Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wine Fraud and Perfume Reformulation: A Distinction without a Difference?

Just when I think that I've finally laid my Reflections on Reformulation to rest once and for all, along comes Rudy Kurniawan to rehydrate all of the same puzzles and concerns once again.

Mr. Kurniawan first caught my eye in a recent New York Times article, in which he was exposed to public shame for I believe the very first time. The guy is a con artist and a shyster who fooled lots of people who thought that they knew a lot about wine. Some among his associates did not even believe the story when the fraud first came to light. Kurniawan had been using his home as a “laboratory” for the production of facsimiles of exorbitantly priced wines:

The photos showed reams of printed labels for some of the most expensive wines in the world, like Château Pétrus, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Château Lafleur, as well as corks, foils, rubber stamps with vintage dates and bottles that prosecutors said were being prepared as counterfeits.

Upon seeing the photographs, Kurniawan's friend and associate Paul Wasserman, who was in denial about the charges, finally lamented:

Once you see those pictures, you’re kind of like, O.K., game over...Today, I feel really stupid. Back then, there were always enough alternative narratives that were really plausible.

Yes, the radical underdetermination of theory by data strikes once again. This poignant little tale calls to mind the revelation to Holly Martins of his friend Harry Lime's crimes in Carol Reed's classic 1949 film, The Third Man. In that case, too, not until photographic evidence was produced that Lime had been conducting a racket involving penicillin in post-war Austria was his friend able to accept the regrettable truth.

Penicillin is not perfume, so why in the world did the case of Rudy Kurniawan make me think about perfume reformulation all over again? Because it is difficult, on its face, to understand how the brash, brazen reformulation of a once-classic perfume to a mere shadow, a muzak version, or a caricature of its former self does not, too, constitute an instance of fraud. Certainly the consumer seems to be made into a laughing stock in both cases.

Having recently re-read some of my reviews of reformulated versions of a few once-classic perfumes, Coty Muguet des Bois and Eméraude, Nina Ricca L'Air du Temps, and Worth Je Reviens, I realized that the disappointment I felt that these imposters were being sold under the same names as the perfumes which they had once been, may mask a deeper sentiment: righteous anger that I and so many other consumers have been robbed through a sinister form of false advertising.

We are told that these are great perfumes because they once were. People continue to buy these perfumes because they believe what they are told. Here is an example of how the ruse works. According to one online emporium, L'Air du Temps, now a reformulated disaster, is nonetheless and still:

an icon fragrance that upholds eternal values: peace, love, freedom. A timeless and refined fragrance with a strong personality.

Perfumistas have of course determined that the latest reformulations of all of these perfumes are something of a bad joke. So my question stands: Does this not constitute a case of fraud every bit as scandalous as Rudy Kurniawan's shameless heist in bottling cheap wine and fobbing it off for masterpieces at mindboggling prices?

One reason why perfume comes naturally to mind in thinking about wine is that both are products consumed by many people, and both come in a wide range of genres and at many different price levels. Most people who drink wine have never and will never spend $1,000 or even $100 on a single bottle of wine. Of course, in a world where many people have difficulty even locating potable water, it can hardly be said to be a violation of anyone's rights that the upper echelons of wine should be out of most people's financial reach.

Perhaps there is a sort of poetic justice in the fleecing of people who are able to spend so much money on wine in the first place. Perhaps that is precisely what Rudy Kurniawan thought as he amassed millions of dollars hob-nobbing with the rich and powerful while he secretly exposed—to no one but himself—that they, too, were really poseurs, at least when it came to wine.

Wine is a fascinating case to my mind because the range of prices is so much more vast than the range of prices for perfumes. This is why whenever I hear someone complaining about the price of perfume, I am able immediately to infer that he or she is not a wine connoisseur. It's almost laughable how inexpensive even the most costly perfume is next to the upper echelons of the sort of wine in which connoisseurs indulge. Do you really think that a $200 bottle of perfume which you may be able to wear one hundred times is expensive, when you can easily spend that much money on a single bottle of upper-mid-range wine to be consumed over the course of one meal? QED.

I have often puzzled over the disparity in pricing of all other luxury goods, as compared to perfume, and my best guess is that we are aided enormously by market-generated price control when it comes to perfume, because most people do appear to use it as a toiletry. When ordinary people purchase a perfume, it seems in their mind to be closer to a deodorant or a tube of toothpaste or a moisturizer than it does to a Rolex watch or a yacht.

We perfumistas may then benefit from the mass-market creation of a widely accepted notion of what constitutes a “normal” price for a perfume. Comparing a bottle which costs $20 to $200, then, it may seem “outrageous” that if the liquids are phenomenologically similar in quality, that one of them should cost ten times more than the other.

This is, of course, the basis of the complaints which people make about relatively expensive lines such as Amouage, Bond no 9, Creed, Boadicea the Victorious, and the über-expensive lines such as Clive Christian, and Xerjoff. I understand these complaints. If you can buy essentially the same perfume for $20 that you are being asked to pay $300 for, then it just seems plain stupid to do so. Just because you have some money does not mean that you want to throw it away.

At the same time, I don't think that there is anything wrong with companies charging whatever they wish for their perfumes. If a consumer does not think that a perfume is worth the price, then he will not buy it. End of story. There is no question of morality in these scenarios, it seems to me.

Reformulation, in contrast, raises some of the same vexing moral questions brought to the fore so colorfully by the case of Rudy Kurniawan. To see this, we need to reflect upon what exactly is supposed to be wrong with what this young man, age 36 at the time of his apprehension, did.

What's Wrong with Wine Fraud?

Some Known Knowns 


Wine: Rudy Kurniawan lied about the wines he sold at auctions to wealthy wine collectors. They were not what he claimed them to be.

Perfume: Do not houses in effect lie when they claim that a perfume is what the name suggests it to be, when in fact the bottles are filled with something entirely different?


Wine: Rudy Kurniawan intended to make a lot of money (and he did!) by bottling less-expensive wines and selling them at the prices which the rare wines which he claimed them to be command in today's market.

Perfume: Houses obviously reformulate perfumes such as Coty Muguet des Bois and Eméraude to drastically slash their production costs, after which they are sold in large volumes at low prices. The intention is to maximize profit. Rather than targeting a smaller niche with perfumes produced in smaller volumes at higher cost and sold to discriminating clientele, such drugstore reformulated classics are primarily sold to people who do not know very much about perfume.

Perfumistas, who are much better informed than the average consumer of perfume, are aware of the fact that such perfumes have been reformulated and bear very little resemblance to the perfumes which made the names famous in the first place. But the companies do not lie and deny that the perfumes have been reformulated. So where does the responsibility lie when someone who re-purchases what she thought was her beloved perfume and discovers that it has radically changed for the worse? Am I, not Guerlain, at fault in the case of My Ugly Divorce From Mitsouko?

Clearly there is at least one well-known distinction between the case of wine fraud and that of perfume reformulation. The former is illegal; the latter is not. Indeed, many houses now claim that it precisely in order to conform with restrictions imposed by the IFRA (International Fragrance Association) that they have been compelled to reformulate their perfumes. The houses, then, may sound like innocent victims in all of this. Is our anger that they should have reformulated our once-favorite perfumes misdirected?

My distinct impression is that most reformulations have not been undertaken in order to conform with the new IFRA standards. Certainly many have not, including all of those reformulations which were carried out before the IFRA issued its paternalistic directives intended, apparently, to aid people with allergies, though anyone who knows anyone with allergies is aware that they are basically the last people on the planet to perfume themselves.

So far we have not made much progress. After all, the legal distinction may simply mask a moral equivalence. For many centuries, slavery was legal. It did not become immoral when it was outlawed. Rather, it is because people recognized the immorality of slavery that it was finally outlawed.

Perhaps, then, perfume reformulation should be illegal, too, and it has simply taken longer for legislation to be developed regarding perfume than wine because many more people drink alcohol than use perfume. In fact, I think that there is a real distinction between the two cases, despite the fact that perfume reformulation may elicit righteous anger as well, whenever an unwitting consumer purchases a perfume under the assumption that it is what it was before.

What makes a Wine the Wine that it is?

To understand the difference between wine fraud and perfume reformulation, it may be helpful to think about the ontological differences between the two cases. Wines come in many different types: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, etc., etc. Perfumes, too, come in many different types: floral aldehyde, citrus cologne, leather chypre, aromatic fougère, floriental, fruity floral, aquatic, etc., etc.

Wine and perfume bear similarities to one another above all in this regard: the products of a particular vineyard are unique to it, just as the products of a particular perfume house are unique to it. Just as the wines which were being faked by Kurniawan were not actually produced by the vineyards he claimed, in the case of perfume fakes, some other agents are conducting themselves in the manner in which the wine shyster did. They buy bottles and labels and liquids and put the whole production together so as to trick consumers (usually on e-bay, these days) into buying their pseudo-Chanels, pseudo-Creeds, etc.

In the case of perfume reformulation, in contrast, the sole act of deception is the use of the name of a perfume with a new formula when it used to be the name of a perfume with the former (classic) formula.

The recent and bizarre case of Christian Dior's renaming of Miss Dior and Miss Dior Chérie offers a telling lesson for our investigations. 

Dior has relabeled as Miss Dior L'originale what used to be known as Miss Dior. At the same time, the perfume formerly known as Miss Dior Chérie has been renamed Miss Dior. This absurdly incoherent managerial decision on the part of some nincompoop at Dior has received a lot of attention and negative criticism from perfumistas.

However, I believe that for the first time in perfume history, LVMH has actually done something positive (albeit unwittingly...) for the world of perfume. What they have done is to illustrate the autocratic prerogative of houses to name whatever they produce whatever they wish to call it. By this strange renaming of their perfumes, Dior has made it abundantly clear and virtually unforgettable to us perfumistas that the perfume houses are capable, in their own narrowly circumscribed domain, of making it the case that
2 + 2 = 5!

Houses have this god-like prerogative because they alone are privy to the recipes of their perfumes. If they want to change those recipes, they are free to do so, and there is nothing that anyone can do about it. It is not clear that it is even in principle possible to do anything about it, because the secret ingredient of every perfume is “parfum”, which contains such small amounts of the key (identity-making) components that the companies are not required to list them individually, because no one who produces anything is required to list such tiny quantities on the labels of their products.

What is interesting about the case of wine production is that there is no real analogue to perfume reformulation because the names of wines are intrinsically tied up with the years of their production. The quality of a particular lot of wine is essentially determined by its ingredients: how they have been handled and produced, including the nature of the grapes of the particular harvest used. Yes, winemakers do things to their wines to produce certain effects, but the basic ingredients themselves change from year to year.

The house of Demeter produced in 2009 a series of Vintage Natural perfumes (Geranium, Lavender, Mimosa, Patchouli, and Rose) which embrace and extol this very feature of wine, making a virtue of the uniqueness imparted to any perfume by the particular “harvest” from which its natural components derive.

There is no possibility that these perfumes will ever be reproduced by Demeter, because the names of the perfumes contain the year in which they were produced. It would be impossible to re-produce the 2009 Vintage Natural perfumes in 2012, because the components would not derive from 2009 but from 2012.

By producing these perfumes, Demeter underscored the similarities between wine and perfume. In reality, what Demeter says about its 2009 Vintage Natural perfumes should apply to every natural perfume, though many houses continue to produce what they claim to be the same perfume under the same name, admitting in some cases that there will be slight variations from batch to batch.

In the case of reformulations of perfume labeled in the same way but the formulas of which have been intentionally changed, it seems that there is a trick being played upon the consumer. While it may be that many of us perfumistas are aware of reformulations, it seems quite clear that ordinary consumers often are not. Thus many people continue dutifully to buy readily and cheaply available drugstore Guerlain Shalimar under the assumption that it is indeed a great perfume.

This is the sense in which I believe that perfume reformulation can approach the sort of moral fraud committed by shysters such as Rudy Kurniawan. Still, houses are free to call whatever they produce whatever they like, as Christian Dior so brashly and shamelessly demonstrated in renaming Miss Dior Chérie as Miss Dior and Miss Dior as Miss Dior L'Originale. At the same time, Dior has been, it seems, regularly reformulating all of its perfumes, so in the end, all bets are off when you buy what you hope to be a second or third bottle of a perfume which you once loved, and their renaming of these perfumes serves as a handy reminder of all of this.

The world of wine and the world of perfume are distinct in at least this way: reformulation is not possible in the former as it is in the latter case. To call a wine produced in 2012 in Rudy Kurniawan's home laboratory a 1985 Château Pétrus Pomerol—which, by the way, retails as of today at 4pm EST for $2,412.94—is simply and utterly a lie.

Interestingly enough, Kurniawan was tripped up through a series of unbelievably amateurish errors, including this one, reported by Decanter.com:

The case against Rudy Kurniawan is that in 2008 he consigned at auction some 84 bottles purporting to be from Domaine Ponsot in Burgundy, including one from 1929, which was impossible as the estate did not begin bottling until 1934.

Let's see, the money used to buy a bottle of 1985 Château Pétrus Pomerol could be used instead to purchase ten bottles of niche perfume. Is the price of perfume too high? I think not. Do you get what you pay for? Yes, indeed. But the rules for perfume admit the form of marketing deception known as “reformulation,” for whatever reasons a house may deem fit, and this is why it is important to be ever vigilant in buying famous-name perfumes.

We should first determine whether our beloved perfume has been reformulated, and if it has, we should exercise caution by testing before we re-buy. If it turns out to be yet another case of a drastic and crass reformulation, where a once-great perfume has been reduced to something akin to paint thinner, then it is time for us to move on.

Fortunately—or not—new perfumes are being launched faster than breeding rabbits, which of course raises the problem of locating the new classics, if there be any such things.... As for me, I console myself with the existence of a few good bottles of discontinued perfumes, the likes of Guerlain Mahora and Kenzo L'Eléphant Jungle, which have thus been spared the chemist-accountant scalpels now carrying out their carnage at most of the big houses.

In conclusion, perfume reformulation is not akin to wine fraud; it's a different sort of beast.

Caveat Emptor!!!!!


  1. lovely insightful article Shera :)) adrienn99

  2. This article has needed to be written for so long, thanks Shera Pop! You make a great defense for charging even Xerjoff, and Amouage prices for perfume, but as somebody who drinks $10-15 bottles of wine, and can find delicious dry reds in that range I still reserve the right to be very demanding and critical at a lower price range for perfume :D

    So we have a new "vintage seller hoax"--I thought of this particular case when I saw the name of your article:


    Unfortunately I feel a bit smug in saying that some rich collectors who open those knockoff "precious vintage" bottles and drink them to oblivion, enjoying the taste all the time are hardly being ripped off, even if I fully agree that the fraud is wrong and deserves criminal punishment. It's a very different image of a "victim consumer" from one who buys a bottle of perfume that one knows head to tail only to spray oneself with paint thinner. I would love to read unpaid blind reviews by professional testers of these fraudulent vintages--should be just as fun and informative as reading hundreds of amateur perfume reviews that say "Doesn't smell like I remember but maybe my chemistry changed" and "I used to like it, but it smells different, maybe I purchased a bad bottle?"

    1. Welcome back, Kastehelmi, and thank you very much for your comments.

      I chuckled when I read the article you linked. I agree with you: a little bit of Schadenfreude is irresistible in these cases!!! (-; It would be really interesting to subject some of these folks to blind testing reviews. In some ways, that's what Rudy Kuriawan did. I'm sure that all of the people whom he fleeced are outraged, but at the same time (like the guy cited above, Paul Wasserman), very embarrassed!

      But you're right: they paid the price and if they drank the wine, which has therefore disappeared, there doesn't seem to be anything really to do about the matter. The bottles which are still unopened in people's caves can of course be demonstrated to be frauds. But the empty bottles? What are the "injuries" suffered by those who consumed that wine?

      In some ways it's similar to art fraud more generally. Very good fakes of paintings are empirically indistinguishable to even the discriminating eye. So why is a fake worth nearly nothing, when the original can command millions of dollars?

      I, too, have found excellent wines--and perfumes!--at quite reasonable prices, and we shall continue to do so, I am sure!

      Thank you again for stopping by, Kastehelmi. It's always a pleasure to read your insights!

  3. It would seem that certain houses are beginning to view the titles of their perfumes much in the way that auto manufactures view the names of their cars. Ford can offer the Mustang, and feel that they are retaining the cachet of that title, while at the same time, feeling free to change what's offered under that title at will.

    The difference is that with cars, the changes are easily visible to the purchaser, while perfume makers clearly hope to conceal the changes they make.

    Yet appear to feel justified ( as do car makers ) in offering their reformulated product under the same name.

    1. Hello, Bob, and welcome back! Very nice to see you around these parts.

      Yes, the name of a formerly lauded product--or even an entire house--becomes the foundation of a marketing strategy. From a business perspective, it seems entirely rational. For those running the financial end of businesses, the ultimate goal is obviously to maximize profits. This explains how and why a company--whether a manufacturer of cars or perfumes--may try to strike a balance between costs and quality and thereby fundamentally transform the identity of the products which they peddle.

      In some cases, such as the reformulated former Coty classics now sold for about $10 in huge volumes at drugstores, the company opts for volume sales of what are essentially bottled solvents. In a case such as Estée Lauder, the MSRPs are kept fairly low so as to pull in much of the middle-class housewife niche. In the case of many niche houses, quality of components is a governing concern--regardless of the prices which the final perfumes may command (think By Kilian, for example). Such houses cater to more discriminating consumers who are willing to pay much more for perfume than the average consumer.

      All of these are business decisions, in the end, and Dior's recent renaming of their perfumes is simply a reminder to us that perfume-making, at least in the form to which we have access, is a business no less than is car manufacturing.

      I do stand by my ridicule of the Dior renaming move, because I can easily imagine scores of people buying the wrong perfume and being utterly appalled. Someone who sets out to buy Miss Dior and ends up with the perfume formerly known as Miss Dior Chérie is bound to return it--and that is going to cut into the house's profits. Strawberries and popcorn? Fine if that's what you were looking for, but if you were really looking for the perfume formerly known as Miss Dior, then you're bound to be unpleasantly surprised!

      Thank you so much for your comment, Bob. Please drop by again soon! (-;

  4. Hi Shera Pop, thank you for this article. Yes there's poetic justice when poseurs get their desert. And a person who buys a classic just for the sake of buying a classic without relying on their senses is a poseur as well. At least in my eyes. Especially when they get judgemental about other people's perfume choices. (Here it comes: Schadenfreude) But when a person gets tricked as you did in the case of Mitsouko they have my sympathy. I agree, it's abusive. And it makes me think about all the great houses. Chanel, Dior etc should stand for culture and tricking people is certainly not a sign of culture. I also think that the Miss Dior case shows how little perfume houses care about their products nowadays. And that one should never shop by the brand :))
    I do not consider myself a perfumista. I am a curious skeptic who just happens to like perfume. When I first tried Mitsouko a year ago I did not understand all the raving about it on other sites. To me it smelled disgusting. I perceived it just the way you described it above. So I shrugged my shoulders, threw the paper slip into the trash can and left the store, thinking that maybe something was wrong with my nose. Maybe I had ruined it with my love for sniffing gourmand perfumes. (Reading your text I felt confident again. My senses work properly. Thank you for that, Shera. And I trust you when you say that it used to be a good perfume.) Furthermore the same holds true for L'Air du Temps. I bought a little bottle with a voucher. It's a bad perfume now. That was my impression. (Even my boyfriend found it so, and he is not interested in perfume at all.) So people who go on raving about this reformulated version are poseurs to me.
    I come to my conclusion: I am extremely careful with the so called classics. I tend to give newer releases a chance. And I may try niche one day. Maybe ...
    Thank you for your honesty and your open-mindedness,
    Girasole (parfumo.net)

    1. Hello, Girasole, and welcome to the salon!

      I really appreciate your remarks and agree with you on nearly every point! (that's a first (-;) Yes, shopping by brand is dangerous. I used to do that with Guerlain, back in the twentieth century, but by now I've learned my lesson. A comparison of the circa Y2K Aqua Allegoria series with the more recent launches bearing the same series name demonstrates the point: things have really changed chez Guerlain...

      As for the "poseurs" who continue to drink the koolaid, so to speak, to be honest, I'm not at all sure how to distinguish the people who really believe that the current version of Mitsouko is a masterpiece from those who are merely parroting the words of "experts" who have identified the original Mitsouko as a masterpiece. I just cannot tell, and there is so much variation in what people like in perfume, that it is entirely possible that some people do truly love the new Mitsouko. Good for them: they can have all of it!

      I definitely agree with you on looking for options in the new launches. There are so many of them, that there must be some winners in the lot! And at least one knows that there is no reformulation in those cases. So if you like a new perfume, you're safe--for the moment...

      I have been steering clear of the twentieth century launches praised by others but which I never tried before under the assumption that the new bottles contain entirely different juice. One happy exception that I recently acquired was a bottle of "limited edition vintage re-release" of Byblos, which allowed me to experience this perfume as those who praise it did twenty years ago. But I am fairly sure that had I bought one of the regular bottles it would have been either grossly reformulated or possibly stale or degraded, especially given that it is a very fruity composition, and in my experience fruits tend not to hold up well stored for years--or even decades--on the shelves of warehouses run by discount emporia.

      Thank you so much for contributing to this discussion. It's very refreshing to read someone who trusts only her nose!

      P.S. Nice name! (-;

  5. I was directed to your post by a Basenotes reader when I remarked that there ought to be a law requiring that reformulations be noted on the packaging. My solution was to require that fragrance companies use similar indications as placed on software: version changes for formula changes greater than 2% (v1.0 would become v2.0 if the formula changed more than 2%) and for alterations of less than 2%, the edition number would change (v1.0 would become v1.1 with a change of less than 2%). The numbers wouldn't have to be huge and conspicuous. They could simply be placed on the back of the box and bottle.

    My feeling is the same as yours - reformulations, without appropriate indication, constitute fraud. If the original vintners poured new wine into bottles marked 1935, no one would question that the consumer had been misled and defrauded.

    Similarly, a fraud also occurs with when a fragrance company pours a new formula into a bottle designed to imply that it is the original fragrance. Even soap companies know to slap on the words "new and improved" to indicate a formula change.

    But the fragrance industry attempts to just slip by, with consumers none the wiser until they open their packages and discover that their treasured favorite no longer smells like it once did.

    1. Hello, LA2000, and thanks so much for sharing your ideas on this topic.

      Yes, I agree that it would be decent of the companies to make explicit that the perfume has undergone significant (detectable) changes, but I doubt that this will ever happen because they are trying to play both sides simultaneously: they wish to sell bottles to the devotees of the original while also selling bottles to newer consumers with tastes more in line with the "modern" formulation.

      I don't know whether you saw my other post on this topic, "Reflections on Reformulation," but I compared the case of Drumstick ice cream cones to what has happened to perfume. The big difference in the two cases is that the key ingredient of perfume is "parfum", which contains tiny percentages of stuff, so companies are not required to reveal what they are. But you are right: if the mystery ingredient "parfum" has been changed, it seems fair to consumers to let them know!

      I'm leaning toward a new policy of no longer purchasing any reformulated perfumes. There are plenty of excellent brand-new launches from the niche houses to keep me busy. Why bother myself with the disappointment likely to ensue through buying a new bottle of Diorissimo or Allure or whatever other perfume I used to like, only to discover that it's no longer great?

      Thank you again for your input!

  6. Dear Sherapop,
    Your article is great! It screams with agony and dissatisfaction, not being afraid to name and shame the liars many perfume houses have become. Lately, more and more often companies joy ride on the famous and well established (and well reputed) names of perfumes that once were created in order for people to buy them. The saddest thing to me is that while those of us aware of these fraudulent actions do our research and are cautious when buying the so called "classics", many people can't tell the difference and are thereby fooled into thinking that what they are presented with is in fact an original. An obvious and inexplicable lie.
    What do you think about the new reformulation laws to come into force in 2014? I still can't find any information on which particular juices will be affected. It's becoming increasingly difficult not only to find good quality fumes, but also to have faith in a brand you are buying and reassurance that the same juice will still smell the same the next time you decide to purchase it.


    1. Hello, Milkyway, and welcome to the salon de parfum!

      Yes, I'm afraid that I cannot hide my disappointment with what has transpired in recent years in the perfume world. I've reached the point where I simply do not believe in the ability of great perfumes to survive. Their names are used by companies shamelessly to market much lower-quality fragrances. My trust of the big companies has been permanently disrupted, and for that reason I only seek out new perfumes today. If I fall in love with something, then I am happy for the time being. Once it is gone, then I'll have to move on...

      Here today, gone tomorrow: Perhaps we should simply enjoy our new experiences of new perfumes and not agonize over those which no longer exist. It is frustrating, of course, to hear people talking animatedly about muzak-reformulations as though they were masterpieces, but that just goes to show how impressionable people really are...

      As for the impending reformulation laws, I must confess that I still don't know enough about them. Will perfumers who flout them be subject to criminal prosecution? My understanding is that as of right now the IFRA is the perfume industry's self-regulatory organization. What I do not know is whether there are any sanctions in place for refusing to abide by their "guidelines"... Do you know?

      Anyway, whatever happens, I'm sticking with my new policy of testing fresh, new perfumes, having resigned myself to the reality that these creations are bound to be ever more mortal, so to speak.

      Thank you for stopping by, Milkyway, I hope to read you here again!


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