Monday 17 July 2017

What's New To You?

Every year we see literally thousands of fragrances released both worldwide and also in specific countries. We are already half way through 2017 and if you have managed to smell every one of those launched so far this year then I am very impressed, but also more than a little sceptical. Every time you turn around there seems to be a new advertising campaign, a new “exclusive” ingredient, and a new dreaded flanker. So, you can be forgiven for missing a few of these new releases along the way. This week I was told, “everything is new to someone”, and in the world of perfume releases that couldn't be truer.

We are so conditioned that new is best and takes the place of everything that has gone before, but that really isn't true. Reviewers and bloggers spend every waking moment talking about the latest launches, the newest aroma chemicals, the most up-and-coming perfumers, but sometimes this is at the expense of a fragrance from “last season” or even a different decade. I am as guilty as the rest of the bunch, although you've probably seen quite a few historicals and novelties grace these pages because I am a little obsessed by the eighties.

So what am I actually saying? Simply, that it's time for everyone to start doing a little digging. You'll always be told about the biggest, most extravagant, mind-blowingly (sic) spectacular perfume launches but rarely about the older catalogue of some of the companies. When was the last time you read anything about Lancôme’s 1995 Poême, Sisley's 1974 Eau de Campagne, Givenchy’s 1998 Pi or Picot’s 1967 Pagan? Even a brief resurgence two years ago of the "classic" Estée Lauder fragrances as the House Of Estée have dropped out of the limelight in favour of the Modern Muse franchise.

Of course there is always excitement around the latest, the newest, the most fashionable perfume of the season but remember that there are thousands out there just waiting to be discovered. We are in the middle of the summer scent releases at the moment and how many "bright, green, fresh and invigorating" scents have you been confronted with? Well, the next time that you're near the Lancôme counter try Ô de Lancôme, which was originally launched in 1969. Think Jo Malone's Basil & Neroli mixed with a dash of Guerlain's Bergamote Calabria and you have this classic unisex honeysuckle.

If you're looking for some inspiration when it comes to choosing what "classics" to explore I would advise you to hunt out your local pharmacy. These are usually an Aladdin's cave for forgotten classics and I guarantee that you'll spend longer hunting through these shelves than you will in any department store. Another wonderful source for rarities, soft launches and drugstore classics is Samantha Scriven's excellent blog I Scent You A Day. There is no rhyme or reason as to what Samantha features and that is what keeps her so readable. Whatever your next fragrance purchase is, just spare a thought for what has gone before.


  1. Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed it Rob. Have you smelled any of the ones I mention? Best, Stephan

  2. The Eau de Campagne, Givenchy's Pi, and the O de Lancôme are still firm favourites.

  3. Hooray for the old classics! Thank you so much for the shout out.
    I totally agree with you Stephan- there are new launches coming thick and fast and the longstanding classics can get overlooked to the point of extinction. One examle of this is that in my local House of Fraser ( admittedly a small branch) there are none of the O de Lancomes, but every single flanker of La Vie est Belle. Similarly, the Estee Lauder counter had no tester for 80s floral classic Beautiful, but every single one of the Modern Muse line was out and proud.

    If we don't buy them, they will die out.

    Plus, I find that many new launches are made for the under 27 demographioc. Being 47, I'm looking for mossy green chypres and my stuff is usually under the counter and not on it.

    I Scent You a Day