Chanel Antaeus then vs now.

Fjolltzu

Basenotes Member
Apr 12, 2019
So I'm a big Kouros fan and I've experienced how different just 16 years back Kouros smells. HOWEVER there doesn't seem to be much comparison info online as there seems to be for Kouros.

Like i know clearly that KOUROS was both fresher but also more animalic and sweet until the 2010s. How's the progression of Antaeus through the years? Any of you guys have any insight? Should i just grab a bottle straight from Chanel for Christmas? Btw you guys Lapidus pour homme recommendations turned out great.
 

VCAPH

Super Member
Aug 28, 2017
I had vintage but ran out,I do like this fragrance and the last time I tested it was 2018 and it was same as old school, animalic as anything .
I heard that stumptown smells ( a youtube channel whom I do like) said current is not as good but others say its the same

Semi related note , it was the signature Scent of Raiders owner Al Davis.. I am a big Raiders fan and I could see him pulling this off, its certainly as manly a scent as you can get
 

Bavard

Wearing Perfume Right Now
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2015
If you like Kouros, I'm not surprised you like Lapidus Pour Homme.

I only really know two versions of Antaeus: (i) the older version from the 80s and 90s and (ii) the recent version from around 2015 to 2019, and probably still the same now. The older version smells stronger and more complex overall, I think, but the newer version is interesting and probably better for the office. It's quite a bit lighter, based on my sampling.
 
Jul 20, 2017
Like Bavard I know 2 versions.

I own an early 90s vintage and a 2017 version. (Haven’t tried it in 2021)
IMO both are excellent, quintessentially Antaeus, but different.

The first has one of the best mossy notes/accords, in the drydown, of any fragrance I’ve smelled. It’s addictive. I’m speculating but to my nose it comes across as oakmoss (not treemoss) combined with beeswax, labdanum, castoreum maybe some IBQ. The opening is pungent but simultaneously sweet, an old style bergamot, a tad dusty and slightly green.
The second is less sweet, still pungent in the opening and has no moss that I can detect. That said the drydown is moreish - an enjoyable second skin warm leathery hum that just radiates and gives constant noticeable wafts.

Neither are dirty but they emanate a feeling of warmth or warm skin somehow especially the latter.
I’m genuinely satisfied with both versions though. It’s the most worthy fragrance reformulation I’ve come across by Chanel.
 
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Varanis Ridari

The Scented Devil
Basenotes Plus
Oct 17, 2012
I think the best way to compare new and old is with a music analogy.

Old Antaeus is richer and warmer, like the sound of an old vinyl through a tube amp, but years of wear and tear (or aging/oxidization) can muffle the high frequency (or top notes).

Current Antaeus is clearer and smoother, like a pristine digital remaster that's been noise-shaped to remove subharmonics, but is now more compressed with less vibrancy.

It's the same song played through different components.

Overall, the big bottom end of vintage Antaeus is really fun, with the castoreum, oakmoss, beeswax, and full carnation etc.

I settle for the cleaned and trimmed Antaeus for day-to-day use because despite reduction of this bottom end, I can still enjoy the overall woody animalic chypre vibe retained.

Bavard is right. Newer is a bit easier on coworkers who haven't consented to your sillage bubble.
 

Dr.Sardonicus

Basenotes Member
Oct 8, 2021
I can vouch for a few bottles of Vintage Antaeus and Antaeus Sport. I didn't find much to differentiate one from another. All were good. All were powerhouses like one would expect them to be.

I can also say that my disappointment with a version I came across around 2011 was real. It was completely anemic compared to its predecessors and left much to be desired IMO. I recall thinking that what I just tried was a pathetic attempt at reformulation and to keep a cash-cow alive for as long as possible.

Since then, I've had opportunity to read opinions on more current incarnations of Antaeus.........and many were favorable.

That leaves me to conclude that I may have tried a batch that was simply not up to snuff and was quickly improved upon.
 

N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer

Retired
Basenotes Plus
Jul 1, 2011
I can vouch for a few bottles of Vintage Antaeus and Antaeus Sport. I didn't find much to differentiate one from another. All were good. All were powerhouses like one would expect them to be.
I tend to agree, the main difference that I've noticed was the reduction of the animalic vibe in the Sports version otherwise they're the same.
 

epapsiou

Always be smelling
Basenotes Plus
Sep 28, 2015
I can vouch for a few bottles of Vintage Antaeus and Antaeus Sport. I didn't find much to differentiate one from another. All were good. All were powerhouses like one would expect them to be.

I can also say that my disappointment with a version I came across around 2011 was real. It was completely anemic compared to its predecessors and left much to be desired IMO. I recall thinking that what I just tried was a pathetic attempt at reformulation and to keep a cash-cow alive for as long as possible.

Since then, I've had opportunity to read opinions on more current incarnations of Antaeus.........and many were favorable.

That leaves me to conclude that I may have tried a batch that was simply not up to snuff and was quickly improved upon.
I belong to this camp. I have a few Antaeus bottles vintage to 2010 I think. And then I smelled the current version during meetups (2016-2019).
I find current antaeus meh and vintage 5*.
Current is a diluted, neutered version of original. A black and white photocopy of a Monet painting.
Vintage bottles don't sell for much more than current so I would recommend buying vintage.
 

LiveJazz

Funky fresh
Basenotes Plus
Mar 16, 2006
Overall, the big bottom end of vintage Antaeus is really fun, with the castoreum, oakmoss, beeswax, and full carnation etc.

[Modern] despite reduction of this bottom end, I can still enjoy the overall woody animalic chypre vibe retained.
Yeah, this is pretty much it. Vintage Antaeus has a humungous, broad foundation of castoreum/leather. If that sounds like it will appeal to you, you should go vintage. The modern one sort of transposes that feeling (pretty well) into a lighter, woodier, cleaner context.
 

relus

Basenotes Junkie
Mar 21, 2019
Like kouros, antaeus, paco rabanne ph, lagerfeld cologne and many more, the quality and natural ingridients and oils are key and such a huge factor, besides yes sentimental factors...vintage is our job and addiction.
 

L'Aventurier

Basenotes Dependent
May 8, 2008
Even though the newer version (2021) is still Antaeus in spirit, it smells different enough from the vintage to be a flanker.

The original formulation makes me think of Indiana Jones. The newer formulation smells like a gothic dandy handbag (for better or worse).

If you want something neutered that still smells great, get the new one, but if you come across the vintage for a decent price, go with that one.
 

purecaramel

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Nov 9, 2013
I belong to this camp. I have a few Antaeus bottles vintage to 2010 I think. And then I smelled the current version during meetups (2016-2019).
I find current antaeus meh and vintage 5*.
Current is a diluted, neutered version of original. A black and white photocopy of a Monet painting.
Vintage bottles don't sell for much more than current so I would recommend buying vintage

I belong to this camp. I have a few Antaeus bottles vintage to 2010 I think. And then I smelled the current version during meetups (2016-2019).
I find current antaeus meh and vintage 5*.
Current is a diluted, neutered version of original. A black and white photocopy of a Monet painting.
Vintage bottles don't sell for much more than current so I would recommend buying vintage.
Nosing and wearing the current I have found that Chanel Antaeus, while very good for the Contemporary palate, the Animalic used is rather flat and ultimately bitter.
It is similar to the Animalic used in the latest Hermes Eau d'Hermes.
I would judge that both scents previous to the 2010's is the way to go.
The more Vintage the better.
 

GoldWineMemories

Basenotes Dependent
Nov 22, 2019
How....
Nosing and wearing the current I have found that Chanel Antaeus, while very good for the Contemporary palate, the Animalic used is rather flat and ultimately bitter.
It is similar to the Animalic used in the latest Hermes Eau d'Hermes.
I would judge that both scents previous to the 2010's is the way to go.
The more Vintage the better.
Hmmm, I don't see it. Hermes is a likely synthetic civet with spices, and Antaeus is this musky patchouli castoruem.
 

cacio

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Nov 5, 2010
I sprayed Antaeus last week at the duty free in Italy and it felt richer and more animalic than what I was smelling a few years ago here in the States. If that's what is in the stores currently, it's very nice and acceptable.

cacio
 

N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer

Retired
Basenotes Plus
Jul 1, 2011
Nosing and wearing the current I have found that Chanel Antaeus, while very good for the Contemporary palate, the Animalic used is rather flat and ultimately bitter.
It is similar to the Animalic used in the latest Hermes Eau d'Hermes.
I would judge that both scents previous to the 2010's is the way to go.
The more Vintage the better.
For me, I think there's something special of wearing the same juice that someone could've worn from 1981 or shortly thereafter. You're getting that same experience as the first individuals who Antaeus back then.
 

purecaramel

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Nov 9, 2013
Eau d'Hermes relies on the interplay of civet (real originally and more recently synthetic) and cumin to give off the animalic notes, sweaty, urinous, leathery. Antaeus relies heavily on castoreum to accent the leather/animalic note. There's a point in the 90's I think, 1998 from recollection, although correct me if I'm wrong, where Chanel moved away from real animalics across the board. So there was no more civet in No. 5 and no more castoreum in Antaeus. I think those smelling current Antaeus against an 80's or 90's bottle sometimes forget that the citrus opening aspects of the scent, it's a leather chypre after all, that you'll get from an old bottle will have dulled down significantly, regardless of how fantastically well stored it might have been. I've got old 1980's bottles of Antaeus, and whilst the animalics are gorgeous, the scent just skips to the mid notes and the citruses in the top are largely burned off. The current version gives you synthetic versions of the animalics and oakmoss which we can all lament, but does preserve the very classic chypre opening with fresh citrus notes and in a way delivers Antaeaus closer to the original conception in terms of balance between the top, middle and base.

I'm with others in thinking the current version of Antaeus is quite a bit better than some of the rather insipid versions from the early noughties. I sense that some of the rather crude responses to the awful IFRA regs have been consigned to history.
While I can agree with some of what you say.
I hazard to guess that by 1993 Civet production in Ethiopia took a dive due to the Civil War and that follows with Data I have seen.
I think that Hermes moved quite quickly to develop, around that time, a bump up the Jasmine stink, a great wack of Cumin in with a dot of Quality Synthetic resulting in the move to the now Famous Copper-top bomb. I have yet to nose the Clear Cap late 2000's.
I have nosed both the 1986 and 1989 Eau d"Hermes EDC and they carry a less overt Civet-Jasmine and Cumin profile, which I suspect, has to do with dosing. It's balance noses thoroughly elegant and follows with my experience of Quality, mostly Feminine Civet-laden, scents of the 60's and 70's.

Castoreum is still quite available and relatively inexpensive, however, more stable Synthetic compounds have taken over.
As to Chanel Antaeus, my experience with it spanned from it's First offering through to the Sport introduction. Musk, Castoreum and Oakmoss rich had it competing neck and neck with YSL Kouros of the time for 80's bluster.
The next time I tasted it was as sample from another Basenoter. It's Vintage I was unaware.
The bouquet nosed better balanced, however not unlike Vinyl recordings, registered as a 2nd or third pressing.
A sample from 2014 was disappointing in it's rather, as you say, insipid, facsimile.
The latest nose's as heavily balanced to both top notes and basenotes with a hollowed out mid.
That and a Wooded Musk, that it shares with the latest Eau d'Hermes, disappoints and renders it unacceptable to my tastes.
Well, as far as No.5 goes, Polge's modernizing of that, mid 80's, proves to my nose, an example one of his miss-steps.
 

FiveoaksBouquet

Known to SAs
Basenotes Plus
Jul 16, 2004
I can’t remember ever having smelled vintage Antaeus but as a woman I wear the current one and find it very “skin-friendly” in that its smooth leather seems to create a wholeness between perfume and person and is very comfortable.

Wearing Antaeus edt today and got the capricious idea of topping it up with a couple of spritzes of Beige edp and it smells wonderful! 😊
 

purecaramel

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Nov 9, 2013
I've a couple of Eau d'Hermes boutique flacons from 1990 and 2001 - a side by side testing just now does reveal something richer in the animalic base of the earlier version, which does suggest that they may have moved away from natural civet between these dates. It's a pretty damn close run race though, and may be affected by the age of the bottles, the prominence of the top notes etc.
For some of the best vintage natural civet, you can't do much better than well kept bottles of No. 5 Eau de Cologne, which has quite a different formulation from the other iterations
That coincides with my observation.
Pre 1984 of the EDC and EDT
have, I suspect have a great wack of Animalic. I think it may be a high proportion of Natural with a little High Quality Synthetic to boost
I can’t remember ever having smelled vintage Antaeus but as a woman I wear the current one and find it very “skin-friendly” in that its smooth leather seems to create a wholeness between perfume and person and is very comfortable.

Wearing Antaeus edt today and got the capricious idea of topping it up with a couple of spritzes of Beige edp and it smells wonderful! 😊
Wow you're so Rad girl! Gotta try that!
 
Jul 20, 2017
But you aren't really getting the same experience: a 1980's bottle smelled back then (and I know, I used to smell it at the perfume counters all the time back then) is quite a different proposition from smelling that same bottle nearly 40 years later. I would love for it to have remained pristine and intact, but sadly time and chemistry is not the perfume's friend and no amount of wishful thinking and projection can ever make the top notes reappear as they were initially conceived and balance out with the likely better preserved base notes. I think you get a better sense of the structure of Antaeus from the current version, that gives you the correct balance between the notes, even if it hasn't got the oakmoss and real castoreum of old. My older bottles just don't deliver a complete rendition of the scent. Do I think the current Antaeus is good - yes, in the world of chypres that have had to adapt to survive. Is vintage Antaeus good today - well, yes, up to a point, you can smell some good ingredients, particularly base ingredients, but ultimately you are kidding yourself if you think that's how it used to smell out of the bottle back in the day. Sadly, it just isn't.

I was around in the 80s and certain family members wore Antaeus so I remember the scent distinctly.

When the opportunity presented itself a few years ago I bought my early 90s bottle of Antaeus. It was a 50ml BNIB and it was still cellophane sealed. In the context of the scent the hit of top notes were bright and although Antaeus isn’t a citrus-centric scent the bergamot was full, dry and pungent although muted by the deeper heavier ingredients of the fragrance. This isn’t to take away from the top notes at all as I believe this is how they were intended and this early formulation is extremely well balanced. I’ll also add the top is extremely ‘perfumey’ with aldehydes typical of the 80s era.

I would agree that many of the citrus fragrances of today probably won’t last 30 years and even some of the aquatic fragrances of the 90s haven’t fared well losing some potency of top notes or notes going off but it’s not the case here.

I would even go as far as to say it is in all likelihood the fixatives and deeper ingredients used in those days that have preserved the fragrance almost perfectly intact.

I say this as someone that has smelled and experienced maturation and maceration changes in many scents and this really was a pristine NOS find that was probably well stored even if only by chance. I can’t stress enough just how intact this bottle still is 30 years on. So although rare it is possible to still find vintage perfume with pristine top notes.
 

Ken_Russell

Basenotes Institution
Jan 21, 2006
From a personal viewpoint alone, being already familiar with several versions and owning a more recent one of this, the newer formulation (s) are basically still decent- with the powerhouse, leathery and/or civet elements as well as beast mode performance dialed back, but otherwise a still faithful rendition of the rightfully enjoyed and appreciated Antaeus composition
 

sniffer64

Super Member
Feb 3, 2011
If you like Kouros, I'm not surprised you like Lapidus Pour Homme.

I only really know two versions of Antaeus: (i) the older version from the 80s and 90s and (ii) the recent version from around 2015 to 2019, and probably still the same now. The older version smells stronger and more complex overall, I think, but the newer version is interesting and probably better for the office. It's quite a bit lighter, based on my sampling.
The 80's Anteus had beeswax essence in it, among other things, that elevated it above the later version(s). It was a 5 star, now only a 4 (but still good).
 

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