There’s a Zombie On Your Lawn
Do you know what to call a perfume that’s been long-discontinued, bitterly mourned, then revived, but it’s not the same perfume?? I call it a Zombie Perfume. I generally can’t stand them. But there seem to be more around these days, and I felt the phenomenon warranted a few words.
Chaos. Barbara Bui. Venezia. Feminite du Bois. The beloved perfumes had disappeared 6 feet under, most of the original juice had been sold on the bay or elsewhere, and we all mourned or battled for the last few drops. Then the company suddenly says, “Wait! We screwed up! We are bringing it back! Perfumistas love it and we will make lots of money!”
Now in the case of Chaos (Donna Karan, 1996), Long Lost Perfumes (J. Dame) had bought the original formula, and he made a fantastic version of Chaos called Anarchy. I loved it, went through 2 bottles. When DK decided to zombify Chaos, he had to stop making Anarchy. Very unfair. The Zombie Chaos showed up for a brief time and it wasn’t bad, it was a bit lighter, a little cheaper-smelling than the original. Now it’s still around, technically, but very hard to find, and Anarchy is definitely gone.
Feminite du Bois was reissued by Serge Lutens, and the zombie version is again, lighter, less distinctive, but very wearable.
The really ugly zombie is Venezia. This knockout oriental, in its original form, has achieved Grail Hunting status. Again, Long Lost Perfumes had bought the original formula and made a very close version of it. Laura Biagiotti decided to revive it, and LLP had to stop producing its own version, which had quite a few fans of its own. The new version has come out, it’s nearly impossible to find except in Germany, and most people who’ve tried it says it is one Ugly Zombie, nothing like the rich oriental studded with dark fruits and spices that we’d been hoping for.
Have you seen any zombies on your lawn? And if so, did you invite them in?