Share it

Some months ago I claimed that because a fragrance was still widely available to be purchased online, that meant that it was in production. Surely, I thought, if it wasn’t being produced, then the mad fragrance hordes would buy it up and would no longer be available. The prices would demonstrate the scent’s lack of availability and just before the fragrance cost more than the US national debt, it would poof like a faerie’s sweetly-scented flatulence, and disappear forever.

Another poster reassured me that a fragrance could be discontinued and still be widely available. In my mind (for where else would I think), I thought, “Tush! How could that be?” And ordinarily, the matter would have died there. However, I was cruising for inexpensive fragrances and discovered the listings on Overstock.

What should greet my eyes but many discontinued fragrances, available at reasonable prices? Now I know that Overstock is the seller of last resort and they don’t care much where the material originates (nor do they ask), but it still struck me strangely. What were these fragrances doing here? I thought that all available bottles of Montana, for instance, had long disappeared from the Earth. Several ideas immediately grabbed me by the lapels.

Perhaps political unrest, either recent, present, or anticipated, had caused perfume hoarders to dump their secret stashes of fragrance. Maybe eccentric millionaires in Georgia sold off their crates of Quasar once it became clear that the Russians were there to stay, not merely for a long weekend.

Perhaps a similar thing had happened with unappreciative heirs, when finding that Old Uncle Willy had bequeathed them 3,049 bottles of unreformulated Tsar, or drug stores had closed down and had to dispose of all their bottles of Lapidus Pour Homme. Maybe when seeking to put in a new subway in London, the city workers had unearthed a gas station from 1987 holding rows and rows of immaculately preserved Estee Lauder products?

I’m sure that the truth is stranger than any of the scenarios troubling my already disturbed imagination; yet it is oddly fascinating to see the fragrances of the past parading by on my screen, suddenly and strangely available once again, as if no time had passed since their demise, and as if they were wholly unaware of it.