As promised, here is the link to my latest perfume column, On the Scent: A Certain Vintage, on the smells of yesteryear, including discontinued gems like L'Arte di Gucci and Fendi Theorema as well as older versions of living classics like Joy and Diorella. Here's an excerpt:
To the perfume lover, vintage perfumes are a dangerous draw. There is reason to worry that after falling down the vintage rabbit hole, one may never want to return to the above-ground mall. That’s because they really don’t make ‘em like this anymore – many of the ingredients common in vintage perfumes are no longer in use due to reduced availability, ecological or health concerns, prohibitive costs, changing tastes, or some combination of the above. So if you like what you smell in vintage perfumery – real oakmoss in chypres, natural ambergris and civet, unctuous musks, a high percentage of natural floral absolutes – it may be difficult to accept what’s being manufactured today.
The threat, then, is that you’ll fall head over heels in love with something in very limited availability. Let’s say you’re smitten with a bottle of Chanel No. 5 parfum from the ‘50s. Once it’s gone, there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever find the same vintage again, or that, if you do, it will be in the same condition or remotely affordable...Read the rest!