Oscar de la Renta review

The worst reformulation?  Oscar de la Renta perfume. The modern  Oscar is screechy and artificial smelling.  It is hard to identify any notes and it certainly does not smell of tuberose.  It was off the radar, not advertised and losing space at the department store fragrance counters.

I would never have noticed it except in my never ending quest for more vintage Ruffles perfume, I bought a mini in a lot with other Oscar de la Renta minis.  Oscar was my mother’s signature scent and I bought many bottles of it over the years, but she wore the EDT.

The Perfume is a whole other animal.  Rich yet balanced, this is a tuberose, but not a soliflore.  It is sweet without being candied, sexy without being skanky.    Several reviewers have called this “clean” but that is probably the lack of musk and a sort of minerally note.  It is completely free of all of the “fresh”  notes that are in modern “clean” fragrances.   Lasting power is good.

Notes, cribbed from Fragrantica:

Top:  Orange blossom, basil, coriander, galbunum, peach and gardenia

Heart: Ylang-ylang, jasmine, tuberose, rose, rosemary, cyclamen, lavender and orchid

Base: opoponox, carnation, patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver, lavender, and amber.

Oscar won the Fifi in 1978.  It would not win it now.

The EDT has suffered much less.  In vintage or modern, it is quite different from the perfume.  Powdery and spicy and a bit sweet but not tooth-achingly so, it is pleasant, if not great, and certainly at least as nice as most of the newer powdery department store fragrances.

Oscar de la Renta is available at Macy’s, Ulta and Dillards.  Vintage can be found, for a price, on the evilbay and is worth looking for at estate sales.  My review is based on three different minis from three different sellers.

And Esprit d’Oscar?  Very similar beautiful bottle, different fragrance.  Light, floral and powdery, it makes a good office scent and is not overpowering.  It is vaguely floral and has just a hint of tuberose.   It is also different from the EDT and is not spicy.  Esprit d’Oscar can be found at various department stores.

  • Teri says:

    I have to reach out and give a virtual hug to a fellow Ruffles lover (it’s probably me you’re bidding agianst on e-bay for those vintage bottles!).

    I just don’t understand why it had such a short life, it was such a lovely spicy floral. I guess it just didn’t appeal to the usual OdlR crowd.

    I never wore the original Oscar, but it was one of those scents that I always enjoyed encountering on others. It’s truly sad that they’ve butchered it and made it screechy. What an awful fate indeed.

  • marsha says:

    Oscar EDT was my first serious ‘fume. Back in the late ’70’s. (I’m dating myself here!) I thought it was absolutely wonderful!! I still have a bottle of Ruffles that I purchased from back then; however it is also a EDT. You can email me if you would like to talk further.

  • CM says:

    The EDT has indeed suffered. I have a lovely vintage bottle from my mom (she wore it, my grandmother wore it, and I wore it back in the 1980’s) and the scent is soft, warm rounded green tubi. The perfume was similar, with a bit more oomf. I recently purchased the EDT and immediately went scrubbing. It’s harsh and in your face and artificial smelling. The two side by side are nothing alike other than I can detect the tuberose in both. One I’d wear. The modern… Not so much.

  • FragrantWitch says:

    At one time in my late teens/early twenties, I adored Oscar, I think it was the EDT as it was more powdery than rich tuberose. I’m glad to hear that the EDT has survived largely unscathed but sorry to hear that the perfume has been mutilated. I HATE when that happens- looking at you L’air du Temps!