Before It’s Gone

Soap Bubbles

Soap Bubbles

Discontinuations are one of the facts of the perfume business.  Anyone who loves perfume tends to complain about the arbitrary way in which one scent after another can bite the dust, but we have to remember after all these are businesses, not  revolving exhibitions.  Either perfumers manage to stay current with public tastes and fashions or they don’t, and when they don’t, sales decline.

Did I write that?  Yes I did, and actually believe myself, but this does not stop me from behaving like a fractious toddler when one of my own favorites ends up on the chopping block. I fuss, I whine, I ask SA’s to double check for me one final time.  Maybe there’s a bottle gathering dust at Epcot or Las Vegas?  The whole process is pretty irrational.Which is why I have come home from just such session at Saks with my own acquisitive fussiness still ringing in my ears. After a discussion with the Guerlain SA there ( a very good natured person) I found out that Guerlain are going to be getting rid of the Une Ville Un Parfum series.  There will be no more Moscow, London, New York or Shanghai, and no more Tokyo.

Guerlain's Tokyo from the Une Ville, Un Parfum series

Guerlain’s Tokyo from the Une Ville, Un Parfum series

At once I went into my best wheedling mode, for I knew that while I could be happy without all the rest of them, Tokyo was going to be a loss.  Danielle the SA managed to find seven more bottles in different Saks stores nation-wide. Seven.  If one can be found undamaged, I’ll  have that shipped, but this supposes  all the bottles survive till Monday, un-bought, unbroken, un-desecrated and… I am beginning to sound like Sheldon Cooper on Big Bang Theory when the last Yoda Special Edition action figure has sold out.  I mean if I were the SA, I’d  slap me.

Having a good deal of self control she didn’t, and maybe I’ll even get one of the last bottles, but this does make me think.  Perfume is one of those ephemeral pleasures in life.  Failure to buy a perfume love is self deprivation on the order of staying indoors for an entire vacation, or missing your favorite food truck before it packs up  and leaves your town,  one of life’s miniature tragedies.

Guerlain , Paris

Guerlain , Paris

M. Guerlain’s website confirms the discontinuation of the Une Ville, Un Parfums: London, Moscow, Shanghai, New York and Tokyo, also  Shalimar Parfum Initial, and the vintage collection: Sous Le Vent and Vega.  The SA also thought that Bois d’Armenie may be scheduled for discontinuation, but that is something I have not seen confirmed anywhere else.

So if you love one of the city series get on it now, and the same goes for Vega and Sous le Vent. Here today gone tomorrow, perfumes- like us- are not immortal.



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11 thoughts on “Before It’s Gone

  1. Oh Lord – good luck! I hope you’ll let us know if one of the seven lands in your lap. I’m not a Guerly-girl so I’m unaffected by these discontinuations. L’Ambre des Merveilles now … that is one for which I would lie down in front of bulldozers, so to speak.

    You know amazes me? That Estee Lauder keeps things like Knowing and Azuree in the line. EL’s global sales must be enormous – well, no surprise really – to be enough to support these deeply unfashionable fragrances.

  2. Good on Estee Lauder, they have the common sense to know that what goes out of fashion periodically comes back in. L’Ambre des Merveilles is really nice so I might get in front of a bulldozer with you, though if we’re too late, a possible alternate is LArtisan’s Eau de L’Ambre also JC Ellena, more starchy than the Hermes but still recognizably the same guy’s composition.

    Oh and yes, I’ll let you know if poor old Tokyo turns up on my doorstep. I shall have to share out some samples being as it’s not available anymore:-(

  3. I actually agree with you – in general – on the necessity of discontinuation of the less popular items: it’s a business, not a charity. But something is still bothering me. I need to think more on the topic. Maybe I’ll write something about it later on my blog.

    As to this collection being discontinued… I liked several perfumes in it but couldn’t see myself paying more than their half price. Not because they aren’t good but because of the nature of these perfumes: they feel almost like colognes but for me (it’s not objective, I realize that) the price tag they had was more suitable for a “more dramatic” perfumes. In other words, what I’m prepared to pay for 30 ml of Guerlain extrait (e.g. my beloved Chamade), I’m not prepared to pay for London or Tokyo – even though I liked both.
    Still I hope you’ll get your bottle and enjoy wearing it.

  4. Actually I think a number of people had your objection to these scents, because they were originally edts, if I remember rightly, and then were re-issued in the rectangular bottles as edps. I just love Tokyo, and it came today, yay! I’m a sucker for the rare green Guerlains!

    One point about this ( if you do decide to write about it) is Annemarie’s that some companies like Estee Lauder will keep unpopular perfumes in production while others drop scents with a clang the minute they become less profitable. This seems arbitrary at times, and I think they don’t give some good perfumes time to catch on.

    1. Glad your Tokyo arrived! Lying in front of bulldozers has been postponed.

      (I have heard good things about that L’Artisan Ambre, by the way. I really must try it.)

  5. Yes isn’t it great? Tokyo came!!! On the whole, nice not to have to challenge bulldozers over discontinuations!

    Do try L’Eau d’Ambre if you get the chance. It’s not as rich as the Hermes but still good.

  6. I never really bonded with the Une Ville Un Parfum collection, though it seems like no time at all that it was launched. I know a few people who will be sad to see Sous Le Vent go, also Shalimar Le Parfum Initial. I have a new bottle of that, so I am sorted. I can see the commercial imperative, so it is just a case as you say of hoping your own personal favourites don’t get the chop. (Like…ahem…PQJ – will I be able to mention it in every comment, d’you suppose? 😉 )

  7. Don’t worry I’m holding onto that bottle like grim death. You get first dibs.

    As to the other discontinuations, I wonder about Vega. Mals liked it and I heard that the formula was Chanel No22 on steroids, sort of bigger and sparklier. Sous le Vent struck me as not being all that it should have been. Can’t think why.

    I just smelled three of the new ones for this year, French Lover (roses violets sandalwood lychee slightly starchy floral oriental I’d have said) in the Elixir Charnels, Mademoiselle Guerlain in the Parisiennes bee bottle ( what is that strawberry chouli thing Dior sell? Miss Dior? Well I think it’s that dyed pink) and Sandalwood Something from L’Art et Matiere ( woody lighter end of sandalwood, sample was too dry for me to be sure) So they’re not replacing with anything too exciting.

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