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Thread: Vintage Bijan

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    Default Vintage Bijan

    I'm new to the house of Bijan. Bijan Men (aka Bijan for Men) was recommended by drseid and Dimitrios, and it is a stunner:

    IMG_8977.jpg

    In the blind sample pass hosted by LiveJazz, sample 1 was the original Bijan (for women), and it is also a stunner:

    Bijan.jpg

    I love flagship-type releases such as these two, but I'm curious about some others from this house as well. These are the only two I've tried.

    On Bijan Men, I have the cologne version, pictured. I've read that this was originally released in 1981 and then re-released in 1987. Mysteriously, I don't find it especially strong, which many users report. The opening and first hour or so are vivid, and then it retreats into something much quieter. Olfactory fatigue could be an issue, but I don't think it's the main issue. I think my skin just loves it too much, and absorbs it. I'm curious to try an edt version. A bunch of the eBay sellers are not showing the ingredients list. If I find a short ingredients list edt for the going rate of about $20 per bottle, I'd grab it.

    I'd be curious to see the box or bottle details of someone who has an impressively strong (i.e., long-lasting) version of Bijan for Men, and/or any discussion related to Bijan fragrances.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    Thank you for the recommendation-while not familiar neither with the vintage nor the current vintage of this (if any differences between these two versions existing in the first place) quite ready and eager not just to try but also to buy the vintage one of this, if the affordable going rate for Bijan persists
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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    I’ll pop back in once mine arrives. Most of the Bijan for Men on eBay (and elsewhere) is Five Star. The bottles and boxes are very similar, so it’s impossible to tell from stock photos or box front/bottle only what you’d get. Five Star even reissued the 1 oz. “b” bottle. The left side of the box should say whether it’s original Bijan or Five Star, but most sellers aren’t showing that. Failing revealing pics, the different producers have different UPC codes.
    Last edited by PStoller; 29th May 2020 at 12:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    I am intrigued. I always gave this one a wide berth as it seemed so over the top--much like their clothes. I did some work for them a while back when they were succession planning around the death of Bijan père and if the brand would survive under Bijan fils. Everything was a loss-leader to support the fragrance line. The bottle, by the way, was designed by French architect Olivier Vidal--lovely chap--who designed their flagship store on Rodeo (they have since moved to smaller digs across the street and into the Waldorf Astoria in BH. I will check this out once the world reopens.....
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    This is the bottle that I just received a couple days ago. Which version is this?



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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    Quote Originally Posted by aero58 View Post
    Which version is this?
    Good question. On the one hand, it's pre-Five Star. On the other, I don't know what the "100% Bijan" indicates. I would guess it's the initial reissue, but a guess is all it is.

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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    I bought it in 1986. Loved the way it smelled but it made a lot more noise than I wanted at the time. I walked into a Perfumania about ten years ago and bought another bottle. Smells cheap, but not bad if you don't know any better. Compelling stuff, anyway. I'll go try a spray.

    Edit: Put on a few sprays. Massive oakmoss. Ms was outside and smelled it twenty-five feet away. She liked it. Thought I'd been smoking weed. Not bad. Bought it ten years ago but the box is a short list. I guess I have something a little better than I thought.

    I keep spraying it on. I always liked the way it made me feel. Excellent news. Thanks, Bavard!
    Last edited by pluran; 29th May 2020 at 12:44 AM.
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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    Quote Originally Posted by aero58 View Post
    This is the bottle that I just received a couple days ago. Which version is this?



    This is the original bottle style. 1987 saw the 2.5oz/75ml donut bottle (for men) introduced.
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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    Bijan for Men 1 oz. Bottles

    I don't yet know in what sequence these were introduced.

    Bijan-1-5.jpgBijan-1-6.jpg

    The first white "b" bottle/box box has no window, the bottle does not have a "Bijan" logo, and the name is not condensed to "Bijan Men." Volume 84.9%


    Bijan-1-1.jpgBijan-1-2.jpg

    The cylindrical bottle has "Men" alongside the stylized "j" in the logo on the bottle, but not on the box. It also presents the fragrance as "cologne" rather than "eau de toilette," and it doesn't state the volume, which suggests that it might predate the white box "b" bottle.


    Bijan-1-3.jpgBijan-1-4.jpg


    This "b" bottle has the Bijan logo on the bottom, and "One Hundred % Bijan!" on the cap. The placement of "Men" next to the "j" varies: on the bottle it's to the right, while on the box it's to the left. Volume 86.10%. The more elaborate packaging suggests to me this was the second issue after the fragrance found some success. However, if the reference numbers on the boxes are in chronological sequence (not necessarily the case), then the cylindrical bottle was first, black "b" second, and white "b" third.

    The ingredients list for all three is the same. (The cylindrical bottle says "uvinal [sic] D-50", but Uvinul D-50 was just BASF's brand name for benzophenone-2.)

    Five Star introduced the "window" version of the "b" box:

    Bijan-1-8.jpgBijan-1-7.jpg

    I have no idea if the different colored boxes were released at different times, or in different markets at the same time. The ingredients certainly changed, but I haven't seen the backs of enough of these boxes to know how much or how often.

    Here's a Five Star white "b" box list:

    Bijan-1-8 Ingredients.jpg

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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    Bijan 1.7 oz boxes

    I've identified three iterations of the 1.7 oz box. As far as I can tell, the bottles are identical save for the labeling on the underside.

    This is the Bijan Fragrances box:

    Bijan17-1.jpgBijan17-2.jpgBijan17-3.jpg

    On the front, underneath "eau de toilette spray," it says, "eau to toilette vaporisateur." The side and back text are all lowercase. The back of the box features a tucked-in flap, and the only text is "beverly hills • new york." The ingredients list is consistent with other Bijan Fragrances releases.

    This is the first Five Star box:

    Bijan17-4.jpgBijan17-5.jpg

    This is almost identical to the BF box, though some boxes have the "scratch-and-sniff" sticker on the cellophane wrap. Though not pictured here, the back does not have a flap, and the text on the back and side is all in title case. Ingredients are the same, though the French translation of "yellow" inexplicably substitutes "rouge" for "jaune."

    This is the second Five Star box:

    Bijan17-6.jpgBijan17-7.jpgBijan17-8.jpg

    On the front, underneath "eau de toilette spray," it says only, "vaporisateur." The back does not have a flap, and the text on the back and side is all in title case. The back shows distribution info. There is a long ingredients list. Note that it includes oakmoss and other restricted ingredients. There are probably later iterations with a different ingredients list.

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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post
    I'm new to the house of Bijan. Bijan Men (aka Bijan for Men) was recommended by drseid and Dimitrios, and it is a stunner:

    IMG_8977.jpg

    In the blind sample pass hosted by LiveJazz, sample 1 was the original Bijan (for women), and it is also a stunner:

    Bijan.jpg

    I love flagship-type releases such as these two, but I'm curious about some others from this house as well. These are the only two I've tried.

    On Bijan Men, I have the cologne version, pictured. I've read that this was originally released in 1981 and then re-released in 1987. Mysteriously, I don't find it especially strong, which many users report. The opening and first hour or so are vivid, and then it retreats into something much quieter. Olfactory fatigue could be an issue, but I don't think it's the main issue. I think my skin just loves it too much, and absorbs it. I'm curious to try an edt version. A bunch of the eBay sellers are not showing the ingredients list. If I find a short ingredients list edt for the going rate of about $20 per bottle, I'd grab it.

    I'd be curious to see the box or bottle details of someone who has an impressively strong (i.e., long-lasting) version of Bijan for Men, and/or any discussion related to Bijan fragrances.
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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    @Pstoller

    cologne doesn't necessarily predate eau de toilette, it just means US market in most cases, since the (stupid) convention was cologne = boys and perfume = girls. God forbid using universal terms of concentration in a market where a blockhead guy won't buy something unless it's labelled "cologne" (or even more directly "men's cologne") regardless of what the name says. Chances are it could be older, just making argument that the "cologne" thing was a marketing trick for the US (and to some extent UK) market until guys figured out eau de toilette didn't mean potty water.
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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    Yes, I know all about the "cologne thing." I figure, as Bijan was headquartered in the US and the fragrance was made here, it seems likely the nominal "cologne" was issued before the EdT. Of course, it's not a certainty: Bijan could have adopted the convention after the initial release. Still, I think that was mostly an earlier midcentury thing: by the 1980s, purveyors of men's fragrances in the US were beginning to embrace la langue Française.

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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    Quote Originally Posted by PStoller View Post
    Yes, I know all about the "cologne thing." I figure, as Bijan was headquartered in the US and the fragrance was made here, it seems likely the nominal "cologne" was issued before the EdT. Of course, it's not a certainty: Bijan could have adopted the convention after the initial release. Still, I think that was mostly an earlier midcentury thing: by the 1980s, purveyors of men's fragrances in the US were beginning to embrace la langue Française.
    They were and they weren't intermittently. Calvin Klein had "cologne" and "eau de toilette" versions of the intial 1989 Eternity for Men launch, and Avon stuck to their guns all the way into the early 2000's with "cologne" for men (and splash tops into the 90's for that matter). Cultural conservatism makes things weird sometimes. XD
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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    Quote Originally Posted by Zealot Crusader View Post
    They were and they weren't intermittently. Calvin Klein had "cologne" and "eau de toilette" versions of the intial 1989 Eternity for Men launch, and Avon stuck to their guns all the way into the early 2000's with "cologne" for men (and splash tops into the 90's for that matter). Cultural conservatism makes things weird sometimes. XD
    Also corporate politics and imperatives: some companies switched after being bought up by multinationals that were looking to streamline their global marketing campaigns.

    But, I doubt any of that was significant in Bijan's case, since it was an independent company with an ultra-luxe internationalist image. Bijan Men was an aspirational fragrance in a way none of Calvin Klein's were, never mind Avon. I think the use of French played into that: Bijan just had to append the word "Men" to the phallic "j" to be sure nobody mistook their eau de toilette as a lady's perfume.

    And yet, odd that they didn't differentiate the bottles more between the masculine and feminine fragrance lines. They just made sure the men's bottle was topped with a knob while the women's was topped with a hole—which also gave Bijan Women the look of an oversized pacifier. About as subtle as Pierre Cardin for Men or Tickle deodorant.

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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan


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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    I'm absorbed by the bottle and box guides, PStoller. I'm tempted to do the 2.5-ounce boxes.

    Using the ref. numbers, but not only those, I think I can tell the order of release - but after release, a bottle and box combination might have stayed around for years. Look at the earliest 50-ml bottle for the edt shown above - it has a website on the side of the box, so mid 90s at the earliest. That same box style, though, without a web address, was around earlier. Later boxes then dropped the website again.

    The earliest box is the 2.5-ounce cologne, ref. 301, and no bar code. The 1-ounce cologne you included above is ref. 318, the next lowest number I've seen. The first version of the sport edt was ref. 319. It has the same 2.5-ounce early-box style as the cologne with the concentration in the bottom middle instead of bottom left. Those were the three early releases, from what I can tell. One thing I noticed that I think helps us know the very next set of boxes is that the "blue" dye (the final ingredient on the original cologne) is included as the final ingredient is old pre-web-address edt's.

    The earliest edt reference number I've seen is for the 50-ml bottle, as suggested above (although the 75-ml (2.5 ounce) cologne came earlier): ref. 326. The text has been shifted to the bottom left of the front of the box. We need to see the side of these boxes to know whether there's a web address. For a while, there was even a 1-800 #.

    The earliest 75-ml (2.5 ounce) edt has ref. 442 on the box, but is still pre-Five Star distribution, and even pre-web address on the boxes.

    I'm speculating that edt's with "blue" in the ingredients list (last ingredient) are the earliest ones.

    One-ounce sprays like Aero's (ref. 446), at least some of which have the "100% Bijan" labeling, are early edt's, I believe. I have seen these with "blue" in the ingredients list.

    I haven't been seeing a lot of splashes, like drseid's.

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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    I went hunting for the box for my splash, but alas came out empty. The splash bottle is a 2.5 oz doughnut/pacifier styled, Made in the USA with a batch code 2D. No reference number is on the bottle, and the label shows Bijan Beverly Hills, with the indented scroll on the glass bottle bottom saying something to similar effect.
    Current Top Ten:
    1) Portrait of a Lady original formula (EdP Frédéric Malle)
    2) Jasmin Antique (Rogue Perfumery)
    3) Giorgio for Men vintage (Giorgio Beverly Hills) - tie
    3) Giorgio V.I.P. Special Reserve (Giorgio Beverly Hills) - tie

    5) Dia pour Homme vintage edt (Amouage)

    6)
    Anat Fritz and its reissue, called Classical (Anat Fritz)
    7) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
    8) Javanese Patchouli (Zegna) - tie
    8) Monsieur de Givenchy vintage (Givenchy) - tie
    8) Polo vintage (Ralph Lauren) - tie


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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    Quote Originally Posted by pluran View Post
    I bought it in 1986. Loved the way it smelled but it made a lot more noise than I wanted at the time. I walked into a Perfumania about ten years ago and bought another bottle. Smells cheap, but not bad if you don't know any better. Compelling stuff, anyway. I'll go try a spray.

    Edit: Put on a few sprays. Massive oakmoss. Ms was outside and smelled it twenty-five feet away. She liked it. Thought I'd been smoking weed. Not bad. Bought it ten years ago but the box is a short list. I guess I have something a little better than I thought.

    I keep spraying it on. I always liked the way it made me feel. Excellent news. Thanks, Bavard!
    Same here, I have to reapply to get my fix. The strength, and a lot of the beauty, are in the first hour.

    The base has frankincense and/or myrrh, and it's immediately one of my favorite fragrances of this type. As I get more into enjoying the base, I think (and hope) I'll get over missing the top notes.

    Quote Originally Posted by drseid View Post
    I went hunting for the box for my splash, but alas came out empty. The splash bottle is a 2.5 oz doughnut/pacifier styled, Made in the USA with a batch code 2D. No reference number is on the bottle, and the label shows Bijan Beverly Hills, with the indented scroll on the glass bottle bottom saying something to similar effect.
    That's enough info to be getting on with! This is an edt, I'm assuming. For what's out there at the moment, I'm not seeing splashes. I took a punt on a $17 edt spray that I'm pretty sure is Bijan Hollywood from the front of the box. If it's pre web-address, that would be cool.

    I think the first web address was BijanFragrances.com and then later it was just Bijan.com. I think I saw a box that had "BijanFragrances.com" and "blue" dye, so the blue dye was in the formula from 1981 through at least the mid 90s, I'm surmising.

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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post
    This is edt, I'm assuming.
    Yes, EdT (I knew I forgot something).
    Current Top Ten:
    1) Portrait of a Lady original formula (EdP Frédéric Malle)
    2) Jasmin Antique (Rogue Perfumery)
    3) Giorgio for Men vintage (Giorgio Beverly Hills) - tie
    3) Giorgio V.I.P. Special Reserve (Giorgio Beverly Hills) - tie

    5) Dia pour Homme vintage edt (Amouage)

    6)
    Anat Fritz and its reissue, called Classical (Anat Fritz)
    7) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
    8) Javanese Patchouli (Zegna) - tie
    8) Monsieur de Givenchy vintage (Givenchy) - tie
    8) Polo vintage (Ralph Lauren) - tie


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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    I love this thread, thanks to everyone who has contributed!

    I have been hunting for a 2.5oz with a 301 or a 442, but no luck.

    Any ideas, as to where to look, other than the Bay?

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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    This was given to me by a co-worker. He said he bought it in the 90's but I'm guessing it's 2000's era, so it's prior to any oakmoss restrictions.

    To my nose it's a beast and the strongest fragrance in my current collection. I actually gave it a wear last week and the dry down was much nicer than I was expecting.
    But yea, the first half hour is pretty intense..

    EC0E2503-5393-4375-ACBA-818C886F46F0.jpeg
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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyflake View Post
    I love this thread, thanks to everyone who has contributed!

    I have been hunting for a 2.5oz with a 301 or a 442, but no luck.

    Any ideas, as to where to look, other than the Bay?
    The ref. 301 bottles are the 2.5 ounce colognes. There is a listing with multiples of these for around $35 each. I have one on order because it's heavenly juice and I need a backup, although I must stress that it's goes quietly quickly on me, and then it's a different fragrance - still nice, but not the brilliance of the opening (unless you smell right where you sprayed, then sure. But who, other than me, wants to do that all day?). So, for whatever reason, it seems like pre-bar code edc's can be found more easily than early edt's. I'll post if that seller delivers on the photo in the listing - it's not a stock photo, so I'm confident. The listing says they're splashes but the box picture says they're sprays. This, stangely, was also the case with the one I bought from a different seller (the listing said it was a splash, but the picture showed it was a spray, and the picture was right).

    From just being able to see the front of the box, I have a system, with help from PStoller, to get an early-ish bottle of the edt. You'll remember his tip about the lower line on the boxes needing to have "eau de toilette vaporisateur" and not just "vaporisateur." Don't for get that one. Then, look at the bottom of the "j" and if it continues off the page, you have an early-ish bottle, I do believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by masonjarjar View Post
    I actually gave it a wear last week and the dry down was much nicer than I was expecting.
    But yea, the first half hour is pretty intense..
    That's exactly the kind of thing I like. And I agree, it's as little as 30 minutes of the really intense stuff. After that, I'm getting a Santos-level drop off in projection, although these two make irresistible skin scents.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    Well, now I'm thoroughly confused.

    Today, however, I am giving my recently acquired bottle a full wearing - I'll report back later with my impressions.
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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    Great thread and info! Also, Five Star switched locations a few times, mainly in NJ. I believe their current location is in NYC.
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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    It's been several hours now since first full wear application, and thought I'd give my impression of the bottle that I have.

    Bottom line up front: I'm sadly underwhelmed, and it has to do with how tame this is. The talk of beast mode, and room clearing performance, had my full attention, as I tend to favor strong fragrances that last. I was really looking forward to trying this as it sounded like it might be right in my wheelhouse.

    In terms of performance: Unfortunately, for me, with this particular bottle, it's not strong at all. I went with 3 sprays and it was gone in an hour. I re-applied, about an hour or so ago, with 1 spray to my undershirt, and it's still hangin' in there, but subtle now.

    In terms of scent: Overall, this type of scent profile is one that I enjoy and usually works very well for me; but with this bottle, there is one note that gives me pause. There is a trace, just a nuance, of what I call a "basement" smell. I don't mean "dank", but more "musty", if that makes sense - not sure if that's an ingredient, or if it's just the age of the bottle. It's not a deal breaker, per se, as the scent is nice, save for the mustiness, and especially based on how inexpensive this bottle was - but if it had cost me more, then it would have been a no-go for me. I might let this one sit on the shelf for a bit, whilst giving it a spray or two, to see if that basement smell goes away over some time. But all in all, this one has been disappointing. It did not meet my expectations.

    Now, with all that being said, I'm still intrigued with which version/bottle is the one that will "clear a room" - if I can find that one, then I'm all for it!
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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    Getting into the musty territory the way this one does works for me. I get it, and I like it. For me, it's musty, but just the good part of musty.

    That raises the question, "What could possibly be the good part of mustiness?" Discussions around urinous notes could be similar.

    Basements get moist when the weather is hot, and the mustiness kicks in, but other smells, like the woods, are hot themselves - the two by fours are sweating, and the whole downstairs is its own micro climate. And heavily perfumed, in this case. It's a walkout basement where someone has just left some serious, and heavenly sillage. (I've reapplied in the last half hour, and feeling it again. Killer stuff).

    Quote Originally Posted by Oviatt View Post
    I am intrigued. I always gave this one a wide berth as it seemed so over the top--much like their clothes. I did some work for them a while back when they were succession planning around the death of Bijan père and if the brand would survive under Bijan fils. Everything was a loss-leader to support the fragrance line. The bottle, by the way, was designed by French architect Olivier Vidal--lovely chap--who designed their flagship store on Rodeo (they have since moved to smaller digs across the street and into the Waldorf Astoria in BH. I will check this out once the world reopens.....
    Interesting connection. I just looked up a picture of that store front. Snazzy.
    Last edited by Bavard; 29th May 2020 at 11:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post
    ….That raises the question, "What could possibly be the good part of mustiness?" Discussions around urinous notes could be similar....
    Roger all. And it never ceases to amuse me on some of the adjectives used to describe fragrance notes - LOL.

    Back to "musty" for a moment: Any idea what ingredient(s) give off that vibe?
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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    Quote Originally Posted by aero58 View Post
    Roger all. And it never ceases to amuse me on some of the adjectives used to describe fragrance notes - LOL.

    Back to "musty" for a moment: Any idea what ingredient(s) give off that vibe?
    I was thinking oak moss, maybe. Sometimes it comes across as swampy, to me, as in Mitsouko, another effect I dig. Mustiness doesn't seem so far removed. I've used the term musty for fragrances in the past, and meant it as a good thing. This smells like it has a fair amount of frankincense and/or myrrh. Those are some of the main things that jump out at me. I assume it has a fair bit of patchouli, and the woods are nice, sandalwood, I suppose.

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    Default Re: Vintage Bijan

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post
    The ref. 301 bottles are the 2.5 ounce colognes. There is a listing with multiples of these for around $35 each.
    This came in, and the reference code is ref. 302. And it has a barcode. Otherwise it looks the same. New in cellophane, as was the first one, from another seller. I'm excited that it's slightly different. Maybe this will be the beast. I'll have to wait to find out, though, because it suddenly turned into a Fahrenheit Friday party here.




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