It’s a Perfume Apocalypse … Let’s Buy Stuff

A few weeks ago, Ines of All I Am – A Redhead wrote a post that re-alerted me to the status of IFRA regulations. Normally, when the topic turns to IFRA, I tune out. I tend to think that the regulatory bodies are going to take bureaucratic years (which are longer than normal years) to do anything, so why rush to take action before anything has really changed?

But, Ines’s post got me thinking. I do have a few perfume loves that I would be sorry to see changed. I also wonder if some smaller companies will decide it’s not worth the trouble of dealing with new regulations, and just close up shop. I would feel better knowing I have enough of those perfumes to last me another ten years or so (or until they kill me make me itchy, with their toxic  poisonous definitely worse that hair dye, paint, or pharmaceuticals non-IFRA-compliant ingredients). So, I took this opportunity to do some very uncharacteristic paranoia-fueled perfume shopping. First on the list:


Reglisse Noire from 1000 Flowers. I’m very glad I made this purchase, since larger sizes are no longer even listed on the website, and the price for 15 ml bottles is down to $20. Ominous.


Tableau de Parfums Ingrid. Tauer Parfums doesn’t seem likely to go anywhere, but I’m not sure what plans Andy Tauer and Bryan Pera have for Tableau de Parfums. Better safe than sorry!


I will also be purchasing some (more) Chanel No. 19, as soon as I figure out exactly which versions I “need.”

As I said, a bit paranoid, but at least I am prepared. Some people have bottled water and canned food; I have perfume.

Images courtesy 1000 Flowers, Luckyscent, and Fragrantica.

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14 responses

  1. Very enjoyable post on a depressing topic. Love those strike-throughs!

    I’d be interested to know which No.19 you go for. I need to re-try that one soon. Maybe I’m ready for it now.

    Better safe than sorry is absolutely right. You won’t regret any of these purchases and it’s not many in any case.

    The only perfume I really love that I don’t have a FB of is Osmanthe Yunnan. I have 15mls though so it’s hard to do until I’ve used that up. Hmmmm.

    • I’d be interested to hear what you think on retrying No. 19. With Osmanthe Yunnan, I bet there isn’t too much danger of it being reformulated beyond recognition. Hermes seems to do better with that than most other companies.

  2. As long as you have your priorities straight. ;) (when being prepared)

    Btw, I went to Illamasqua to check for the lipstick and had a rather unpleasant surprise as it was closed. Seems nothing can survive in Croatia (Sephora closed as well a year or so ago).

  3. I LOVE the title! :-D
    Like Tara I too will be interested in knowing which version of no19 you end up with. I’m quite sure I need to try some pre-reformulation, though. I do worry for the perfumes that I haven’t yet bought, and definitely want. I was looking for a bottle of Nez a Nez atelier d’artiste, only to find that the whole line is impossible to get, and being Dc’ed everywhere. So they probably closed down. Which made me think that there’s another danger; that with the amount of new niche houses popping up all the time, some will also be closing. So we need to buy even more stuff ;-)

    • Buying things is the natural response to all disasters, right? ;) That’s a real shame about Nez a Nez, and I’m surprised that hasn’t been more widely publicized. I think you’re quite right about the competition in the niche market. It’s a small market, and there are a LOT of companies vying for customers.

  4. Like Tara, I was most amused at the doomy things your pre-IFRA scents might do to you…;) I have no idea which perfumes I own might be affected by the changes, and am in offloading rather than stocking up mode to be honest, but you have got me wondering if there is something I should get in just to be sure…Zelda is safe I hope? I am getting through that quite quickly and it was a small bottle to start with.

    Oh, when I was a kid, a friend of my mother’s was found to have 52 bags of sugar stashed in a wardrobe. There were a lot of strikes and power cuts around that time, but even so it seemed like a pretty excessive response to possible shortages. ;)

    • 52 bags!? That does seem to be extreme. But I suppose one could say the same about people with lots of perfume. And sugar’s cheaper. :)

      I thought about Zelda when I was making up this list, but decided that Envoyage seems to be pretty robust.

  5. I need to take a hard look at my collection and think if I need any back-up bottle… Or just a bottle (instead of a decant) – Bois de Isles, for example. But No 19… I probably do need a back-up of it. And I hate IFRA. I do not believe it’s done with our interests in mind. And in most European cities they still smoke all over the places! Go regulate that!

    • I think No. 19 is going on the chopping block. I don’t know why, but I just have a funny feeling it is about to be reformulated. And you are so right about the smoking. I’d much rather they addressed that than perfume allergens, even though I do think they should disclose what is in perfumes. I am allergic to a few, and if I knew what was in them, I could pinpoint what I’m allergic too, and that would be good.

  6. I keep hoping that something will cause people to finally rebel against the IFRA. But that would require the average perfume customer to really be aware of what they’ve lost and whose fault it is, and that does feel unlikely.

    Meanwhile, I’m sort of scared to buy any more of anything that I love–what if it’s already changed? Luckily, Himself has provided me with a quantity of No. 19 that will probably last me a lifetime, given my light wearing habits. The nervous part is whether to put some of it in the fridge. Or the freezer. Or a frozen vault. Or something.

    • I don’t really have a huge problem with IFRA, but I think they could achieve their goals (some of which are very good goals) much more intelligently than they are.

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