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.