Remembrance of Perfumes Past

Best Replacement Fragrances

My sister, Kate, is as obsessed with fragrance as I am, and we both go into mourning when beloved scents are discontinued. Luckily, her go-to Helmut Lang Eau de Parfum, which went out of production in 2005, is coming back. Maurice Roucel, the original perfumer, ever-so-slightly updated the rosemary, lavender, and vanilla gem; yet it’s so true to the original that Kate ordered a case. Meanwhile, this season I found five replacements for some long-lost loves.


Matts, one of the creators of Clinique Happy, has launched an eponymous collection, including this outdoorsy melon-and-wood-based creation, which has become an excellent stand-in for New West’s Skinscent for Her by Aramis, an ozonic scent that I wore in the early ’90s.

Raymond Matts Jarro, $200, raymondmatts.com.


Amber is paired with sandalwood and oakmoss—a trio that brings to mind the dearly departed chic and sexy Tuxedo by Ralph Lauren.

Baccarat Rouge 540, $4,000, limited edition, baccarat.com.


Cedar is lightened by geranium and jasmine. It’s like a milder take on Diptyque’s Cedre room spray, which I so adored that I would occasionally spritz it in my hair. Yup, I sure would.

Creed Cedre Blanc, $300, creedboutique.com.


The gender-free blend of myrrh and sandalwood reminds me of Creed Cuir de Russie, a smoky sandalwood, amber, and leather mix that was also used by both men and women.

Régime des Fleurs Water/Wood, $155, regimedesfleurs.com.


This galbanum, peony, and gardenia creation has a strong green element that recalls one of my all-time favorites, Gap Grass. I’m a sucker for the smell of a freshly cut lawn.

Odin New York Vert Reseda, $210, odinnewyork.com.