Discontinued Saints

I blame Left Coast Nose for this one.  She mentioned a scent she liked in a comment, and then helpfully pointed out that it’s discontinued.  Which got me to thinking… how much of the stuff I actually own and wear is no longer being produced and sold at retail?  A bunch of it, that’s how much.   Edit:  I should explain, I bought nearly all of the following at online discounters, where most of them are indeed still available at the time of writing.  Exception Shalimar Light, which is getting scarce as alligator feathers.

I had titled this post “Love’s Retail Lost,” and then when I went looking for a photo to accompany it, I found this:

which, although not precisely on topic, was too good not to share.

I checked my Excel file, where I keep notes on what I’ve tested, what I’d like to test, and what I’ve bought, to find out.  To be fair, I excluded my (extensive) collection of vintage miniatures, which I bought primarily because they were vintage/discontinued/hard-to-find.

Mariella Burani edt.  I think Mariella Burani is still making some kind of fragrance, but the eponymous one is no longer produced.  When you find it at the discounters, it’s likely to be very cheap because stocks have been dumped.  This does not reflect its quality.

YSL Paris Pont des Amours Printemps Edition 2008   Again, another LE.  I can’t really complain about limited editions not sticking around, however much I’d like to (I’m still mourning over the L’Artisan Jacinthe de Bois I never got to smell).

Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur   I have seen Black Orchid recently in a retail store, but not VdF, and I can’t find an online listing for it at a retail establishment. 

Balenciaga Rumba.  Another “let’s just dump it at cost” scent because it’s been discontinued and there’s tons of old stock sitting around.  It’s a very 80’s style fragrance, big and rich and vampy, and that is quite unfashionable these days.

Donna Karan Gold.  Recently discontinued, along with a slew of other Karans.  I am saddened to report that they are still making the (hideous, IMO) Be Delicious and all its sugary little flankers.

This one’s in question: I can’t find Givenchy Organza Indecence, whether the original or the Les Mythiques version, anywhere.  But March says in her comments to me on this post she was told it’s not discontinued, just really hard to find.  Givenchy should get its act together – this one was a both a big seller and hugely popular among perfumistas.

L’Arte di Gucci.  It doesn’t surprise me that this one’s kaput, to be honest.  It’s too… too big, too lush, too animalic, too shrieking, too everything  for current tastes.  (Except marshmallowy and fruity.  It’s not fruit-flavored-candy enough for current tastes.  And now I’ll stop snarling about the fruity gourmand fad, at least for now.   I admit to liking Hanae Mori.)

Stetson Rich Suede, which was probably an LE to begin with.  Oh, well.

Ines de la Fressange 1999, the Calice Becker fruity floral  – there’s a newer version in a tall bottle with gold leaves, a gourmandish thing by Alberto Morillas, but I think it too has been discontinued.  I know I snark about fruity florals from time to time, but this one is done just right: light-hearted, tangy, a bellini in a bottle.

Okay, okay, fine, I’ll cop to this one: Victoria’s Secret Pink.   This would be the original Pink, not Pink Beach or Pink Angel or Pink Panties or whatever the heck those ever-sluttier Victoria’s Secret execs are coming up with these days, an airy green peony-freesia floral that is still pleasant to me, and which I bought another mini of this past year, to replace the old one that was getting really low.  My excuse? The CEO likes it.

Victoria’s Secret Victoria.   The very first fragrance VS released, waaaay back in the… late 80’s, I think, a beautiful floral chypre that nonetheless has a difficult opening due to age.  I’ve now smelled three different bottles of this, and all three are off in the topnotes – decayed bergamot, or something.  I never owned this when it was new – I couldn’t afford it.  But it’s lovely, when the weird top burns off.  VS used to carry really beautiful, elegant nightwear – I had a gorgeous teal satin spaghetti-strap nightie that I wore for years – heavy satin, with four-inch-deep soft ivory lace.  Victoria smells like that thing felt – elegant, luxurious, pretty.  

Crown Perfumery Crown Bouquet.  I hereby curse Clive Christian to live, without diamonds and Lexuses and cash, sleeping in a tent and eating local food, in a miserably poor place for three months.   Perhaps he’d give up this ludicrous “most expensive perfume in the world” nonsense, and all the teddibly posh trappings of his current perfume business, which just annoys the %#** out of me. 

Cuir de Lancome.  A perfume with brains and beauty and a backbone?  Of course it’s discontinued, because no one under the age of 21 bought it.  Look, I’m not being ageist.  I think young women should wear what they like, even if I happen to find the popular fruity-sweet style ditzy and unpleasant.  It just burns my shorts that Lancome should decide not to continue producing a beautiful scent and selling it to “mature women” because they’d rather concentrate their efforts on selling things like Miracle So Magic and Tresor In Love.  Which I doubt very much will sell better than Cuir – they’ll just sell to the right demographic.

Shalimar Light.   News Flash: Eau de Shalimar is not an acceptable substitute.  Whose bright idea was it to bottle the smell of lemon baby wipes?

Guerlain Terracotta Voile d’Ete.  This may have been intended as limited edition as well, but I can’t find anything that says so definitively.  (Note to self: Aha!  This is what Agent Provocateur Strip was reminding me of!  Not an exact match, of course – this is spicier – but similar in the floral-amber category.)

I’m not even including reformulated things like Ralph Lauren Lauren – the reformulation of that one was like taking Sigourney Weaver and turning her into, oh, Blake Lively* – and Kenzo Parfum d’Ete – which has been changed into a different, but still pleasant, scent.  (*Please don’t hate on me for the Blake Lively comment.  Blake’s fine as she is, but in my opinion, Sigourney is Too Much Woman to be turned into someone young, blonde, and… hmm, how to say it?  Naive.  Blake should aspire to be Sigourney, not the other way round.  RL Lauren used to be kind, interesting, beautiful, classic and strong.  Now it’s merely pretty. )

So if I count up the discontinued scents, ignoring the reformulateds and the vintages, that’s, like… (frantic scrambling to get the calculator) a whopping 28.6% of my full bottle wardrobe.  This is a little scary.  You think so?  On the other hand, it might tie in to the fact that I am a Total Sucker for stories of lost love.  This is probably even more scary when you consider that I bought all of these bottles knowing that these fragrances had been discontinued.

Anybody else as crazy as me?

Image is I’d rather be a perfect sinner by theilr at flickr.com.


34 thoughts on “Discontinued Saints”

  1. Now who’s dangling Fudgesicles in front of others, hmmmmm?

    Oh, you know I’m another Sucker for Lost Love.

    But first I’ll focus on the happy…the scents that really still are somewhat available. Starting with the Organza Indecence, which I’ve noted has been on your radar of late. It was still on the shelves at my local Ulta when last I checked. And I check every now and then, ever since I found it to be schmmooogly comfort and then panicked because I heard it was d/c’ed. I of course trolled online auctions first…landed a mostly used bottle and thought I hit jackpot…then went into Ulta to check out some Lauders, and saw you know what on the shelf. Old style, not the Mythiques one.

    Also, Gold is readily available, and often at a bargain. (I might even have a back-up bottle of that. I might.) Cuir de Lancome came out in the re-issued series, so you can find it around (especially online).

    Then, on to sadness. Yes, both Ines iterations are discontinued. L’Arte de Gucci…well, I’ve heard you crying over that one for a while now, and I don’t blame you. The best we can hope for is to allow ourselves find comfort in the similar arms of another d/c like, say, Ungaro Diva, should an alternate like that enter our field of vision.

    I could have sworn you dangled the Deneuve in front of me. MUCH crueler than the PG Ether de Lilas. The PG, you can find a reasonable alternative. OMG, the Deneuve… (sigh).

    So you like the Crown Perfumery that much, eh? I’m still working with it. Why I bother to try to find the love for something that is already screaming “But I’ll break your heart if you do,” I have no idea. Oh, yeah, what you said: Sucker.

    1. SS, pretty much all of these I’ve bought from secondhand or gray market (online discounters) sources, since I intentionally avoid paying full price for stuff. I only have a 15ml bottle of OI, which is rapidly disappearing… Ulta, you say? Hmmm. True, Gold’s still available. For now. And Cuir I’m still debating with myself about. I don’t neeeeeed another bottle. But will it be gone entirely soon? Shalimar Light was easy to find when I bought my first bottle; it isn’t now.

      Deneuve? Nope, have never gotten a nostril on it. That was too hard to find by the time I got interested enough to look!

      I love Crown Bouquet. Funny thing, it always makes me think of some fabulous salad for about fifteen minutes before there’s any florals at all, and I have no idea why that’s so compelling. Where’s my SUCKER badge?

      (“Sucker” makes me think of the musical “Barnum,” which was one of the productions of First Year Players my first year of college, and a bunch of my friends were in it. They all had to learn to juggle while singing, “There’s a sucker born every minute…” Trivia: I got cast as one of the courtesans-next-door in “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum,” which was the 2nd semester production.)

      1. I went to Ulta today and lo and behold, they did indeed have it! The SA told me that it was “brand new” and they had just gotten it in.

      2. I too saw OI at my Ulta recently. Almost bought it until I found a cheaper bottle on sale on basenotes, so I grabbed that.

  2. Waaaah! Yes, I made a vow to myself that I wouldn’t even *try* anything that had been discontinued because of the whole tendency-to-hoard issue. Better to not have loved at all than to have loved and then spend all your time trying to buy up half-used old bottles on Flea-bay… (or something like that…)

    Then I just started sampling a whole bunch of discontinued stuff that sounded interesting to me. *Sigh.* And, like you, I love a lot of it.

    Everybody loves and writes about “Rumba”– it’s gone? I may never get to it. I’m not going to touch the VS scents, but I am going to wonder about you putting them (and a Tom Ford– horrors!) in a post about “Discontinued Saints.” 😉

    1. Oh, but the thrill of the pursuit! The Awesomeness of The Great Find!

      Clearly I have too much time on my hands.

      Rumba’s gone but easily available at the discounters. Parfum1 (yeah, yeah, I was on there this morning, finding a 50ml bottle of Hanae Mori Haute Couture, nice green jasminey thing, for $15!) has a 100ml bottle for something like $18, and they’ve got a 20% off sale going right now. Wink wink. My own bottle of Rumba cost about $8 on ebay, but it was a 1 oz vintage, slightly used. Also, I don’t know that I will EVER use it up. A little of that stuff goes a looooong way. Ahem. Not that I would encourage people to thoughtlessly spend money.

      VS and saints… you may have a point there. However, both those particular scents were released before VS started inching away from ladylike-and-pretty and toward flashy-and-slutty, and they smell like the VS of old. They’re not the kind of fragrances who, oh, get Brazilians and angle for camera time on Girls Gone Wild.

  3. I have a mini of Vacances which would count, and a bottle of Cuir de Lancome and one of Gold, but my lost loves are fewer than yours. I agree that Gold still turns up – occasionally in the UK – but more commonly in stores in mainland Europe where it fetches top euro. I also spotted Voile de Fleur in a branch of Marionnaud in Switzerland – fetching top Swiss franc, in that case – so I think there will be regional variations. But these scents are more unavailable than not, I would say.

    Love the illustration! : – )

    1. Vacances would definitely count. What a beautiful thing it is! I did look for it, and decide that I didn’t love it $250 worth. I will just enjoy the sample I have and let the butterfly gracefully lift off from my open palm.

      You know, I haven’t gone trolling for something like Iris Gris or a vintage, still-sealed, bottle of Parure in extrait. What I HAVE done is find these scents for terrific deals after they’ve gone to the discounters. Which is fun, until you decide you want more, and stocks are gone (Shalimar Light, anyone?).

      That photo really gave me a chuckle.

  4. What a long and depressing list 🙁 What is UP with Donna Karan? It seems like almost all of the perfumes released under her line (Donna Karan, not DKNY) have been big hits with perfumistas, and they are all, almost without exception, discontinued!

    I say give Blake a few years and she might show you yet. She gives some very impressive performances on Gossip Girl, and holds her own next to more “serious” actors like Ed Westwick. Although I cannot defend her taste in perfumery… apparently she wears DKNY Fresh Blossom…

    I’ve seen VdF in Loehmann’s recently- I think it’s gone 🙁 Sorry Mals, I know you liked that one a lot better than the original!

    Did you ever get a chance to try Escada Collection? I wouldn’t think it would be to your taste, but it gets a lot of love on MUA.

    1. I dunno about the Donna Karans – I did hear that the original, Signature, is back on the market, but many of the others aren’t. (Too bad Cashmere Mist isn’t marked for the guillotine. I hate that stuff, and it’s ubiquitous. OTOH, at least it’s inoffensive at six paces, so I should stop complaining about it.)

      No clue on any of the Escadas – I’ve seen one within the last three months at my local Belk’s, but only the one, and I don’t even remember which one it was. I didn’t pick up the bottle because I could smell it from five feet away.

      I’ll leave the door open for Blake – she’s cute as she can be, and she has developed some acting abilities within the last couple of years. But Sigourney she’s not, at the moment. If Blake matures into Sigourney’s dignitas and sensitivity, I will definitely be pulling for her. 🙂

  5. You can find the glorious Cuir de Lancome online. Ditto the lovely Calice’s Ines. Ditto L’arte di Gucci, which I’ve never smelled (CAN friend just ordered it), ditto that weird Crown Bouquet (you like that stuff? I’m trying to like it but, as I was telling Scentself it’s like, while wearing this really elegant floral scent, Wallis Simpson slapped a poor relation really hard and shoved her in a closet. She is still sitting in there – you can hear the faint shrieking and crying – while Wallis and Edward take tea in the next room).

    I have a little decant of Rumba and…well…maybe sometimes it’s not so bad if stuff is discontinued!LOL!

    xoxo A

    1. Online is where I found nearly allll this stuff – thank goodness for the discounters! But when it’s gone, it’s gone…

      I adore mah Crown Bouquet. It was Love at First Sniff, that kind of love that you can’t really ‘splain, you know whuttamean? I love that big crunchy SMACK of green stuff.

      Rumba is really big. It’s like Carnival in Rio, right there on your skin! until it calms down – I love the drydown, though.

  6. Oh Mals, what did you do?!
    I was really behaving myself regarding discontinued and cheap scent saints, but now you have ignited my need to make sure some of them are with me for years to come. 🙂
    I admit I’m a total sucker – you tell me it’s no longer available but was a great scent and I need to have it before it disappears for good.
    Perfume history should be appreciated by keeping as much contact with it as you can through the available routes – I for one, don’t remember what the 80s smelled like, I was too little to pay attention.

    1. Oh, NO! I have launched a lemming?

      I think I missed a lot of the 80’s perfumery while it was fresh – what I remember was Giorgio (ugh), Opium (ugh into infinity), and Poison (really frightening stuff). And Exclamation, too… I never even smelled YSL Paris until last year! There’s still time, for lots of these.

      1. If it’s in the Les Mythiques box, they may be referring to the “new” OI. (Which is the one I see offered on the website, btw. Until recently, my Ulta had the old, black w/gold box with the Theda Bara bottle inside.) The point of Les Mythiques was to bring back old ‘fumes, so it’s not a do-over, but there was an ingredient swap, according to Cleopatra’s Budoir: http://www.cleopatrasboudoir.com/apps/blog/show/3489418

        Worth checking out, it seems, as an attempt to offer the same experience. If you’re into the vanillic comfort. 🙂

  7. NOOOOOOO, not Mariella Burani! I bought a bottle of this last year, unsniffed, based on the glowing recommendations of bloggers, and am so glad I did. The good news is my large bottle is very full and will last me a long while. Hopefully, by the time I run out, there will still be some stock left.

  8. I don’t have my spreadsheet here at work, so I’m not sure what I have other than the OI that is discontinued ( or apparently not discontinued!) – none others that I can think of. I picked up a bottle of Eau de Shalimar at Marshall’s a little while ago, thinking it was similar to Shalimar Light, which I never have tried but would like to. After reading a bunch of stuff online, I realized it was probably best not to open that one and took it back! Trying to find Shalimar Light online is almost impossible.

    1. Shal Lt is really tough to find now. It wasn’t when I bought my first bottle, and then when I realized that the level was dropping and I wanted another one, they were all practically gone. That stinks.

      1. How could I forget MAC Naked Honey! That is probably the first thing I searched out because of a review on NST – Kevin is good at starting lemmings!

  9. Ooh. Thank you for the list. All of my budgeting and curating resolves give way at the prospect of catching a scent after discontinuation and before disappearance. Is this wrong?

    1. CF, I think you are asking the wrong person. (Wink. It’s pretty clear where my feelings are on the “buy discontinued?” question.) This isn’t really a comprehensive list – it’s just a list of the things *I* own that are discontinued. I do think it’s fun to troll ebay for stuff, though, and I’m still working on a post about hunting for vintage fragrances. Hope to get that one done soon.

  10. Hello to you from the South East corner of the United Kingdom, I adore your blog; it’s exactly the kind of thing I’ve been looking for!

    Could I add Venezia to your list of discontinued fragrances? This beautiful scent from Laura Biagiotti was such a wonder and sadly is no longer.
    Also Fendi Theorema – the scent of my honeymoon in Venice; all the Venetians seemed to be wearing it in the crisp Autumn sunshine of 2001, it truly was heavenly.

    Both can still be acquired from the Internet and with a bit (sometimes a lot) of one’s hard-earned cash, but I am fully with you on the mature ladies lack of marketable scents.

    PS I loved your blog on Emeraude, I had to investigate this scent after reading how one of the ‘Big Stone Gap’ characters wore it. I found a vintage bottle on ebay but sadly lost it in the last seconds of bidding.

    1. Welcome, J’Taime!

      I don’t think I’ve smelled Venezia – that was one of those big woody-fruity orientals, wasn’t it? – but it certainly seems to have devoted fans. (Why is it that they ditch all the really good smells?) Theorema I liked very well, except for the cocoa note in the drydown; I finally decided that since that irritated me every time I wore it, I would swap away my mini bottle.

      It’s so annoying to fall in love with a scent and then have it snatched away from you, isn’t it? By now, I’ve probably got all the perfume I could possibly ever wear for the rest of my life, but it still annoys me that certain fragrances are gone. Thank goodness for ebay and discounters.

      I love smelling perfumes I’ve read about, too! I do that all the time – and am still chasing a sniff of Guerlain Ode because of James Bond. I did love the Big Stone Gap series – I live fairly close to there, and the author really does get the mountain accent right. (Everything Fleeta says sounds like the way my grandmother would have said it.) I can’t remember who wore Emeraude, though… Iva Lou?

    1. It does seem like a pretty good fit, character-wise… although I would have said Shalimar instead for Iva Lou. (You CAN still buy the edt at the drugstore around here.)

    1. Uh-oh. Last Saturday is your Buy Something Frivolous day?

      I bought a partial bottle of La Myrrhe, which I love, recently, so I can’t buy anything else for awhile. However, I’ve really been on a “wear what I have” kick (which you’ll note because I don’t have any recent REVIEWS) for awhile.

  11. Jacinthe de Bois was a masterpiece. I had the opportunity to find and buy a full bottle during a trip to Florence around ten years ago in a little shop with niche fragrances. Oh, sweet discoveries of travelling. I chosed it just because, while sniffing all the rest fragrances of the line, its fragrance reminded me the air in the countryside in late spring in Greece. I supposed i got a little homesick at that time. There weren’t men, women, children who sniffed it and didn’t like it. It was something really special, sadly discontinued, i’ve never had the possibility to find another bottle again.

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