5 Reasons why fragrances are discontinued

5 Reasons why fragrances are discontinued

You’ve spent years experimenting and trying out different perfumes and just when you think you’ve found the perfect one, its no longer available!  So, why do companies stop producing fragrances?  Are they being selfish? Or is there a good explanation for this annoying decision?  In this guide, we try to explain and demystify why your favourite scent is now discontinued and how you might still be able to find that special perfume.


1. Drop in sales

It seems obvious but when sales dry up for any type of product, they are likely to face the axe.  And that's very much the same for fragrances.  Ultimately, fragrance brands are running a business and need to generate a profit.  So when a perfume or aftershave is not gaining much traction or becomes yesterday's news, it's likely to be dropped from the team.  In fact manufacturers' regularly stop producing the same fragrance unless it becomes a "best-seller" and these days everything needs to be on-trend.  Sometimes, fragrance companies decide to launch a similar version of the same product to maximise brand appeal and sales.



2. Shortage and cost of ingredients


Fragrances are composed of carefully chosen ingredients which give them their unique scent.  Each ingredient is mixed to precise proportions to create complex layers of aromas and flavours.  Therefore, the availability of ingredients is essential for the continuous manufacturing of any fragrance product. If any ingredient is no longer available for whatever reason, the company may have to discontinue producing the whole fragrance. Sometimes, even when the exact ingredients are available, they may be too expensive and the only option the company has is to stop producing and launch another modified version with revised prices and an altered formula.


Shortage sign



3. Unable to recreate the same perfume 


Have you ever encountered a situation where you purchased a second bottle of a perfume you loved but it was not quite the same again? That may happen when the manufacturer is unable to recreate the exact blend and formulation of the perfume.  Often, this is due to a change in the manufacturing process but there can be numerous factors that may cause it.  This can lead to unhappy customers and managers taking the commercial decision to discontinue the fragrance.  To be honest, this happens rarely but is not unheard of.



Perfumery where ingredients are chosen for mixing.



4. Legal restrictions and safety of ingredients 


Increasing research and information about the safety profile of ingredients has meant a number of previously used ingredients have been recalled for use on human skin or the body.  This is because the ingredient may be classified as an irritant or skin allergen.  When this happens, fragrances need to be modified with a suitable alternative ingredient or completely withdrawn.  Also, some ingredients or chemicals used in the manufacturing of perfumes may have restrictions or tariffs on their import from one country to another.  This will affect the supply of the main raw materials and constituents which can result in discontinuation of certain fragrances from the market.





5. Launch of new products


Consumers like new and shiny things and thus brand agencies need to get behind their new launches and so there's no other option but to cull some fragrances.  This is probably the most common and important reason why fragrances get discontinued - ultimately it's a commercial decision and companies cant support the production of 100s of different fragrances at the same time.  So, to satisfy their customer base and consumer appetite they need to continually release new fragrances and get rid of old ones.


“Out with the Old, In with the New”




Should you use discontinued fragrances?

Unless your go-to perfume is discontinued for safety reasons, you can certainly continue to use it. It's very rare that fragrances are discontinued for safety concerns but it can happen and if any ingredient is found to be harmful, you should not use it. 

Where can you still find discontinued fragrances?

Just because your favourite perfume is discontinued, this does not mean that you won't ever be able to buy it again.  You may have to do a bit of searching but it is likely there will be stock available in circulation.  The availability of your vintage perfume will probably depend on how niche it is, how popular it is and how long ago it was discontinued. 

- Buy in person from a high street shop or department store

If you are lucky enough, you may find that some stores have your favourite scent in stock even after it is discontinued. It will be a bit of pot luck depending on the store you go to and how long ago the fragrance has been discontinued if you can find your favourite bottle.  But, its always worth a try.

- Buy samples or testers

Some stores may have old samples or tester bottles from that hard-to-find fragrance which are not supposed to be for sale.  But if you are lucky enough and ask nicely, you may be able to buy these online or in person.

- Buy Online

Probably, your best bet is to look online.  It will give you the best chance to find your "forever fragrance" and you can potentially buy from all over the world.  You will need to be careful to find trustworthy sellers who will supply you authentic and genuine products.  We recommend finding out a bit about your seller before you buy.  We also recommend you enquire with the company how they store their discontinued fragrances (ideally a cool, dry and dark place). 
Our company, Beauty Benefits has a track record of selling discontinued fragrances since 2008 on ebay - Check out our online reviews.  We have recently opened our own online store and our regularly updating our products list every day.