Fame by Corday

Classically AlluringA floral cyphre along the lines of Arpege or White Shoulders, it's got the notes of white flowers like White Shoulders with a hint of the "creaminess" (for lack of a better word) of White Shoulders, but not as sickeningly sweet.Pros: Long-lastingCons:

Zany by Avon

I wore this in junior high and I loved it. It was more "sophisticated" than the Avon perfumes that came in figural bottles and were marketed to little girls. This one was aimed at teens, and came in a bright orange and pink box with New Wave graphics that captured the spirit of the late 70s-early 80s. Yet to me the fragrance reminds me of classic fragrances. I'm not sure what the notes are, but it smells like it has a synthetic musk or amber note that was common among legendary fragrances of the 40s or 50s. It's been discontinued for decades, so I've been scouring eBay to secure a few bottles for myself. It doesn't last very long, and I wonder if its because the fragrance has lost its potency over time. Zany takes me back to junior high school. Wearing it again is like being reunited with an old friend.

Anne Klein by Anne Klein

If Arpege by Lanvin and Jontue by Revlon had a baby, it would be Anne Klein. It has the aldehyde notes of Arpege but the sweet floral notes balance out the amber, musk and civet and remind me of Jontue. I found a bottle of the eat de perfume and my only complaint is that it has surprisingly short longevity. But otherwise a perfume that it sophisticated and soft at the same time.

Absolutely Fabulous by Revlon

I bought this without having ever tried it because it intruiged me. I was expecting a spicy, warm cyphre in the tradition of Opium, Halston, or Youth Dew. Instead, it's a strong fragrance that doesn't mellow out with drydown. There's a particular note, maybe it's the tuberose, that clashes with the other notes but also dominates them. It gives this fragrance that headache-inducing quality. It just reminds me of walking into a Yankee Candle shop and getting overpowered by the blend of all the candle fragrances.

Heaven Sent (new) by Dana

My mother had a bottle of this when I was a child. The new version doesn't smell quite like I remember the vintage juice, but I like it nonetheless. When first applied, I thought it missed the mark completely. But on drydown, the powdery and delicate floral notes of the original come through. A sweet, romantic fragrance that takes me back to my childhood.

Shocking by Elsa Schiaparelli

The thumbs-down is for the new, reformulated version of Shocking. I had bought a tiny bottle of vintage Shocking on eBay, and then bought a bottle of the new stuff. I can't tell you how different the new version is from the vintage formula. Granted, the original version could be construed today as an "old lady" fragrance, but beneath the prissy flowers that make it a somewhat grandmotherly fragrance, there is the deep sophistication of musk, spices, and aldehydes (all of the ingredients that made classic perfumes so great, and that are replaced today with more politically correct synthetic alternatives). The new version smells like it's eliminated altogether the civet, cloves, cyphres and aldehydes of the original. It smells strongly of white flowers before transitioning into an overwhelmingly powdery dry-down. Like one reviewer below said, it's ghastly. Without the spicy notes, the musk, and the aldehydes of the original, the new version lacks the depth and sophistication of the vintage version.

Leap by Body Shop

I loved Leap! This one was like springtime in a bottle - a bouquet of violets and greens. It was light and refreshing and instantly uplifting. From time to time I keep checking The Body Shop to see if they've brought it back, but to no avail (although they used to carry the perfume oil of Leap long after the perfume was discontinued, but now their Perfume Oil Bar is also discontinued). Sadly missed, and I covet the half a bottle that I still have from the mid-90s, spraying it occasionally when I'm feeling nostalgic.

Amazing Grace Eau de Toilette by Philosophy

Who needs Prozac when you have Amazing Grace? It's extremely comforting. The perfume defies description - not quite a floral, not spicy, not green, just a clean, comforting scent. I spray it when I need a pick-me-up.

Arpège by Lanvin

I'm torn between giving this a thumbs up or a thumbs down, so I gave it a neutral. I give the original version a thumbs up, but the new stuff gets a thumbs down. I tried vintage bottles of Arpege Ray de parfum that belong to my mother. I used to dab myself with it when I was a child playing with her perfumes. She still has them. Recently I purchased a new bottle of the spray edt. I was extremely disappointed to find that Arpege today smells nothing like the original. With aldehydes and musk oils being replaced by synthetic ingredients, the new formula lacks the heady, intoxicating warmth and the mystery of the original. The new formula has a headache-inducing cloying powdery quality that doesn't mellow out once it dries down. Perhaps the new eau de parfum formula is closer to the Arpege that I grew up with, but for now I'll stick with the vintage formula.

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