I had planned to write (and probably still will, someday) a post about “That Time I Liked the Liquid Better,” to discuss my experience with a disappointing solid fragrance from Yves Rocher, when it occurred to me to check the website and see what solids they have on offer today. It had been some time since I viewed the site and I knew some fragrances previously available as solids were long out of production (Neonatura Cocoon, anyone?), but as it happens, there are no solids for sale on the US site. I then checked the French Yves Rocher website and found none there, either.
How about good ol’ US stalwart Avon? I know the company changed hands recently but they’re usually good for a few solids, often for their still-in-production classics like Haiku, Far Away, Timeless, etc., or their trendier newer releases like Fergie’s Outspoken. There is one item on offer that I am not sure is technically a solid: the Velvet Crème Veil Cushion. (Has anyone tried this? It looks more like a sponge-on perfume, even though there’s a “creme” in the title. I am curious.)
I remember shopping at L’Occitane a few years ago and finding plenty of solids on offer: one or more rose scents, plus the classics Thé Vert, Verveine and Cherry Blossom… On the websites (both English and French) today? Nada, zip, zilch.
Victoria’s Secret: no solids at this time. The Body Shop: no solids at this time. Bath and Body Works: I am certain a saw a Gingham solid perfume stick a few months ago, but there were no solids on the site at this time.
Walmart has a new exclusive fragrance brand–Wanderer Beauty–that has a collection of solids. (I recently acquired those and will talk about them in a future blog post.) They also have a few “masstige” solid scents–several Derek Lam 10 Crosby solids, Elizabeth and James Nirvana White–that they list online as “available for pickup,” depending on your location. However, I’m only somewhat reassured.
Target? They have a nice selection from Pacifica, Good Chemistry, From Wild and Solinotes…all in liquid. No solids at this time. (Wonder what happened to the Goodfellow solid colognes from a few months ago?)
Walgreen’s had only the Elizabeth and James Nirvana White… and also Black. What? No Calgon Totally Solid Scents? No Revlon Charlie solids? No Britney Spears Fantasy perfume pencils? A quick sweep of CVS showed an exciting “40 solids available,” all of which turned out to be deodorant/antiperspirant when I actually filtered down to view them.
It has been a while since I went shopping for a solid perfume from any of the above (except Walmart), but solids used to be a steady little corner of the mass market fragrance world. Affordable gems could be had for less than $10, sometimes less than $5, and they were generally of decent quality and housed in attractive packaging. They made great stocking stuffers for Christmas, were small enough to stash in a desk (and affordable enough not to be lamented if they were lost or stolen), slipped easily into a purse, etc.
In today’s world, where masstige and prestige brands (Derek Lam, Elizabeth and James, Givenchy, Jo Malone, Estee Lauder, Thierry Mugler, Chanel) still understand the value of solids in a collection; where niche and luxury brands (Tauer, Le Labo, Amouage) make occasional forays into the solid format; and where artisan and indie perfumers (Aftelier, Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery, In Fiore, to name just a few) routinely release solid fragrances and maintain a core collection of them as permanent stock, I really do wonder…
…where did all the mass market solid fragrances go?
(I’ll keep checking. It’s not yet mid-September and many brands have not yet released their holiday collections/limited editions. Here’s to hoping that one or more of the retail venues named in the beginning of this article will come through for us.)