‘Help, I’ve been discontinued…’ One man, in search of his smell

I first suspected one thing was awry about six months in the past, after passing via airports with the identical regularity I did pre-2020. For many years I’ve had a pre-flight ritual: I am going to duty-free and spray myself with a number of blasts of Giorgio Armani Eau Pour Homme. I by no means purchase it as a result of, like ordering steak tartare in a restaurant, it’s one thing I reserve for a sure setting.Last summer season, my ritual was thwarted. The cabinets had been crammed with quite a few variations of Armani’s 1984 authentic, in addition to Acqua di Giò and Code. But the basic, with its clear bottle and sloped glass high reminiscent of the gentle shoulders of Giorgio’s tailoring, had immediately vanished. At first I put it down to produce chain issues, however then L’Oréal confirmed that it had been discontinued. In reality, it was axed in 2019, and any remaining bottles had been mere remnants.

The authentic bottle, ‘reminiscent of the gentle shoulders of Giorgio’s tailoring’

I’d heard about this taking place in different individuals’s lives. How the demise of Gucci Envy and the termination of Tom Ford’s Plum Japonais had despatched individuals into an olfactory panic. But I didn’t assume it might occur to me. And not with Armani’s first perfume for males – a titan of eau de toilette – that I’d describe as iconic. Armani Eau Pour Homme conjured up extra for me than Perfume writer Patrick Süskind might ever think about. It was a summer season in Italy, a visit to a basic barber store. It was bergamot, cinnamon and sandalwood. More than something, its citrus and cedar teleported me again to being 15, once I dragged a buddy to Bond Street to purchase my first bottle, enticed by an obsession with American Gigolo and the sepia-toned advert marketing campaign with dark-suited males with slicked again hair, shot by Aldo Fallai. I needed the whole flagship expertise, the Armani purchasing bag and accusatory glares from workers. I ended shopping for it in my 20s, however each time I smelt it I used to be transported again to my teenage misadventures and all-consuming obsession with vogue.

I’ve since spiralled into perfume nerd territory trying to find deadstock of the unique

I’ve misplaced Armani Eau Pour Homme twice now. They modified the formulation in 2013 – a precursor to the EU’s ban on oakmoss in 2017; Chanel No.5 was reformulated for a similar cause – and plenty of hardcore aficionados disowned it as too gentle, candy and missing the longevity of the unique. I used to be fantastic with the second, inferior method, till its eventual expiration. I’ve since spiralled into perfume nerd territory trying to find deadstock of the unique. Googling “discontinued fragrance”, I used to be provided hyperlinks to quite a few corporations that promise to match retired fragrances. I’d have an interest in attempting them out if that they had bricks-and-mortar shops, however I in some way doubt they’d be capable to replicate what Armani’s nostril – Roger Pellegrino – perfected after laborious experiments.

The promoting marketing campaign from the Eighties © The Advertising Archives

There are specialist sellers peppered around the globe who is usually a good go-to should you’re grieving an extended beloved scent, together with Enchante Perfumes in Canada, and Fragrance Vault in California. But Etsy and eBay stay the perfect searching grounds – so long as you’re an emptor with a wholesome quantity of caveat. Alongside the numerous apparent fakes in on-line markets – come on people, how onerous is it to repeat a typeface correctly? – tons of bottles falsely declare to be pre-2013. I’d advocate websites reminiscent of CheckCosmetic.internet and CheckFresh, which use “beauty calculators” that can help you key in the batch quantity to provide a exact date of manufacture. Another clue lies in the provenance: the handle of Armani Beauty’s Paris HQ, for instance, modified in 1982, ’92 and ’95 (every location is detailed on the field). Armed with this data, I started evaluating the market: for pre-2013 Armani Eau Pour Homme, you’re taking a look at round £250 earlier than import tax (many sellers are situated in Japan); later bottles can go for £70.One bottle on eBay could possibly be traced again to 1999, nonetheless sealed in its authentic cellophane. But whereas I used to be tempted to splurge, analysis steered it is probably not value it. There’s a bet in shopping for classic fragrances – unopened bottles can final at their desired high quality indefinitely, however who is aware of how one thing has been saved? According to consultants, something greater than 10 years outdated is probably previous its greatest, and if it’s been saved subsequent to a radiator, you’re shopping for 100ml of olfactory horror. 


For a few years I used to be fascinated by a bottle of Shh… Jade Goody that sat in a glass cupboard at my native drugstore. Whether offered, stolen or thrown away by the pharmacist, it lastly disappeared a pair of months in the past. A buddy remarked of this information: “Celebrities die twice, first in actual life, then when their fragrance is taken off sale by native chemists.”I all the time thought Armani Eau Pour Homme was immortal. Only too late I realise that, had I solely purchased it extra often slightly than simply spritzing it on the airport, I may need ensured its survival. 

https://www.ft.com/content material/dcd0f17a-fd0f-4a60-b4d1-7364a31e48ba

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About the Author: Jessica