Why Are Fragrances Discontinued

Most people have at least one or more fragrances that they thoroughly enjoy. Sometimes, when the bottle of that fragrance runs out, you discover that one of your favorite fragrances has been discontinued.

The main reasons for why a fragrance is discontinued are these: when the fragrance in question underperforms in sales, when key ingredients become scarce or unavailable, or when certain ingredients are prohibited to be used in perfumery. 

Even though discontinuations are sad, they do happen. Sometimes, a well-loved fragrance just disappears. In this article, I’ll dive deeper into why this happens and how this may be remedied.

Why Do Companies Discontinue (Popular) Fragrances?

As mentioned above, companies have their reasons to stop producing popular fragrances or fragrances in general. One of the issues can be a decline in the popularity of the scent. A bunch of fragrances came out decades ago. Back then, there might have been a huge demand for it, but now, when time has passed, the fragrance might not be as popular as it used to be.

Because of the profitability of the company they decide to not produce the fragrance anymore. The company can also decide to stop producing a fragrance because it is outdated. What was a popular scent back in 2000 for example, doesn’t have to be popular now. Times are changing, and so are customer demands.

Another reason as mentioned before is ingredients becoming scarce. The scents of a perfume can be much different with even the slightest alterations to the formula. This makes it paramount for the manufacturers to use the exact same amount of every single ingredient.

If at any point, a key ingredient becomes scarce, much more expensive, or outright forbidden to be used, you can imagine that the perfume itself can no longer be produced the way it used to.

Most of the time when a company finds out the ingredients are no longer obtainable at the usual location, they either fly them in from somewhere else or try an alternative ingredient for their formula. But this will never make the fragrance as it used to be. If the company isn’t able to find the solution they discontinue the fragrance.

One more explanation is also linked to ingredients. Fragrance manufacturers state that their fragrances have 100% natural ingredients. But for the safety of your body, the ingredients are checked. If the fragrance/ingredient fails the test, then the company is not allowed to sell the fragrance. It is possible that your fragrance was released a long time ago when there were different rules in place. Back then, a certain ingredient might have been legal, but nowadays, it isn’t.

There is also the fact that the way the fragrance was produced can be a bit outdated. In the course of time, specific ingredients won’t do the same job they did several years ago. Manufacturers keep changing their methods to produce the fragrances. The results can be different. For this, certain fragrances are discontinued.

Lastly, it can happen that the ingredients cannot be traded due to the laws of certain countries or areas. Adding to this is that some ingredients are becoming endangered. Certain types of musks, coming from whales, are no longer legal to use in your fragrances. This can also apply to floral notes or other animalic notes. With the prohibition of these notes, the perfume will either be discontinued or reformulated.

Examples Of Popular Fragrances That Are Discontinued

Seeing your favorite fragrances being discontinued can be quite sad. Especially if you didn’t know it was discontinued beforehand. Here are some examples of popular fragrances for men that got discontinued.

  • Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit De l’Homme Frozen Cologne
  • Yves Saint Laurent M7
  • Yves Saint Laurent M7 Fresh
  • Gucci Pour Homme I and II
  • Versace Versus Uomo
  • Gucci Envy For Men
  • Prada Luna Rossa Extreme
  • Dior Fahrenheit Aqua

For almost all of these fragrances, the exact reason for discontinuation is unclear. As a company, you don’t really want to tell the fans of a fragrance that you discontinued it because it didn’t make enough money. Now, this isn’t always the case, of course.

Some people believe fragrances like Gucci Pour Homme I and II are being reformulated, only to appear on the market again. If you’re interested in reading more about why fragrances are reformulated, you can check out this article I wrote over here: ‘Why Are Fragrances Reformulated‘.

Most discontinued fragrances don’t get the honor of knowing why they’re discontinued. Many people on forums speculate as to why, but as long as the company stays silent, the real reason will be unknown.

Can You Still Purchase Discontinued Fragrances

So the fragrance that you adored is gone. You can’t buy it anymore in retail. You might be wondering if there are still other ways to get your discontinued fragrance. Well, there are websites that offer your discontinued fragrances.  How do you find them?

Online is most certainly the only way to get a discontinued fragrance. One thing you could try is an online auction. These sites can find your outdated fragrance or anything that is vintage. And the benefits of an auction is that you might get away with a great deal. There are also resellers on sites as eBay that will try to make you pay a ridiculous amount of money for their fragrance, so be careful when treading here.

You can also try to find fragrance discounters. There are many discounters/outlets that sell only discontinued fragrances. Just make sure you have a verified discounter. You don’t want to end up being scammed. I wrote another article about the best fragrance discounters. You can read all about the best fragrance discounters over here!

And if the auction or discounters don’t work out as you hoped you can always try to find a replacement for your fragrance. Look up the notes and other peoples thoughts and opinions about the fragrance and start searching for fragrances that match these things. At last, you can always try to contact the manufacturer or the retailer. They can provide you the service to help you find your replacement.

Things To Look Out For When Purchasing Discontinued Fragrances

Before you buy a discontinued fragrance, there are some things you should keep in mind. First of all, discontinued fragrances can contain illegal/banned ingredients. As said before, some fragrances are discontinued because some ingredients are not safe anymore or just not allowed in some areas. So be careful with buying a discontinued fragrance. You don’t want to harm yourself.

Discontinued fragrances are often stored in warehouses after being discontinued. It might happen that during this sit, the fragrance was exposed to too much heat, light, or any other factor. These things can damage the fragrance and break apart the molecules. This leads to the fragrance smelling a bit off. However, this rarely happens, as most discontinued fragrances are sold by individual sellers. These people want to make a nice profit, so they take good care of the fragrance.

Many have experienced or know someone who has been scammed with online shopping. There are resellers out and about trying to sell you a fake discontinued fragrance. Before you pay for the fragrance, take a good look at the fragrance, the packaging, the shape of the bottle etcetera. Your fragrance being discontinued is unfortunate, but getting scammed is even worse, especially if you pay a premium.

You Can Also Look At Decants

Instead of purchasing a full bottle for a probably much higher price, you can also look at fragrance decants. A fragrance decant is a small bottle filled up with a certain fragrance. There are a bunch of different decant sellers, and many of them are large websites.

There is a good chance you’ll find a discontinued fragrance over at a large decant seller. These large decant sellers purchase a bunch of fragrances, and when they hear a certain fragrance is going to be discontinued, they make sure to stock up on them, as the demand for these fragrances will rise.

If you’re interested in learning more about decant sellers and would like to know my preferred decant webshops, you can read this article I wrote over here!

Jasper Pieterse

Hi, my name is Jasper and I've been a long time fragrance fan. Ever since 2014, I started to get a huge interest in fragrances and I've had my nose on countless of different fragrances. I'm excited to share my experiences!

Recent Posts