2021 Chanel Antaeus

Slayerized

Well-known member
Jul 17, 2011
I also own a 2020 one and it's good but not like vintage at all.....this is more a woody aromatic with hints of leather and maybe the slightest touch of sytnthetic castoreum and performance is average on my skin with mild projection while the vintage (80's till early 90's) was a bomb full with castoreum and especially tons of 'mossy' beeswax in the drydown which is not there anymore at all; at least I don't smell it. Current is still ok but stripped in many ways.
 

StylinLA

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2009
I have a bottle from 2019. It is quite good.

I was able to score a sample of vintage last December and it is indeed very good. A bit richer and deeper I'd say. Longevity seemed better.
But I don't like it so much more that I want to pony up big bucks for vintage.

I think they have managed to keep the basic scent quite good. A nice, rich masculine that stands out a bit from modern scents, but doesn't feel very dated and old guyish.
 

Ken_Russell

Well-known member
Jan 21, 2006
I have a bottle from 2019. It is quite good.

I was able to score a sample of vintage last December and it is indeed very good. A bit richer and deeper I'd say. Longevity seemed better.
But I don't like it so much more that I want to pony up big bucks for vintage.

I think they have managed to keep the basic scent quite good. A nice, rich masculine that stands out a bit from modern scents, but doesn't feel very dated and old guyish.

Great to hear that some if its qualities were kept up in the current version, admitting to not have had the opportunity to test the 2020-2021 yet
 

motorcade

Well-known member
Dec 21, 2020
I have a bottle from 2019. It is quite good.

I was able to score a sample of vintage last December and it is indeed very good. A bit richer and deeper I'd say. Longevity seemed better.
But I don't like it so much more that I want to pony up big bucks for vintage.

I think they have managed to keep the basic scent quite good. A nice, rich masculine that stands out a bit from modern scents, but doesn't feel very dated and old guyish.

I have a 2019 too. I've never smelled the vintage but this version feels very civilized and pretty (dare I say boring), so much so that it would most certainly benefit from some animalic bite and a mossy base.

I have a bunch of mossy vintages so I'm sort of toying with the idea of trying to layer the current Antaeus with something to give it a push that I feel it sorely needs. Again, I have NOT smelled the vintage. Maybe it was supposed to be this civilized and pretty.
 

StylinLA

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2009
Great to hear that some if its qualities were kept up in the current version, admitting to not have had the opportunity to test the 2020-2021 yet

I tend to wonder at times how much we may romanticize vintage scents. I don't have the greatest nose here either.

But the current version is still very much the ANTAEUS scent. Perhaps slightly tamed for modern standards.

The vintage version was to me very smooooooth and lingered more seductively if that makes sense. The castoreum had a bit more bite too.
 

MattJP

Well-known member
Feb 14, 2013
I thought I had never smelled Antaeus until I blind bought it a few years ago. I was wrong...I recognized and remember this scent just from memory of disco/clubs back then. So thick in the air, along with Kourous (including me), others of that era and the heavy feminine frags. And cigarette smoke everywhere (hard to imagine these days).

Sorry, I digress...I like the current a lot and am glad to own it. While I wouldn't mind a sniff or wear of vintage, I have no desire to seek it.
 

Varanis Ridari

The Scented Devil
Basenotes Plus
Oct 17, 2012
I tend to wonder at times how much we may romanticize vintage scents.

Well, the answer is: A LOT

But, you have to think about how many baby boomer and Generation X guys had their first dates (or lost their virginity), their first successful job interviews (or promotions), their first truly memorable (or at least the proudest) moments of life in their prime, while wearing scents like this one.

It's super easy to see everything now as a S.O.I.F. (the dreaded "shadow of it's former self" syndrome) when these same people are themselves no longer in the same stage of life, while these fragrances in their original form give them a window back to when "a man's cologne" was just that. Nostalgia is a powerful drug.

Objectively, there are differences, and how noticeable they are will vary person to person, sample to sample, especially when taking age and potential maceration of deeper vintages into account. It's safe to say those older bottles are sometimes not what they used to be, either. We sometimes forget these bottles are not static either.

I think with Antaeus, we are pretty fortunate that Chanel pumps the R&D cash into preservation. Look at things from the same period like Quorum, and how much more they've changed in roughly the same time, so the reformulations are a net win with Antaeus even if the beast is shorn and collared now compared to what it once was.

Differences are generally overblown as suggested, but if you're someone who's particularly sensitive to change, histrionics may be justified. Especially true if this was your 20's and 30's "stag fragrance", in which case weaking it may be akin to a vasectomy.

I do agree there has been a general decline in ingredients quality among designers, but it's not a natural vs synthetic argument, just a R&D budget argument. Designers pay less and sell for higher, leaning on consumer data harder and binding the perfumer's hands creatively..

For me, even deep vintage Antaeus has never packed the most "heat" among powerhouses of the time, because that isn't Chanel's vibe. I think Kouros, One Man Show, Bijan, or even Yatagan from a few years back have it beat in that department. Today, nobody wants stuff like that, for a number of reasons I won't digress into.

It's all personal perspective though, so my truth isn't going to be someone else's truth.
 

StylinLA

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2009
Nice thougthful answer Varanis...I agree with much of it.

For me personally, I distrust my scent memory when it comes to older scents I've worn. I remember going bonkers over ROMEO GIGLI in mid 90s. I think I bought a second bottle right away which was odd for me at the time. Vintage bottles are available for not crazy money, but I have avoided it. While I don't think it is any different than when I first bought it, I don't think it could ever smell as good as I thought it did back in that moment in time.
I love EGOISTE, but it will never smell as good to me as that first spritz from the bottle I bought the first day it was released at Macys, and I don't think that is primarily due to reformulations.

As you said, maybe some people's noses are so highly tuned to detect the most subtle of changes. If they've been buying something like ANTAEUS year after year, changes might be fairly noticeable. Fortunately, I have only known ANTAEUS since 2010 or so, so current version is quite good to me. (Though a vintage bottle is one of those bucket list things if my financial fortunes ever change for the better).
 

motorcade

Well-known member
Dec 21, 2020
So the vintage is warmer/denser/smoother but not bolder or more animalic-oomphy? I can understand the base must necessarily be thinner now. I can occasionally sense a fleeting herbal bite that is very nice - but it comes and goes, I wish there was more of it.
 

StylinLA

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2009
So the vintage is warmer/denser/smoother but not bolder or more animalic-oomphy? I can understand the base must necessarily be thinner now. I can occasionally sense a fleeting herbal bite that is very nice - but it comes and goes, I wish there was more of it.

To me, correct. I got a fairly old vintage sample from another Basenoter. I would def say smoother/warmer/denser indeed. But the castoreum aspect was not off the charts, and it wan't some kind of animalic monster.
 

N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer

Semi-Retirement
Basenotes Plus
Jul 1, 2011
To me, correct. I got a fairly old vintage sample from another Basenoter. I would def say smoother/warmer/denser indeed. But the castoreum aspect was not off the charts, and it wan't some kind of animalic monster.

Strangely enough I never saw the vintage as something animalic. My nose registers it as something clean like fresh clothing that was just washed.
 

speckmann0706

Well-known member
Mar 8, 2017
Hopefully it is like the 2018-2019 bottles and no changes were made such a excellent fragrance. I had a 2020 bottle of Pour Monsieur EDP and wasn’t impressed with it the depth and excellent dry down seemed to be thinned out quite a bit.
 

Slayerized

Well-known member
Jul 17, 2011
So the vintage is warmer/denser/smoother but not bolder or more animalic-oomphy? I can understand the base must necessarily be thinner now. I can occasionally sense a fleeting herbal bite that is very nice - but it comes and goes, I wish there was more of it.

Yes the vintage is more 'animalic' for sure as far as one wants to call Antaeus animalic like N. Cal just said already but the current has hardly if not any castorerum which I get clearly from the vintage. I also do not consider it animalic but the vintage with its castoreum makes it way more masculine with a slight! dirty touch to me without getting 'animalic'.
 

Dago

Member
Mar 4, 2021
I have a recent bottle and an early '90s small decant. I'm not good at describing scents but for what I can tell the biggest differences that I can notice are:

- The aggressive opening (dark bitter leather, castoreum, maybe you can help me identify and give a name to the notes) is practically identical in both: in the vintage it persists prominently even during the drydown whereas in the current, after the strong initial blast, goes in the backseat. In the current bottle sometimes I can also smell some citruses that are absent (or maybe gone) in the vintage formula.

-In the mid stage the current puts more emphasis on the soapy/rose notes, in the vintage the leather is more noticeable.

-The late drydown smells almost identical to me, but the current feels blurry while the vintage seems sharper and more focused.

-Performances have some differences: the new one projects a little bit more in the opening; the old one performs better than the current in the late drydown when they are almost a skin scent. The big difference here is that after the 2 hour mark the new one starts losing power rapidly while the vintage transitions to skin scent less abruptly.

-When smelling up close the current version it's extremely easy for me to go noseblind; this doesn't happen with the vintage. Interestingly, the same thing happens to me with current Fahrenheit vs vintage.

In the end, both versions are fantastic. They have noticeable differences but remain still quite close. I think I prefer the old version a bit more, but for now I'll stick to my beloved current bottle.

Hope this helped a bit!
 

Andy the frenchy

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2018
[...]
But I don't like it so much more that I want to pony up big bucks for vintage.
[...]
That has been my feeling with each and every vintage scent I have tried.

I tend to wonder at times how much we may romanticize vintage scents.[...]
Whenever I have been able to smell a difference (rarely) between current vs vintage fragrances I have tested, those small differences were probably mostly because of some fading of notes (often citruses) that made the scent appear (very slightly) 'smoother'. Nothing utterly sexy.
Well, the answer is: A LOT
[...]
Agreed.
[...]

For me personally, I distrust my scent memory when it comes to older scents I've worn. [...]
You have the maturity to acknowledge it. This is the main thing here: most of the vintage afficionados think the opposite and compare current scents with scents the 'remember', worn in great moments of their lives (= totally subjective and biased opinion).
And even when comparing vintage bottles with current in side-by-side, they forget that the juice in one is 20, 30, 40yo vs the other one just produced... If testing the 'current' in 40y, it will very likely smell like the 40yo one smelt today.... So yes, sometimes there are minimal differences - I agree - but it's just funny to see some blaming formulations...

But you know... this is valid for any 'collector' community... people like to brag about what the own, not because it's especially worth owning, but more because it makes them feel exclusive compared to others. (some do it with cheap vs expensive frags, some others do it with widely available vs unicorn stuff).

But vintage is far from being always be automatically 'better'. That has been the vast majority of my experience. In most of the cases, just identical, and in a few cases, even worse than current...
 
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exploretoi

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2012
I have a bottle from 2016 and one from 2020...the 2016 has better longevity and sillage and is more de ser than 2020, regarding the scent profile the 2020 is more "polite", while the 2016 has some musky, animalic tones
 

Tristan45

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2017
There's a thread where Bavard sent out samples from all the decades. Conclusions were that fears of reformulation are overblown it never was the huge animalic it's claimed to be.
Absolutely agree - much of the hyperbole doesn't hold up to actual analysis. I've an old bottle from the late 80's worn over the years occasionally. Having rather taken to it recently and wanting to wear it more regularly I've also got a current 2020 bottle for current use. Yes, there's a loss of that grip you get from the old levels of oakmoss and a slightly different quality to the animalic notes but overall I would say it is still has the Antaeus magic, and the opening is properly sparkling with the top notes in better balance with the floral heart and animalic leathery base. Be prepared to give an extra spray (or two) and to top it up after a few hours but otherwise go ahead and enjoy - it's still among the very best of the Chanel stable.

My general observation is that you can spend a fortune chasing rare vintage bottles, but the law of diminishing returns applies strongly. However well stored a bottle that comes up for sale may have been (and if you believe everyone who claims the bottle they are selling has been kept forever in a cool, dark cupboard, then I have a small bridge in London to sell you) there will have been a change to or dissipation of the volatile top notes, particularly the citrus ones. That's more than enough to throw out the balance which is so fundamental to the chypre accord underpinning this scent. That's the key reason for so many reviews of older bottles stressing the richness and smoothness - the top notes are just far too muted.

Similarly when it comes to scent memories it is, at least in my experience, the lingering mid and base accord that forms the basis of these. So an old bottle with rather dulled top notes will project the mid and base notes more strongly and in turn be more likely to fire up the limbic system in our brains, and pique our interest as a vintage perfume collector. I'm speaking as a vintage perfume collector, and I am fully aware of the limitations of over-romanticising old bottles that in reality are presenting the scent in a rather tired fashion. There is an element of deluding oneself as to the reality of how scents age that I'm just as guilty of as many other collectors.
 

rum

Moderator
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Mar 17, 2011
Absolutely agree - much of the hyperbole doesn't hold up to actual analysis. I've an old bottle from the late 80's worn over the years occasionally. Having rather taken to it recently and wanting to wear it more regularly I've also got a current 2020 bottle for current use. Yes, there's a loss of that grip you get from the old levels of oakmoss and a slightly different quality to the animalic notes but overall I would say it is still has the Antaeus magic, and the opening is properly sparkling with the top notes in better balance with the floral heart and animalic leathery base. Be prepared to give an extra spray (or two) and to top it up after a few hours but otherwise go ahead and enjoy - it's still among the very best of the Chanel stable.

My general observation is that you can spend a fortune chasing rare vintage bottles, but the law of diminishing returns applies strongly. However well stored a bottle that comes up for sale may have been (and if you believe everyone who claims the bottle they are selling has been kept forever in a cool, dark cupboard, then I have a small bridge in London to sell you) there will have been a change to or dissipation of the volatile top notes, particularly the citrus ones. That's more than enough to throw out the balance which is so fundamental to the chypre accord underpinning this scent. That's the key reason for so many reviews of older bottles stressing the richness and smoothness - the top notes are just far too muted.

Similarly when it comes to scent memories it is, at least in my experience, the lingering mid and base accord that forms the basis of these. So an old bottle with rather dulled top notes will project the mid and base notes more strongly and in turn be more likely to fire up the limbic system in our brains, and pique our interest as a vintage perfume collector. I'm speaking as a vintage perfume collector, and I am fully aware of the limitations of over-romanticising old bottles that in reality are presenting the scent in a rather tired fashion. There is an element of deluding oneself as to the reality of how scents age that I'm just as guilty of as many other collectors.
I'm completely with you on this post. We do often tend to 'romanticise' about vintage bottles that have a better chypre accord here compared to the modern, but at the end of the day Chanel is at least making an effort to replicate old scents that would have otherwise been completely blown to pieces.
I would respectfully add however that it would be unnecessary to top-up current Antaeus "after a few hours". The current stuff is still quite strong in its own right, especially when spraying from the standard bottle. It puts out quite a mist; even a Chanel sales associate commented once how 'strong' it was when she sprayed some. I could put this on at 8am and still get quite strong whiffs of it at bed time.
 

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