Post by FeralJasmine
Here in the southwestern USA it’s hot as hell and my winter scents are taking a break at the back of the cabinet, but it’s the perfect season to inflict my highly personal opinions about cool-weather scents upon the unsuspecting Aussies. So here is my first opinion: mass-market fragrances used to be a lot better than they are now. Part of it is that this is a tough decade for someone who despises most fruit notes, but also it used to be that, when companies went to the trouble and expense of launching a new perfume, they actually wanted you to be able to tell it from other perfumes. Now, I would swear that they’re all jostling for the rail in the Just-Like-Everybody-Else Sweepstakes. The wise and lovely Portia once reminded me in a comment that it’s all cyclical, and that in a few decades today’s mass-market consumers will be 2044’s aging perfumistas, grumpily complaining that you just can’t find good fruity florals anymore. Probably true. But Black Cashmere, with its hefty dose of wenge, has always smelled unlike anything else on the market.
Black Cashmere by Rodrigo Flores-Roux for Donna Karan 2002
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Saffron, nutmeg
Heart: Red pepper, white pepper, carnation, rose
Base: Woody notes, patchouli, African woods, vanilla, amber
Here’s my second strongly help opinion: reformulation is not a bad thing if it keeps a distinctive perfume on the post-IFRA market in a recognizable form. Case in point: my winter favorite, Donna Karan Black Cashmere. The first really distinctive perfume that I fell for, the one that tripped me so badly that I fell right down the rabbit hole, was the original DK Black Cashmere. I bought a dab sample and was lost in the wonder of something unlike anything else that I had ever smelled. Rich, plush, highly distinctive, and beautiful. What an evening that was.
Then I went on EBay to look for a vintage bottle, and it occurred to me that I had acquired a very expensive obsession indeed. Finally I did find a bottle of the vintage that I could afford, more or less, but I also swallowed hard and bought a decant of the reissue.
Photo Stolen Wikipedia
Was it a shocking disappointment? Not really. Certainly the vintage has more depth and more oomph. But unlike the current Opium, which is a sick travesty, the current Black Cashmere makes a real effort to transmit the scent and spirit of the original. It’s a little lighter and extends itself a little further into warm weather. Overall, I dare you to find something more distinctive at that price point, which is a little over a dollar a milliliter if bought off the DK website. I have since bought a full bottle of the reissue, and often I wear the current one on one arm and the vintage on the other, to make my precious vintage last.
So why don’t more firms make an actual effort with their reissues? Beats me. But I also have both vintage and reissued Chaos from DK, and the reissue is a bit lacking compared to the vintage but is a genuine attempt to reproduce the very distinctive vintage recognizably in an IFRA-friendly form. DK Inc. seems to make real efforts to meet their fans halfway.
I hate to rub salt into my readers’ wounds, but what’s your most distressing reissue story?