Monday, August 20, 2007

D is for Discontinued (and for online Discounters)

Slowly but surly, with a scary determination, classic and mainstream perfume houses are discontinuing older fragrances. Some are gone forever, others are reformulated beyond recognition. The reasons are many, but they all come to the bottom line of sales and revenues. The executed bottles are many of your old favorites. It seems that every day another one is gone to the eternal oakmoss fields.

If you've been getting a strange feeling that the new bottle of your signature scent doesn't smell the way it was supposed to, you're most likely right. You can either adjust, switch or go vintage. Just beware of fakes and con artists on eBay.

If you wear the older Fendis, this is the time to stock up on the classic Fendi. Asja is already very hard to find as is the wonderful Theorema. Gucci L'Arte is gone, most Oscar de la Renta scents are disappearing quickly, Roberto Cavalli was just discontinued, but there are still many bottles around. Kenzo Jungle L'Elephant and L'Tiger are mostly gone, but a few online stores still have a few bottles. The gorgeous incense fragrance from Barbara Bui is becoming hard to find, but still possible.

The classic Cartier scents Must, Must II and the original So Pretty are becoming the center of bid wars on eBay. Nothing has yet reached the legendary hysteria of Donna Karan Chaos (google it for a good laugh at the prices it gets), but we can take guesses at the next underground hit.

While I admit I no longer buy mainstream mass market fragrances created after 1999 (with the exception of Barbara Bui, though I'm not sure it really qualifies as such, Cartier Le Baiser du Dragon and Alexander McQueen Kingdom, another goner), I'm sad to see this trend. I've been stocking up on my 80s and 90s favorites and must admit I'm worried for some of my other favorites, like Black Cashmere and Jil Sander #4.


  1. Of them all, I lament L'Arte di Gucci the most. It is so incredibly gorgeous. And it is so "Gucci". Shame on them for discontinuing it. I think the blame for that lies on Tom Ford's door actually. I might be mistaken, but I think it was under his reign when L'Arte (and some others) were done away with.

  2. Loved the "eternal oakmoss field"...
    what a shame! Nothing against change and new developments but there are some perfumes that deserve eternity, but not in oakmoss paradise, but here on earth were our troubled souls seek for scented pleasures.

  3. Marina, you're right. L'Arte has been gone for a while now and it's extremely hard to find a bottle. I recently saw an EDT tester go for $175.

    Andy, I agree. Change is good, just not when it takes away a wonderful fragrance for the sake of selling another bottle of watermelon juice.

  4. It broke my heart when Venezia by Laura Biagiotti was discontinued...

  5. all the more heartbreaking to see what they are shoving aside these classics to foist off on us.


  6. Anon- Sadly, I don't even remember what Venezia smells like. I overlooked it when it was still available, now I deeply regret it.

    Tom- I have a feeling we'll see very few new mainstream classics from now on. The ones who care about their art, integrity and plain old smelling good aren't those producing the J Lo juice.
    At least, we'll always have PG and Andy.


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