Why do companies "admit" reformulations by changing the packaging/bottle?

DerangedGoose

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2009
Wouldn't companies try to hide reformulations? Why do they redo the packaging? Is it in an effort to make a product seem "new" when people have gotten used to seeing it on the shelves?
 

SportsFan

Well-known member
Aug 18, 2010
Honesty is the best policy?

Actually...there is some marketing that goes in to this. After a period of time, consumers get used to a "certain look" for various items....and once that "look" is changed, it peaks interest. It peaks interest in not only the customer that has previously decided that they do NOT like it, but potentially new customers as well. And that is because it intrigues them to discover if it has "been changed", or "is new", etc. Some changes are made for the better....and are more positive. Only in a fragrance community involving an industry with IFRA perfume regulations do most people get worried and concerned that something good has been ruined. Also, it probably is because of those very same IFRA and other government regulations which mandates that changes to product be acknowledged in it's appearance. A "code" isn't always easy to see/find/read....I was just looking at my 3 year old bottle of Fahrenheit, and I couldn't read the code on the bottom of the bottle. Governing bodies/agencies always want a way to be able to track the production of consumer products, and having different appearances for different "formulations" is an easy way to get somebody in the ballpark, if they can't read the code, or the code has been erased/removed.

Having worked in sales in consumer products for years, I have a little idea as to WHY companies change product appearance. And while this isn't 100% THE reason why....and there very well may be other reasons....these are the ones that I am aware of, from the companies I have worked for.
 
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Jul 7, 2012
99.9% of the population never notices this stuff. We're in the minority. In a perfect world, perfume would be sold like wine, where each bottle would proudly display the year so that customers would know. It's not going to happen though.

There must be some market-driven reason for this.

Some people equate "new" with "improved."

THIS!!!

Go to the detergent aisle in the grocery store. You'll see the words NEW or even NEW AND IMPROVED on box after box and bottle after bottle of detergent. I'm pretty sure Tide has been New And Improved for decades. People like New. Here on basenotes, people fear change - often rightfully so - but in the real world, the majority of customers know very little about perfume and they'd think new means better.
 

jarrodrocks

Well-known member
May 6, 2013
Honesty is the best policy?

Actually...there is some marketing that goes in to this. After a period of time, consumers get used to a "certain look" for various items....and once that "look" is changed, it peaks interest. It peaks interest in not only the customer that has previously decided that they do NOT like it, but potentially new customers as well. And that is because it intrigues them to discover if it has "been changed", or "is new", etc. Some changes are made for the better....and are more positive. Only in a fragrance community involving an industry with IFRA perfume regulations do most people get worried and concerned that something good has been ruined. Also, it probably is because of those very same IFRA and other government regulations which mandates that changes to product be acknowledged in it's appearance. A "code" isn't always easy to see/find/read....I was just looking at my 3 year old bottle of Fahrenheit, and I couldn't read the code on the bottom of the bottle. Governing bodies/agencies always want a way to be able to track the production of consumer products, and having different appearances for different "formulations" is an easy way to get somebody in the ballpark, if they can't read the code, or the code has been erased/removed.

Having worked in sales in consumer products for years, I have a little idea as to WHY companies change product appearance. And while this isn't 100% THE reason why....and there very well may be other reasons....these are the ones that I am aware of, from the companies I have worked for.

My thoughts exactly. The average fragrance user wouldn't even know that these fragrances are being reformulated. If it was as much of an issue to the average consumer as it is to many of us basenoters then the companies would approach it differently. The majority of their customers are oblivious to fact.
 

Arij

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2013
New packaging ≠ Reformulation

Although it may be a good point of reference in determining past reformulations; new packaging doesn't necessarily imply a change in formulation.
 

aphexacid

Well-known member
Dec 13, 2008
99.9% of the population never notices this stuff. We're in the minority. In a perfect world, perfume would be sold like wine, where each bottle would proudly display the year so that customers would know. It's not going to happen though.



THIS!!!

Go to the detergent aisle in the grocery store. You'll see the words NEW or even NEW AND IMPROVED on box after box and bottle after bottle of detergent. I'm pretty sure Tide has been New And Improved for decades. People like New. Here on basenotes, people fear change - often rightfully so - but in the real world, the majority of customers know very little about perfume and they'd think new means better.

VERY true. Unless we're talking about Chanel and the new Platinum Egoiste and it actuallys smells like it did 20 years ago! Chanel voodoo!
 

SmellyFinger

Well-known member
May 21, 2014
New packaging ≠ Reformulation. Although it may be a good point of reference in determining past reformulations; new packaging doesn't necessarily imply a change in formulation.

THIS!!!!

Sometimes a packaging change is just a packaging change. Reformulations are infrequent and costly and greatly overexaggerated on this Forums for a number of reasons. Many of which center around opportunists who want to increase the value of their used cologne and sell it at a premium on Ebay. Some people have become obsessed about vintage cologne and will pay a premium.

A packaging change requires little or no investment by the company. It can be put out to bid to various vendors who can provide drafts, mockups, and samples to the company along with a competitive bid. No investment and a direct positive impact to the bottom line. A reformulations requires an upfront investment by the company in R&D, production, and other costs. Its a money loser to constantly reformulate a product as frequently as is rumored on forums,

Here's a typical (but not all encompassing) example of a fragrances cost.

Hint: You don't save money focusing on 2% of your cost structure...

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/05/22/celebrity-perfume-cost-breakdown/
 

Aromaphile

Well-known member
Aug 10, 2013
THIS!!!!

Sometimes a packaging change is just a packaging change. Reformulations are infrequent and costly and greatly overexaggerated on this Forums for a number of reasons. Many of which center around opportunists who want to increase the value of their used cologne and sell it at a premium on Ebay. Some people have become obsessed about vintage cologne and will pay a premium.

A packaging change requires little or no investment by the company. It can be put out to bid to various vendors who can provide drafts, mockups, and samples to the company along with a competitive bid. No investment and a direct positive impact to the bottom line. A reformulations requires an upfront investment by the company in R&D, production, and other costs. Its a money loser to constantly reformulate a product as frequently as is rumored on forums,

Here's a typical (but not all encompassing) example of a fragrances cost.

Hint: You don't save money focusing on 2% of your cost structure...

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/05/22/celebrity-perfume-cost-breakdown/

Holy carp.... that's blown my assumptions out of the water.

So, basically, we're being exploited by fragrances costing above $5.

I'm kind of reeling in shock here. And feeling a little foolish and angry.
 

DerangedGoose

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2009
Here's a typical (but not all encompassing) example of a fragrances cost.

Hint: You don't save money focusing on 2% of your cost structure...

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/05/22/celebrity-perfume-cost-breakdown/

Like you said, thats just one example of an already overpriced fragrance with retail overhead built in. This is way different than paying $100 for a niche scent.

Holy carp.... that's blown my assumptions out of the water.

So, basically, we're being exploited by fragrances costing above $5.

I'm kind of reeling in shock here. And feeling a little foolish and angry.

Why is this such a surprise? Would you be just as surprised to find out how cheap brand name clothing is produced for?

This breakdown is for a celebrity fragrance with all the budget going to marketing and retail overhead. These are widely known to be low quality fragrances, the cost structure is not at all comparable to the $100 you would pay for a niche scent.
 

Aromaphile

Well-known member
Aug 10, 2013
Like you said, thats just one example of an already overpriced fragrance with retail overhead built in. This is way different than paying $100 for a niche scent.



Why is this such a surprise? Would you be just as surprised to find out how cheap brand name clothing is produced for?

This breakdown is for a celebrity fragrance with all the budget going to marketing and retail overhead. These are widely known to be low quality fragrances, the cost structure is not at all comparable to the $100 you would pay for a niche scent.

I knew it'd be cheap, just didn't realise *how* cheap.
 

the_good_life

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jun 2, 2006
"Niche" is just a marketing option. It says pretty much nothing about the quality or cost of what's in the bottle. While it will frequently be somewhat higher than for designer or drugstore products, that is not a given. I'd say, off-hand, that 80% of "niche" is just cut&paste formulas delivered by Firmenich etc. noses on, let's say, very clearly delineated budgets :D.


Reformulation is not always about cheapening, it can also be an attempt to recalibrate the product for the market, react to new IFRA regulations has a lot to do with refining the product. Yes ,there was a time when a fragrance would start with a high natural-oil content and upon growing success couldn't be kept in production and so had to be reformulated. Since we're starting with almost fully synthetic product in the mass market that isn't an issue anymore, I guess.

Like you said, thats just one example of an already overpriced fragrance with retail overhead built in. This is way different than paying $100 for a niche scent.



Why is this such a surprise? Would you be just as surprised to find out how cheap brand name clothing is produced for?

This breakdown is for a celebrity fragrance with all the budget going to marketing and retail overhead. These are widely known to be low quality fragrances, the cost structure is not at all comparable to the $100 you would pay for a niche scent.
 
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Bigsly

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2008
I doubt there is one answer that is always the case. For example, they might use packaging that costs less, whereas in another case they might want to go with a "new and improved" look.. And it seems to be the case that sometimes there are no changes but the scent smells clearly different, so the premise of your question is actually problematic, especially with claims about huge batch variations - how would the public even know if there was a reformulation? It might just be a "bad batch," right? It's all conjecture on our parts, it seems, so you might want to think along less "black and white" lines and think of it more like a jigsaw puzzle that does not have all the pieces present, so that at best you might get a "big picture" understanding.
 

cytherian

Well-known member
Nov 24, 2013
It does seem like recently the repackaging of a fragrance is indicative of a reformulation. But, it doesn't have to be a rule. And reformulation doesn't mean it'll always be undesirable. Look at what LIDGE went through. The unfortunate thing is that the bottle was changed, but according to Andre's blind testing it's not discernible from earlier batches.
 

heperd

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2011
New packaging ≠ Reformulation

Although it may be a good point of reference in determining past reformulations; new packaging doesn't necessarily imply a change in formulation.

"Hey team, we are changing a few chemicals in this fragrance. Go ahead and hire a design firm to change a small part of the pattern on the box or the font on the bottle because thats the only logical thing to do."
 
J

jason_newton

Guest
THIS!!!!

Sometimes a packaging change is just a packaging change. Reformulations are infrequent and costly and greatly overexaggerated on this Forums for a number of reasons. Many of which center around opportunists who want to increase the value of their used cologne and sell it at a premium on Ebay. Some people have become obsessed about vintage cologne and will pay a premium.

And you seem quite obsessed with pointing this out. You've already made your point about three times on this subject in the recent Fahrenheit thread. If you're happy buying new fragrances, that's fine. What isn't cool is you trying to tell other people on here that they're wasting their time and money. People buy vintage for many different reasons and it may not necessarily be for the scent itself. Maybe they like the design of the old boxes, the shape or design of the bottle. Perhaps they feel some emotional connection with owning the original object. Whatever reason they buy them, you're quite entitled to mention it once but your posts have started to stick out as an individual tirade against people who collect old stuff.

Why do some people insist on buying an original Eames Ottoman chair instead of a new replica? Who knows?

It is down to the individual and what they deem to be worthy of value.
 

SmellyFinger

Well-known member
May 21, 2014
And you seem quite obsessed with pointing this out. You've already made your point about three times on this subject in the recent Fahrenheit thread. If you're happy buying new fragrances, that's fine. What isn't cool is you trying to tell other people on here that they're wasting their time and money. People buy vintage for many different reasons and it may not necessarily be for the scent itself. Maybe they like the design of the old boxes, the shape or design of the bottle. Perhaps they feel some emotional connection with owning the original object. Whatever reason they buy them, you're quite entitled to mention it once but your posts have started to stick out as an individual tirade against people who collect old stuff.

Why do some people insist on buying an original Eames Ottoman chair instead of a new replica? Who knows?

It is down to the individual and what they deem to be worthy of value.

And I will continue to make the point when and where I feel is applicable without your permission. And I am not making a "tirade" against people who collect old stuff. I am pointing out the fact there are opportunists who simply wish to profit from the "vintage is better" mantra and try to profit off the inexperienced. Having used Fahrenheit (among others) since its inception, I have no problem expressing my opinion that I feel the current formulation is superior in both scent and performance. And I will continue to point out the effects of oxidation that can seriously degrade both the scent and performance of many fragrances over time, And BTW, I will be posting my recent experiences in a side by side comparison of "vintage" versus "current" Fahrenheit in a new thread. Whether you or anyone else approves is not my concern and, frankly I do not care.
 
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J

jason_newton

Guest
Look, all I’m saying is we get it - You don’t think vintages are worth the money or the hype. You’ve posted about it six times in the past three months.

http://www.basenotes.net/threads/37...reformulated?p=3404905&viewfull=1#post3404905

http://www.basenotes.net/threads/37...reformulated?p=3405167&viewfull=1#post3405167

http://www.basenotes.net/threads/37...reformulated?p=3387348&highlight=#post3387348

http://www.basenotes.net/threads/40...reformulated?p=3393233&viewfull=1#post3393233

http://www.basenotes.net/threads/39...erfume-store?p=3382499&highlight=#post3382499

http://www.basenotes.net/threads/39...reformulated?p=3358570&viewfull=1#post3358570

Get over it. It’s not your money other people are spending.

For example, I think the Tom Ford range is completely over-priced and over-rated but I don’t keep posting in TF threads making the same snide comments. Again. And Again.
 

Slayerized

Well-known member
Jul 17, 2011
Look, all I’m saying is we get it - You don’t think vintages are worth the money or the hype. You’ve posted about it six times in the past three months.

http://www.basenotes.net/threads/37...reformulated?p=3404905&viewfull=1#post3404905

http://www.basenotes.net/threads/37...reformulated?p=3405167&viewfull=1#post3405167

http://www.basenotes.net/threads/37...reformulated?p=3387348&highlight=#post3387348

http://www.basenotes.net/threads/40...reformulated?p=3393233&viewfull=1#post3393233

http://www.basenotes.net/threads/39...erfume-store?p=3382499&highlight=#post3382499

http://www.basenotes.net/threads/39...reformulated?p=3358570&viewfull=1#post3358570

Get over it. It’s not your money other people are spending.

For example, I think the Tom Ford range is completely over-priced and over-rated but I don’t keep posting in TF threads making the same snide comments. Again. And Again.

For me it is also not true as I own and bought many many vintage colognes being from 15 till over 40 years old and all (yes all) smell (almost) like new! I never encountered a bad cologne among them nor a turned one (some splash little minis excluded!) They were absolutely worth the money I spend on them, which was not that much by the way as many people here do not know what they are selling (lol).
 

SmellyFinger

Well-known member
May 21, 2014
Look, all I’m saying is we get it - You don’t think vintages are worth the money or the hype. You’ve posted about it six times in the past three months.

http://www.basenotes.net/threads/37...reformulated?p=3404905&viewfull=1#post3404905

http://www.basenotes.net/threads/37...reformulated?p=3405167&viewfull=1#post3405167

http://www.basenotes.net/threads/37...reformulated?p=3387348&highlight=#post3387348

http://www.basenotes.net/threads/40...reformulated?p=3393233&viewfull=1#post3393233

http://www.basenotes.net/threads/39...erfume-store?p=3382499&highlight=#post3382499

http://www.basenotes.net/threads/39...reformulated?p=3358570&viewfull=1#post3358570

Get over it. It’s not your money other people are spending.

For example, I think the Tom Ford range is completely over-priced and over-rated but I don’t keep posting in TF threads making the same snide comments. Again. And Again.


Why are you so obsessed about how many times I post my opinion? Are you keeping track? Am I costing you a sale? Get over it. Put me on ignore or stop reading my posts. People are free to post that they prefer vintage or current without your permission. And this is a reformulation thread and not a Fahrenheit one. But, it is my opinion that current Fahrenheit is a superior scent and performs better than the vintage. #7 for those keeping score...
 
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cytherian

Well-known member
Nov 24, 2013
Why are you so obsessed about how many times I post my opinion? Are you keeping track? Am I costing you a sale? Get over it. Put me on ignore or stop reading my posts. People are free to post that they prefer vintage or current without your permission. And this is a reformulation thread and not a Fahrenheit one. But, it is my opinion that current Fahrenheit is a superior scent and performs better than the vintage. #7 for those keeping score...

Why do you feel compelled to repeat yourself so often? You're in the minority here, mind you. Extreme minority. Is that why? Repeat it enough and maybe you'll garner some supporters? There's far too much empirical evidence for vintage fragrances being able to retain most of their characteristics over the years if taken care of well.

Smelly Finger said:
After 25 years of oxidizing, it will barely resemble its former self anyway. Top notes will be gone and the fixatives/performance is greatly compromised. You will never be able to smell Polo, Obsession, or Fahrenheit as they once were. You are chasing a ghost...
You obviously don't realize that if your claim was true, all vintages would be worthless and so many people here would be "ghost chasers". What, am I delusional sniffing my nearly 30 year old bottle of vintage KOUROS or Antaeus, hallucinating that amazing smell? It's all in my mind because it barely resembles its former self? That the newest version of KOUROS having a synthetic and weakened smell is just my imagination and that it is superior to those vintage bottles I own? Your signature line shows nothing but mainstream designer fragrances. Where is your credibility? No, what I see here is a person who either can't afford vintage or niche fragrances or is too naive to delve into them, and so you just seek to deride anyone who does. I guess that makes you feel good, enough to post over 1,000 times in less than a year.

Btw that article you linked to on that tiny, marginal website called "daily finance" makes a presumption completely out of context. Their claims are likely true for a basic mainstream fragrance like YSL La Nuit de l'Homme or V&R Spicebomb, but certainly not for niche fragrances that make huge investments in high quality materials. Also, the business model is similar to pharmaceuticals. A great deal of expense is invested in creating the formulation. So, that factors into the overhead. Don't blindly believe everything you read.
 
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jarrodrocks

Well-known member
May 6, 2013
THIS!!!!

Sometimes a packaging change is just a packaging change. Reformulations are infrequent and costly and greatly overexaggerated on this Forums for a number of reasons. Many of which center around opportunists who want to increase the value of their used cologne and sell it at a premium on Ebay. Some people have become obsessed about vintage cologne and will pay a premium.

A packaging change requires little or no investment by the company. It can be put out to bid to various vendors who can provide drafts, mockups, and samples to the company along with a competitive bid. No investment and a direct positive impact to the bottom line. A reformulations requires an upfront investment by the company in R&D, production, and other costs. Its a money loser to constantly reformulate a product as frequently as is rumored on forums,

Here's a typical (but not all encompassing) example of a fragrances cost.

Hint: You don't save money focusing on 2% of your cost structure...

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/05/22/celebrity-perfume-cost-breakdown/

I was also skeptical of Vintage fragrances and felt that the whole "reformulation" subject was a bit over exaggerated by many. That was until I revisited my beloved Dolce Gabbana Pour Homme which I had not used since it's criminal reformulation. It felt like an old friend had passed. As my tastes changed and my nose became more experienced I started seeing this more and more. Most recently a newer bottle of Azzaro pour homme which I feel is a shell of its former self. Perhaps one day you may feel the same about a fragrance you like.
 

SportsFan

Well-known member
Aug 18, 2010
"Hey team, we are changing a few chemicals in this fragrance. Go ahead and hire a design firm to change a small part of the pattern on the box or the font on the bottle because thats the only logical thing to do."

In an industry governed by the IFRA....don't you think it's possible that this isn't a choice, but a practice that is MANDATED by such a governing body, whenever there is a change to an already established product?

While a change in appearance doesn't necessarily mean a change in product.....in this industry, in this day and age....anything is possible, and nothing would surprise me.
 
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Beck

Well-known member
May 13, 2014
New packaging ≠ Reformulation

Although it may be a good point of reference in determining past reformulations; new packaging doesn't necessarily imply a change in formulation.
True. Sometimes they change even the bottle and keep the same formula. I didn't have the chance to try the LIDGE in the new bottle. People are already calling the older bottle version like vintage.
 
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SmellyFinger

Well-known member
May 21, 2014
Why do you feel compelled to repeat yourself so often? You're in the minority here, mind you. Extreme minority. Is that why? Repeat it enough and maybe you'll garner some supporters? There's far too much empirical evidence for vintage fragrances being able to retain most of their characteristics over the years if taken care of well.

Why are you so bothered by my 6-7 posts on the topic of "vintage". I have no issues with your constant advocacy of buying them. Opposing viewpoints are welcomed here, not simply yours. So where am I “in the extreme minority”?- In the USA, NY, or Basenotes. You think the “majority” has close to a hundred bottles of cologne, searches Ebay for “vintage” bottles,and has half a dozen “backup” bottles of “vintage” Kouros that they overspent on? And you think that I am in the “extreme minority”??? LOL!!!

You obviously don't realize that if your claim was true, all vintageswould be worthless and so many people here would be "ghostchasers". What, am I delusional sniffing my nearly 30 year oldbottle of vintage KOUROS or Antaeus, hallucinating that amazingsmell? It's all in my mind because it barely resembles its formerself? That the newest version of KOUROS having a synthetic and weakened smell is just my imagination and that it is superior tothose vintage bottles I own?

I honestly can not comment on the aforementioned “delusions”or“hallucinations”, that occur with you or what is in your“imagination”.

Your signature line shows nothing but mainstream designer fragrances.Where is your credibility?

I am curious that you want to put down my designer fragrances/credibility, yet you contacted me via PM not long ago trying to inquire about the year of my Holy Grail/Super Batch version of The One. Hmmm. Let me guess what happened. You obsessed about getting a “vintage” bottle. You went online and to Ebay and tried to find a bottle from 2008 . You found a used bottle and paid an outrageous price for it. Then when you received it, you were disappointed. It lasted 4 hours, it did not project, and the smell was bad. In fact, there was a certain sour note on the top that just spoiled the whole thing. A sour citrus, bergamotte, or maybe grapefruit that ran through the whole composition. Am I right?

No, what I see here is a person who either can't afford vintage or niche fragrances or is too naive to delve into them, and so you just seek to deride anyone who does. I guess that makes you feel good,enough to post over 1,000 times in less than a year.

No.I owned/tried many vintage fragrance in real time before they ever became “vintage”. In many cases, I find the current formulations better in scent and performance. And I have no qualms about saying so. And I continue to sample niche, but have been largely underwhelmed by the scent, performance, quality, and value. And you have 900 posts in 15 months.

Btw that article you linked to on that tiny, marginal website called"daily finance" makes a presumption completely out of context.Their claims are likely true for a basic mainstream fragrance like YSL La Nuit de l'Homme or V&R Spicebomb, but certainly not for niche fragrances that make huge investments in high quality materials. Also, the business model is similar to pharmaceuticals. Agreat deal of expense is invested in creating the formulation.So, that factors into the overhead. Don't blindly believe everything you read.

Perhaps you should re-read the article as it clearly makes no assumptions about the cost structure of niche nor did I. Feel free to step up to the plate and provide the cost structure on niche for us to analyze,rather than cheap shot a well researched and informative article. Or you could continue to engage in these personal attacks on me, my income level, my choice of fragrances, and my post count.
 
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Milan SRB

Well-known member
Dec 4, 2012
I love cologne...some vintage, some re-formulated, some designer, some niche, some mass market. And then there are some I don't like. Go figure.

Hey you are the same as me :D
I hate these "must be VINTAGE" or "must be NICHE" people :) Try to have a good time with fragrances and remember that you make your style, fragrance is just a small part of a big picture.
 

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