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  1. #1
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    Default Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    We were comparing vintage and current versions of Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar in the Scent of the Day thread, and it seemed worthy of its own thread. For vintage, look for the "de," as in Tsar de Van Cleef and Arpels. For current, look for the dark green and black leafy-type box design. There was an in-between version, I believe, with a ribbed glass bottle which I haven't tried.

    Quote Originally Posted by epapsiou View Post
    TSAR. Vintage (and current for comparison)
    They are both great
    I am doing this comparison today, and I agree that the vintage and current versions of Tsar both smell great. There is something I like in the new version.

    Vintage has the relaxed confidence from smelling more natural, but it's also comparatively quiet. The new version is like an intense flanker, and holds onto the opening longer.

    The effect of the newer version holding the opening longer is something I have also smelled comparing original (1999) and current (2014) Allure Homme. In that case, the development of the older version gives it the edge.

    With Tsar, though, it's a tougher call. The original seems to be fading fast compared to the new version, and the new version does develop, just more slowly, perhaps equating to better longevity.

    The vintage is becoming nicely rounded, while the current is staying sharper, so I can imagine purists preferring the original, but I'm reserving judgment based on personal experience. When I fell for this and ordered a bottle, it turned out I had been wearing the current version!
    Last edited by Bavard; 9th August 2016 at 02:00 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    I am glad you brought this up bavard.
    There have been many threads about Tsar and I think we should settle the issue once and for all . (I am sure it will come up in 2 months again)

    So first there was the original. See pic below. This is a good version. The one you should get if you are a vintage enthusiast
    tsarvintage.jpg

    Then there was a reformulation and was a disaster. See pic below. This ribbed bottle is to be avoided.
    tsarBad.jpg

    The above reformulation was a mistake. VCA realized it and issued a third version (see below). This is the current version (unless there has been another recent reform) and is as good as the original.
    tsar-current.jpg.

    If you wanted Tsar (and you should - everyone should have a bottle), get the 1st or the 3rd version. This is one of the few frags where you don't have to go for vintage. Just avoid the ribbed clear glass version.

  3. #3
    Basenotes Institution badarun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    I only have a splash mini of the original - I absolutely love this version...I tried the 2nd version, prob 2 yrs back - had too many rough edges, but it's been too long to remember exactly...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    I only have a large spray of the original release and love it.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    Quote Originally Posted by badarun View Post
    I only have a splash mini of the original - I absolutely love this version...I tried the 2nd version, prob 2 yrs back - had too many rough edges, but it's been too long to remember exactly...
    Second version was bad. Try the latest one. You will not be disappointed
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    I've never tried this one. Worth a blind buy?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    Quote Originally Posted by james1051 View Post
    I've never tried this one. Worth a blind buy?
    On eBay, I see bottles going for $15 to $30, so it might be worth it. It's a green-smelling fragrance to me, good for a business meeting.
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  8. #8
    Basenotes Institution badarun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    Quote Originally Posted by james1051 View Post
    I've never tried this one. Worth a blind buy?
    As mentioned earlier, I do not have my own opinions on the 2nd & 3rd versions - but if u find an older version for a decent price - do not hesitate (& assuming u are into vtg's???)...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    Vintage Tsar in the Opaque bottle lasts all day on me (not fading at all) and the newest in dark green bottle maybe 5-6 hrs the most.
    Really no comparison in strength imo, so I was really surprised the OP saying the current (probably) longer lasting than the original vintage.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    Current Tsar lasts 10 to 12 hrs on me.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    This is probably one of the WORST uses of dihydromyrcenol.
    I tried the original, with the big TSAR letters on the bottle.
    It was like bilge water and seaweed.
    Give me GIT, even Drakkar Noir over it.
    The only thing worse than this "thing", that I can remember is/was Narciso Rodriguez EDT.

    You guys can have it.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    Quote Originally Posted by MegaMav View Post
    This is probably one of the WORST uses of dihydromyrcenol.
    I tried the original, with the big TSAR letters on the bottle.
    It was like bilge water and seaweed.
    Give me GIT, even Drakkar Noir over it.
    The only thing worse than this "thing", that I can remember is/was Narciso Rodriguez EDT.

    You guys can have it.
    Seaweed!!! Either you Tsar had turned or I need some of them seaweed.
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  13. #13
    Super Member moharram's Avatar
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    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    great frag indeed in its original formula.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    Thank you for your accounts, Bavard.

    It sounds like a layered wearing may be in order

    I don't think I'd "stack" the fragrance (spraying newer over vintage) but spray the crook of your elbow with the newer release and your neck/chest with the vintage. Seeing that they are similar (as some reformulations are entirely different i.e. D&G PH) this may satisfy those who enjoy the persistence of the new and the depth of the vintage.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    I had a sample sent to me from a store in Germany. I think it was the current version. I got a very strong pine/green/and maybe some leather in the scent. One spray and it was nuclear. Given the ultra-low prices at the usual discounters, it's not to be missed in the current version if this type of scent is your thing.
    Currently wearing: Polo by Ralph Lauren

  16. #16

    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    Jazz smells similar but not as green and dense

  17. #17

    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    The first two I liked, but the third I swapped off because I found it harsh and simpler. Remember that just because the bottle is different doesn't mean they didn't have some liquid remaining and so put it in the new style bottle (or vice versa).

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    Thanks for posting this info. I have a mini of the vintage that is amazing. I have been wondering about the reformulations, especially since new bottles are so incredibly cheap. It's good to know that I can always have a bottle and not hoard it. I absolutely love this stuff.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    I Love Tsar. I have always liked the smell of lily-of-the-valley, but it took me years of wearing and sampling frags like Tsar, Leonard, and Coup de Fouet to realize that I have a deep appreciation for carnation. The fact that the company acknowledged their misstep in its second iteration and re-crafted Tsar to be more like the original is just beautiful to me. Consider the light blueish, wiggly bottle like a second cousin or stunt double.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    Decreased performance (in terms of projection, longevity), similar albeit toned down notes (perhaps smoother, more polite, less mossy and upfront, noticeably green notes)

  21. #21

    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    Dear, I already bought 03 Tsar vintage, and I was disappointed with everyone. The last one I bought even being the same as the first photo did not convince me, I discovered through the research site of the year that it was made in 2008. Then I do not know what else to do! Will I need to find only the TSAR VINTAGE of its release year so I can get all that magic again ?? Please help me!!!

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    Quote Originally Posted by lhpp View Post
    Dear, I already bought 03 Tsar vintage, and I was disappointed with everyone. The last one I bought even being the same as the first photo did not convince me, I discovered through the research site of the year that it was made in 2008. Then I do not know what else to do! Will I need to find only the TSAR VINTAGE of its release year so I can get all that magic again ?? Please help me!!!
    The one on the first photo (Post #2) is the vintage and first formulation.......
    Keep looking on Ebay...
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    Thanks so much Epapsiou for the photos of all the different iterations. Makes it much easier to identify one from the other. I tested this many years ago and remember having liked it but at the time had my sights set on other more expensive acquisitions. I will have to find another mini and retry it. I really appreciate the information. Wish I knew of more places on line to purchase vintage frags other than the bay. I have had no luck at goodwill or local antique stores. I live in too rural an area. It also seems there are many more websites dedicated to female vintage frags as women seem to purchase more frags in general than men do. So any information I can get is most welcome.

    Thanks,

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  24. #24

    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    I like (love, actually) only the first version. I find it incomparably warmer, richer and classier than the current one, which I find way harsher and flatter. Never tried the second one (and not really interested to )
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    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Maillard View Post
    I like (love, actually) only the first version. I find it incomparably warmer, richer and classier than the current one, which I find way harsher and flatter. Never tried the second one (and not really interested to )
    100% agree!
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    - Davidoff: Leather Blend Edp
    - Ferrari: Essence Oud Edp
    - Dior: Fahrenheit (vtg)
    - YSL: Kouros (Fraîcheur)
    - Mancera: Cedrat Boise
    - MPG: Santal Noble
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar - Comparing vintage and current versions

    wrt VC&A Tsar —
    I just sprayed a little of the (what I think is still) the third edition (corrected reformulation) of Tsar in the leafy box, having recently acquired a 50ml of the original release.

    I do like them both very much. I am not ready to comment on longevity between the two, having only worn the vintage a couple times yet, but in general I'm inclined to side with Epapsiou's analysis overall.

    FYI, with a nod to Cytherian <from the Vtg Bought Today thread on this date>, the original edition's bottle is impenetrably opaque, like marble — not even laser light can pass through & I've tested w/ hi-output LEDs as well — which makes level checking before and after purchase impossible. Something to keep in mind. (My 0,1gm scale has gone missing after my recent move, or I'd post a reference weight of my new 50ml vintage which by all indicators came totally unsprayed.)

    /Acey
    Last edited by AceyMan; 23rd October 2017 at 05:26 AM. Reason: consonant truncated

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