In the previous post I talked about the radical transformation of Halston’s 1-12 and Z-14, now reduced to a scent that probably wouldn’t pass the dollar store knockoff test, meaning that they don’t smell much like the original versions. In the case of 1-12 that comes from personal experience, whereas with Z-14 I am taking the word of Basenotes.net members who have found the latest, non-oakmoss version to be unacceptable. If you like these two new formulations, that’s fine, but my only suggestion is to try some dollar store scents and see if you might be better served by buying a dozen of those rather than one Z-14 or 1-12 bottle. I know that I’d take the dozen without a second thought.
In the case of the two Miglin scents, we see the opposite, which are two incredible “powerhouse” scents that you can still obtain at low prices. As I write this I notice that there is a new 100 ml bottle of the M Men Sandalwood scent for less that $35 total (and you also get a 9 ounce bottle of hydrating balm as well)! And there’s a new 100 ml Pheromone for Men at less than $34 (both are buy it now auctions). Why spend $10-15 on what is essentially a knockoff (ir that) when you can spend a little more for one of these? If you could spend $1000 more and buy a Lamborghini rather than the least expensive Hyundai, would you do it (all else being equal)?
Unfortunately, few among the aficionado (or “wannabe” aficionado) crowd seem to know about scents like the Miglins, from what I’ve read over the years, especially at Basenotes. There is much more talk about the “feminine,” Mitsouko, for example, than there is about this powerful “masculine” chypre, Pheromone for Men. Rather than Mitsouko’s strong peach note, Pheromone features a unique “green” quality. When I was young we lived next to an empty lot that was overgrown with weeds and while this scent does not smell exactly like that, it does evoke that quality. It’s not sharp, like violet leaf notes, nor does it have the “solidity” of galbanum, bur rather it’s got just some softness to it that complements the chypre base very well.
Sure, it’s not for everyone, being terribly “dated” in some ways, though it’s only slightly animalic, compared to Kouros, for example. With M Men Sandalwood, they seem to have diluted Pheromone about 50% and added a mild but very good sandalwood note. This makes it better suited to warmer weather and to me, more dynamic. I’m not a huge fan of Mitsouko-like chypres mainly because they seem to have very simple dynamism that just goes on for hours. The chypres of the 1970s (I’m thinking mostly of the “feminine” ones) seem to have solved that problem, though at the expense of being rather harsh, especially to contemporary sensibilities. I’ve had to wear them a few times before I could begin to enjoy them !
I wish I knew the economics of some scents, especially these two Migllin ones as well as Z-14 and 1-12, though with the latter I’d want to know how the newest formulations sell, and I think that would require waiting until the old formulations are almost all gone and 99% of the public that is using one of these two have only the newest formulation. Do more “sophisticated” buyers purchase the Miglins whereas the “rabble” go for the Halstons? I doubt it is this simple, but the difference between something like the latest 1-12 and these two Miglins is so vast it’s hard to imagine the same person owning both bottles. Perhaps he got one as a gift but couldn’t wrap his mind around it and never wears it or just “regifted” it. In any case, if you want strong, high-quality ingredients in rather “old school” compositions, I suggest you put your Chanel and Guerlain dreams aside and consider these two “ass-kickers.” You will pay about what the latest formulation Caron “masculines” cost but get clearly superior ingredients, IMO.
NOTE: I have no affiliation with Miglin nor any company. I try to “call them as I see them,” but as I’ve mentioned before, my sensitivity changes somewhat over time (back and forth), though lately it’s been in a fairly tight range. In this case, low-quality ingredients often cause me major problems when my sensitivity is high. When that happens the “laundry” or other modern musks really smell terrible and overbearing, and Iso E Super is migraine-inducing (at least in the scents that contain a great deal of it). If this kind of thing happens to you, I suggest you refrain from wearing such scents for two weeks if not more. If you find yourself craving the scent, then go ahead and wear it, but at least wait until you have some desire to do so before going back to it within a short period of time. Take the cap off and smell it that way first, and only wear it if it doesn’t bother you at all.