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December 27, 2009


Rita Long

"Reading a perfume's aura": Tee-hee!! May have to quote that!! (With proper citation, of course...)


i love vintage Rive Gauche, it's a recent discovery for me. I have the vintage EDT and a full mini of the parfum that i found in an antique shop for only $3...Score! With the EDT, I love the initial aldehydic blast of leathery birchtar...then it goes through a blah phase for few hours that I'm not really a fan of...but then after several hours the most beautiful sophisticated rose starts to shine through and this lasts and lasts well into another day. I find the parfum cuts to the chase much better than the EDT so that I don't have to wait for hours before the glorious rose starts to emerge. Love it!


Hi rk, you describe the progression of RG's notes beautifully, and kudos to you for the thrift store score. It's like the reformulations edit out times and dimensions from the originals. No wonder I (and I suspect many vintage fiends — have a fetish!). Hope you feel moved to comment again. :)

RiveGauche 4ever

Please kindly reply as I'm unable to find this info ANYWHERE: what do you mean, Rive Gauche has been reformulated?! Is this true? How can this be? It was the quintessential French perfume! The true essence of Paris that I smelled countless times from elegant business women on the quais of the metro in Paris in the very early 80's. One day, to my sheer delight, I smelled Rive Gauche & instantly knew it was the fragrance I had always loved but had been unable to identify until then. I immediately acquired my own bottle, I was a teen. It became and it truly was MY fragrance.

I grew up to develop severe MCS and can no longer be around synthetic man-made perfumes made with cheap (& toxic to us MCS patients) fragrance oils. One day in the 90's I walked into a USA perfume shop & smelled Rive Gauche: it made me ill! And it smelled nauseous but my doctor had said that perfume smells bad to PWMCS. Now I'm thinking I must have smelled the reformulation! It was almost as nocious as the most offensive perfume I've ever had the displeasure of smelling (Angel by VS)

Why was Rive Gauche reformulated? Why not make a new fragrance and name it something else? Why tamper with perfection? Please answer: when did this change occur and how or where can you get the original vitnage Rive Gauche? Please include any links you might have on this sacrilege! Thank you!


Hi Rive Gauche lover. I'm sorry to tell you, but it has been reformulated. It just doesn't have the complexity it once did. That's the bad news — the good news is that the real stuff is floating around on eBay and elsewhere. Just type in vintage Rive Gauche on eBay and there's a live auction now. Or Google it. As for why brands reformulate — sometimes because certain ingredients become too expensive to use or they may be banned. As of August, many ingredients that make up 20th century classics will no longer be allowed in perfumes, thanks to IFRA (the International Fragrance Association). Reformulation is sadly a reality for most classics.

Le Nez

Perfumer - Andre Fromentin (Polge only part of team).


Thanks for your comment, Le Nez. I double-checked (I can't remember the original source from which I came up with Polge), but both Fragrantica and Now Smell This list Michel Hy either as primary or co-creator, so I added him. I looked up André Fromentin, and I can only see him as the creator of Grey Flannel. Could you tell me where you found this information? Thanks!

Lauren C. Tyson

This was one of my mother's favorites. BTW, what is an "EDT" mentioned above?


Hi Lauren: EDT = Eau de toilette, a lesser concentration (of perfume oils) than EDP = Eau de Parfum. Extrait is the highest concentration, EDC = Eau de Cologne the lightest.


Having been to the Left Bank of Paris twice in my lifetime I can honestly say that "Rive Gauche" is a quintessential Parisian perfume! I too loved it as a child. My mom received an EDT spray as a gift when it came out in 71 and passed it on to her fragrance obsessed young daughter because she thought it smelled "too metallic" (Is that what Turin refers to as "tarry"?). As a kid I really did not care whether or not I could pull this one off and I wore it sparingly out in public because to me it's dry down was, as you so beautifully put it, "sheer pink" and pure springtime. To my nose Grey Flannel has a similar opening (probably why I LOVE that one too!) so maybe it was Fromentin who created it. I remember that Rive Gauche was resurrected not too long ago as Rive Gauche Intense (or something like that). Has anyone tried it? I am sure it is not anything like the vintage I remember.

Barbara Clemons

Please, can anyone tell me where or from whom to purchase this find fragrance?


Hi Barbara: miniatureperfumeshoppe.com and eBay. Look for vintage.

Mary Blumreich

Tom Ford reformulated the perfume. Why can't people just leave well enough alone? Sometimes you can find these originals on E-Bay.I just found a vintage Tweed that I have been hankering after for years. They buy up partially used bottles in estate sales and other venues. Worth a try.

Linda Davis-Zamalin

I have a very old spray of the EDP and have used it for years. I think I have one spray left of it in the bottle. I too would love to find the vintage formula and I do the the EDT but don't care for it much.

I so wish they would bring back the orginal formula...do you think they would the vintage perfume in Paris??

Please e-mail me at [email protected]

Many thanks...I found this site by mistake and am so happy I am not the only one who loves the old style.


Albeit late, thank you for your reply, PerfumeManiac. Truly insightful. This is evidently for profit by the cheap & toxic synthetic oil makers. No wonder it now smells *that* bad! I wonder if they're going to try to ban essential oils altogether. There would be an uprising amongst the aromatherapy communities across the globe. They allow BPA in babies toys and plastic bottles, phthalates and cigarettes and numerous toxic chemicals and heavy metals galore (yes, even in USA plates, it's legal to have a certain small amount of lead in your cookware, folks!) yet natural substances are a risk?! UGH! Stupidity and corruption knows no bounds.

I would be interested in making a 100% natural replica of RG after I relocate (again). I appreciate that you listed the essences used. Is that everything? Can I ask what you source is for that list? (I googled and you seem to be the only place that lists it, hence how I found your blog all over again, after several computer wipe outs!) Because I wanted to double check if left to right are the way the essences were used in the formulation, like food, the one at left would have more drops than the one at far right. I'm sure it's impossible to know the exact formula but one can have a lot of fun trying.

Does anyone know what is 'aldehydes'? My goodness, I remember googling that and not understanding it so I haven't even tried now (too many windows open ATM!) In layman's terms is that a flower? is that a component of petals? Hmm.. I wonder if that's what gave it its metallic feel. Funny, it never smelled "pink" to me. It smelled very metallic and cold and refreshing and BOLD! (Pink is too wimpy & weak a color to me!) I wonder if I could leave out the sandalwood, I'm very allergic to the horrid stench... cannot be near it, I guess I will never travel to India, I read that it permeates everything everywhere there! (And let's not talk about the dangers to women!)

Gonna say TIA again, it might take me a while but I'll definitely be back to read replies. =) If anyone knows of anyone who has successfully recreated it strictly with EOs and 100% natural other stuff, please let us know by posting here. Still searching. Oh and your blog truly rocks! Merci beaucoup! :)


Sad to say, it doesn't even come up on any search of miniatureperfumeshoppe.com. Totally looking for this! Just bought some of the reformulation and it is so tinny, just as you described. Unacceptable :-). Any suggestions? Thanks!


Thanks. Sad to say, when I search for vintage Rive Gauche eau de toilette on Ebay, all I'm getting is the new stuff. They're not really differentiating. I guess I need to find a new fragrance :-(.


Hi, this thread is fascinating! Does anyone know how to tell – from the sealed box – whether a Rive Gauche EDT is the pre-reformulated (pre-2003)?

I have 6 sealed boxes of 50ml EDT, and 1 sealed box of 30ml EDT and I'm fairly sure they are pre-2003, but I don't know how to tell. Can you help?

The 50ml sealed boxes have a bar code 3 365440 246713 and the 30ml sealed box is 3 365440 249738.

The 50ml boxes list the ingredients as below, except some have "2YW01-2" as the final ingredient and others "2YW01-3" as the final ingredient:

The 30ml box has similar ingredients, but not the same. On the 30ml sealed box they are:

• in a different order
• the word “treemoss” is added : “EVERNIA FURFURACEA TREEMOSS EXTRACT”
• the word “Oakmoss” is added : “EVERNIA PRUNASTRI (OAKMOSS) EXTRACT”
• 3 ingredients not mentioned at all on the 50ml boxes are listed: “ISOEUGENOL, EUGENOL, BENZOPHENONE-2”
• There is no mention of either "2YW01-2" or "2YW01-3"

Anyone know for sure? I feel like Sherlock Holmes trying to work this out!

Many thanks
Dawn (former Rive Gauche wearer until I stopped wearing scent)

David J Goodwin

I just smelled this for the first time at an Odette Toilette during a London heatwave and the most lasting impression was something in the openinh that was exactly like a sweltering, steamy Underground station, as i had been in quite a few of them recently. No blogs or blurbs on Rive Gauche seem to address what this may be. Metal oxides and birch tar?

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