martedì 19 marzo 2019

A letter from an ex-Guerlain employee: more Questions and Answers.

Risultati immagini per guerlain extrait

You will probably remember the post about the letter written by the old Guerlain employee. Well, through a mutual friend we sent him a letter with seven more questions concerning the old Guerlain fragrances, and we got the answers.
Keep in mind, before reading: we do not want to break any copyright and, most importantly, everything is based on ancient memories, so there is no evidence of what we are speaking of. You can agree or disagree. 
But it is a wonderful and engaging reading.... 

Here are the Seven Questions:

1- Why did the name suddenly change from "Extrait" to "Parfum" on certain old bottles?
2- Can you remember any of "reformulations" occurred in ancient times?
3- What exactly was the old "Parfum de Toilette"?
4- Can you tell us something more about the old "batch-codes"?
5- What can you say about the strange "110ml Eau de Guerlain" bottle?
6- Does a change in the box automatically mean a change in the aroma?
7- What's the difference between 85° and 85%?

And here are the answers.
(please note it was translated from French to Italian, then again to English)

martedì 3 aprile 2018

Opium, the Greatest.

"It will be the Greatest, and we will call it Opium"
(Yves Saint Laurent, 1976)

Sexy, Sultry, Seductive, Successful: it's Opium. After Samsara, this is my second tribute to wonderful scents of my youth: this time we talk about the Greatest one.
This article is divided in 7 parts:

- Opium at a glance
- Box and bottles through the years.
- Bottles "Year-by-Year"
- The Advertisements
- The Flankers
- The Opium Universe
- Tutorial Pics

I tried to make some sort of "Opium encyclopedia". Enjoy it!

giovedì 15 marzo 2018

How to recognize GUCCI perfumes.

"Dating" Gucci perfumes can be a very, very difficult task due to extremely intricated story of House of Gucci during decades.
Therefore, similarly to what was done with Jean Patou perfumes (read here the marvellous story-interview), we received some help from signor Ernesto, an old employee at Gucci in Florence, now retired, who helped us to solve many controversial aspects.
Dating Gucci perfumes can make you fool, because you have to "decipher" same numbers during different periods. 
One of the most famous example is batchcode "0163": it could mean year 2003 (Wella-type batchcodes, you have to check the last number) or year 2010 (Procter&Gamble-type ones, you have to check the first number).... 
So, in an attempt to "date" all Gucci perfumes, we have to proceed in a rather unusual way: "period-by-period" and "scent-by-scent".
But, after all, as signor Ernesto said us: " many cases, you can rely on the clues on the boxes, i.e. addresses, distributors, labels, more than the batchcodes..."
Follow us in this long and a bit complicate road.
Alba, Laura, & Roberta.

giovedì 1 febbraio 2018

How to recognize JEAN PATOU fragrances.

" asked me how to put a date on old Patou perfumes, 
and I'll teach you it.... 
but you shouldn't care about years and months, 
because I worked at Patou, and I can assure you: 
Jean Patou was the best. 
All bottles produced were pieces of Art.
Top quality, the best materials, and the best perfumes. 
Jean Patou was Art."

We never heard about a method for dating vintage Jean Patou perfumes. Actually it is quite a difficult task, because technicians used ingenious tricks to date perfumes (such as the "inverse" alphabet), so we have to thanks an old french-italian lady ("Signora Mimma", she is 83-years old now!), once employed at Patou, who revealed us the secrets of the batch-codes, and gave us a marvellous interview about "good old times" spent with Patou.
This (very) long article is divided in 4 parts:
- Batch codes revealed;
- Tutorial pics;
- Glimpses from an interview;
- Miscellaneous pics. 
Follow us and learn why "Patou is not about dresses and perfumes; Patou is about Art."
Melba, Roberta, Dahlia, Laura.

mercoledì 10 gennaio 2018

A letter from an ex-Guerlain employee

A very important number:
the Formula.

(UPDATE: this is the Part 1. 
You can find the Part 2 here , with more questions and answers about vintage fragrances)

On October, 2017, I received this letter about "reformulations", via a common friend. It is incredibly interesting and deserves the publication. It could be of some interest for all Guerlain enthusiasts. Anyway, it's really intriguing.
Sincerely yours,
Laura Alessi 

(translated from french)

I read the articles written by your group, about the reformulations occurred in many perfumes: since I worked at Guerlain for a few years, I could give my contribution and suggest you a little trick. You don't need to collect and examine samples, batch-by-batch, and smell many stripes to determine if a reformualation occurred. It's quite time-consuming and in most cases, not really useful.  
There is a faster and more effective way to determine if a reformulation occurred. As you should know, all cosmetics since year 2003-2004 have to indicate the "allergens list" on the box. 
Since then, all LVMH perfumes (Guerlain, Dior, etc...) indicate the allergens, in conjunction with a particular progressive number evidencing the formula of each product. So, you will read different numbers for aftershaves, eau de toilette, eau de parfum, parfum, etc. 
Each number = a "recipe". 
So,when a reformulation occurs, the "recipe" changes, and you will read a different number. 
Collecting several boxes through the years, you will read different numbers ...and consequently you can spot on the reformulations.
There is no reason to smell several samples to guess if a change happened or not: simply look at the number on the box.
At Guerlain, the biggest part of reformulations happened since 2007. Please note this doesn't mean the new formulations are worse or better than the older. We at Guerlain were very strict on quality, and we put every attention in reformulations, I can guarantee it to you. You couldn't even notice any difference. Simply, check out the Formula on the corner of the box, and you will notice all reformulations. 

Since the numbers are in progressive order, with some experience you will be able to obtain all the infos you want, simply reading the batch code (year of production) and the formula. and guessing the date/type of reformulation of your own bottle"

lunedì 13 febbraio 2017

lunedì 19 dicembre 2016

"Cinescent" by Gabriela Guidetti (December 2016)

Fundamental – Rubini (2015) 
 Ex_Machina - Alex Garland (2015) 

Caleb: So what? You want me to talk about myself?
Ava: Yes.
Caleb: Where... Okay, where do I start?
Ava: It's your decision. I'm interested to see what you'll choose.
(tratto da Ex Machina, 2015)

Nel 2015 sono sbocciate due magnifiche creature che per caso o fortuna sembrano legate dallo stesso inarrestabile destino. Fundamental, la prima fragranza della maison Rubini, e Ava, la protagonista del primo film diretto da Alex Garland, lo sceneggiatore preferito da Danny Boyle.
Ed entrambe hanno fatto parlare di sé.

mercoledì 14 dicembre 2016

J'Adore by Dior (EdP reformulation, 2016).

Probably you have already heard the buzz: J'adore EdP was reformulated again in the autumn of 2016.
I would not want to say if it's for better (or worse), this time I wanted to check it according to the "fragrance formula trick" explained by Alberto Converano some time ago (here the original article) ...and I have to agree with, since I can smell a certain difference, and read a different "formula" at the same time.

martedì 29 novembre 2016

SAMSARA, the Legend.

This is my first solo post at "Raiders of the Lost Scent" and the first chapter of a small bunch of fragrances that changed my life. 
I'd like to start with one of my favourite scents since I was a teen: "Samsara" by Guerlain, one of the most spectacular exhibitions of Jasmine and Sandalwood ever created: in my opinion, it's a scent near perfection, and it was an instant love.

mercoledì 23 novembre 2016

How to recognize CARON perfumes (1965-2015)

Dear Sirs,
we are a couple of avid scent collectors, and we stumbled upon your magnificent blog. What a surprise to be able to "decode" so many perfumes at last! 
However, we noticed a big void: Perfumes CARON.
Hence here's a short guide for dating most CARON fragrances from 1965 to 2015. Please note this has to be intended as a tribute to Caron, one of the finest perfume brands ever created, and not for commercial purpose. Caron suffered many highs and downs during its history, but succeeded in maintaining an high standard of quality. Many Carons are really masterpiece of perfumery.
Unfortunately, the huge amount of different boxes and bottles produced for the same scent make the "dating" a bit difficult. Just as an example, more than fifteen different boxes/bottles of "Infini de Caron" were produced! Put simply, you can't rely on shape of the bottle (or textures on the boxes) only.
Here you will learn how to "decode" the batchcodes: not so easy at first sight, but you will soon understand the "pattern". A lot of tutorial pics will help you.
Anyway, please keep this guide free, and without commercial purposes.
Alessandro C.
Gisella B.

martedì 15 novembre 2016

Yesterday and Today: "La Nuit de L'Homme" EdT, by Yves Saint Laurent (guest post)

Hi there! 
This is my first post, here at "Raiders of the Lost Scent". A few months ago I wrote a brief note about "fragrance formulas" reported on the boxes in all Dior perfumes, suggesting them as a method for detecting reformulations (see here). Surprisingly, that post gained a lot of resonance among perfume enthusiasts (you can find discussions and even Youtube videos explaining formulas written on the box, codes, "secret numbers".....).   
Following this track, I accepted to make a funny, similar work, with another acclaimed male scent: La Nuit de l'Homme EdT, by Yves Saint Laurent, performing tests, then checking "formulas" on the boxes and discussing the results. 
Yves Saint Laurent has actually been using "formulas" for a long time, and every YSL scent (EdP, EdT, AfterShave) has its own "formula" at the end of the ingredient listed on the box.
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