Saturday Question: Do You Know Any Successful Perfume Reformulation?

In the comments to the recent Scent Semantics post, hajusuuri mentioned that she didn’t think that a vintage formula was always better. This brings us to today’s question.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #131:

Do You Know Any Successful Perfume Reformulation?

Let’s not consider those perfumes that you’ve never tried in their original or earlier version. But can you think of any perfumes where you tried an old(er) and a new version and thought that the new one wasn’t that bad?

My Answer

Since in times when most perfumes that these days are considered vintage classics were modern I was a signature perfume gal, I don’t know any of those perfumes enough to miss them (well, I do keep the grudge because of Miss Dior‘s being stripped of its name, but other than that, I thought that even Miss Dior Originale version wasn’t totally bad when I had a chance to try it last time).

Last year Puredistance had to reformulate their Opardu because of IFRA (I strongly dislike this organization and think that they are doing something they shouldn’t). I had a chance to compare both versions, and I think that they did a good job preserving the scent character.

More recently, at a Duty Free in Dusseldorf, I tried the latest version of Guerlain‘s Encens Mythique and was surprised at how well they’ve recreated the original one that I like very much. Yes, together with the unpopular “d’Orient” part, this perfume lost some oomph and became lighter, but it is still quite recognizable, and I wouldn’t mind wearing it.

Guerlain Encens Mythique d’Orient

Do You Know Any Successful Perfume Reformulation?


20 thoughts on “Saturday Question: Do You Know Any Successful Perfume Reformulation?

  1. Hi Undina
    You have already mentioned one, Miss Dior Originale. Like you I begrudge the name change but the scent is still worth owning.
    Until 2019 I would have said the classic Estée Lauder’s but when they streamlined the bottles they ruined at least their chypres. How I miss Azuree.
    Dior Poison is still Poison, though more like the vintage cologne than the initial release. Lighter but still witchy.
    Of course No 5 & most of the Chanel’s are very beautiful, I enjoy my 9 year old bottle of No 19 far more than the original! The vintage version was just Too. Much. Iris.


    • I’ve mostly smelled only one version of any given perfume. However, I’m glad you mentioned No 19, because I got a vintage parfum (with some challenge) and was surprised to find that I didn’t like it as much as my current EdP, despite the parfum being richer. Granted, they are different formulations to begin with; my issue was too much lily-of-the-valley!


      • That Chanel thing with each “strength” being different fragrances. My No 5 is the EdT & Perfume. I love Premiere too. My No 19 is the EdT.
        I “know” from hardcore fragrance sites I should be horrified by later No 19 but I’m not.
        Another modern version of a fragrance I love, Jacomo Silences. I owned it in the 80s & bought a bottle from a discounter dirt cheap during lock down. Still a real green wake up call & gorgeous if bright greens are your thing.


  2. I’m in total agreement with your Miss Dior comment, and I’ll add two more vintage fragrances: Arpege and Je Reviens. The current Arpege really pleases me: it’s as similar as possible to the original, and it’s now readily available everywhere for a really really good price. They kept the gorgeous bottle too. Je Reviens for the same reasons: a respectful version of a classic, as close as possible to the original plus housed in the original bottle.

    Eau d’Hadrien smells as good to me as it always did, and I’ve been wearing and enjoying it for about 25 years now. It’s gorgeous and it’s been a part of my life for so long it feels like having the same beautiful friend for decades. It can be professional, or sensual, always comforting, and the fact that some of my friends wore it oo makes me happy. If I could only have one scent for the rest of my life this would probably be my choice, and probably in the EDT format. I like the EDP too, and I love Bois d’hadrian, which no-one ever mentions. But the EDT of Eau d’hadrian might just be my desert island scent.

    I wish Samsara were in its original format: It used to smell so clean to me. Ridiculous, I know, for a jasmine sandalwood bomb of a fragrance to smell clean. But to me it did. I know Guerlain worked at it, to keep it as good as possible, but in this case I do miss the original.

    Hope everyone has a great week filled with no unpleasant events.




    • I don’t think I’ve ever smelled Arpege. I’ve just never seen it at a store, and it feels wrong to pay for a sample of something that is that old that I haven’t tried before. But I still might one day.


  3. I think the Etro Messe de Minuit reformulation is much more wearable. I was extremely disappointed by the current formulation of Encens Mythique d’Orient and sold the backup bottle of Encens Mythique I had purchased blind. Definitely need to resmell anything before getting another bottle!


  4. I agree with carole’s comment on Arpège. I also think that the resurrection of Mitsouko due to Thierry Wasser is very good, much better than previous versions.


  5. Hey Undina & Crew,
    You inspired me to write a post about just this tomorrow. CHANEL Cuir de Russie EdP.
    I smelled the recreated, almost clear DIOR Eau Noire by Captain Kurk last week. It is terrific. Everything the colourful one is missing has been reanimated. Haven’t spent time with the other two on skin but will definitely be buying the triple 40ml coffers when finances allow.
    Portia x


  6. I am afraid I can’t think of anything to say on this one! As a rule though I usually don’t like the reformulated version of whatever it is as much.


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