintage
    2. bee bottle reformulation, weakened juice
    3. 2012 reformulation: carnation was apparently amped up in the mid and I think Guerlain deployed their special "oakmoss" molecule minus the allergen that Thierry Wasser mentioned in an interview a while back.

    I have tried each of these formulations, and in my view, although all are relatively similar: current > vintage > bee bottle formulation

    (but again differences are not dramatic)

    In short, I highly recommend that those who have not tried the most recent formulation should do so. It is breathtaking.
    Last edited by gtsb; 12th April 2013 at 09:30 AM.

  33. #33

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Hi again all,

    just thought I would share a few photos of one of my recent purchases, Vintage Guerlain Derby. The photos are not great, but there is some information there that may help someone.

    Thanks


    Derby9.jpgDerby8.jpgDerby7.jpgDerby6.jpgDerby5.jpgDerby4.jpgDerby3.jpgDerby2.jpgDerby1.jpg

  34. #34
    Dependent rubegon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul P View Post
    Hi again all,

    just thought I would share a few photos of one of my recent purchases, Vintage Guerlain Derby. The photos are not great, but there is some information there that may help someone.

    Thanks


    Derby4.jpg
    That's a beauty! The photos are just fine. :-)
    Congratulations on the find!
    - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  35. #35

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Congratulations, Paul! That is a great find. The photos are excellent, thanks for those. I have a bottle of similar vintage, the number on the bottom is PC5EC4. I also have a reformulated version from around 2008. They are similar, but the vintage is fuller and deeper, and as was mentioned, has more of the clove note in the heart.

    Although Derby is a bit more "classic" in construction than most of what I wear, I find it versatile enough for daily wear. I love it, of my several Guerlains this is the one I wear the most.
    Behemoth cut a slice of pineapple, salted it, peppered it, ate it, and then tossed off a second glass of alcohol so dashingly that everyone applauded.

  36. #36

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Thanks rubegon and zatarain. Appreciate your words. I've not smelled the reformulated, so can't comment there.

    Ciao

    EDIT : the cap is pretty special. I don't own many expensive fragrances, but it's quite heavy and solid, and that twisting + pressing action to create a secure seal just oozes quality. Niche fragrance makers take note !!

    EDIT 2 : zatarain, I don't know how to interpret those code numbers, but I'd be pretty curious to find out. There are also three different dates in relation to derby - the back of the box says 1983, the bottom of the bottle is embossed with "Copyright 82" (I assume this refers to 1982), and the official release date for Derby given in the "Fragrances Of The World" book is 1985.
    Last edited by Paul P; 23rd November 2013 at 06:37 AM.

  37. #37
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    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    That bottle is a work of art! They don't make them like that any more. Sure there are still houses that make quality presentation - Chanel caps are very nice, and others as well. The Dior magnetic caps are cool. This bottle is special, though. Andre Moreau has a nice blog post about it. I think that's where I read that the cap is meant to look like an eagle's head.

    The original Heritage shield flacon is amazing too. And many of the other vintage Guerlain parfum bottles - Nahema, Chamade, and the older ones of course. It's a shame we don't get this level of artistry in bottle designs today.

    - - - Updated - - -

    You are planning to decant this stuff and then store the bottle in the box, right?t
    - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  38. #38

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Thanks for that Rubegon.

    I don't own any modern Chanel, and the only magnetic cap bottle I have is Beckham Instinct. The only vintage Guerlains that come to mind are the Bee bottles, and the "conical top hat" designs. Will have to check out Andre's website.

    And yes, I have just put in an order for 6 empty spray atomizer bottles (15ml size). And the Derby will go into one of these. And I keep all my fragrances in their original boxes, even something like the lowly Instinct mentioned above. Assuming of course I have the boxes to begin with.

    The opening of the Derby bottle is quite large, so trying to splash a little into your hand just won't work, and something like dipping a scarf corner or similar into the bottle is not my cup of tea.

  39. #39

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Good for you! Enjoy!
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  40. #40

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul P View Post
    ...
    EDIT 2 : zatarain, I don't know how to interpret those code numbers, but I'd be pretty curious to find out. There are also three different dates in relation to derby - the back of the box says 1983, the bottom of the bottle is embossed with "Copyright 82" (I assume this refers to 1982), and the official release date for Derby given in the "Fragrances Of The World" book is 1985.
    I have never paid much attention to the batch codes, but I did a little research and found this page:

    http://guerlainperfumes.blogspot.com...1920-1971.html

    According to this source, our bottles with the P-prefix code are from 1986. I have always heard that Derby was introduced in 1985, so this makes sense to me.

    EDIT: the linked source credits the actual source of the information:
    Information and photos From Basenotes member Andre Moreau and Raiders of the Lost Scent.
    The link to his page:
    http://raidersofthelostscent.blogspo...-perfumes.html

    The back of my box also says 1983; this may be the copyright of the box design or some other Guerlain copyright. There is something embossed on the bottom, but my bottle is vaporisateur, not splash, and the flat bottom is completely covered by a sticker so I can't read it.
    Last edited by zatarain; 24th November 2013 at 03:33 AM. Reason: added further source info
    Behemoth cut a slice of pineapple, salted it, peppered it, ate it, and then tossed off a second glass of alcohol so dashingly that everyone applauded.

  41. #41

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Just tried the new one, batch 1R01; never tried the other two. The top notes were too strong so I tried to avoid them. Then I smelled something familiar and within a few minutes I realized it was Fendi Uomo. And then I thought perhaps with a touch of Lauder for Men, but smoother than either of those. After a few hours, it reminded me a bit of vintage Mitsouko EdP just a little, so sort of like a "masculine" version of Mitsy. Still later it dried out and simplified, with the leather coming forward and a bit of an animalic quality. Overall, I like it, no question, but would I buy a bottle at retail when I could wait for a deal on Fendi Uomo in a swap or on ebay? I doubt it (I have bottles of the other three mentioned so it's hypothetical for me).

  42. #42

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    I own a miniature of the 'eagle' bottle. I've only given it a full wear once owing to how little of it I have but I really enjoy this one. A bottle of the current juice is certainly on my wish list.

    Nice to hear a mention of Coriolan too: whilst it's not the finest fragrance from Guerlain I do think it's underrated.

  43. #43

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    I only have the current iteration of Derby in the wood-framed bottle and enjoy it very much. Kudos to Guerlain, once again.

  44. #44
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    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    +1 on the current formula Derby. I much prefer this one to the vintage release. I think this is one of the few cases where a reformulation is actually better, while retaining unmistakable clasicism. Very well done, and worth the retail price, if you ask me.

  45. #45

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    Generally I love all things Guerlain. On many occasions my paths crossed with Derby. I tested and re~tested, but never bought it.
    I saw it in shops many times, in the eagle bottle and the standard mens flacon. Kept trying, but was never interested enough to buy.
    Then along came Heritage and it was love at first sniff. I was also swept off my feet, (though to a lesser degree) with Coriolan when it came out. I just couldn't muster up the same enthusiasm for Derby.
    About 6 years ago I found a small french perfumery that had 9 or 10 of the eagle bottles of Derby. I knew they were becoming rare, so I bought all of them ~ half in the hope I would one day change my opinion.
    I didn't give up on it, but for me Heritage and Coriolan remained streets ahead. I ended up selling all bottles except one.
    Last night your thread prompted me to wear it one more time. It was a windy night and after 2 sprays I went outside for a walk. The opening was stunning and when the wind direction was right it stopped me in my tracks, literally ! I couldn't get enough. It was the best experience I have ever had with Derby.
    Later I went to bed. With it being very cold here at the moment I sleep under the bed covers. This gave me a very different Derby experience. By this time, (probably an hour into the wearing) a dominant clove note came into play. I had never noticed a prominent clove note before, but it was most definitely there, "loud" and clear. At this stage it became annoying and unpleasant. Perhaps it's this note, or this stage of the fragrance that I have problems with. I will keep wearing Derby, but single sprays on the forearm rather than neck.
    I hope basenoters can forgive me, and indeed perhaps respect my honesty.
    David, Your experience was an interesting read and your honesty is damn refreshing.. Carry on.
    John aka Easykiller

  46. #46
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    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Not what it used to be but it's still excellent. Perhaps easier to wear since it's now smaller, fresher, more like the smell of a great soap.
    Last edited by pluran; 21st March 2014 at 11:10 PM.

  47. #47

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Quote Originally Posted by remik View Post
    +1 on the current formula Derby. I much prefer this one to the vintage release. I think this is one of the few cases where a reformulation is actually better, while retaining unmistakable clasicism. Very well done, and worth the retail price, if you ask me.
    Good news! Again I'm very happy hearing that, because I don't have the lucky chance finding a vintage one!
    My all time favorite:

    Dior Fahrenheit

  48. #48
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    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    I'm about 50-50 on Derby. Sometimes I love it, others not so much. I think it's the carnation note that bugs me. I tried Jicky a couple times recently. Love love love Jicky.

  49. #49

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Apart from eBay where it pops up from time to time, is there any other international online seller available? Would love to buy some but don't want to buy from eBay

  50. #50

    Default Re: Guerlain: Derby

    Received a sample from a generous basenoter. Good stuff. Slightly powdery, but I still like this one.

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