Should you Buy Vintage Perfumes

Once you are in love with perfumes, your collection starts growing. You start appreciating different accords, themes, occasions, and season-specific perfumes. But then, you look for perfumes that are stuck in your mind. Older formulations and perfumes that are either discontinued but were used, maybe by your grandfather, father, or mother. You want to smell these to refresh your memory. Hence welcome to Vintage Perfumes. Your collection is going to the next level.

What is considered as a Vintage Perfume

A vintage perfume bottle is shown in the picture
Photo by Jan Kopřiva

Any popular perfume that is not in production for a decade would be called a Vintage Perfume.

It will be pricey depending upon the condition, originality of juice color and smell, and availability of the original box. These are collectible items and primarily add to the collectors’ inventory, rather than perfuming needs.

Vintage perfumes are mostly bought for their name value, bottle style, and juice color.

At times old miniature perfume bottles are sold as part of jewelry as well.

But a perfume collector would always hunt for a vintage perfume with original juice in a good condition. And if an original box is also available, then it’s icing on the cake.

Originally Formulated Perfumes

Often time, people get confused with vintage perfume vs original formulation perfume. These perfumes might still be in production but a change in the formulation has affected the performance and smell of the new reiteration.

People hunt for originally formulated perfumes that used to be a beast with very good longevity and projection. However, the new iteration is lacking performance. These at times go for double or triple the price of new bottles.

A typical example is Creed Aventus. It is one of the most loved perfumes for men. You can not go wrong with this; I consider it in my top 5. Still, batches of Creed Aventus till 2016 are considered a prize, if stored well.

Creed perfumes fall in the niche category and some of the very famous formulations are Creed Vetiver, Silver Mountain Water, and my favorite Creed Royal Oud.

Another everyday example is Dior Homme Intense. I already explained in my review of Dior Homme Intense, that it has undergone some reformulations.

The original Dior Homme Intense came in 2011 and was reformulated in 2015. The performance went down, but with the latest 2020 reiteration (continuing to date), it is back on its track. So there is no need to go for older formulations now.

Should You Buy Vintage Perfumes

This is a tricky question. I will try to make it as simple as I can. I am not really into buying vintage perfumes as I am not a collector. But I know few who fall heads over heal when they listen to any collector item for sale.

For a collector, it is not the question of whether he should buy or not. They will buy it at all costs.

Vintage perfumes are only collected for their bottle value. Since old perfumes juice most often than not has gone bad and should not be applied.

In the 2022 auction conducted by International Perfume Bottle Auction, vintage perfumes were auctioned and winners spent a whopping $650,000 on purchases.

I am not a collector so I stay away from that high spending.

And if you intend to buy online then do consider You will get many options in varying price ranges.

How to know if a perfume is Vintage and Authenticated

Authenticity can only be provided by an auction house. If you come across a vintage perfume bottle in a thrift sale, then be very careful. Everything that glitters can not be gold.

Once you have made up your mind to buy a vintage perfume then do the research as follows.

  • Do not buy in a hurry
  • Buy from authenticated sellers
  • A better way to research is to visit perfume museums and meet the curators to know about the worth and authenticity of perfume
  • See the storage conditions
  • Check all the labels and etchings on perfume bottles
  • Ask as many questions from the seller as possible to link the authenticity with the manufacture date of the perfume
  • Normally you should authenticate the bottle and here is a very detailed article on how to validate a vintage perfume bottle.
  • The juice quality can not be authenticated of quite old vintage perfumes as the color and blending are gone for good if not stored properly

Should you buy original formulations of famous perfumes

As already explained that perfumes undergo different reiterations during the commissioned period. These are not decommissioned and are still in production but somehow the performance has gone down.

An example can be Chanel no.5 which is in production since 1921. It still holds the craze and is cited as the most loved female perfume. But it has seen many reiterations and reformulations while trying to keep the original essence alive. But oftentimes the performance of perfume goes down.

A typical case is Creed Aventus, as explained earlier.

And yes, I am into buying the older batches of perfumes that used to be beast. Nowadays, people know how to store perfume bottles and also ingredients used in manufacturing have gone refined. The blending holds itself and the perfume does not go bad.

Famous batches of perfumes go for double the price. So I would advise you to play safe while buying.

Do not go for a blind buy and must check the authenticity of the seller. Almost every country has an online fragrance community and there are certain sellers who are authenticated and well-known in that community. Check with group members about the seller and do your purchases safely.

Parting Thought

In buying vintage Perfumes for their bottle value, I always say that it is like a gamble. Buying from an auction house is very expensive and buying from open sources is very tricky. A new member should not indulge in this thing without proper knowledge.

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