Worth Paris Perfume Reviews – A Sad, Sad Tale

Worth 1928 ad

Many of us (rightfully) whine about what has happened to so many of our beloved fragrances. Beauties from Guerlain, Chanel and Caron have been reformulated throughout the years. It’s a shame. However, many of these still have some character. Guerlain Shalimar still smells plush in comparison to what else is sold in department stores. Caron Bellodogia is not the same but it still smells good. Now, Chanel No. 5 is a complete and total joke in comparison to its purring vintage formula, but it does continue to sell. Somehow aldehydic floral hairspray still has character in comparison to what’s launched today!

What’s amazing is that these perfumes survived. The houses still exist and flourishing (well, Caron needs some help). The formulas may have changed but you can still get something Shalimar-ish or Jicky-ish. They still “represent” the originals, even if they are paler and limper than before. I feel like there are two houses that the vintage/perfume lovers must mourn…and then move on. These houses are Worth and Coty (saving the last one for another day). These perfumes used to be gorgeous, high-quality perfumes. And now look at them! They aren’t even shadows of their former selves.

Brief History of House of Worth:

Charles Frederick Worth was a Brit in France courturier dating back to the 1850’s. He did fairly well, fans of his clothes included actresses Sarah Bernhardt and Lily Langtry as well as Empress Eugénie. Worth passed away in the mid-1890’s, leaving the family business to his sons. House of Worth turned more into a “ready-to-wear” fashion house, launching a perfume in 1924, the same year that Chanel No. 5 was heavily distributed by the Wertheimer brothers (perfume directors of Bourjois and the reason why No. 5 became a hit).

House of Worth ended in 1956 but the perfumes remained. Since the House offered such popular “signature” scents, Worth Perfumes were bought out by a French company. The perfumes were bought out again the early 1990’s and changed hands again in 1999.

There has been attempts to revive the fashion house, emphasizing its Belle Epoque aesthetic and heritage. And the fragrances,well there were some attempts to revive them. Only a few of them still exist.

I’m feeling slightly doleful. I’m reviewing the languishing, modern versions of this once epic house’s perfumes that were re-launched as EDTs in the early 2000s in a gift set.

Worth perfumes

Vers Toi

Notes listed include bergamot, geranium, jasmine, lily of the valley, rose, benzoin, patchouli, sandalwood and vanilla. Originally launched 1934.

Vers Toi (To You) is weird. It’s a bitter geranium and a hissy lily of the valley. The weirdness comes from a frutiness, like a really overripe red currant rotting in the sun. It’s so synthetic smelling that it verges into household cleaner territory. And there is an odd peppery thing going on. It’s sharp and weird. It’s sort of a hot mess. Actually, delete “hot” from that utterance. This is a mess.

Victoria’s Final EauPINIONWeird lily of the valley thing. As we say in the South, bless its little heart.

Vers La Jour

Notes listed include bergamot, red berries, rose, angelica root, narcissus, cyclamen, jasmine, osmanthus, May rose, peony, peach, pineapple, watermelon, cedar, sandalwood and musk. Originally launched in 1925. 

My initial impression was fruit punch and pencil shavings. Vers la Jour (Just Before Dawn) is a very sheer fragrance in this EDT formula. And it’s laughable to think of this being anything from the 1920’s. They didn’t even try to make it resemble what it once was! And then there is a hairspray jasmine. And it burns off the skin so quickly, I can’t comment on the rest.

This perfume is super sheer. Good choice for a young teenager that is into body sprays.

Victoria’s Final EauPINION – An exceptional smelling drugstore hairspray. Seriously. If this was a scent in hair products, it would be OK. The fact that this was meant to resemble something launched in 1925 makes me want to flip over my coffee table in a fit of rage.

Dans la Nuit

Notes listed include aldehydes, green notes, violet, bergamot, lemon, carnation, cinammon, orris, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lily of the valley, rose, sandalwood, tonka bean, amber, musk, civet, vanilla and vetiver. Launched 1924. (re)Launched in 1985. 

This is our hooker with a heart of pyrite fragrance. It’s all powder and musk and florals. Reminds me of Avon Night Magic. Dans la Nuit (“In the Night”) opens with malt liquor breath covered by clove chewing gum. The florals  (mainly carnation and jasmine) start to bloom on the skin, mixing with a sweet, suffocating, powdery musk. I also get that “new tire” smell. I admit that there is something charming to this crude perfume. It’s so big hair, tight jeans and red lip gloss looking to get laid in the pool hall bathroom circa 1985. It dries down to a spicy amber incense. The fragrance is cloying which I like better than the body spray fragrance I reviewed above.

The problem is that this could smell AMAZING if they budgeted more for it. It’s spices, carnation, big florals and powdery incense. So frustrating.

Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Lot lizard pretending to wear Caron Bellodogia. Damn, that’s mean, especially for the best fragrance out of the set. I just feel that many people of a certain generation, people that lived through the 1980’s, will associate this with “cheap”/”hooker” perfumes. I find Dans la Nuit charming because of that. I can imagine trying to leave the house in something like this at 13 and it would have received one hell of a reaction from my parents. And this is why this perfume is my favorite from the set. At least this one gave me emotions and something to talk about…

Je Reviens

Notes listed include jasmine, orange blossom, aldehydes, ylang-ylang, narcissus, jonquil, violet, sandalwood, vetiver and musk. Launched 1932.

Out of the Worth fragrances, this is the easiest one to find. I think it is still in production. Aldehydes. So many aldehdyes. Je Reviens (I’m Coming Back) is crisp with spring florals and a bitter “aftershave” neroli. The sandalwood is sharp and synthetic. Like many of the others, this one kills me. Je Reviens could be awesome with higher quality ingredients. And at one time, it was awesome. I guess if I want aldehydes and sandalwood, I’ll wear Sonoma Scent Studio Champagne de Bois.

Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Aldehydes and sandalwood. Out of this set, this one seems to be paying homage to the original. But, the ingredients are so cheap and pathetic. I mean, improve the quality and charge more. Why is this concept so difficult to understand?

Worth Sans Adieu bottle

Sans Adieu

Notes listed include green notes, citrus and watery notes. Launched 1925.

The original Lalique bottles of Sans Adieu (Without Farewell) were stunning but that’s not what this is about. If you feel sad about any reformulation ever, I want you to f’n smell the melon mess that is currently Sans Adieu. This isn’t a few tweaks or substituting with cheaper ingredients, this is is “Suzanne Somers, what the f did you do to your face?” bad. No resemblance. At all.

What we have is a dryer sheet covered with melon-cucumber body spray (Calone OVERDOSE).

And we’re supposed to believe that a perfume from 1925 inspired this. Somebody get me my pocketbook because I’m out of here!

Victoria’s Final EauPINION – See above. Sans Adieu, don’t you ever speak to me again!

Both vintage and modern Worth fragrances can be found on auction sites. A few of the modern ones can be found on discounter perfume sites selling for like $10-$15. Even at that price, they’re still not worth checking out.

More info on this set at:

The Scented Salamander 

Perfume Shrine

*Set given to me by a perfume pal that wanted to remove the memory of ever purchasing such a sad set from his mind and his home. I have it now. It’s a curse. 1928 Worth ad from an eBay auction. Gift set pic is mine. Sans Adeiu Lalique bottle from


31 thoughts on “Worth Paris Perfume Reviews – A Sad, Sad Tale

  1. I’ve never heard of House of Worth – sad story! I love perfumes and there just aren’t that many good ones out there right now. I’m a fan of the darker, muskier scents. I’m not a fan of the overly-sweet, flowery perfumes that you find overflowing on the shelves!

    1. I think their heydey as a house was before your time 🙂

      I understand. I’d take a bottle of Caron Narcisse Noir or YSL Opium over Clinique Happy any day!

  2. Je Reviens was on my list of perfumes to try. Someone mentioned it was an old perfume and that was enough for me to seek it out. I found it but was surprised at how inexpensive it was. Guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. Well, you have saved me a few dollars!

    I have to laugh at your description of Dans La Nuit. I have indeed lived through the eighties and that is the one that sounds most interesting to me!

    1. I would say if you could get a vintage version (pre-1990s for sure!) to pick it up if it is a good price. It’s much better than this millennium stuff that I have tried. I hate what has happened to it. Aldehydes and sandalwood should be a beautiful thing…I don’t recommend picking up this current EDT. Maybe the current EDP is better?

      It is the most interesting! Now I want to seek one of the relaunched ones from the 80’s! I imagine that an 80’s bottle has even more of that spicy/musky attitude.

  3. Ok. I feel like somebody needs to bring over some wine and maybe cake to help us get through this sad review. I feel like Worth (pretend best friend) cheated on me with my husband and stole my car all while wearing Dans la Nuit. That’s harsh.

    1. Yes, it’s the only cure for the blues that these perfumes are giving us. Where’s my bottle opener?

      Haha, dying. Because Dans la Nuit would totally do that. Just for kicks. And that’s what she does on a Tuesday night. No telling what she has in store for the weekend!

  4. Such a pity about Je Reviens. It is remembered so fondly by so many people, especially as a first ‘gown up’ perfume. I only have a mini of the EDP, chucked in as a freebie by an eBay seller, I think. It starts out okay but falls apart to a powdery mess after about half an hour with, as you say, a synthetic sandalwood putting in a (mercifully brief) appearance.

    Whoever owns the Worth license must refuse to invest in good materials. It’s just a business decision I guess. Reformulation would be expensive and wouldn’t necessarily bring in extra revenue without a marketing campaign and perhaps new packaging. It’s possible – didn’t Houbigant go through a renaissance a few years ago? But likely? Well …

    1. I have sniffed vintage of this (probably late 50’s version) and it was beautiful. It was sophisticated and like you mentioned “grown-up”. So, to sniff a synthetic mess that seemed like it has the budget of a Glade plug-in, is well, so sad. I was hoping that these EDTs were just terrible and that the current EDP is better. I’ll take your word for it.

      The deal is that most people aren’t “into” these old-school perfumes. They want to smell like fruity limited edition Escadas and those into niche apparently just want to smell like some Westernized oud-thing. Houbigant is a good example. I don’t know how they are doing financially but they are carried in nice retail establishments. Their heritage is working for them now. It’s possible to revive one of these old brands, but I’m sure it isn’t easy (or cheap). Like you said, they’d have to invest and who knows if Worth is worth it.

      Oh, but I’d love to see an interpretation of those Lalique Sans Adieu bottles with an equally stunning perfume!

  5. I bought that set a couple years back thinking it would be a fairly cheap intro into some old perfumes. Each one smelled horrible and depressing. I learned my lesson quick.

    1. I’m sorry that you had to experience this sadness first hand. Hopefully, you didn’t pay too much for them. This was given to me, so I can’t complain about that but it still hasn’t stopped me from complaining about these perfumes.

  6. Didn’t four of the Worth Perfumes make up a sentence? Je Revien Vers toi dans la nuit…..can’t remember the fourth? Something meaning discreetly perhaps?

    1. I feel like I’ve heard this before but can’t remember now! I feel like I read it in a book but can’t even remember which book :S

  7. Do you know anything about the perfume Adolfo. I have been looking for it for 20 years i found what was labeled Adolfo but not at all the same. If i knew the oils in it I would try to make my own. I still have a pinch of the powder left to remind me of what it should smell like.

    1. I haven’t heard of it. There are a few bloggers that focus on vintages that may be able to offer some advice – Yesterday’s Perfume and The Non-Blonde.

      A lot of my friends that search for vintages take gambles and buy from eBay. They often have good luck if the product looks well taken care of (i.e. in a box). With a quick search, I can definitely tell that Adolfo isn’t the one you remember or have a pinch of 🙂 It looks like it has been reformulated/modernized/made cheaper. I really hope you can find it!

  8. It’s true. My Mother wore Je Reviens the whole time I was growing up and it does NOT smell the same anymore. I keep buying it for her because they keep saying it’s been reformulated to smell like the original, I even bought one version called “couture”. While it is better than the cheap version, it’s still not the same. I remember the neroli used to be the base note that made it so sensual. It has a little in it now, but it would be marvelous if someone decided to make the worth perfumes to the original quality.

    1. It would be. These were gorgeous perfumes, each with history. It’s a shame to see them neglected. I know I’d pay much more if the quality was better and resembled what they used to be.

      Companies like this wonder why their sales plummet. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy! If you change things, people will find something “new” or they will stop wearing perfume all together.

  9. I also remember back in the early 70’s, they were displayed in the department stores in vials. Each perfume was a different color. Je Reviens was dark blue. There were amber, yellow, red and I believe green. The bottles were even luxe, being made by Lalique in lovely deco styles.

    1. YES! A few months ago I was at an auction and a couple of the Lalique bottles came up: Je Reviens and Sans Adieu. They were empty and in decent shape; absolutely gorgeous. They sold for a lot (which is basically the going rate because they’re highly collectible). It’s just so sad to see something be the epitome of luxury and see what it has become now.

      1. I remember the dark blue! My mom wore this in the 70’s. It came in a lighter blue leather pouch, if I remember correctly. So sad that one of her best loved (and most expensive) perfumes has had such a sad end. Thank you for the information. I saves me from trying to find it and/or having it shipped to the US (was on Harrods of London a few years ago and it was advertised for sale, but did not ship to the US – now I am glad it didn’t!).

        1. Oh, that sounds lovely! I love monochromatic blues like that.

          Good luck! Maybe one day Worth will get their act together.

  10. So it isn’t just my sense of smell going as I get older ? What were you going to say about Coty ?

    1. It isn’t! It’s them, not you!

      I was going to say that Coty has a bad reputation these days. It seems that whenever they get involved, they’ll reformulate the perfumes so they can have maximum profit. This means that they tend to cut a lot of corners and this butchers the perfume. They have a lot of perfumes in their catalog right now that are unrecognizable as their former self. Basically, they smell cheap and generic 🙁

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