I smell an imposter!!!

Something very terrible has happened.

Let me start at the beginning.

What seems like many years ago, Dolce & Gabbana released their first fragrance for women.  It was simple known as Dolce & Gabbana with the red top (aka pour femme).  The perfume was a love it or loathe it creation.  With its citrus and herbal top notes, heady floral heart and vanilla-musk base, there was nothing shy about it.  The jus had tons of sillage and could easily wear the wearer instead of the other way around.

I was just out of high school when I discovered this heavenly creation.  It was love at first sniff, and it was the first fragrance that was powerful enough to affect my mood.  All I had to do was wear it and I felt like a confident, sexy, bombshell instantly. It was brash and brazen, yet somehow still sophisticated.  It was my mother who treated me to my 3.4 oz bottle, and whenever I wore it, the compliments came all day long.  I was careful with my bottle of treasured perfume, so I only wore it on special occasions.  Recently, I took a good, long look at what was left of it and decided to retire it.  Here’s why: My bottle of D&G was purchased in 1998 and I was pretty certain that the jus had been altered since then.  I resolved that I would buy myself a new bottle and keep what was left of the vintage elixir for any super special moments.

When Your Nose Knows:

I received my new bottle of D&G pour femme and tested it on my arm.  Instantly, I knew that something was wrong. Very wrong.  The top notes seemed thin and not rich as they should.  As they developed into the heart of the fragrance my nose couldn’t get past a particular synthetic note that overwhelmed and altered the entire composition of the jus.  The dry down was the ‘politically correct’ version of what it used to be.  The fragrance itself had changed drastically.  It was an imposter!

To further convince myself of what I knew to be true, I asked my hubby to smell the new version of the perfume.  He has always loved the ’98 version on me.  He smelled the new stuff (not knowing what perfume it was) and declared that he didn’t care for it.

So am I crazy? No, not at all.  There is a great explanation as to why a perfume that is the same brand can (and often does) smell different that a previously purchased bottle.  Companies and Perfume Houses (especially the big ones, ie. brands found in a dept. store) often substitute or swap ingredients or change the composition of a fragrance for several reasons.  The raw ingredients needed may become scarce, the powers that be may issue the order to make the jus more cost efficient, etc.  The most troubling reason of late has come from the IFRA who are set to ban a host of natural ingredients that have been at the heart of great perfume making for the last hundred or so years. Classics will soon become ghosts of themselves without ingredients such as oak moss and jasmine.  Instead, fragrances will become synthetic in nature (which they already are, sorry to say).  Out with real ingredients, in with man-made formulas made to smell like the genuine article.  Needless to say, there are many people (myself included) that see this as the death of the art of perfumery. Good-bye Chanel No. 5, Farewell Joy.  I can’t help but wonder why the perfume houses are essentially agreeing to these restrictions and thereby, actively contributing to their own downfall.  As I type this post, I am sitting here, wearing the imposter fragrance sold to me as D&G.  I will have no choice but to stockpile certain favorites of mine before they are altered.  I wish I could say that this has been my first encounter with a fragrance that has been drastically reformulated; unfortunately, it has not.  Lucky for me, I have my original, beloved D&G tucked away for safe keeping (what is left of it, anyway), and the perfume I wore when I married.

One final note.  It truly does peeve me that these perfume houses are substituting real, quality ingredients for poor substitutes without admitting it or lowering the price to reflect their now inferior product.  Perfumistas, we must find a way to make our voice heard.

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