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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Gloomy Sunday

By Tom

Gaia, The Non Blond was the first person I know to have mentioned it and I had to drop into Bloomingdales to investigate. I can't help but think that Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien has been reformulated. I went with a friend and had her sniff the bottle without showing her the tag with the name and she thought it was something new: the lemon is sharper and more plastic, there's a hint of immortelle and everything's just a little bit, well, brassier that the one that I have at home. It's like the post-collagen Meg Ryan; if you'd never known the original I'm not sure you'd blink, but I can't see this juice bringing out that "Ooooh" reaction the original did.

I suppose expecting things to hang there, timeless, is like spitting in the wind, since I am no more the person I was when I trundled my youthful self up to Bergdorfs to spend two weeks pay on it back in the early 80's. But I can't help but think that this particular spate of regulations and the reformulations is going to be the BC and AD of the perfume world. If you have a favorite, run to your nearest retailer and stock up (just open and make sure it's still the same stuff). To the French houses, you are perfectly welcome to set up shop here in California and mix up the original juices to be sold everywhere else in the world. We appreciated the gift of the Statue of Liberty enough to keep her in good stead, I promise we'd do the same with Mitsouko. Because if the EU can't respect the legacy of the grand tradition of French perfumery and the cultural legacy that it represents, then I don't know what's next: outlawing Brie because people are lactose intolerant? Wine because people might have a hangover?

It's all so silly, and all sad...

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Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I'm in agreement with you here Tom...I don't like the new version at all. The old one was so oozy, yummy lemony drippy with gorgeousness and the newer version smells like lemon scented armoral to me.
So very sad:(

12:06 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've noticed that 90% of the new releases and reformulations that have citrus notes are very synthetic, almost Lysol-sharp synthetics now. Certain synth citrus aromachemicals give me instant headache, and most of the new releases have this effect. Doesn't IFRA care about my migraines? Give me my real citrus oils back, you naughty Brussels bandits!

1:39 AM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada /Grain de Musc said...

Furocoumarins. Those are the "culprits" in citrus oils, according to the allergologists whose reports are the foundation of IFRA regulations.
Just to set the record straight: IFRA is not European, it is an international regulatory body for the perfume industry. Its standards are stricter than those of the European cosmetics directive (though *that* particular body has a lot to answer for), precisely because the perfume industry wants to avoid being regulated from the outside. Different laws in different countries would make formulations too complicated.
So that's why you couldn't make perfume in California any differently than in France. Unless you were planning to sell only to individual customers. Which, I guess, is not an option when you produce tons of the stuff for export.

And, yes, Hadrien has changed. And, yes, you're right: this has been years in the making, but 2009 seems like the real breaking point.
Stocking up is possible, but most perfumes have already been altered.

1:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

This is so unnecessary! Citrus oil in perfume has not killed anyone yet that I know of, yet we sell deadly drugs over the counter to people every day without blinking an eye.

2:21 AM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

P.S. I love the Meg Ryan reference & pic, but what she has done to herself is equally unnecessary!

2:22 AM EDT  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

I couldn't believe it's my beloved Hadrian, when the SA sprayed it on me after my last shopping trip in the parfumery few weeks ago. Isn't it terribly sad that it had survived for ages and now it's destroyed. It's like repaint Rembrandt by a computer and hang the thing into the museum. (my verification word is "upgive" - matching...)

2:38 AM EDT  
Blogger krnszn said...

Agreed! I've actually started to think perhaps it's better to stick with new releases and forget about older scents - once a bottle's gone, move on. What with all of the reformulations, chances are the scent you bought three years ago that you loved so much is now a different scent. Why go through the agony? Other option is to buy up something you like to make sure you have enough to sustain the love. Thing is, how much does a scent deteriorate over time? Once you hit that 5th bottle (if you ever get there), will it still be the same? I suppose I'm trying to have the attitude that new is better (even if you fall in love with a reformulation) cause why fall for something in the past that is going to change to something awful? I know, I know. Sour grapes. Or is it sweet lemons?

8:56 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I own a liter of 1980s Niki de St. Phalle, dirty patch, real oakmoss and everything! I think all the ingredients in that one have been banned at this point. I shall pass what I have left on to my lucky heirs....;-)

9:51 AM EDT  
Blogger ScentScelf said...

Tom, your post, and Karin, your response, kind of summarize my last few months. It's almost all mental gyrations, of course--it's not like I'm Elizabeth Taylor, and can go buy a CRATE of my favorite lipstick when I find it's being discontinued--but, as Karin points out, wherefore stockpile, I don't know. In the case of Hadrien,'s not like it's a pure parfum, all viscous and prepared to be a genie in a jar...the odds of it turning while in storage are higher.

That said, I *did* snag a FB at a Loehmann's a couple of months ago, with these very concerns in mind. I saw the writing on the wall, figured a discounter would have old stock for sure...and it sits in darkness, still in its cello wrapping, waiting for the day I dare open it and find out if my investment was in the past or in the future...

10:10 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

It's true...I swear...I've just been to Illum in Copenhagen, at the little but rather lovely perfumery section they have there, and I thought to myself " this MY Eau d'Hadrien?".
No. Now I know it is not a tourist's decontextualization that mistook the princely fragrance for a brass lemony liquid: I'm soooooooooooo sad

11:28 AM EDT  
Anonymous hotlanta linda said...

I`m a 25 yr-plus AG guru/fan in the biggest sense of the word, and I remain the same fan even if I stockpile old AND buy new, for Goutal didn`t start this fire, but they are running for the extinguisher of complience w/ IFRA to save what they can, and go on from there. Disgust can become determined courage. I`ve sent this post to a counter manager in a BIG NY dept store, and he will forward it to executives who need to be aware of how us comsumer/fans feel. Onwards, and hopefully upwards, in time. hotlanta linda

12:10 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


The new version isn't sooo far off, it's just missing the mark by that much. I'm hoping there's a tweak in there that they can manage. I hope.

1:18 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Well written!

1:18 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


thanks for the input. It seems like this is the year, isn't it. So sad.

1:19 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


So very true! We sell bleach and Dawn liquid in the same aisle and that mixture can asphyxiate you, but god forbid I should come into contact with cologne

1:21 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


yes it is. very much so. trout pout is never a good idea.

1:22 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


that is it in a nutshell. I almost wish they'd just tossed in the towel.

1:22 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I kind of agree with that. I'm thinking that perhaps I just need to let my supply run out and not smell any for a while. Then maybe it won't smell so off to me.

After all, unlike poor Meg, who has "Sleepless in Seattle" on DVD to remind of us of the before, eventually the old Hadrien stock will run out or go bad.

1:24 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


You are very lucky indeed..

1:25 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think I am grinding the fillings out of my teeth because I didn't see that far ahead and missed stocking up.

Perhaps as you and others have pointed out it's best just to move along since that ship has sailed.

1:26 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It is sad. What's sadder it that i am sure that this was the best that the good people at AG could do with the new regulations, because I can't imagine them doing otherwise.

1:28 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I know it isn't the fault of the houses. I know that it's foolish to expect that things remain the same. But this is lemon, not nicotine, arsenic or cocaine. There's got to be push back and it has to come from consumers. It just pi$$es me off...

1:30 PM EDT  
Anonymous hotlanta linda said...

Tom - please check out Fragrance Bouquet`s article w/ Linda Pilkington of OJayne, and go to the end for Pilkington`s GREAT comment!!!

1:39 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Hww dod I miss that? I love Divina's writing.

Ormonde Jayne is my new favorite line just for that comment!

1:56 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear bloggers,

I need to reassure some of you about the formula of Eau d'Hadrien.
I work with Camille Goutal and Isabelle Doyen the inner noses of the company as I am part of Annick Goutal company and I asked them this afternoon and they confirmed that nothing has changed. They are theyselves very surprised as a lot of perfumes have been reformulated due to IFRA new rules but not our Eau d'Hadrien! It is always the same scent, the same ingredients and the same formulation!
You may have smell the EDT and not the EDP or the contrary as if you smell and EDT or an EDP as the concentration is different the scent is also different.
Keep you posted if something is happening here in Paris to our Eau d'hadrien scent:)

12:13 PM EDT  
Anonymous Michael said...

How dare you try to tell people they arent smelling what they think they are? I have worn Eau de Hadrien for 18 years and it definately is NOT the same scent now! How insulting. I wont be buying any more of my beloved classics (Hadrien and Cristalle EDT) due to the OBSCENE disservice this ridiculous association (IFRA) has done to fragrance lovers the world over. I cant believe nicotine and tobacco products are even in existence and yet citrus oils are banned-what the hell is the world coming to? I encourage everyone to send a personal email to such companies as Chanel and Annick Goutal and shame them for allowing them to be bullied like this. The loss of business will hopefully send a message as well.

8:11 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been wearing hadrien for years and i konw i am not crazy, they have changed the formula a few years back. Is there any chance they will come back with the original?

5:07 PM EST  

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