How to find discontinued perfumes and fragrances

Sometimes our favourite fragrances become discontinued or just plain hard to find. Sadly, if a fragrance is discontinued there is the possibilty that you may never find another bottle. But let's not let that stop us – If it's not made anymore, then you are going to have to try that little bit harder to find it.

Is it actually discontinued?​

Check out the Basenotes Perfume Directory. If we know a fragrance is discontinued, we mark it as such on the fragrances page. If it isn't marked discontinued then you may still have a chance.

Get in touch with the fragrance manufacturer. They can tell you if it is still manufactured in your country and where it may be obtained. Often a fragrance discontinued in one country, is widely available in another.

Ask on the Basenotes Forum - we have members from all over the world, and maybe someone will know the status of the fragrance.

Why was the fragrance discontinued?​

Why did [fragrance company] stop making [my favourite fragrance]? Is a question we often get. Well, the main reason in 99% of cases is - not enough people purchased the perfume for them to justify continuing to make the scent.

Other reasons are that the perfume was a limited editon to begin with, or that the fragrance contains ingredients that are no longer able to be used, and the sales aren't big enough to justify the expense in reformulating the fragrance.

How to try and locate the discontinued perfume​

Check out every Perfume Shop, Department Store, Chemist, Beauty Shop, Discount Stores and anywhere that has a slim possibility of carrying your cologne. Make it a number one priority when you visit a new town. We're talking about the independent stores here really - most larger chains tend to have a high turnover.

Check out eBay and other internet auction sites. You can find many rare beasts on eBay, but be prepared to pay over the odds if it's highly sought after. If the fragrance has been discontinued for many years, be aware that the fragrance may have grown weaker or changed totally

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels
About the author
Grant is the founder and owner of Basenotes and lives by the sea.

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This information is still very relevant years later and included are recurring questions that have often been asked over the years on this website by many members. The information is to the point and not difficult to implement. if more people followed this advice, the same questions wouldn't be asked time and time again.
Some eBay tips--lately their search function will direct you to the category that their algorithm selects--usually Health & Beauty/Fragrances. Make sure you toggle the category to "All Categories" to see all the items using your search terms. Also, select "include description" to find the search term not only in the title, but in the full listing. This often works when people are listing a lot of several items that won't fit into just the title.

Their search algorithm has improved in that it finds misspelled items better than before, ie, "sandlewood" instead of "sandalwood" or "sandal wood", but sometimes things still get lost in the search. Just recently I was looking for Jean Patou 1000, and the term "Patou 1000" didn't find a seller who listed it as "Patou 10000". I messaged the seller to correct it, but there's been no change, and the 6 reasonably-priced bottles are still up there.

Also, search for "mini perfume lot" or "perfume lot" under the Collectibles category. If you know your wanted bottles by sight, you can often find a rarity for a better price. Sellers often don't know what they have and just take photographs.

Finally, skip "vintage" as a search term if you're looking for a bargain!
…another thing, use a minus sign with no spaces to eliminate search terms from the results. Example: “Armani -acqua -gio -gioia -diamonds —emporio -code -she -mania -sensi -you -homme -prive -uomo -man -men” etcetera, when looking for the first discontinued Armani women’s perfume. Then, save that search so you don’t have to type it in every time you search. You can even have eBay email you when new items pop up.

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