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  1. #1

    Default Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    As the title states why do they do this? Especially since it seems like the reformulation is never as good as the original. Like why fix it if it aint broke?
    Currently wearing: Sauvage by Christian Dior

  2. #2

    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    Well, if you get me the complete company records of whichever companies to which you refer I'd be happy to take a look and provide an opinion.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by trainer294 View Post
    As the title states why do they do this?
    Sometimes because of difficulty in sourcing certain components, abidance to certain IFRA regulations and many other reasons.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    It's usually a sum of business reasons, such as:


    • Increased costs of certain components
    • Decreased availability of some components
    • Changing tastes among target consumers
    • Desire to appeal to new consumers
    • Meeting new regulations
    • Sales to regions with different regulations
    • Falling profitabilty demands lower costs


    Reformulations are, over a long enough time, inevitable, because component availability is constantly changing, and components themselves (especially naturals) are always morphing, and both of these force formulas to change in response.
    There is no beauty / That cannot be more abused / To beauty's effect.
    / blog:// https://cologniac.com / raging for the machines
    Currently wearing: Wanted by Night by Azzaro

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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    Reforms are not good or bad, they just are...

    Imagine someone changes your lovely bed for a new one.... unless your are ultra tired the first nights, you wont have a good ol sleep, and you'll probably complain about it...

    That's the case with reforms...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    I tend to agree with Redneck Perfumisto, although being the skeptic that I am and having been in the business world (primarily, sales and marketing for various consumer products)...I would focus primarily on these things:

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    It's usually a sum of business reasons, such as:

    • Increased costs of certain components
    • Decreased availability of some components
    • Meeting new regulations
    • Sales to regions with different regulations
    • Falling profitabilty demands lower costs
    I think it has less to do with "changing tastes among target consumers" and/or any "desire to appeal to new consumers" as much as it does profitability and/or government compliance. Once a "brand" is established and has a following of consumers, companies know that MOST "casual consumers" are not going to know about, pay any attention to, or concern themselves with reformulations....that is more for the die hard enthusiasts and aficionados.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    ...only to create more profit...!

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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    One example is the old Dior Homme and Dior Homme Intense. Dior didn't own the licenses for the original formulations, but licensed them from another company. They had to pay to use it, and this of course is a pain over time.

    To improve the situation, they hired an in house perfumer who made his own formulations as close to the originals as possible. These new reformulations are owned by Dior, and as a result they don't have to pay to use them. Profit.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    There could be many reasons but all come down to profitability, which is the essential nature of a company. Nothing wrong with that. They are there to sell stuff, not to please you. As long as you won't be pleased but a million of other customers will be (sales will tell), none will care. I am pretty sure that outside Basenotes and a bunch of other fragrance-related websites, none ever even heard the word "reformulation".

    The fact that they "aren't as good as the original" isn't true, I mean not always. Sometimes it is, but some other times it isn't. In fact it's often that:

    a) people get used and/or attached to a certain smell, and human nature isn't really that fond of change, so whatever changes is automatically "bad" (because you don't like the object, rather the meaning and the memories connected to it), and/or that
    b) there's a whole market of "pre-reformulation" stuff, so if I have a pre-reformulated bottle I want to sell, it's my interest to convince you that it was so better before. If it works I'll do it again and others will do, too. Since this is a small niche community, it's pretty easy to create and foster this type of trends.
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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Reformulations are, over a long enough time, inevitable, because component availability is constantly changing, and components themselves (especially naturals) are always morphing, and both of these force formulas to change in response.
    This pretty much sums it up.
    Currently wearing: Aventus by Creed

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    I agree!
    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    It's usually a sum of business reasons, such as:


    • Increased costs of certain components
    • Decreased availability of some components
    • Changing tastes among target consumers
    • Desire to appeal to new consumers
    • Meeting new regulations
    • Sales to regions with different regulations
    • Falling profitabilty demands lower costs


    Reformulations are, over a long enough time, inevitable, because component availability is constantly changing, and components themselves (especially naturals) are always morphing, and both of these force formulas to change in response.
    <div class="bnsotd"><b>Currently wearing:</b> <a href="ID26148387.html"><img src="http://www.basenotes.net/photos/products/33/26148387-7393.jpg"> Carven L'Eau Intense by Carven</a></div>

  12. #12

    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    To further line their already bulging pockets

    Ok, Cool Water sales have gone down -- so we'll make it cheaper to produce but charge the customer the same as for the original version

    After all, who will notice? Just a few 'basenoters'

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    Many reasons as stated, but predominantly the desire to milk more cash out of consumers. Even if not reformulated prices go up for most houses every year even as quality goes down.
    1. Epic Man by Amouage (33 wears)
    2. Leather Oud by Christian Dior (31 wears)
    3. M7 by Yves Saint Laurent (27 wears)
    4. Oud Imperial (black) by Perris Monte Carlo (22 wears)
    5. Russian Tea Ritual by Masque (20 wears)
    6. Fate Man by Amouage (19 wears)

    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by SportsFan View Post
    I tend to agree with Redneck Perfumisto, although being the skeptic that I am and having been in the business world (primarily, sales and marketing for various consumer products)...I would focus primarily on these things:



    I think it has less to do with "changing tastes among target consumers" and/or any "desire to appeal to new consumers" as much as it does profitability and/or government compliance. Once a "brand" is established and has a following of consumers, companies know that MOST "casual consumers" are not going to know about, pay any attention to, or concern themselves with reformulations....that is more for the die hard enthusiasts and aficionados.
    Yes - it seems rare any more for companies (especially the bigger ones) to do a style update, other than as incidental to a requisite change of odor for other reasons. It's certainly easier and more of an opportunity to reformulate as a fresh launch and let the older entry peter out or change for more component-based reasons over some number of years. Chanel is a great example. As No. 5 ages, Chanel just creates more timely variants or flankers while stressing the "essential nature" of the flanker to retain gravitas. In their case, hiring some of the best perfumers on the planet made that claim of flanker coreness believable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Maillard View Post
    There could be many reasons but all come down to profitability, which is the essential nature of a company. Nothing wrong with that. They are there to sell stuff, not to please you. As long as you won't be pleased but a million of other customers will be (sales will tell), none will care. I am pretty sure that outside Basenotes and a bunch of other fragrance-related websites, none ever even heard the word "reformulation".

    The fact that they "aren't as good as the original" isn't true, I mean not always. Sometimes it is, but some other times it isn't. In fact it's often that:

    a) people get used and/or attached to a certain smell, and human nature isn't really that fond of change, so whatever changes is automatically "bad" (because you don't like the object, rather the meaning and the memories connected to it), and/or that
    b) there's a whole market of "pre-reformulation" stuff, so if I have a pre-reformulated bottle I want to sell, it's my interest to convince you that it was so better before. If it works I'll do it again and others will do, too. Since this is a small niche community, it's pretty easy to create and foster this type of trends.
    "Pre-formulation" - I love the idea!
    There is no beauty / That cannot be more abused / To beauty's effect.
    / blog:// https://cologniac.com / raging for the machines
    Currently wearing: Wanted by Night by Azzaro

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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Twilight99 View Post
    One example is the old Dior Homme and Dior Homme Intense. Dior didn't own the licenses for the original formulations, but licensed them from another company. They had to pay to use it, and this of course is a pain over time.

    To improve the situation, they hired an in house perfumer who made his own formulations as close to the originals as possible. These new reformulations are owned by Dior, and as a result they don't have to pay to use them. Profit.
    That was a great example of a business-based decision!
    There is no beauty / That cannot be more abused / To beauty's effect.
    / blog:// https://cologniac.com / raging for the machines
    Currently wearing: Wanted by Night by Azzaro

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    To jack with us.
    Currently wearing: Luna Rossa Carbon by Prada

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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Twilight99 View Post
    One example is the old Dior Homme and Dior Homme Intense. Dior didn't own the licenses for the original formulations, but licensed them from another company. They had to pay to use it, and this of course is a pain over time.

    To improve the situation, they hired an in house perfumer who made his own formulations as close to the originals as possible. These new reformulations are owned by Dior, and as a result they don't have to pay to use them. Profit.
    Fascinating, I had no idea about this. Perfect example of business profit as the motive.

    To add to what Redneck Perfumisto summarized so well, I think there's also the matter of efficiency. Preparing essential oils is a very laborious task. Synthesizing materials has a huge R&D cost initially, but then becomes a "cash cow" afterward. Plus, I also expect that another factor is quality control. With synthetics it is probably easier to minimize batch variation.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trauerkraut View Post
    ...only to create more profit...!
    This is the biggest reason.

    There might be new regulations which restrict specific ingredient use, but consider this: large-scale production doesn't turn on a dime. I'd expect many changes to factor in before the production process changes. So, a large recipe change with emphasis on primarily cost reduction and, secondarily, compliance with regulations.

    With well-established houses and/or specific scents, this can be done without a significant impact as older frags have a market reputation. For example, say the new Sauvage appeals and is a big success. After a few years of traction it will be cost-reduced to maximize the revenue towards the end of its market life cycle, as consumers continue to buy based more on product reputation than quality or other assessments made for a newly launched frag.
    Currently wearing: Lui by Guerlain

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    Answers are well and truly covered. Great job, guys.

    Ever heard of the frog and the boiling water analogy? That's your average fragrance consumer. We BNers are probably too smart for our own good. Small wonder Basenotes doesn't seem to be getting sponsorship deals from big fragrance houses...

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    It's usually a sum of business reasons, such as:


    • Increased costs of certain components
    • Decreased availability of some components
    • Changing tastes among target consumers
    • Desire to appeal to new consumers
    • Meeting new regulations
    • Sales to regions with different regulations
    • Falling profitabilty demands lower costs


    Reformulations are, over a long enough time, inevitable, because component availability is constantly changing, and components themselves (especially naturals) are always morphing, and both of these force formulas to change in response.
    Pretty well summarized.
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  21. #21
    Basenotes Junkie Twilight99's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by jabar View Post
    For example, say the new Sauvage appeals and is a big success. After a few years of traction it will be cost-reduced to maximize the revenue towards the end of its market life cycle, as consumers continue to buy based more on product reputation than quality or other assessments made for a newly launched frag.
    That doesn't necessarily make business sense. The juice itself is the cheapest part of distributing perfume, so cost-reduction of the formulation isn't normally something you save a lot of money on. You would be amazed at how little the production of the juice itself cost. The exception of course is if price of one or more materials increase a lot.

    The cost of making a new formulation, quality control and testing of the new formulation, and production line changes, will most likely offset the savings they make on materials. For this reason I highly doubt that companies reformulate just to save on materials at the end of the life cycle.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Twilight99 View Post
    That doesn't necessarily make business sense. The juice itself is the cheapest part of distributing perfume, so cost-reduction of the formulation isn't normally something you save a lot of money on. You would be amazed at how little the production of the juice itself cost. The exception of course is if price of one or more materials increase a lot.

    The cost of making a new formulation, quality control and testing of the new formulation, and production line changes, will most likely offset the savings they make on materials. For this reason I highly doubt that companies reformulate just to save on materials at the end of the life cycle.
    Exactly.

    Sauvage will be reformulated when some of the chemicals in it get banned, or if consumers realize smelling like chemicals is a bad thing (please let this happen. Blatantly chemical fragrances are so awful).

    People talk about reformulations, often saying things like "They watered it down." But it doesn't work that way. To reformulate a scent, a fragrance house has to hire a perfumer, or if they have an in house perfumer, they have to dedicate time and resources for him or her to do the work.

    No fragrance house wants to reformulate a scent. Perfume is art. Have you ever asked a musician to 'reformulate' one of their songs. "Oh, man, I'm sorry guys, but... tape wasn't rolling. Can you redo it, just like that?" Ouch.

    There's always a reason that forces fragrance houses to reformulate scents, and Redneck did a great job of listing many of those reasons. They don't like doing it. We don't like when they do it. But in most cases, it's better to reformulate than discontinue. Fahrenheit is a perfect example. I have no idea how many times it's been reformulated through the last 28 years, but my bottle is from 2012 and though I can recognize how the scent has changed, I once had a woman smell it on me and recognize that it was what her first love wore as a signature 20 years ago. She had no idea what it was, but she knew the smell... and when I showed her the bottle, she said "Yes! YES! That's it!" She wasn't a frag-head. She was just a woman who recognized the smell of an ex-love (and, as a side note... it was on that day I stopped wearing anything either iconic or extremely popular on a date!)

    In a perfect world, fragrances would be sold like wine, with a date printed with pride on the front. I'm sipping a 2008 Chianti as I type this. And I'm wearing a 2012 Curve. Lolz, lolz lolz. I know, I know... but I like digging into the wardrobe from time to time, and Curve still wears like hanging out with an old friend. It was my signature before I found basenotes. Honestly, I should wear it more often! And I should drink Chianti more often too.
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by L'Homme Blanc Individuel View Post
    Exactly.

    Sauvage will be reformulated when some of the chemicals in it get banned, or if consumers realize smelling like chemicals is a bad thing (please let this happen. Blatantly chemical fragrances are so awful).

    People talk about reformulations, often saying things like "They watered it down." But it doesn't work that way. To reformulate a scent, a fragrance house has to hire a perfumer, or if they have an in house perfumer, they have to dedicate time and resources for him or her to do the work.

    No fragrance house wants to reformulate a scent. Perfume is art. Have you ever asked a musician to 'reformulate' one of their songs. "Oh, man, I'm sorry guys, but... tape wasn't rolling. Can you redo it, just like that?" Ouch.

    There's always a reason that forces fragrance houses to reformulate scents, and Redneck did a great job of listing many of those reasons. They don't like doing it. We don't like when they do it. But in most cases, it's better to reformulate than discontinue. Fahrenheit is a perfect example. I have no idea how many times it's been reformulated through the last 28 years, but my bottle is from 2012 and though I can recognize how the scent has changed, I once had a woman smell it on me and recognize that it was what her first love wore as a signature 20 years ago. She had no idea what it was, but she knew the smell... and when I showed her the bottle, she said "Yes! YES! That's it!" She wasn't a frag-head. She was just a woman who recognized the smell of an ex-love (and, as a side note... it was on that day I stopped wearing anything either iconic or extremely popular on a date!)

    In a perfect world, fragrances would be sold like wine, with a date printed with pride on the front. I'm sipping a 2008 Chianti as I type this. And I'm wearing a 2012 Curve. Lolz, lolz lolz. I know, I know... but I like digging into the wardrobe from time to time, and Curve still wears like hanging out with an old friend. It was my signature before I found basenotes. Honestly, I should wear it more often! And I should drink Chianti more often too.
    Great music analogy! My buddy the musician hates having to re-record things. Big pain!

    Fahrenheit girl is a poignant soul. What a quality date - and a good nose, too! I remember the scent of my first love's hair like it was yesterday. But I also remember my wife wearing Dior Addict and a tight dress like it was last night! Three cheers for scent memories!
    There is no beauty / That cannot be more abused / To beauty's effect.
    / blog:// https://cologniac.com / raging for the machines
    Currently wearing: Wanted by Night by Azzaro

  24. #24

    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Twilight99 View Post
    That doesn't necessarily make business sense. The juice itself is the cheapest part of distributing perfume, so cost-reduction of the formulation isn't normally something you save a lot of money on. You would be amazed at how little the production of the juice itself cost. The exception of course is if price of one or more materials increase a lot.

    The cost of making a new formulation, quality control and testing of the new formulation, and production line changes, will most likely offset the savings they make on materials. For this reason I highly doubt that companies reformulate just to save on materials at the end of the life cycle.
    I am not sure about all this. Houses certainly don't let the public know when fragrances have been messed with, do they have to let anyone else know if they bung in a bigger ratio of alcohol? Who is going to call them out?

    This is the only practical way to make a saving after all. They can't present the fragrance in a brown paper bag instead of it's box and even altering the box design I guess is expensive and a bit counterintuitive for future sales.

    Even though the juice is probably the cheapest element, just reducing the cost of it by 50p or a £1 -- say,spread over a million sales in a year (worldwide) -- well, you know it will be worth it.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Twilight99 View Post
    That doesn't necessarily make business sense. The juice itself is the cheapest part of distributing perfume, so cost-reduction of the formulation isn't normally something you save a lot of money on. You would be amazed at how little the production of the juice itself cost. The exception of course is if price of one or more materials increase a lot.

    The cost of making a new formulation, quality control and testing of the new formulation, and production line changes, will most likely offset the savings they make on materials. For this reason I highly doubt that companies reformulate just to save on materials at the end of the life cycle.
    I realize the liquid is the least expensive component. It comes down to economies of scale: is making a change in materials (be it oil or chemical components, or glassware and packaging) over the next X hundred thousand/million liters of material justified? If the cost-benefit analysis says yes, then the easier revalidating on a version iteration (as opposed to a de novo product launch) will occur. Depending on the scale sub-dollar savings per unit could very well be justified. Again, reformulation would represent a sum of changes in a single revalidation effort.

    Regulation is easy to blame publically instead of the desire for increased profit margins.
    Currently wearing: Lui by Guerlain

  26. #26

    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by jabar View Post
    It comes down to economies of scale....
    I agree.

    Although it is often presented as fact that the perfume concentrate is the least expensive component, how much do people think each Jo Malone bottle costs (to take one example)? They use the same, plain flacon for all of their perfumes and glass is incredibly cheap. At that scale, I'm willing to bet it is pennies rather than pounds.

    I'm quite sure reformulation to cheapen the formula is a real phenomenon.
    I've heard it from several horses' mouths and have no reason to think they were lying.

  27. #27
    Basenotes Junkie Twilight99's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaern View Post
    I am not sure about all this. Houses certainly don't let the public know when fragrances have been messed with, do they have to let anyone else know if they bung in a bigger ratio of alcohol? Who is going to call them out?
    Now you are talking about something entirely different. Changing the concentration of alcohol has nothing to do with the formulation of the fragrance oil. You also assume it would be difficult to measure the difference in concentration. It is easy to check. The concentration is also labelled on the bottles (EdC, EdT, EdP).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaern View Post
    Even though the juice is probably the cheapest element, just reducing the cost of it by 50p or a £1 -- say,spread over a million sales in a year (worldwide) -- well, you know it will be worth it.
    You overestimate how much they can save and underestimate the cost of reformulation.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    I mean changing the concentration of the alcohol to the detriment of the amount of fragrance oil used - thus spreading the formula more thinly. Who labels the concentration on each bottle - some outside body?

    Even Luca Turin admitted that lying is prevalent in the fragrance industry, for instance; how can a House check that what they receive back from Robertet or Firmenich is exactly the formula and concentrations that were asked for?

    At the very least, the fragrance industry as a whole needs to be more accountable and transparent with their products.

  29. #29
    Basenotes Junkie Twilight99's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    Yes, I know that is what you meant. Any chemist with half a brain can measure the concentration of alcohol in a fragrance. Watering out a fragrance with more alcohol just doesn't happen. It's just too easy to discover, and it's not what this tread is about.

    More transparency in the fragrance industry I can agree with.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Why Do Companies Reformulate A Successful Fragrance?

    More transparency in government too... we've not nearly enough of that either!




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