One of the most frequent help requests I get is about finding an alternative for discontinued or beloved perfumes. I know the pain even though it's been almost twenty years since I had a signature scent. I may be polyfragmorouse but there are enough true loves in my collection and several of them are no longer with us, hence the stash of backup bottles.
Among the ones readers mourn are all the classic true chypres on all their oakmossy goodness. These are the hardest to replace, since IFRA has made sure no one uses enough oakmoss to make a difference. Tom Ford has discontinued his beautiful Moss Breches, which would have been my first recommendation. My current suggestion is to try the natural and indie perfumers. From Tauer's Un Rose Chypree to various creations from Ayala Moriel, Anya's Garden, Ava Luxe and others. Nothing is exactly like Mitsouko or Chanel 19 in original formula, but there are several gorgeous perfumes that would appeal to chypre lovers.
Then there such lovelies like Organza Indecence, Jil Sander No. 4, Fendi (original, though it actually belongs with the chypres above), Magie Noir, some of the classic Jean Patou perfumes... the list goes on and on. My opinion? Move on. If you don't like the weaker form of the current Jil Sander No 4 (available as an Ulta exclusive) try exploring floral perfumes by Ormonde Jayne, Serge Lutens and Tom Ford, but don't expect them to be the same. They're excellent and very satisfying in their own right. Fans of Organza Indecence have a good chance of enjoying Musc Ravageur (Frederic Malle) and should give Ormonde Jayne's woodier creations a chance: try Ormonde Woman and Orris Noir. Speaking of Ormonde Jayne, Tolu is a big boned floriental that could give some of the classic 80s scent a very good run for their money.
Many lament the death of the original Chloe as we used to know it. Add to that the disappearance of Mahora and Michelle (Balenciaga) and we have some huge gaps to fill in the white flower department. While recommending Fracas is a no-brainer, there's also Uncle Serge's Datura Noir (I can't stand this Lutens but it's divine on my mother). You might also like Rubj by Swiss perfumer Vero Kern, Frederic Malle Carnal Flower and Tubereuse 1 from Histoires de Parfums.
Mona di Orio creates bold and beautiful fragrances that aren't afraid to smell like real perfumes. They have an animalic feel and a rare backbone. They are the exact opposite of the shower fresh trend and are not to be missed if you're a fan of yesteryear scents. While exploring this style, also check Vero's Onda, anything by Parfumerie Generale (Querelle comes to mind), Parfum d'Empire and Robert Piguet.
I know this doesn't even come close to covering everything, which is where you come in. Let's talk about it:
Do you have any recommendations, questions and requests? Please share your ideas, brilliant finds and heartaches. Do you have a list of goners and acceptable substitutions? If not, let's start one here.