Many perfume lovers seek out vintage fragrances because too often their favorite scent has been reformulated. Sadly the reformulated version will pale in comparison to the original.
The big question is: Why do the perfume houses reformulate popular fragrances?
There are a couple of reasons why a perfume house will reformulate a beloved scent. The number one reason is the ban on ingredients and oils by the IFRA. There is a growing list of ingredients and oils that have been used in perfumes for years that are now flagged by the IFRA (International Fragrance Association) as allergens, therefore causing them to be banned. In compliance with this ban, perfume houses will substitute the ingredient for a similar ingredient or remove it all together. The difference in smell can be subtle but often it is not.
With the threatening ban of the oak moss and tree moss ingredients (used in many popular fragrance) many perfume greats such as Chanel No. 5 & Chanel No. 19 are in jeopardy. As the list of banned ingredients grows, there is no telling what other greats will become endangered.
Another reason for reformulating is cutting the cost. When a large company acquires a smaller company the goal is usually to trim the cost. This is done by watering down the ingredients or substituting ingredients with cheaper synthetic ones. Sure this saves a few dollars but the beauty of the fragrance is lost.
Lastly a reason to reformulate is an attempt to stay current in an ever changing market. This means going along with the changing trends instead of sticking with what is classic and timeless.
Whatever the reason is, this change can be devastating to perfume lovers. Unless you have the great fortune of finding a vintage, pre-reformulated version of your favorite fragrance (that is where I step in) you may just find yourself settling for the synthetic, watered down version of a former great.
Has your favorite scent undergone a reformulation? Which one? When did you notice? I'd love to hear about it.
In 1978 Charles of the Ritz better known today as Revlon created the balanced floral 8 hour perfume Enjoli as a tribute to the emerging superwoman. It was a time in which the woman was truly beginning to contribute to the work force. We were stepping into roles that were clearly designed for a man, but better suited for a woman. All while raising a family and running a household. We were literally bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pain.
While the idea of doing it all and having it all sounds empowering, in reality working a full time job, cooking, cleaning, tending to the kids and the man all in a day is down right exhausting. Heck, I know for sure I wouldn't be looking as polished and sexy as the dream woman in this ad. The wayward curls on my head would be sprouting in every direction imaginable and I'm the kind that if I don't get rest then I am cranky! I'm not thinking about trying to be a W-O-M-A-N. I just want to get some sleep!! However, that is the beauty of advertising. We believe that we can do it all and have it all without breaking a sweat.
Women are always asked the question: Can we have it all? Can we have the successful career, the kids, the marriage? Can we?
Chanel No. 5. The perfume that’s considered the world’s most iconic by many a fragrance fan. But if you’re still shopping for Mother’s Day, why settle for just any bottle of the “now and forever” scent …
I am not a bit surprised by the $4,200 price tag for this exquisite bottle of Chanel perfume. For one it is a 30 oz bottle. Most perfume bottles of this size are factices or dummy bottles filled with a colored liquid that is made to look like a perfume. However, this super-sized bottle is filled with actual parfum (extrait). Another thing that makes this bottle extremely collectable is it’s rarity and it’s provenance. There was only a limited amount of bottles made and this bottle can be linked to, if not created for the celebration of the 2013 No. 5 Culture Chanel exhibit at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. The molded bottle is placed in a chic Chanel case, which only adds to the value.
So this gem of a perfume bottle falls into cross collecting categories for it appeals to Chanel collectors, perfume bottle collectors, glass collectors, bottle collectors and fragrance collectors. In my 10+ years of collecting perfume bottles I’ve seen perfume bottles easily go for over $60,000. You never know, that $4200 investment in a perfume bottle could one day pay off big time.
The cosmetic veteran mentioned in the article above (I’m not trying to rock the boat so I won’t repeat her name) implies that she is skeptical about the idea of a large 30 oz bottle of perfume with such a large price tag. She states that once opened a bottle of perfume will keep it’s original scent for only 2 to 3 years. Therefore this 30 oz bottle of Chanel will most likely go bad before the lady has the chance to use 4 oz of it.
While I do not collect perfume bottles for the fragrance, I am solely a bottle collector. However, I am one of the leading sellers of vintage perfume bottles and I have sold hundreds of vintage perfume bottles on my website Quirkyfinds.com over the past 10 years. Many of my bottles date well over 50 years old. I am very careful as to how I store my bottles (they are always stored in a cool, dry place). Many if not most of my old bottles surprisingly tend to hold their scents. This is not only for the sealed bottles but for the open partial bottles as well. Now I’m not saying that a shift can not occur in some fragrances because it can. What I am stating is that just because a bottle of fragrance is old, it does not mean that it is no longer usable. I have tons of customers that collect the highly sought after vintage Guerlain fragrances for the juice inside, not just the bottle and they often prefer the fragrance once it has turned to a dark brown syrupy state. Like they say, “The darker the berry, the sweeter the juice.”
So yes, to many $4,200 for a perfume bottle may seem a bit steep and yes I doubt that anyone would ever use that much perfume in their lifetime. In reality this bottle is really not meant to be used, just adorned. For all of the perfume aficionados, glass collectors, bottle collectors, collectors of French fragrances and avid Chanel lovers this is not just a perfume bottle, but it a rare highly coveted work of art. I’ll take 2 of them please! :)
I have been a collector of Lucite and Bakelite purses for some years now. What exactly is Lucite? Bakelite?
Bakelite is the trade name used for one of the first plastics made from synthetic components. It became main stream in 1930’s, but was developed by the Belgian Dr. Leo Baekalite in 1909.
Bakelite had many uses throughout the 1920’s to 40’s. Also under the name Catalin, it was introduced to the world through radios, then later telephones, cameras, and
colorful carved jewerly. It would eventually make it's way into the fashion world with purses. Bakelite became known as "the first modern plastic", however after the second World War
other options of plastics became available. So while the widespread use of Bakelite is no more, it still has some use today in automobiles, space shuttles, and recreational
Lucite is also a trade name for another early plastic. Lucite was developed by the DuPont chemical company in the 1930’s. It is also referred to as acrylic &
Plexiglas by other companies.
Plastic Finds It's Place In Fashion
It was post World War II and time to move forward with renewed optimism. The use of plastic in fashion felt very futuristic and modern. Plastic and Bakelite were already being used for trim in handbags, however it wasn't until the early 1950's that the first full plastic handbag was born. The manufacturer Gilli was one of the first to do this, followed by such companies as Tyrolean, Llewellyn, Wilardy, Myles, Khan, Dorset Rex, and Rialto. These magnificent purses were hand carved. They came in an array of bright colors and intricate molds. They were often bejeweled with rhinestones or a metallic confetti. They were literally pricey modern works of art that could be worn on a woman's arm for all to admire.
In the beginning only the well to do could afford such luxury handbags, until the manufacturer Rialto figured out how to produce machine made, injection molded
versions of the Lucite bag. This process made the handbags more affordable and easily available to all classes of women. This eventually killed the demand for plastic handbags, which
brought the craze for Lucite purses to a halt!
These rare designer Lucite originals can easily fetch a hefty price tag
They say the greatest form of flattery is imitation. Being the avid collector that I am always on the prowl for interesting vintage handbags, especially Lucite & Bakelite. Well, it appears that the plastic handbag is making a comeback!
I must admit I absolutely luv Chanel's take on the plastic clutch purse
Even this reproduction vintage style Barbie chooses to be in vogue with her acrylic handbag
Don't be fooled by these lovely colorful Lucite handbags...they are vintage reproductions!
It is bit of a wonder that the plastic handbag has found a place in today's modern times, but for me I will always be in love with vintage. I am a die hard vintage collector. However I do realize that these plastic handbags can be very fragile. They can break, crack or warp fairly easy. So perhaps in 30 years or so I will grow to appreciate the modern reproduction bags because they may be all that remain of the beloved plastics of the yester-year.
Oh goodness...let's hope that is not the case!
Check out a video I did last year on Bakelite & Lucite Handbags