If you could only bring them back……… The Perfumed Dandy’s Weekend Forum

It occurred to me recently, dear friends, that one of things I like to do best here is talk, chat, discuss, converse confabulate and cogitate with you.

So, it struck me on a moment, why not do this more regularly and in greater depth?

Create a space in which we can throw around perfumed ideas!

And what better time do do this than at the weekend, when taking a break from perfume shopping, gassing with real-world chums and wading through those endless papers.

But what to talk about?

Well, the recent outpouring of passion for Guerlain’s Parure (on which more to come this week) gave me an idea for a starting point…

Which deceased and discontinued scents would you most like to see restored to life?

And then I got to thinking and as a supplementary question thought…

And what do you think moved the perfume companies concerned to do away with them in the first place?

I’ve a few ideas of my own I’ll happily share… but I’d love to your views first.

Go on, strike a pose, commit your opinions to prose!!!

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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64 responses to “If you could only bring them back……… The Perfumed Dandy’s Weekend Forum

  1. Lilybelle

    I never knew Parure so I can’t say I miss it. I’m very sorry for those of you who do. It would be nice to walk into a Guerlain boutique and have it available to test. I wish we could have the original formulations of our favorites, but that’s a subject that has been hashed and rehashed and beaten to death like a dead horse.

    • Dearest Lily
      To true… reformulation is in some ways a more humiliating way for a great perfume to end its days. I always wince to think of how Miss Dior was messed about with then cack-handedly demoted to being her own ‘Dowager’ perfume as an altogether inferior fragrance took her name.
      One I’d truly love to have tried when fresh is Coty’s Chypre, simply because it gives its name to the olfactory group which is home to so many of my best scented friends.
      Any others that have left the scene entirely you miss?
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • Lilybelle

        Yes, it is disgraceful how MIss Dior has been degraded and scorned. I’d love to try Coty Chypre some time. I’ve never even sampled it in vintage form, but wouldn’t it be great to go back in a time machine to try lost fragrances in their original, fresh forms. One thing I particularly miss (because I can actually recall them) are the Guerlain eaux de cologne in the round stopwatch bottles. You can still buy the sealed vintage bottles online, but the prices are ridiculous and I want the fresh, original versions.

      • Dearest Lily
        Quite so. If Miss Dior were an actual person the people who have interfered with here would be serving multiple life sentences now!.
        I’ve seen those old Guerlains on line too… oh for a lottery win or an unheard of wealthy relative to slip this mortal coil (only at the end of a long, happy, and frugal life you understand!).
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  2. Never forgave Guerlain for getting rid of 7ml Parfums. I had a gold case for each refill. Ok still do some but not Jicky or Vol de Nuit.

    Equally will never forgive Jo Malone for discontinuing Black Cafe & Vetyver.

    Spent best part of last two decades trying to find a replacement for Courreges in Blue. Brought Courreges back but not yet Blue.

    Discontinuation is in the main down to accountants. Though with one brand I could mention it was akin to oil in 70s and suppliers turning round and saying you’re not ripping us off anymore

    • Dearest Thirteen
      I so agree about those tiny parfums, so handy for taking out for the day (and night).
      I’ve always been surprised that Jo Malone disposed of that scent, I wonder if it coincided with the take over by Estee Lauder?
      Courreges in blue I never new but it reads fascinatingly. Perhaps like Carven or Worth it will be reborn anew sometime.
      Last of all… do tell, who was the evil exploiting perfume house destined to fall?
      On tenterhooks.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  3. Nena

    I don’t know if it counts, but I wish Strip had a permanent place in Agent Provocateur’s perfume range. It was a limited edition, and it was my favourite. I’ve still got enough of it to last me for a while, but the thought of using it up makes me sad.

    • Dearest Nena
      That absolutely counts!
      I know from personal experience that a limited release that proves to be all to limited is not a happy experience.
      I adores Guerlain’s Lavande Velours, but now it is rarely if ever to be seen and when it is to be found is priced high above rubies!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • Nena

        I keep telling myself to stay away from limited editions as a result of my experience with Strip, but then I proceeded to do the same thing with Thierry Mugler’s Angel Liqueur de Parfum. Luckily that can still be bought, but still.

      • Dearest Nena
        Call them what you will, but some of these marketing people are smart. I think they are all to aware that it’s the hard core few that will be lured into limited editions and then they keep us in a state of anxiety by promising to remove our new found love without a moments notice!
        Torture, says I.
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

      • Lilybelle

        I had Lavande Velours but I gave it away because I didn’t like it. And I had Ylang Vanille and gave that one away because I tired of it (now I know to hide them away until I want them again). I’m peeved at myself for not snagging a couple of other AAs when I had the opportunity. I love Lilia Bella.

      • Dearest Lily
        My mother insists (and she is wise in most things) that there are practically no lavender smells that suit ‘a lady’.
        Despite prejudice I know, but other than the old soliflores it is noticeable just how few marketed to women scents contain the note…
        I certainly have taken to snapping up any Allegorias I like that season after they did away with Anisia Bella.
        Another sharp marketing ruse I fear.
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

    • Same here. Can’t understand why it was discontinued. Two versions with different bottles. First had cedarwood as a base the later version lavender wood though you’d have needed to be a nose and a half to tell the difference

  4. SallyM

    Oh dear, I could go on and on and ON about classics I would like to see brought back. I’m truly a vintage lover and would like to see everything brought back from the 1880s to the 1980s. Well, perhaps EVERYTHING is a bit of an exaggeration ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll name a few though – like you, Chypre would be high on my list. Most of the older Guerlains – Jicky, L’Heure Bleue, Mitsy, Vol de Nuit. Youth Dew, Nuit de Noel, Le Dix, L’Air du Temps, Rive Gauche, My Sin, Sublime, Diorissimo, Bandit, Jolie Madam, Tabac Blond, Crepe de Chine – and (not last on my list but last for here) Opium, my signature scent of the late 70s/80s. Sigh…

    • Dear Sally
      Welcome to The Dandy’s! Thanks awfully for dropping by.
      It would be wonderful to see all those greats restored to their original lustre (though the chances of that happening in these days of commercial imperative and endless regulation seems improbable).
      What I’m especially interested here though is why certain perfume names die… who decides that Arpege should be butchered but remain on our shelves while the great My Sin is excommunicated?
      Your list reads like a dream Le Dix, Sublime, My Sin and Crepe de Chine are the names, almost like prayers, that drift across the ages in whispers.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • SallyM

        Thank you kindly for the warm welcome. I agree – I would love to know who puts the crown on and says “off with their head!” Logic tells me it should be based on $$ somewhere along the line – either sales figures aren’t so good or the perfume costs too much to make compared to the sales. I was reading on the Persolaise blog spot some comments from Thierry Wasser that may help shed more light on this very topic:
        http://persolaise.blogspot.com/2013/11/nahema-is-weapon-of-mass-destruction.html
        I’m not sure if its appropriate to link to another site here, so please forgive me if I’ve committed a faux pas. I found this comment particularly interesting:
        “Has he made any progress with his attempts to gain ‘cultural immunity’ for vintage scents?
        “It’s very difficult because you have to go to civil servants and politicians. You have to be very didactic and talk and talk and talk. There’s been a shift in priorities since the scientific committee last year in August advised limiting or banning another hundred products. So the ‘cultural exception’ of vintage fragrances went onto the back burner. And I worked very hard – but, unfortunately, alone – with the commission, to discredit the scientific committee’s advice.”

        So it seems that even those in the biz have extreme limitations…

      • Dear Sally
        Please do link to interesting articles on other sites… the more views the merrier here!
        And that certainly is an interesting piece. I knew that Guerlain were more outspoken in their criticism of regulation (along with Chanel) than some of the others and have been aware of the notion of No. 5 being a test case for the ‘cultural status’ protection. But that Wasser got as far as actually (partially) persuading some commissioners, that is very interesting.
        Of course the ‘health’ lobby that has campaigned for many of these changes is a very powerful one, but when one looks at the massed ranks of giants such as P&G, Coty and LVMH who could be lobbying for more proportionate regulation, I’m left, sadly, with the feeling that perhaps M. Wasser is not getting the support he deserves from other quarters of the industry. All credit to him for the attempt, however.
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

    • Lilybelle

      I love your list, too, Sally.

      • SallyM

        Thank you Lilybelle! Sometimes I feel I just have to sit and stare at my vintage collection to makes sure its all still really there. I love to wear them but there’s the double edged sword that when I do, I’m creeping every closer to that fearful empty bottle…

      • Deare Lily and Sally
        That sense of ‘the double edged sword’ is one I l know only to well. When a perfume all but disappears in vintage on line or becomes prohibitively expensive, a shiver goes down my spine.
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  5. Bee

    I would like to bring back some of the great incense fragrances like Norma Kamali and the very first Matthew Williamson. I think the perfumes associated with ‘new’ designers are even more subject to the whim of fashion and can change or be dropped at the end of a season. Commerce dictates too low a common denominator but sometimes there is a flash of genius and you have to pounce on it before someone notices the fragrance is too remarkable for it’s own good!

    • Dearest Bee
      Now that is a very interesting point. New, young and smaller designers, or even those less well known, seem very subject to the whims of one season’s sales figures. Agent Provocateur seems to stand testament to this. I shall keep an eye out for that first Matthew Williamson for I, like you, am very partial to a little smoke in my scent!
      The role of commerce is undeniable, but why, I wonder, did the profit motive become so pernicious around the 1990s? Before that perfume as art and industry seemed to rub along just fine?
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  6. No doubt about my list. I would have Opium restored to its former glory, with a caveat about buyers not spraying it quite so lavishly as they did in the ’80s. Next, Velvet Gardenia would return, and the corporate jackals at Tom Ford who axed the most interesting gardenia perfume going would be sent to sort mail and make coffee. Finally, vintage Panthere would reappear with its dose of Mysore sandalwood miraculously intact. Oh, and Trayee would be available in perpetuity. I love that one so much that I’ve already started to worry about discontinuation.
    As to why they were changed or d/c’d, IFRA is certainly a factor, and changing tastes may be a factor, but I would guess that it’s mostly about money. Corporations exist to make more money, and cutting quality works financially and goes unnoticed to a surprising degree, except among our circle of obsessives.
    Now, dear Beau, an open-ended question for you. What would you like to say on this subject that nobody has asked you yet? Oh, and what would you like to spray on the people around you?

    • Amber Absolute for me though return of Moss Breeces… know spelled that wrong.. would be appreciated

      • Dearest Thirteen
        More Tom Ford… yet how old is that brand? This hints I feel, unfortunately, at the chasm we might be about to fall into. The more perfumes that are released each year, the more, sadly, must pass away!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

    • Dearest Feral
      Vintage Panthere.. now that is a thought!
      The bottle alone a wonder but the ambrosia contained inside, too wonderful.
      Strangely, I don’t it’s ever been recommended (yet) for a scented letter!
      Sadly it has gone the way of nearly all floral animalics, a class I’m particularly drawn to.
      My view? IFRA, as you suggest, is something of a convenient whipping boy.
      How hard, really, has the ‘industry’ tried to defend the use of those expensive natural ingredients?
      How much of their extensive research and development budgets have they put into demonstrating just how tiny rates of genuine and serious allergic reaction to the compounds in question are?
      How many lawyers (who they adore to use to protect their copyright and brand) have been deployed to argue the case for retaining those inconveniently volatile and pricey sources of perfume?
      Soap detergents cause rashes, cigarettes cancer, air travel deep vein thrombosis, fatty foods heart disease.
      All are luxuries (yes, air travel and deep fried chicken are not a god-given rights).
      All are legal, and in the case of food largely unregulated.
      Had it been in the economic interest of the producer to retain oakmoss through advanced growth and harvesting methods, I suspect we would not face a world of chypres without it.
      Money talks and the maximisation of profit is today put before practically everything. So next time we bemoan IFRA, perhaps we should question just why and by who the body has been allowed to gain so much power.
      Oh, and another alarming thought, I fear we may be on the edge of a precipice.
      As the number of perfume releases rises each year – I’ve read comments suggesting between 1500 and 3000 in 2013 – so, eventually, will the rate of discontinuations.
      Much new is without any remarkable quality and so will be unmissed. But every day thousands of people are becoming attached to new perfumes that I fear will never live to see their teens. How many will live as long as Shalimar, Chanel No 5 or even Dioressence (even if in their current incarnations they are the olfactory equivalents of stars who’ve been under the surgeons’ knives one to many times).
      We should prepare ourselves for an almost inevitable carnage over the years to come and, I’m sorry to say, it maybe those perfumes in the niche regiments who suffer most.
      Without the great corporations to (cack-handedly) guard over them and the loyal mass market to make them economically viable I fear many, many will fall sadly and too soon.
      I hope I’m wrong, really I do.
      Now I hadn’t meant to sound so dispiriting, so one word of hope: Osmotheque http://www.osmotheque.fr/osmotheque
      Perhaps is we realise what we’ve lost and lose each day there may be a way back, for at least some of the gems from the past (and present).
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • Lilybelle

        I agree with you 100% on the above, Mr. Dandy. As I understand it IFRA restrictions are self imposed by the industry – and as you say, if it were *profitable* for them to dispute them they would certainly put their vast corporate resources to that use. Cynical maybe, realistic for sure. I haven’t smelled anything new in ages that I couldn’t live without. I would walk over hot coals for certain sealed vintage gems.

      • Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I agree with every word but could never have found such elegant words for the thoughts. As I have said before, my mother and her friends always smelled wonderful, and I can’t recall anybody dying of perfume or even getting a rash. It is very much in the corporate interest to have a large buying public completely unfamiliar with the expensive notes that we cherish.
        Meanwhile I will cherish my vintage Panthere, that most savage of florals. It is the other end of the scale from the fruitichoulis

      • SallyM

        I agree totally about the $$ – whenever big business is involved – follow the money trail. Also the industry doesn’t seem to be free of corruption – following on from being asked about the difficulty in getting support for the un-bastardization of vintage perfumes, Wasser remarked:
        “The agenda has been scrambled because the previous Commissioner For Health And Consumer Policy resigned because he was suspected of getting money from the tobacco industries*. And there was a sort of ‘commissioner by interim’. There is a new commissioner from Croatia [Neven Mimica], who took office July 1st, since Croatia joined the EU. And I have to massage the guy.”
        SO it does seem that people like Wasser are trying to make changes. He goes on to talk at some length about the problems with rose absolute etc in Nahema (which I also read that J Guerlain was devastated about as he felt it was one of his best) : “it’s my second most-expensive concentrate. So much rose! Absolute, oil and everything. And that’s why IFRA is after it, because of the rose and the methyl eugenol. Rose from Bulgaria is between 1.5% to 2% methyl eugenol, and the absolute is 2.5% to 3%. And that’s the chemical which, allegedly, potentially, will kill us all. I really and truly suspect that Nahema is a weapon of mass destruction.”

        Anyway, sorry to include so much blather, but I found it an enlightening read…

  7. Firstly A happy fragrant 2014 to the Dandy and his ‘friends’…followers. I’d like to see a few Body Shop scents return esp. the Japanese Musk and Sandalwood and their ‘foundation’ Vanilla. Similarly I’d love to see Spring Rain avail. at my Crabtree/Evelyn store. Omar Sharif’s Nubiade. And of course the ‘original’ Miss Dior.

    • Yes I too miss old body shop oil scents. Nearly 20 years since their demise

      • I totally agree thirteen! The Body Shop Scent Bar was a wonderful place! I’d regularly go home with one of those little plastic refillable bottles containing Mostly Musk, Japanese Musk or White Musk. My Mum liked one called Annie and wore it for years. These days the Body Shop is like a high end toiletry shop and the new scents are nothing much at all.

        I GRIEVE for that scent bar.

      • Dearest Iscent and Thirteen
        Oh for one more (last) round at The Scent Bar… too bad they called time.
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

    • Dearest Saffy
      Happy New Year!
      Yes. Those Body Shop scents were such a great introduction to fragrance: rich and (in the oils) so powerful and lasting. Accessible and affordable, they have left a decided gap in the market.
      Omar Sharif’s Nubiade… the name alone fascinates! The male counterpoint to Catherine Deneuve’s eponymous perfume.
      Miss Dior… oh….
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

    • I am so with you on this saffy! You have bought back wonderful memories tinged with sadness that the Scent Bar is no more. The fools!

  8. Just remembered………THEOREMA

  9. For me, it would be great to see the original Minotaure from Paloma Picasso again. It was (and still is!) my dad’s favorite. He still has some left in his bottle and it smells divine.

    • Dearest Ambrosia
      Welcome to The Dandy’s. Please pull up a chaise longue and call it your own.
      All the original formulations from Paloma would be welcome to return so far as I’m concerned.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  10. Alice

    I’d like to resurrect the talcum (dusting) powder format; so many good perfumes used to do lovely powder versions in pretty pots. I’ve had Chanel Cristalle, 19, YSL Paris, and several Guerlain’s in powder format. They always felt like a luxurious treat, especially cooling in the summer. Really hard to fine these days – all suggestions welcome!

    • Lilybelle

      I miss those, too, Alice! I adore old fashioned dusting powders. I don’t know where you are located but you can still find a few here in the U.S., though for the most part they are an indulgence of the past. No 5 still comes in a powder. And a couple of Estee Lauder’s, Youth Dew and White Linen. And there are still drugstore powders – Chantilly, Wind Song, Tabu, Jean Nate. I have Crabtree & Evelyn Iris powder and the soap – I love that scent (not the edt however). And Yardley still makes powders. You can always transfer them to a nicer container with a pretty puff. Or a vintage/antique sugar shaker works well, a silver one is especially lovely.

      • Dearest Alice and Lily
        I was just about to say that powders still live on among the older British brands Bronley, Yardley, Taylors but best of all Floris!
        It won’t perhaps surprise you to learn that I’m a little partial to dusting down after ablutions myself. I’ve found that talc comes up online with relative regularity, recently I found some Dioressence… like swimming in bottle green floral mist.
        Just heavenly.
        I suppose the modern equivalent is those awful little aerosols that are given away at Christmas in gift packs… but really they are not the equal in anyway of a fine powder!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

      • Alice

        dear Lilybelle and Dandy
        Thank you both so much for the great suggestions. I’d noticed that Yardley and Bronley still do a few, but hadn’t realised that Floris does, or Crabtree & Evelyn (the iris sounds especially nice). I am London based so can easily explore these, and will make it a project for 2014!
        all the best
        Alice

  11. rosestrang

    As many have mentioned, the Diors have changed beyond recognition. And I notice that buying an original Diorama for example, is far more expensive than other originals. My personal experience of perfumes in their original form has been Shiseido’s Feminite du Bois and Rochas Femme. It might be sacrilege to say this, but I actually prefer the Lutens version – probably because it feels greener and woodier which I love.

    Rochas Femme on the other hand was well worth buying in vintage. I actually bought it for my Mum’s 70th and she was very happy! That has definitely changed in reformulation, smelling the original Femme was special – it’s such a heady cocktail and I absolutely love the suede-like leather

    I’ve just bought 4 decants of the reformulated Diors, so it’ll be interesting to see how I feel about those..

    • Dearest Rose
      Yes, the Diors are quite unrecognisable, well Diorella in particular. Though in fairness to the house when the ‘Creations’ line was launched they did stipulate that they were reinterpretations rather than recreations of the original masterpieces. Some for me work much better than others, Diorella is an undoubted citrus stained disappointment. However, Diorressence, though a little to digitally crisp, is a very attractive scent while I actually very much enjoy the current Diorama and Diorling (interestingly the two that command the highest prices in vintage).
      I’ll be fascinated to hear your views when those samples arrive…
      Femme. Now that is fragrance that has to be tried in the nearest thing to the first edition. So sassy, self confident and seriously grown up in the original it was quite a scent to be conjured with!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • rosestrang

        Dear Dandy,
        I received my 4 reformulated Diors yesterday. They’re mini bottles, 7ml each and presented in a beautiful box, I was absulotely delighted with the visuals! The bottles are Dioressence, Diorella, Diorissimo and Forever and Ever.

        If you think the original Diorella was 100 times better I have to buy it ! That was my favourite of the four. I wish I could compare with originals but the only one I know in original form is Miss Dior (and vague memories of Diorissimo which an aunt wore). I must say I loved the Diorella but the longevity is pretty poor. I can see how amazing it would be in its unadulterated form because I definitely got the idea – a sort of fresh/dirty contrast between lemon, over-ripe melon and an animalic jasmine with vetiver – words like ‘louche’ and ‘insouciant’ spring to mind, I was feeling quite French for a little while until the freezing, howling wind outside distracted me! I can definitely see the resemblance to Eau Sauvage, which I love. I’ve now ordered a sample of Le Parfum de Therese to see how the Roudnitska style is handled there and if I’m disappointed with that it’ll have to be (sigh) a vintage decant

        I wasn’t so fond of Dioressence, quite a bit of patchouli standing in for the original chypre I presume? Diorissimo still has its classic powerful lily of the valley, but I know the original was far richer. Forever and ever was a quite pleasant surprise, in the first ten minutes I thought it was a simple, innocent spring floral with freesia (a note I don’t usually love) and a simple floral bouquet, but there’s something interesting there, I think it’s nutmeg – anyway something that I’d wear it in spring perhaps

        This is a great idea as a topic Sir Dandy! Just out of interest, have you tried Feminite de Bois in its original form?

      • Dearest Rose
        I do like the current Diorella, but it is so very different to the original, so much simpler (not always, but in this case, a bad thing). One of the things it lacks is a distinct honeysuckle note and that amorphous greeen matched by oakmoss, which is the signature of the original. A floral chypre with practically no patchouli (which I know you’d like).
        The new Diorissimo just isn’t naughty enough for me, it’s too Reynolds not enough Gainsborough: I want more loosely handled frills and air of sexual potency to go with the apparent innocence. Why it was always such a great perfume for young women.
        Dioresence I adore, though I must confess the original has a fair handful of patchouli, but handled in the Roudnitska style where rather than being sweet and cloying it is powdery in a frieze dried, medical manner. The florals in it are also so all-encompassing.
        I won;t say too much on Le Parfum de Therese, as I’ll wait for you to try so we can swap comments!
        On Feminite de Bois, you know I have tried both and I do think I prefer the Serge Lutens version… partly I think for sentimental reasons as it reminds me of my art teacher at school many moons ago!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  12. Another deceased gem from 90s came to mind this evening whilst reading an article on high class prostitutes. .. Worth’s Courtesan. Commercial as in I bought it in Debenhams but real dirty scent without going as far as Etat Libre D’Orange territory

    • Dearest Thirteen
      Now if ever there were a scent that lived up to, nay, earned its name it was courtesan. A definite walk on the wild side but in bespoke silk stockings and the most elegant of hand made high heels.
      “Skittles” would have bathed in it no doubt!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  13. I want all the perfumes that have enough following to be restored to their original formulas.
    Personally for me I’d like to get back Climat by Lancome and Miss Dior.

  14. I wish Guerlain would bring back Guerlinade. My little sample made me fall in love with it completely and there’s none to be had anymore…

  15. Dear Mr Dandy

    A funny thing happened to me on the way to your forum…I thought Ooh! a debate! I will dive in! Then I was tackled by two children, a washing machine, a dishwasher and three cats and suddenly it was two days later.

    Would it be platitudinous of me to repeat my mournful song for the loss of Gucci Envy? Not one good reason. Not ONE.

    Also, Avon in the 80s was making some great stuff: Timeless, Odyssey, Eau Givree, Tasha, all gone now in their stampede to launch new smellalikes every month it would seem. (This month “Our Story”, last month “Ultra Sexy”, the month before “Instinct”). Yawn. They would make megabucks if they did a retro favourites range.

    Your nostalgic friend
    IScent

    • Iscentyou, I recently had a chance to check out your assertion about Avon. My mother did a lot of downsizing and I received, among other things, two Avon bottles stored in a cool dark place since the late ’70s. To my astonishment, they were lovely. Not complex, and one too sweet for my personal taste, but delightful well-constructed scents. The contrast between these scents and current Avon mishmash is unbelievable. And no doubt these scents were dirt-cheap in their day and largely synthetic, but the synthetics were well used. Of course, they were on the market at a time when people had genuinely upscale scents to compare them to, so they had to be better than 90% of what’s sold today. I am not comparing these simpler scents to my favorites, but they are better than much of what I smell in department stores.

      • Dearest Feral
        Three great points here:
        (i) synthetics when used well can work delightfully
        (ii) simple perfumes have their place and
        (iii) when the main designer houses truly produced works of great quality for their main ranges the whole of the perfume world was improved, forced to compete at a higher level.
        ‘Flankerisation’ (for want of a better term): the release of half baked and far from fully formed fragrances onto the market by houses that should know better has lowered the common denominator considerably, meaning there’s no incentive for cheap scents to smell well made any more because many of the more expensive ones don’t!
        I’m so enjoying this discussion!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

    • Dearest Iscent
      As ever, I am sorry for your loss so far as Envy is concerned.
      So far as Avon is concerned, I really do think you might be on to something. Now, I’m not given to generalisations, but my guess is their core demographic (to use the new small talk) isn’t your average Bieber-lovin’ teen, but a woman of greater maturity… as such surely a range of retro smell-likely scents would be an absolute coup for them!
      You should write to Messrs Avon immediately.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • Dear Mr Dandy,

        You are quite correct, as usual. The Belieber age will be buying over the counter for the instant gratification thrill. Most Avon customers are older, and don’t really want yet another fruity floral with too much vanilla, but, like the War of The Worlds, still they come.

        I have followed your advice and Tweeted Avon about this.

        I will be like a dog with a bone.

        Your friend
        IScent

      • Dearest Iscent
        Good on you for tweeting… the Avon revolution starts here!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  16. Dandy, I have to add that I loved this forum, and hope that you’ll do more of them in the future.

  17. I’ve enjoyed it too! I’d love to hear more about people’s memories and favourites.

  18. A very interesting discussion, Perfumed Dandy!

    My approach to dealing with the post-Y2K perfume industry is to regard each bottle as mortal: here today; gone tomorrow: just like a human being! Sometimes we associate with a person for only a short period of our life, but that does not make them any less valuable to have known! If we run into them again ten years later, will they be the same? Probably not… Will they have evolved or devolved? Progressed or degenerated? Depends on the case…

    I certainly do not shy away from limited editions for fear that I’ll never be able to find another bottle. Instead, I cherish the single bottle in my possession for so long as it lasts! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I also do not ration my perfume for fear that it is too precious to use up. Some of my vintage perfumes are now probably worse than the reformulations, because they did not age well…

    Lesson learned: use it or lose it!

    • Dearest Shera
      These are some of the wisest words I’ve heard on the topic!
      Your analogy with people is near perfect. In this internet age more than ever one comes into contact, albeit infrequently, with personalities who might in another time have slipped from the scene entirely.
      And what strikes one most? How much we are all embarked on a constant course of change.
      One other point I hadn’t though too much of when setting out these questions last week…. what about those perfumes actually improved by reformulation!!
      It happens, rarely to be sure, but the current Ma Griffe is case in point.
      So yes, Carpe Diem.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

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