Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fendy by Fendi (1985)- The Lost Perfume Series

It was announced today that LVMH (known to some as Forces of Darkness) is pulling the plug on the Fendi perfume franchise and discontinuing Fendi Palazzo, the last remaining Fendi scent on the market. According to WWD:

The company will stop selling its Fendi Palazzo women’s fragrance, which it introduced in 2007, due to sales that “while encouraging, didn’t meet expectations” in 2008, stated Gabriella Scarpa, country general manager for LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics in Italy. At the time of its introduction, industry sources estimated Palazzo would ring up $50 million in global retail revenues during its first year on counter.

Palazzo, a scent with a nice top and a drydown out of a laundromat, joins the older (and better) Fendi fragrances that were sent to the great perfume counter in the sky in 2005, after LVMH acquired the license from YSL Beauté division . I've already reviewed the gorgeous (and cult favorite) Theorema, so today in honor of the deceased line we can talk of the original Fendi from 1985.

Like other 1985 releases, Dior Poison and CK Obsession, Fendi is big Big BIG, complete with mall hair and a power suit. Back then it was meant to evoke luxurious femininity (there was something about fur coats in the publicity material, but I'm not the right person to comment about that). Nowadays it mostly calls to mind an era when various perfumes battled over control of small spaces. In a way, you can blame Fendi for the disturbance in the force that brought upon us the following decade of Seinfeldian scents that smell of nothing.

But back to Fendi. While obviously not of this time (a polite way to say dated), and something to be taken in small doses, this is a beautiful spicy chypre, chock-full of oakmoss and labdanum. It's rich, deep and has a bite you either love or hate. It's also extremely recognizable and has an assertive sillage, as I discovered a couple of years ago when I was asked at the post office if I was wearing Fendi. I've been saving it to open spaces and one spray a day ever since.

Very often when I (or other American bloggers) write about a discontinued scent we get comments from readers in Europe telling us they can still buy it in their local stores. Sometimes it's a case of different markets, but more often than not, the scent is no longer manufactured, but unlike the US, Europe does not believe in discounters, which is where leftover stock is directed here, to be purchased online. Instead, they keep the bottles on the shelves (usually fully priced) until every last one is sold.
I bought a bottle of the eau de parfum for a song back when I first heard it was a goner. It's still available online, but mostly in EDT form and usually well under $50.


  1. I had a bottle of this I bought in probably 1985 and wore in high school and college; I sent it to Goodwill in a mad housecleaning binge 4 years ago when I was sure I was never going to wear perfume again. I could KICK myself now.

    Any thoughts on how the bottle I might find today would compare to the old? Or was it discontinues long enough ago that its likely to still be as I recall?

    1. When I ran out years ago, I did an e-bay search and bought up several bottles. NONE were like our wonderful old Fendi. Not the same at all! I was always getting complimented on the original Fendi--I would wear no other cologne and I loved the smell--no muskox smell! Perfect for me. Unfortunately, I believe the formula is destroyed when cologne is discontinued. At this point, I'm trying to make MY OWN recipe with online companies.

  2. Juno, Fendi was discontinues in 2005 and most likely never went through a serious reformulation. My bottle is from the early 2000s and has all the oakmoss one can ask for, so I'm guessing it's close enough to the original.

  3. I'd been able to buy Fendi at rock bottom prices up until late 2008 in the UK and was mortified to discover everyone out of stock when attempting a purchase earlier this year. I've worn it for 23 years (eeeek!) and love it more today than ever.

    I've just managed to get a bottle on ebay for an extortionate price and will be using it VERY sparingly. If anyone can recommend something similar, I'm all ears!!


  4. Marcia, I feel your pain. Many of the online discounters in the USA still have Fendi in stock, and while the price has been creeping up, it's still on the cheap side. It might be worth it for you to check which ones do reasonable international shipping and see if it ends up cheaper than eBay.

    I can't think of a perfume that resembles Fendi, even remotely, especially now that classic chypres are mostly extinct. However, a thought just popped into my head: try searching for Sonia Rykiel Le Parfum (not Rykiel Woman or any of the ones in the t-shirt bottle). I have a feeling you might like it.

  5. Marcia- the Non-Blonde is right of course! If you loved Fendi (and if people loved it on you, as they did on me) I'm 99% you can wear Sonya Rykiel. Its the orange one in the tee shirt bottle. It has been discontinued though. I have a few bottles, I haven't been able to wear it in Chicago (too humid) but wear it in drier climes. I purchased those 2 bottles at the Sonia Rykiel Store in Paris in 2002. Far fewer people knew about this perfume so you should be able to get it. Its also made really well and ages in the bottle quite well (as in, doesn't age, unlike Viktor & Rolf's Flowerbomb which oxidizes whenever one even thinks of it!)

  6. My mother wore this amazing scent through the 80s and 90s and it evokes intense memories of affection and elegance to me.

    She asked me if I could get her a bottle and I jumped at the request. To my shock, it sure was discontinued. After searching on eBay, where it goes for $150 or more for a 100ml eau de parfum, I went to my local discount shops downtown and they each had just one last bottle and were asking for roughly the same as online, so, instead of waiting and the risk of a broken bottle (what a sin!), I splurged on it. Amazing how powerful memories can throw caution to the wind!

  7. I am sick- sick, I can't find it any where
    Fendi I love it so much what am I to do can any one help
    will it come out again latter a new kind
    please make it the same .
    Hurt Savannah

  8. I am there with you ladies. I got my first Fendi bottle of perfume to celebrate my now 25 yr old sons birth. It has been my signature perfume since. much to my horror, I cannot find it anywhere. Any suggestions where we can write to have Fendi company rethink?

  9. OMG!! I have been using FENDI on and off for years and years. It works so well on me that I had men following me around just to smell it (that, and I was perhaps a bit thinner!). I have just got a new power-job and have been thinking that what I need is my show-stopping FENDI. I AM IN MOURNING!! This is terrible news (as stressful as when Lancome discontinued their fantastic Lip Dimension lipsticks). One of the things I loved about FENDI was that the fragrance lingered on your lingerie even after washing!! OOOOO .... Can anyone recommend a 'replacement'?

  10. I had used Fendi for more years than I care to think about and was delighted to 'find' Sonia Rykiel's Le Parfum after I failed to find any more Fendi. I loved that too and always had complimentary comments when I wore it. Now horror of horrors I am unable to get any of that either. There must be something out there with the richness of those two.
    Any suggestions please. Please!!

  11. it's still on shelves in NZ...thank goodness as I am yet to find another perfume I love as much...yes perhaps it is 'not of this time'' but then perhaps then neither am I as I still get compliments on it...

  12. I am another mourner of Fendi. Whenever I wore it I got so many compliments and questions as to what it was and where it could be bought. Just why it had to be discontinued is beyond me. As to it being 'not of this time' what nonsense! My daughter is a young woman and she loves it as do all her young friends, male and female.

  13. I recently contacted Fendi customer services (retail.customers@it.fendi.com) but had a reply to say there were no plans to bring it back.

  14. guys, i have about two inches left of my last bottle. i save it for when i see old friends - it was my 'signature scent' since i was 16. devastated when they discontinued.

    i haven't found anything - and i've tried - that i want to wear. so this post is a request couched in desperation: has anyone found a replacement that's comparable? gives off that same deep, spicy w/out being sharp vibe?

  15. GertGert, Teatro alla Scala is very close to the original Fendi, it's getting harder to find but it's available if you look carefully online.


  17. I spent $400 with different vendors to purchase unopened FENDI cologne. Most of it was too old and the scent had lost its intensity. Its mostly alcohol, with a hint of perfume. Does ANYone know of anything similar on the market today? Please share! Yes, men always asked me the name of my FENDI, presumably to go and buy it for their lovers……men were absolutely mesmerized by the scent! Why don't perfume creators today get a clue and try to reproduce this for us?

  18. I'm so sad. I really miss it. I noticed it was gone years ago and I'm still trying to hunt it down.


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