martedì 29 novembre 2016

SAMSARA, the Legend.




Hello!
This is my first solo post at "Raiders of the Lost Scent" and the first chapter of a small bunch of fragrances that changed my life. 
I'd like to start with one of my favourite scents since I was a teen: "Samsara" by Guerlain, one of the most spectacular exhibitions of Jasmine and Sandalwood ever created: in my opinion, it's a scent near perfection, and it was an instant love.
I don't want to write a book about Samsara, since you can find huge amount of infos on the net, so this will be a sort of "pictorial review" through the years.
There are five chapters:
- 1 - Time-sheet (a sort of "order of appearance");
- 2 - "Reformulations"; 
- 3 - How to identify boxes and bottles;
- 4 - Year-by-year pictures;
- 5 - The Samsara Universe (with gift-sets and adverts)

Samsara was created immediately after "Derby", between 1985 and 1988, and launched during the autumn of 1989. It was a "boom or bust" move after the commercial failure of Nahema in 1979 and Jardins de Bagatelle in 1983 (interestingly, Nahema is considered one of the greatest Guerlain perfumes...).
Guerlain needed badly a great success, and spared no expense to achieve it: almost three years and 300 attempts for a perfect "tuning", using the best materials available, highest-grade sandalwood oils from selected woods in India, the finest jasmine and ...nearly 50 millions $ in advertising. 

At the end of 1988 everything was ready, and finally the new scent, named "Samsara" after long debates, was launched in the autumn of the following year (1989). Originally launched as a "Perfume" and "Eau de Parfum"; it was followed in 1991 by fresher, lighter "Eau de Toilette" for marketing purposes........ and the rest is history.



Chapter1:
TIME-SHEET

Autumn 1989, and during 1990:  

- "Parfum

7.5ml (0.25oz), 15ml (0.5oz), and 30ml (1oz) splash bottles (red glass bottles)  
7.5ml "purse spray" refillable bottle (red plastic case),
"Les Meteorites" bottle, 7.5 and 15 ml. (refillable Parfum)
plus: "miniatures", 2ml and 5ml.

- "Eau de Parfum" (transparent glass bottle WITH a golden ring)
75ml (2.5oz) splash bottle, 
30/50/100ml (1oz, 1.7oz, 3.3oz) spray bottles, 
50/100ml squared "refillable" bottle ("Copyright1982" golden canister),
"les Meteorites" bottle (refillable Eau de Parfum),
plus: "miniature", 7.5 ml.
("Eau de Toilette" not launched until 1991)

The EdP box, and the bottle with the golden ring 

------------------------------------------------------------------
Year 1991

- Launch of "Eau de Toilette":
30/50/100ml, splash and spray, transparent glass bottles WITHOUT golden ring on the bottle, 
93ml. cylindrical refillable EdT spray bottle ("Copyright 1982" golden canister). 
plus: EdP and EdT refillable red plastic bottle, 100ml.

The EdT box , with the bottle without the golden ring

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Year 1995
"Un Air de Samsara", EdT (flanker, discontinued)

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Year 1999: NEW PACKAGING
- Complete repackaging; new EdT and EdP in red-glass bottles, with fixed, rotating caps.
-"Parfum" bottles similar to previous ones.  
- Crystal-transparent EdT and EdP bottles discontinued. 
- Splash bottles discontinued.
- New golden canisters ("Copyright 1996") for refillable bottles.
- New box and a red "cover"
- Miniatures: red bottles, 5ml.
Box on right, with "cover" on left

------------------------------------------------------
Year 2000:
- EdT and EdP (limited editions) with golden "maps" painted on the bottle. 



------------------------------------------------
Year 2001:
- Launch of Samsara "Shine" EdT (flanker, discontinued)


-----------------------------------------------
Year 2004: NEW BOXES
- New red boxes (without covers) with the new Guerlain "double G" golden logo.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Year 2007: NEW BOXES
- New red boxes with current Guerlain logo. 


------------------------------
Chapter 2:
REFORMULATIONS
-------------------------------

This is an highly debated issue! There are a lot of discussions about Samsara "reformulations"..... 
Many, many years ago Roja Dove (former Guerlain Ambassador) stated in an interview a very interesting fact: Samsara contained a very high quality sandalwood oil, obtained from 40-50 years-old trees, mixed with a certain amount of different synthetic sandalwoods in order to minimize differences from year to year and even batch-to-batch (actually, since there aren't two identical harvests, perfumes with an high amount of natural substances -such as "Samsara"- had to be reformulated continuously). 
So, when we speak about reformulations we should keep in mind that -from a strict point of view- all Samsara batches are different each other. 
The true Art of Perfumery is to minimize differences, or , in other words, "...reformulating, and smelling exactly the same."

Samsara was created as a "Parfum" and "Eau de Parfum", but during 1991, as previously said, it was launched also as an "Eau de Toilette". This because a few perfumes, launched as EdTs during previous months, achieved an huge commercial success. So, Guerlain launched a "Samsara EdT" (a lighter, fresher version) to jump on the bandwagon.... but misrepresenting the original idea. 
Since Samsara is an heavy, bold scent, perfect for the winter days "a lighter, fresher version" is a sort of degeneration. You can spot almost immediately the differences between EdP and EdT.  
EdP is creamier, thicker; EdT is greener and softer.
In my opinion, real "Samsara" is "Parfum" and "Eau de Parfum" only. The EdT could be considered a pleasant "flanker" inspired by original. 
Hence, any reformulation question should be limited to Parfum and EdP.

Well, I tested side-by-side all my Parfum and EdP bottles between 1990 and 1997, and this is the honest answer: there was no apparent reformulation during these years (1990-1997).

And, yes! I perfectly know after year 1994 many Guerlain scents changed due to new "artistic supervision" by LVMH... but Samsara performs in a sublime way (at least until 1997).

Let me be completely honest: I can detect clear differences during following years, because Samsara appears to be "sanitized", less creamy, less rich, and with a different drydown. So, if you want the real Samsara vibe, a real blast in the cold days, I strongly suggest you to search the bottles produced during the Nineties (i.e the "First Serie").
And, since I have been asked so many times: what's the difference between Parfum and Eau de Parfum?, here's the answer: 

-Parfum is darker, smokier, with more emphasis on drydown. Sandalwood is really huge here.
-Eau de Parfum is more focused on a bright opening, with an explosion of Jasmine, but with a drydown less pronounced.

If you prefer sandalwood, then go for Parfum; if you prefer Jasmine, then go for EdP. 
In both cases the effects and sensations of Samsara blooming on your skin, during cold, winter days ...is really indescribable.


--------------------------------------
Chapter 3
How to identify
BOXES and BOTTLES
---------------------------------------
-----------------------------
First Serie (1989-1999)
Transparent, clear bottles  - the concentration (Parfume, EdT or EdP) is 
written ABOVE the word "Samsara" on the box
-----------------------------

Eau de Parfum, transparent glass bottle
with a golden ring 
Eau de Toilette (since 1991) in a transparent glass bottle,
WITHOUT the golden ring

....and check for the copyright: "year 1988" 
-----------------------------------
Examples from 
First Serie (1989-1999)

Parfum, 30ml
----------------------------------------- 

 
Parfum, 7.5 ml refillable
-------------------------------------------------

Eau de Parfum, 50ml, refillable, 
with squared golden canister "Copyright 1982"
------------------------------------------------

 
Eau de Parfum,  refillable 100ml red plastic bottle

----------------------------------------------------

Eau de Parfum, 30 and 50 ml spray bottles

----------------------------------------------------

Eau de Toilette, 93ml refill 
with cylindrical golden canister "Copyright 1982"

--------------------------------------------------------

Eau de Toilette, 50ml/100ml spray

----------------------------------------------

  
Eau de Toilette 100ml splash (left), 
30 ml spray with RED cap (right)
-----------------------------------


 
DIFFERENCES in descriptions between
 Eau de Parfum (left) and Eau de Toilette (right) testers
---------------------------------

Parfum, 2ml, miniature in cardboard box
EdP, miniature 7.5 ml, in large box (left) and smaller box (right)


EdP 2ml. miniature

----------------------------------------------
Second Serie (1999-2004)
Red bottles - the concentration (EDT or EdP) is 
written BELOW the word "Samsara" on the box
----------------------------------


During 1999-2004 : red covers (left) 
put over the box (right)

...and check for the "copyright" : year 1999.
----------------------------------------------------------

Examples from 2nd serie (1999-2004):

Parfum with its cover
---------------------------------------------------



Typical Second Serie (1999-2004) 
Samsara bottle with new box and "cover".

---------------------------------------------------

Eau de Toilette, 30ml (left), 50 ml (right), with "covers".

---------------------------


EdP 100ml (left), EdT 50ml (right), without covers.

-------------------------------------------------

 
Eau de Toilette 5 ml, miniature
--------------------------------
50ml EdP Refillable
------------------------------
Third Serie (2004-2007)
box with the "double G" golden logo on the 
upper front (and no "covers")
-----------------------------

 

 


-----------------------------------
Fourth Serie (since 2007)
Plain boxes with modern Guerlain logo
------------------------------





 

  



--------------------------------
Chapter 4
Year-by-Year
for a complete Batch-numbers guide see: 
How to recognize Guerlain Perfumes
--------------------------------


1989
(6-digits batch, starting with D)
Parfum, 30ml, batch "DL"

Parfum, 7.5ml refillable without its plastic case
(batch "DE")

Eau de Parfum, 75ml / 2.5oz Splash
-----------------------
1990
(6-digits batch code, starting with M)

Eau de Parfum, 100ml refillable spray, batch "MC"

Eau de Parfum, 7.5 ml miniature, batch "MB"


Eau de Parfum, 75 ml splash, batch "MR"

EdP 50ml spray, 6-digits batch "MH" = year 1990

Edp, 30ml spray, batch ML
------------------------
1991
(6-digits batch code starting with U)

EdP 100ml refillable, batch "UA"


EdP, 50 ml spray, batch "UK"

Parfum, 30 ml, batch "UH"

Eau de Toilette, 100ml spray, batch "UB"

EdP, 7.5ml miniature

EdP, 50ml spray, batch "UR"
-------------------
1992
(6-digits batch, starting with Z)
Eau de Parfum, 50ml spray, batch "ZC" 

Eau de Parfum, 50ml spray, batch "ZE"

-----------------------
1993
(6-digits batch, starting with J)
  
Eau de Parfum, 30ml spray, batch "JT"


Eau de Toilette, 50ml spray, batch "JX"

EdP, 7.5ml miniature, batch "JK"

-------------------
1994
(6-digits batch, starting with Y)
Parfum, 7.5ml, batch "YF"
"Le Meteorites", 7.5ml Parfum Spray Refillable, batch "YF"  

93ml  EdT Refillable, batch YH

------------------
1995
(5 or 6 digits batch codes, starting with W)
Launch of "Un Air de Samsara", EdT.
"Un Air de Samsara", 50 ml, spray


Eau de Parfum, 30ml spray, 6-digits batch "WH"

------------
1996
(5-digits batch, starting with P)
Eau de Toilette, 30ml spray, 5-digits batch "PC"


Eau de Toilette, 50 ml spray, batch "PB"
93 ml refillable EdT, batch "PB"
Eau de Toilette, 7.5ml miniature, batch "PL"

---------------------------
1997
(5-digits batch, starting with S)
Eau de Toilette, 50ml spray, batch "SC"

------------------------------------------------
1998
(5-digits batch, starting with V)
Eau de Toilette, 100ml spray, TESTER  
-------------------------------
1999 : NEW PACKAGING
red bottles, fixed caps, box with "cover"
EdP: golden cap - EdT: red cap
(5-digits batch codes starting with D)

NEW EdP: red bottle, golden cap, box and "cover"


NEW EdT : red bottle, red cap, box and cover

Notice "Copyight Guerlain 1999" on the box


Eau de Toilette, 93ml, refillable, batch DL
Eau de Parfum, 30ml spray, batch "DN"
EdP, 50 ml spray, batch DK2ME (on the cover) 
----------------------
2000
(5-digits batch starting with "M")
Eau de Toilette, 50 ml spray, batch "MC"
Eau de Toilette, 93 ml refillable, batch MK
Parfum, 15ml, batch "ME"
---------------------------
2001
(5-digits batch, starting with U)
Eau de Toilette, 100 ml
Samsara Shine, EdT, 30ml

-------------------------------
since 2002
(4-digits batch codes, first number is the year)


Eau de toilette, 50ml, batch 2H03 = year 2002

EdP, 50ml, batch 6F01 = year 2006


-------------------------------------------------------------
Recent bottles, since 2007

Year 2007, batch 7G01,  new  cubic "Parfum" bottle

30 ml, year 2008
100ml, EdP, Year 2010
100ml, EdT, year 2010 

100 ml, EdP, year 2013

30ml, EdP, year 2013




---------------------------------

Chapter 5
The Samsara Universe

---------------------------------
Very rare Parfum Spray 30ml (tester)

-----------------------------------------------

 
15ml x4 EdT Purse Spray, in plastic case, year 2002
--------------------------------------------

Samsara "Les Meteorites", Parfum Spray Refillable
"Les Meteorites", Eau de Parfum Spray Refillable
"Les Meteorites", Eau de Parfum Spray Refillable
-----------------------


100g. Talc
-------------------------------------------

"Duet of Luxury" limited edition
(Samsara EdP plus Shalimar PdT, both 7.5ml)
--------------------------------------

 
2ml sample vial

--------------------------------------------------

Body Creme
------------------------------------------------------------------
Perfumed Deodorant
------------------------------------------------------

Factices
----------------------------------------------

Soaps (3x box)
-------------------------------------------------------------------


Soap (single)
-------------------------------------------------

1ml. EdT sample vial in plastic case
-------------------------------------

1 ml EdP sample vial in plastic case 
---------------------------------------------------

2 ml Parfum + minibook, year 1991
--------------------------------------
Eau de Parfum, limited edition, year 2000 
(in this picture with its cover)
------------------------------------

Eau de toilette, limited edition, year 2000 
(in this picture with box but without its cover)
----------------------------------------

5ml mini, year 2000
----------------------------------
Samsara Shine Purse Spray, year 2001
------------------------------------------

Pin
----------------------------------------------------------------------------


     
Samsara Limited Edition set:
30ml EdT, 15ml EdP, 7.5ml Parfum, 2ml Parfum
-------------------------------------

Samsara package

------------------------------------------

Bath Crystals

------------------------------------------

 
Bath oil (left) and Body Lotion (right)

---------------------------------------------------------


Samsara Sensual Spirit, roll-on eau de toilette, year 2001
-----------------------------------------------

Samsara Refreshing Perfume Dew, year 2001


---------------------------------------
Gift Sets/Coffrets
----------------------------------------

Mother's day, 1990
------------------------------------------------------


"The Samsara Book" + 2ml Parfum, Christmas 1991

-------------------------------


Coffret from Nineties

---------------------------------------------------------


Coffret from Nineties

--------------------------------------------------------


Coffret from Nineties

------------------------------------------------------


Coffret from Nineties
------------------------------------------------------------


Coffret from Nineties

---------------------------------


 
Christmas 1993: two mini-coffrets with miniatures

---------------------------------------------------

Coffret year 1994
-------------------------------------------------------


Coffret year 1995

---------------------------------------------------------------

 
Christmas 1995 : "Reve pour l'Hiver" 
(Un Air de Samsara)

----------------------------------------------------

 
Coffret from 2000s

------------------------------------------------------------

 
Samsara 4x 15ml Purse Spray, year 2002

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Coffret from 2000s
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Coffret from 2000s
-----------------------------------------------------------
Coffret from 2000s
----------------------------------------------------------------------


Coffret from 2000s

-----------------------------------------------------------



Coffret from 2000s
-----------------------------------------------


Coffret from 2000s
--------------------------------------------------------

Coffret from 2000s
-----------------------------------------------
Coffret from 2000s
--------------------------------------------------------

Christmas 2006
-------------------------------------------

Christmas 2009

---------------------------------
Advertising
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----------------------------------------
"Colophon"



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