Halston Z-14 (old formulation) vs (new formulation)

jclaxton78

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2010
Mine's really leathery, now I think I'll have to go compare mine to one in the store, as this doesn't smell cheap or like big red. I'm interested in smelling the bad version (or the good version, if the bad one's what I got).


Another easy way to tell which one you have.....the good version has prominent citrus opening, like a lemon gumdrop or lemon hard candy.

The new version is just rough and irritating in the opening.
 

jclaxton78

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2010
When exactly was the oakmoss removed? I have a bottle that was under the sink in my old bathroom in my parents' house that I recently retrieved. I would guess it's at least 10 years old, and unused. Unfortunately I don't have the packaging so I can't check the ingredients list, and I'm curious if I have the old or the new.


You surely have the good version. It was only recently that they destroyed Z-14, say within the past year or two. If you know what to look for, you can find older stock (the good stuff) on ebay or in certain stores.
 
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jclaxton78

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2010
My little splash bottle from Ross has definitely got to be the new formulation since it smells like cheap cinnamon dentist tooth cleaner and coumarin. Truly awful. Even though I don't like leather, I'm very curious to try the older version now.

Such a travesty that companies ruin these products with such callous cynicism & regularity.

Yea, you have the new garbage. I agree, it is rediculous what they do. It seems like the only industry that does this is the perfume industry.


Anyway, I sent you a PM


You should really enjoy the older version before it was butchered.
 
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MonkeyBars

Well-known member
May 18, 2011
Thanks for that, man. I hope it's not too much birch tar. This is a no-brainer for me to pick up, because the mysterious Vincent Marcello also created one of the best masculines of all time, Yatagan.

I just bought a Jeff Gordon 75ml spray bottle. Wish me luck
 
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MonkeyBars

Well-known member
May 18, 2011
Valentino Vendetta - so I have been told.

Vendetta is an excellent, versatile fragrance -- in fact I think it's a great substitute for the almost ridiculously exorbitant Tom Ford Italian Cypress. The reformulated Z-14 is thin crap not worthy of their company. Will report back about the older juice with oakmoss and how it compares to Vendetta.
 

jclaxton78

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2010
Thanks for that, man. I hope it's not too much birch tar. This is a no-brainer for me to pick up, because the mysterious Vincent Marcello also created one of the best masculines of all time, Yatagan.

I just bought a Jeff Gordon 75ml spray bottle. Wish me luck


I'm highly confident you'll enjoy it. In my opinion (and many others) it is one of the best masculines ever made. Here's one of the only youtube reviews on it, from the female perspective.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr85UeXxX_I
 
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lovingthealien

Well-known member
Oct 31, 2011
I'm highly confident you'll enjoy it. In my opinion (and many others) it is one of the best masculines ever made. Here's one of the only youtube reviews on it, from the female perspective.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr85UeXxX_I

Hey, what are your batch codes from the good and bad bottles of Halston Z-14? I'm trying to pinpoint the reformulation date. Mine has a certain lingering "fizzy" citrus scent that continues throughout the bulk of the fragrance life, but I'm starting to convince myself that I can perceive the Big Red Cinnamon element as well, so I'm not sure. Mine is in white on the bottom; 0HA1; June 2010 according to EA's batch-coding, which is fairly old for this scent. The aftershave that came with it in the set is 0KA1; August 2010. This one has less citrus for sure, but it is also the after-shave, and reformulations almost always affect different concentrations at different times. Interestingly, I can detect a strong mossiness in this formulation almost immediately over the citrus.

I'm meaning to go out and try some, but I can't find the "good" gift sets anymore nearby. Mine came in this particular packaging:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Halston-Z14-2-Piece-Gift-Set-for-Men/15034538

I find it peculiar that it has the same art design as the package you showed, but with different sizes. Mine contains a 4.2 oz Cologne and a 2.5 oz Aftershave, while yours was 2 4.2 oz bottles. I wish I still had that box!

I hope that I can help find out more about this reformulation date so more people can experience the well-blended fragrance that this is in its true formulation without having to resort to vintage bottles.
 

lovingthealien

Well-known member
Oct 31, 2011
Well, I think it's safe to say that I have the old(er) formulation. I just stumbled upon a small cache of box sets with and without Oakmoss.

The one with oakmoss dated to January 2011. The one without oakmoss dated to June 2011. So I guess it's safe to say that the reformulation took place somewhere between those dates, and any from 2010 contain oakmoss.

The one without oakmoss was TERRIBLE. It had no warmth or depth at all; all I got was big red with a touch of cigarette tar (and a very mild touch at that). It lacked the nice citrus that the older one had as well.
 

MOONB

Banned
Nov 5, 2009
The bottle I bought a while back was the "new" formulation and still had some oakmoss in it. It smelled pretty nasty to me. Wonder if the "old" formulation is better blended. The new one just ends up smelling like a cinnamon bomb. It's nice to know there's an older version out there that smells better.

Meanwhile, I'm happy with 1-12. Galbanum heaven.
 

jclaxton78

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2010
All I have to a that the new formulation is just perfect! One of the best chypre... ;

You don't have the most recent formulation that is on the shelves these days. You might have gotten lucky and bought some old stock. The reformulation happened recently. The Z-14 from even a couple years ago is awesome. But the supplies of that are dwindling.
 

Hamp

Well-known member
Sep 22, 2006
Thanks for that, man. I hope it's not too much birch tar. This is a no-brainer for me to pick up, because the mysterious Vincent Marcello also created one of the best masculines of all time, Yatagan.

I just bought a Jeff Gordon 75ml spray bottle. Wish me luck

Is finding a bottle with this packaging a guarantee that it's the good version?
 

jclaxton78

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2010
I've had enough of reformulations. I've spoken up about it by writing an email to Elizabeth Arden Co. I voiced all of our concerns and distaste for the current Z-14 and did my best to my make case for bringing back the previous formula. If they reply, I'll post their response in this thread. I've written to them once before about a different product and they did get back to me, so I'm hopeful they will again.

In the email to EA, I also included links to this thread and links to the recent flurry negative reviews of Z-14 on this site as well as on to the ones on Fragrantica.
 

jclaxton78

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2010
I've had enough of reformulations. I've spoken up about it by writing an email to Elizabeth Arden Co. I voiced all of our concerns and distaste for the current Z-14 and did my best to my make case for bringing back the previous formula. If they reply, I'll post their response in this thread. I've written to them once before about a different product and they did get back to me, so I'm hopeful they will again.

In the email to EA, I also included links to this thread and links to the recent flurry negative reviews of Z-14 on this site as well as on to the ones on Fragrantica.


In case anyone is curious, here's what I wrote to the consumer affairs representative:


Dear Maria,


I am very disappointed that EA recently reformulated Halston Z-14. It doesn't make sense to me since Elizabeth Arden company brought back Giorgio Beverly Hills recently, and it still smells the same as it did in the 80's. PS is still the same as are several others that were created in the 70's and 80's. Halston Z-14 is a legendary fragrance that thousands of people wear and have worn for decades. It is really unfair that the formula has been completely changed, and ruined. The citrus, leather, moss and spices are gone. As is that thick mossy feeling you get from it. What a shame.

People on fragrance forums are up in arms about it. Basenotes.net is the largest international fragrance community on the internet. Fans of Z-14 are getting word quickly of the new reformulated Z-14 and are not happy. This will kill sales eventually. Please bring back the Z-14 of just a couple years ago.

Here's a link to a thread about this topic.

Z-14 reformulation .................. (I included a hyperlink here)

Here's another, a link to reviews on it. Specifically, check the 5 most recent reviews from August 23, 2011 to January 1st, 2010. People are complaining that the new formula is no good, and smells like cheap cinnamon and nothing else.

Reviews (I included a hyperlink here)

Nobody likes the new Z-14 and people are clamoring to find old stock of the "good" Z-14 on ebay. If the costs to produce Z-14 went up, then the smart thing to do would be to just raise the price of Z-14, not take out the good ingredients and replace them with cheap stuff. The new stuff doesn't even smell remotely similar to the Z-14 that was on the shelves only a couple years ago. Smart companies listen to their consumers.

I can only imagine how many people received Z-14 as gifts this past holiday season, only to spray it on and wonder "what happened to Z-14"? It is unfair what EA did to Z-14 and I'm not writing to you because I just want to let off some steam. I (along with many others), want EA to bring back the formulation of Z-14 that was still being made up until a couple years ago. The new product is terrible, and that is a fact. The Z-14 from 1976-2010 was an amazing cologne that is very special to many other people. Please bring it back! That is what the customer wants. Whatever money was saved by changing the formula a couple years ago will not be worth the decrease in sales you will eventually start seeing when everyone finds out that Z-14 has been destroyed beyond recognition.

Please forward this email to whomever has input on the decision making of EA fragrances. I'm sure they would love to hear the feedback.


Sincerely,


My first and last name
 

MonkeyBars

Well-known member
May 18, 2011
Nice one JC! Stoked that you took the time to get the word to those executives behind this greedy bottom-lining. Maybe they'll actually listen and turn things around. It's rare, but I have heard of recent precedents.

Meanwhile, my bottle of Jeff Gordon Z-14 arrived. According to the sweepstakes notice in the box, it dates from around 2005. Also, the box lists oakmoss right after treemoss, while the new box does not list oakmoss. Thank you so much for the tip!

Okay, I do want to say first off that the old juice is different than the new. The new Z-14 is of course based on the old; it's not completely different. They both have cinnamon. I agree with several posters who note that the new juice has almost no citrus, while the old has a distinct pleasing round lemon accord at the opening.

Secondly, I will confirm jclaxton's prediction that I would like the old juice, while I thought the new is utter trash. It's really, really good.

I put both formulas on my skin to compare. The old juice has a balance, depth and roundness to it which the new completely lacks. The new juice is harsh and almost medicinal, very synthetic, and lacks also the detailed flourishes of spice and other notes in the old juice. I don't think calling the new juice "Big Red" is particularly helpful, as Big Red is basically the smell of cinnamic aldehyde, which both formulas have a good amount of. However, I will stick to my description of the new formula as highly reminiscent of American dentists' tooth polish, the stuff they put on the rotary applicator: bitter, synthetic, harsh cinnamon and hygiene chemicals.

Other than the lemon opening, the heart of the old juice has a fullness to it that the new completely lacks. It feels as if huge chunks of the true formula were simply ripped out to make the new juice, maybe replaced with overdoses of some other ingredients that were already present but in much lower dosage. To top it off, the old juice had far better longevity on my skin, retaining its round cinnamon appeal in a rather consistent fashion, while the reformulation dropped off considerably at the 90 minute mark. Yet another sign of cheap formulation. What charlatan from deep in the bowels of the fragrance laboratory was given the task of butchering this bestseller of 35 years?

The gods of perfume have shined their pearly light upon me as well, as the "leather" in Z-14 does not appear to be birch tar. Hallelujah!

Also, now I truly see the comparison with Valentino Vendetta and Tom Ford Italian Cypress. While Z-14 is definitely the simpler little brother of those pricier compositions, it actually does deserve to stand in the same field. I would say that Z-14 has bumped off Zirh Ikon to the #1 spot of my "highest quality cheapie" list. It's rather astoundingly good for the price -- or at least the price before they ruined -- and I mean really gutted and destroyed -- the product.

I am very pleased that I came across this and other threads which tipped me off to the 2011 reformulation of this truly iconic 1970s men's classic. THANK YOU so much to all of you who contributed to clearing up this travesty, especially jclaxton78, that the cheap ass suits tried to pass off on us consumers. Time to douse myself with it, throw on the bellbottoms and get to the disco. AND GET DOOWWWWWWNNNNN the boogie nights are al - wayz - da best in town
 
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jclaxton78

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2010
Nice one JC! Stoked that you took the time to get the word to those executives behind this greedy bottom-lining. Maybe they'll actually listen and turn things around. It's rare, but I have heard of recent precedents.

Meanwhile, my bottle of Jeff Gordon Z-14 arrived. According to the sweepstakes notice in the box, it dates from around 2005. Also, the box lists oakmoss right after treemoss, while the new box does not list oakmoss. Thank you so much for the tip!

Okay, I do want to say first off that the old juice is different than the new. The new Z-14 is of course based on the old; it's not completely different. They both have cinnamon. I agree with several posters who note that the new juice has almost no citrus, while the old has a distinct pleasing round lemon accord at the opening.

Secondly, I will confirm jclaxton's prediction that I would like the old juice, while I thought the new is utter trash. It's really, really good.

I put both formulas on my skin to compare. The old juice has a balance, depth and roundness to it which the new completely lacks. The new juice is harsh and almost medicinal, very synthetic, and lacks also the detailed flourishes of spice and other notes in the old juice. I don't think calling the new juice "Big Red" is particularly helpful, as Big Red is basically the smell of cinnamic aldehyde, which both formulas have a good amount of. However, I will stick to my description of the new formula as highly reminiscent of American dentists' tooth polish, the stuff they put on the rotary applicator: bitter, synthetic, harsh cinnamon and hygiene chemicals.

Other than the lemon opening, the heart of the old juice has a fullness to it that the new completely lacks. It feels as if huge chunks of the true formula were simply ripped out to make the new juice, maybe replaced with overdoses of some other ingredients that were already present but in much lower dosage. To top it off, the old juice had far better longevity on my skin, retaining its round cinnamon appeal in a rather consistent fashion, while the reformulation dropped off considerably at the 90 minute mark. Yet another sign of cheap formulation. What charlatan from deep in the bowels of the fragrance laboratory was given the task of butchering this bestseller of 35 years?

The gods of perfume have shined their pearly light upon me as well, as the "leather" in Z-14 does not appear to be birch tar. Hallelujah!

Also, now I truly see the comparison with Valentino Vendetta and Tom Ford Italian Cypress. While Z-14 is definitely the simpler little brother of those pricier compositions, it actually does deserve to stand in the same field. I would say that Z-14 has bumped off Zirh Ikon to the #1 spot of my "highest quality cheapie" list. It's rather astoundingly good for the price -- or at least the price before they ruined -- and I mean really gutted and destroyed -- the product.

I am very pleased that I came across this and other threads which tipped me off to the 2011 reformulation of this truly iconic 1970s men's classic. THANK YOU so much to all of you who contributed to clearing up this travesty, especially jclaxton78, that the cheap ass suits tried to pass off on us consumers. Time to douse myself with it, throw on the bellbottoms and get to the disco. AND GET DOOWWWWWWNNNNN the boogie nights are al - wayz - da best in town



I enjoyed reading your review and response. You're very welcome, I'm happy to help others bask in the glory of the fragrances I also dig. So glad you got to experience the previous formulation of Z-14.




Are you listening EA Fragrance Co?
 

Bigsly

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2008
I tossed my box a while ago, but got the cologne/aftershave box you showed. My Halston Z-14 is a rich and rather nice cyphre and I don't really get an overwhelming cinnamon vibe from it. I'm curious, what is your batch code? Mine is 0ha1, June 2010.

Okay, I took a look today and it's 8N01.
 

scentemental

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2004
For those interested in the seemingly inexhaustible permutations and combinations of formulations and reformulations, particularly those of Halston's Z-14, I offer the following:

I have a splash bottle of Halston Z-14 Cologne that dates from "Nov. 1983" according to the Walgreens sticker on the bottom of the box. That makes it almost 30 years old. It is in sparkling good condition, and it is different from the uncompromised oakmoss richer formulations (with respect to the most recent formulation) of the the last 20 years. This 1983 Cologne formulation has less of the 1980s Grey Flannel violet note vibe to it than recent reformulations, and it is more elegant, refined, complex, and understated than those formulations. I also have a splash bottle of Halston Z-14 Eau de Toilette, also in sparkling good condition, dating from the same period I suspect since it smells similar though not identical to the Cologne. The box and bottle of the Cologne supply the following information: HALSTON FRAGRANCES, INC., DISTR. NEW YORK NEW YORK 1002. CODE 4423-11. On the bottle and box of the EDT can be found the following information: PARFUMS HALSTON ROND-POINT DES CHAMPS-ELYSÉES 75008 MADE IN PARIS, and above this 82% VOL. REF. 4423110. The volume for the EDT is only listed as 115 ml on both the box and the bottle, which makes me suspect this was a formulation of Halston Z-14 made exclusively for the French market, though this is pure speculation, but it strikes me as valid speculation since were it intended for US consumption, then surely the volume would have been listed in ounces or, at the very least, in both ounces and milliliters. On the bottom of the EDT bottle, there is what appears to be a date code 5711, which is also embossed on the bottom flap of the box along with EMB 45234. The Cologne bottle has 2F1 as the date code and Made in the USA embossed on the bottom of the box, which further confirms that it was--as one would suspect given the volume is given in ounces, and given the fact that it was sold by Walgreens--made for US consumption.

The cologne appears to the be the stronger of the two. I would characterize the EDT as the softer, more complex, and more elegant of the two. The cologne version seems to be the direct sire of current versions, the EDT a scion.

Finally, from my understanding and experience of someone who started wearing fragrances in the mid 1970s, this complex genealogy--Van Cleef & Arpels Pour Homme being another such example--for all fragrances that have managed to stay in production over numerous decades is typical rather than exceptional.

scentemental

 
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MonkeyBars

Well-known member
May 18, 2011
My two cents:

scentemental kindly sent me a sample of his vintage 1983 Z-14 EdC which I compared to my 2008 bottle. The '08's lemon was of course in better condition. On the whole, the scent changed very very little. Besides the normal citrus degradation, the difference between the two may only be a result of 30 years of maceration. Regardless, I did find that the 1983 version had slightly less sweet cinnamon spice accord, and in opposition to that, slightly more of the elegant woodsy accord. But they are nearly indistinguishable to my nose, both smelling quite excellent. Pretty great that they preserved the scent for at least a few decades without major changes. Then EA came in and effed up a wonderful piece of art.
 

Bigsly

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2008
I wore it a few days ago and my impression was that the lavender note was way too strong, even relative to other "power frags" of that period.
 

bourbon108

Well-known member
May 9, 2009
Got a giftset at Marshalls today -- 4.2 oz cologne spray and 4.2 oz aftershave lotion for only $20. And it's the version with oakmoss, as I also made sure to check for evernia prunastri/oakmoss in the ingredient list.
 

ericrico

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2011
I have been following this thread for a while and wanted to know if a Splash 60ml bottle of Cologne from 2004 would be considered a safe bet on having the pre-reformulation Z-14 juice in it.

I got the batch code from the seller along with the following info: "the batch number is C4X1 and the other words are even smaller but say Made for Halston Fragrances and NYNY 10153*London*Made in USA. 60ml 2(something) oz" Perhaps a bottle made for the UK Market? I'm assuming the (something) is Fl. for "fluid" ounces.

The batch code on checkcosmetic.net (under Elizabeth Arden) states 2004 - that is how I arrived at the year. So, based upon what I'm reading and the fact that it is of an older size as well (2oz/4oz splashes were standard before 2.5oz/4.2oz sprays).

Safe bet?

Great thread - much appreciated...

Cheers,

ericrico
 

Rüssel

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2010
Have both, both smell nice, but could power on a bit longer for my taste. Both have oakmoss listed and codes are 9LA1 (September 2009) and 0HC1 (June 2010).

Edit - with both I meant 1-12 and Z-14 :)
 
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MonkeyBars

Well-known member
May 18, 2011
I have been following this thread for a while and wanted to know if a Splash 60ml bottle of Cologne from 2004 would be considered a safe bet on having the pre-reformulation Z-14 juice in it.

I got the batch code from the seller along with the following info: "the batch number is C4X1 and the other words are even smaller but say Made for Halston Fragrances and NYNY 10153*London*Made in USA. 60ml 2(something) oz" Perhaps a bottle made for the UK Market? I'm assuming the (something) is Fl. for "fluid" ounces.

The batch code on checkcosmetic.net (under Elizabeth Arden) states 2004 - that is how I arrived at the year. So, based upon what I'm reading and the fact that it is of an older size as well (2oz/4oz splashes were standard before 2.5oz/4.2oz sprays).

Safe bet?

Great thread - much appreciated...

Cheers,

ericrico

Yes. The reformulation seems to have happened around dec 2010 - jan 2011.
 

Bigsly

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2008
My two cents:

scentemental kindly sent me a sample of his vintage 1983 Z-14 EdC which I compared to my 2008 bottle. The '08's lemon was of course in better condition. On the whole, the scent changed very very little. Besides the normal citrus degradation, the difference between the two may only be a result of 30 years of maceration. Regardless, I did find that the 1983 version had slightly less sweet cinnamon spice accord, and in opposition to that, slightly more of the elegant woodsy accord. But they are nearly indistinguishable to my nose, both smelling quite excellent. Pretty great that they preserved the scent for at least a few decades without major changes. Then EA came in and effed up a wonderful piece of art.

Up to around 2008 you are probably correct, but the newest one is like an entirely different scent, and unlike past experiences, I am not sure I want to sell/swap it, because it is like some sort of weird niche idea. After a few hours you can recognize the old Z-14, though considerably weaker, but that oddball opening, with all that cinnamon, is something I may actually want to wear once in a while!
 

knightowl

Well-known member
Aug 3, 2004
Had this same experience recently with Lagerfeld Classic...even though I enjoy the current reformulated version. Recently spotted a lone bottle of the older stock at Ross, and I was so happy...I could already smell the difference even before completely opening the box it came in. Really made my night. It's interesting comparing both versions. I enjoy both but the older one is so much more special.

Now I will take a hard look at the Halston stock next time I hit Ross or Marshalls, thanks to this thread. Damn it.
 

Slayerized

Well-known member
Jul 17, 2011
Current Z-14 I bought once blind and sold it again right away!
It is the only fragrance so far I associate with a 'dated old men smell'! A really unpleasant citrus-cinnamon-leather combo to me.
Never smelled the vintage unfortunately.
 

ChuckW

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2001
Found my new set at a myrtle beach outlet store that always has at least one gem for me on my annual pilgrimage. My 18 year old son spotted it for me...he knows I'm always on the lookout for the Jeff Gordon packaging with the oakmoss on the list. Trained him well.
 

SOTF

Well-known member
Feb 17, 2015
What is the final word on this? Are the jeff gordon versions of quality? I mean the ones with oakmoss AND tree moss, meaning between 2005-2010/11. Some say these are way too heavy in lavender. How does the 05-2010 reformulation compare to the 90's and prior?
 

MonkeyBars

Well-known member
May 18, 2011
I tried some vintage 1983 juice and the difference with my 2009 bottle was minor, easily explained by aging and maceration. Thumbs up on 2005-2010 juice from me.
 

Oviatt

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jan 30, 2007
I, too, stockpile the oakmoss versions of each (oddly, I also had some luck with gift sets) and also bought a boxed set of minis (incl. Grey Flannel) with had the Oakmoss. I love this and only wear the oakmoss versions. Italian Cypress is a very good--though more expensive--alternative.
 

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