You can’t go back: Zibeline de Weil

Well this one has been a long time coming. I’ve actually had the sample of vintage Zibeline that I got from Surrender to Chance for almost a year now, and have been dabbing little pin pricks of it here and there when I needed a little lift. The vintage stuff was created in 1928 by Claude Fraysse and I wrote about it in doubtless exhaustive detail here. What I didn’t know was that there was a reissue that according to the interwebs was in 2010 and noted as a “pleasant Oriental feminine floral” (at least they left off “fruity.”).  While the original wows you with the aldehydes, tarragon, and coriander seed before getting into the white florals, this one opens with a rather acrid plum combined with what smells to me like cilantro, the green result of coriander seed sprouting, which to so many tastes like eating soap. It’s not to say that it’s not interesting, and this new Zibeline is certainly wearable once the opening calms down a bit. A nice, plummy floral. I am not thrilled with it but since I got it dirt cheap I don’t feel like I got ripped off. What it is not however is Zibeline- smelling the vintage from StC on one wrist and the reissue on another is like watching the Gus van Sant remake of “Psycho”- you can appreciate it for the effort but have to wonder why they bothered.

I do wish that companies would stop doing this. Surely there are other names they can hook their products to. I don’t think it’s like there are loads of people who would have been consumers of the original around to compare it (unlike, say, the original Miss Dior), but invite the comparison it does. And the new Zibeline does not compare favorably to the old. Which is why, I suppose, I was able to score a cheap sealed bottle on eBay.

Have you tried this one? The old one? Let us know in the comments.

Zibeline (new) is out there on the interwebs anywhere from $40 – $150 for 1.7 OZ. I got mine off eBay. Surrender to Chance has samples of the original, which is where I got mine.

Photos are mine and Pexels.

  • Jill (rockinruby) says:

    You may (or may not) recall that Secret de Venus – Zibeline is my all time holy grail, and that I have a bit of an obsession with the house of Weil. No matter. They have always done this nonsense: trade on the well-known name for maximum visibility. For big, fat instance, Secret de Venus – Zibeline smelled pretty much nothing like Zibeline. Weil made a bath and body oil line of glorious smelling stuff and used the names of their successful perfumes (Zibeline, Antilope, Cassandra, Noir), but the resemblance to those ‘fumes was negligible. (Well, maybe except for Noir. I always thought the Secret de Venus oil of Noir still smelled kind of like Noir. But not the other ones.)

    Anyway, the name of Weil on any product today bears no real meaning. The house of Weil has not been the house of Weil in a very long time. Whoever bought the name is only likely to make a buck by recycling the names of their successful products. Hence your weird modern Zibeline.

    I’m glad you kind of like it! If I recall Maria (Bitter Grace) really liked it, too. Me, I’m a vintage girlie, so give me all of the leather and civet and castoreum and ambergris you can find (not all at once, please), and I will leave the sparkly new versions on the shelf.

    • Tom says:

      Oh I definitely prefer the original.

      My mom wore Antilop. I haven’t smelled in it forever.

  • Portia says:

    This grinds my gears too Tom. Clearly they are too witless and lack all creativity. Chuck an old name on any old swill. GAH! A**HOLES. Miss Dior, Trussardi donna, Caron Tabac Blond, this and many others. Teeth gnashing as I type.
    Just change the name even slightly. Add 2.0 on the end.
    Sorry your beauty has not made a good transition.
    Portia xx

  • March says:

    Yeah, how about picking a completely different name? The vintage name won’t mean anything to anyone except perfumistas, and they’ll just be annoyed by the disconnect.

    • Tom says:

      Better yet, bring back the real deal. I am convinced it would sell.

      • March says:

        Well I am with you there! Stick a big fat black box label on there saying YOUR ARM MAY FALL OFF and let me at it! Pretty sure smoking and booze have killed loads more people than banned fragrance ingredients.

  • Maya says:

    I went back and read your first review on this. I enjoyed it as much this time around. I wanted to try the vintage, then forgot about when a few new shiny things caught my attention. This time I will try it. It’s no secret that I love vintage perfumes!
    I agree with Dina C that when companies reissue an old changed beauty they should give it a new name. I think it’s insulting that they don’t.

  • Dina C. says:

    I haven’t tried either either version. The old one sounds interesting; the new one, not so much. I totally am with you on wishing that companies would please come up with a new name for a changed scent! How about Baby Zee, or Zee 2.0? Just kidding kinda.

    • Tom says:

      The new one isn’t bad at all. It’s just that the old one isn’t so unattainable that you won’t be able to compare them if you want to.

      I like Baby Zee!

  • Maggiecat says:

    As I recall, Zibeline the perfume was derived from the Zibeline that was designed to scent furs (which could smell a bit musty on their own). I’m fascinated with the idea of vintage perfumes and love reading about them. I’d love to smell them, but I’m not sure I could wear them. Maybe I need to do more research…?

    • Tom says:

      You are correct- they are. I think they had one foreach kind of fur at one point. Wear them? I would. But you should hit up Surrender to Chance and find out.

  • cinnamon says:

    Hmmm, strange that they would even think of reissuing this. But your post sent me off down the rabbit hole looking for a sample of People of the Labyrinth Luctor et Emergo which I’ve been wanting to try for years but discovered is long gone. Even samples hard to find. I’d actually appreciate it if that was reissued.

    • Tom says:

      I remember that one! LeE was just the biggest thing out there for a while. Unfortunately on me it smelled exactly like the children’s toy Play-Doh. DIdn’t get almonds, didn’t get cherry, didn’t get musk. 100% Play-Doh 100% of the time.

      And now 1/2 full bottles are asking $750 on eBay.

      • cinnamon says:

        Seriously? On eBay? I hope no one, and I mean no one, goes for that. Would be just desserts.