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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fall of the House of ̶U̶s̶h̶e̶r̶ Caron: Urn Fragrances

By Tom

Back in 2008, my Scent Twin took a trip to Paris and stopped in at the Caron Boutique only to be disappointed by the reformulated Urn Fragrances. Now, I have sadly never been to Paris, but those fragrances were ones that I really adored (and reviewed here, here and here). So I hoped against hope that it wasn't as dire as Gaia painted it since they are now available at Luckyscent.

I'm in mourning. It's not only true, it's worse.

The previously heartbreaking Farnesiana is now a milky, almondy mess. Alpona isn't a complete washout, but it's about 50% of what I remember it being and Tabac Blond.. Oh, where to begin.. If I had never smelled the original, this still wouldn't appeal. It's just sort of, I don't know, not there. It's Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor in a bottle.

I'm not going to quote prices because I can't bring myself to go look it up. Just too sad.. I sampled several times at LuckyScent and referenced my samples of the previous versions from the Perfumed Court. You might be able to get the older formulations from them or Surrender to Chance

Image: Wikipedia Commons



Anonymous Anonymous said...

My one-time favourite, Infini, was reformulated a long time ago and is so not like itself. It's lost its richness and sweetness. I guess the oakmoss was replaced by vetivert; now I like vetivert, but in Infini its smokey rubberiness has changed the character of the perfume so much and overwhelms it. People smelling the current Infini must wonder why we used to admire it so much. It's so sad.

2:53 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a bottle of Infini in EdT that I adore, before they switched to the coloured boxes. Reordered from the same online retailer and got the colored box version and literally cried . . . it's soooo watery and synthetic. I also have it in extrait. Not sure if it's old or really recent. I'm thinking old because it is gorgeous and goes right to a place in my brain that clicks and says "YES" which translates to oakmoss for me. Fortunately I stocked up and got three bottles, but now that doesn't feel like enough. Don't get me going on Tabac Blond or Bellodgia (awful, awful, awful). Have a small tester of Alpona which reminds me greatly of my teenage love Aliage (again with the oakmoss) and now that's been butchered too? I'm bereft . . . .

8:45 AM EDT  
Blogger MoonRae said...

Ahhhh, another broken heart here over Infini....we don't even want to get into it....oh well

3:36 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

Oh no - I have been fantasizing about the urn scents for so many years, and now even if I ever do get the chance to smell them, they are not the same! I had better hold on tight to my vintage Infini, Nocturnes, Parfum Sacre..... and hope that one day I can get some REAL Tabac Blond and Narcisse Noir etc. What a shame. I loved this house the best after Jean Patou and now they are both ruined.

10:28 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I agree, it's sad.

10:50 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I couldn't bring myself to try Alpona. I loved the original so..

10:51 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I hate to write it but I never smelled the original, So sad I can't ever do so now..

10:51 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Someone who isn't a toothpaste manufacturer has bout Patou, so perhaps there's a glimmer of hope for them. If they only knew how much they could sell with a few strategic reissues and an "FU" to IFFRA

10:53 PM EDT  
Blogger Carol Lee said...

I love Urn perfumes too especially Alpona. It's fruity smell is just so classic and timeless.

chanel allure homme

12:43 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have tried three times to post a comment disagreeing with Tom. For some reason, my comment keeps getting deleted. But to try one last time-- I disagree with Tom's assessment.

3:20 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And to venture a little further, since my above comment is still standing-- it is an interesting experience, being censored. You wouldn't think that being censored over a perfume opinion would happen, but it is educational to find out how it feels. My comments were perfectly respectful, but deleted, I guess, because Tom or the
administrator don't care for disagreement. Wishing all of you on Perfume Smelling Things well. I don't think I will be back.

3:45 AM EDT  
Anonymous dissed said...

Still laughing at "Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor in a bottle."

1:30 AM EDT  
Anonymous Lady Jane Grey said...

I cherish the last drops of my pre-reformulation Farnesiana...

3:11 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At risk of having my comment deleted again-- after 30 years of owning many of the Caron line, my opinion is that they change and deepen over time. New Tabac Blonde has always smelled lighter than old. Same for Infini-- the mousse de saxe just ages well. This is my perspective as someone who has always had a few bottles if Caron around, from 1983 through the present. So if you like the smell of the old stuff, try putting your new stuff away for a few years. Just my suggestion. And, I think the new version of the hypo-allergenic oak moss smells darn good. So please, don't jump on the bandwagon attacking this relatively small company. I am still offended at my previous attempts to comment being censored. I read and comment on blogs for fun-- but really wonder why a blog would bother deleting disagreement.

3:50 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous - thank you for your advice on storing Infini for a while to enhance it's fragrance. In fact, I have done this (not deliberately), but it didn't work for me! Yes, I would say it's possibly still a good perfume, but it is just a different animal as far as my nose is concerned. Ageing mellows it, but doesn't give it back its "rosiness" that I loved.

At the risk of being impolite, may I venture to say that I really can't believe that your comments were deleted, since, evidentially, your later remarks, which are possibly more hard-hitting, have appeared without censorship? I suspect that you just had the same sort of problem that all of us experience - for some reason things disappear into the ether. We all have different opinions, that's why a huge variety of scents exists, and the blogs -including this one - provide a welcome forum for us to express these diverging views.

5:26 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jillie, my comments were definitely deleted. Without apology or explanation. I wrote an e-mail to the administrator to protest, which is why I think my later comments remained up. But thank you for trying to think of a less offensive explanation.

5:47 PM EDT  

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