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Will the real "Old Spice" please stand up

Abstract: Four spice aftershaves (three Old Spice variations and Vijon Spice) were analyzed via headspace-gas chromatography. These aftershaves were compared for similarities across the entire chromatogram. Based on overall similarity, it is concluded that currently produced Shulton Old Spice (a product of India) and vintage Shulton Old Spice are essentially identical. Currently produced P & G Old Spice and Vijon Spice are very similar to each other but differ from the other two.

Acknowledgments: The author would like to acknowledge John at West Coast Shaving for the donation of the Indian Shulton Old Spice. I would like to also acknowledge B&B member scoopster who donated the vintage Shulton product.

Introduction: There has been a controversy surrounding the P & G version of Old Spice for some time now. Some users of the Old Spice when it was produced by Shulton in the US believe that the P & G product is different. P & G, it has been claimed, denies any changes in the formulation. Fortunately, Shulton still manufactures Old Spice in India. The author is not aware of any claims that this Shulton product differs in any significant way from how the US Shulton product smelled. Of course, remembering a particular smell from many years ago can be challenging. And so the controversy has remained unresolved. It seems a scientific approach to settle this is required.

The author recently took delivery of a headspace analyzer. As part of familiarizing myself with the operation and optimization of the instrument, I realized that I needed some samples with lots of components at relatively low concentrations. It seemed that an aftershave (or four) would be an ideal test sample. So after obtaining two samples of Shulton Old Spice and raiding my den for P & G Old Spice and Vijon Spice, I set out to answer the eternal question: Is P & G Old Spice the same as it ever was?

Experimental: I won't bore you with the experimental details. :bored: If you really want to know how this works, PM me.

Results: The chromatograms are reproduced below. In all print-outs, Indian Shulton OS is on top, followed by vintage Shulton OS, current P & G OS, and finally the Vijon Spice. Not shown are the regions where the ethanol and propylene glycol (PG) eluted. All four AS have the same amount of alcohol. The three OS samples also all had the same amount of the glycol. The Vijon sample contained roughly one half the amount of PG relative to the other three samples.

In the first section of the chromatograms, we see the early eluters. These are relatively volatile components and would probably be part of the top notes. As you can see,between 7 and 8 minutes, the two Shulton samples have three small peaks that are almost entirely absent from the P & G and Vijon samples. In addition, the peaks at 8.5 minutes have dramatically different shapes. The P & G and Vijon samples tail badly in this region, whereas the Shulton products do not. These are probably different molecules that happen to co-elute. Likewise at 9 minutes, again the peak shapes are different. This time, the P & G sample stands out by itself.

Between 10 and 14 minutes we find differences across all four samples. The peak at 11.3 minutes is missing in the vintage OS, but present in the other three. And then at 12.9 and 13.8 minutes, the P & G product is missing peaks present in the other OS samples. Overall, though, it appears that the vintage and current Shulton products are more similar in this region relative to the other two samples.

Between 14 and 18 minutes we have some high boilers. These, I expect, would probably represent the base notes. In this region, the P & G and Vijon samples have significant peaks that are mostly or wholly absent from the two Shulton samples.

And finally, between 18 and 20 minutes, the P & G and Vijon samples show a small peak that is absent from the Shulton samples/

Conclusions: The current Shulton and vintage Shulton products, overall, are very similar. What small differences exist between them may possibly be attributed to the age of the sample or point to a natural variation in components in some essential oil. It is the author's opinion that Shulton is using the same recipe in India that was used to manufacture the vintage sample. The P & G Old Spice appears to be significantly different from the other two Old Spice samples. I believe that there may be some evidence here for a change in recipe sometime between when the vintage Old Spice was produced and the current recipe. Whether that supposed change occurred before or after P & G obtained the product line is impossible to say. Finally, it appears that the Vijon flavors and fragrances chemists have done an admirable job at reproducing the current P & G product.
This is so cool man! Thank you!
 
The real Old Spice has died.
The aftershave that reminds me most of the Old Spice of 30 years ago is Pinaud Clubman Special Reserve.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
Abstract: Four spice aftershaves (three Old Spice variations and Vijon Spice) were analyzed via headspace-gas chromatography. These aftershaves were compared for similarities across the entire chromatogram. Based on overall similarity, it is concluded that currently produced Shulton Old Spice (a product of India) and vintage Shulton Old Spice are essentially identical. Currently produced P & G Old Spice and Vijon Spice are very similar to each other but differ from the other two.

Acknowledgments: The author would like to acknowledge John at West Coast Shaving for the donation of the Indian Shulton Old Spice. I would like to also acknowledge B&B member scoopster who donated the vintage Shulton product.

Introduction: There has been a controversy surrounding the P & G version of Old Spice for some time now. Some users of the Old Spice when it was produced by Shulton in the US believe that the P & G product is different. P & G, it has been claimed, denies any changes in the formulation. Fortunately, Shulton still manufactures Old Spice in India. The author is not aware of any claims that this Shulton product differs in any significant way from how the US Shulton product smelled. Of course, remembering a particular smell from many years ago can be challenging. And so the controversy has remained unresolved. It seems a scientific approach to settle this is required.

The author recently took delivery of a headspace analyzer. As part of familiarizing myself with the operation and optimization of the instrument, I realized that I needed some samples with lots of components at relatively low concentrations. It seemed that an aftershave (or four) would be an ideal test sample. So after obtaining two samples of Shulton Old Spice and raiding my den for P & G Old Spice and Vijon Spice, I set out to answer the eternal question: Is P & G Old Spice the same as it ever was?

Experimental: I won't bore you with the experimental details. :bored: If you really want to know how this works, PM me.

Results: The chromatograms are reproduced below. In all print-outs, Indian Shulton OS is on top, followed by vintage Shulton OS, current P & G OS, and finally the Vijon Spice. Not shown are the regions where the ethanol and propylene glycol (PG) eluted. All four AS have the same amount of alcohol. The three OS samples also all had the same amount of the glycol. The Vijon sample contained roughly one half the amount of PG relative to the other three samples.

In the first section of the chromatograms, we see the early eluters. These are relatively volatile components and would probably be part of the top notes. As you can see,between 7 and 8 minutes, the two Shulton samples have three small peaks that are almost entirely absent from the P & G and Vijon samples. In addition, the peaks at 8.5 minutes have dramatically different shapes. The P & G and Vijon samples tail badly in this region, whereas the Shulton products do not. These are probably different molecules that happen to co-elute. Likewise at 9 minutes, again the peak shapes are different. This time, the P & G sample stands out by itself.

Between 10 and 14 minutes we find differences across all four samples. The peak at 11.3 minutes is missing in the vintage OS, but present in the other three. And then at 12.9 and 13.8 minutes, the P & G product is missing peaks present in the other OS samples. Overall, though, it appears that the vintage and current Shulton products are more similar in this region relative to the other two samples.

Between 14 and 18 minutes we have some high boilers. These, I expect, would probably represent the base notes. In this region, the P & G and Vijon samples have significant peaks that are mostly or wholly absent from the two Shulton samples.

And finally, between 18 and 20 minutes, the P & G and Vijon samples show a small peak that is absent from the Shulton samples/

Conclusions: The current Shulton and vintage Shulton products, overall, are very similar. What small differences exist between them may possibly be attributed to the age of the sample or point to a natural variation in components in some essential oil. It is the author's opinion that Shulton is using the same recipe in India that was used to manufacture the vintage sample. The P & G Old Spice appears to be significantly different from the other two Old Spice samples. I believe that there may be some evidence here for a change in recipe sometime between when the vintage Old Spice was produced and the current recipe. Whether that supposed change occurred before or after P & G obtained the product line is impossible to say. Finally, it appears that the Vijon flavors and fragrances chemists have done an admirable job at reproducing the current P & G product.
Just received Old Spice from India but was mfg by Rubicon not Shulton. Smells nothing like Old Spice, vintage or new. Unfortunately my wife prefers the scent.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Avon Brisk Spice is very very good.

MS.Fan.30mm.L-3.BriskSpice.3-18.JPG

The old Old Spice from long ago? It seemed very ordinary then, but it wasn't ordinary at all.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
Just received Old Spice from India but was mfg by Rubicon not Shulton
Agreed, Rubicon seems to be making their version of Old spice and running away with it. Also be careful using latest Old spice from India if some day you happen to have a very close shave with a sharp blade. Old spice original is so strong with alcohol that my face just lit up in flames if I am not careful. Bad batch perhaps, I don't know because Lime version is more civil but not by wide margin.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
Agreed, Rubicon seems to be making their version of Old spice and running away with it. Also be careful using latest Old spice from India if some day you happen to have a very close shave with a sharp blade. Old spice original is so strong with alcohol that my face just lit up in flames if I am not careful. Bad batch perhaps, I don't know because Lime version is more civil but not by wide margin.
Thanks for the heads up. I can’t even use mentholated soap. I just ordered a bottle of their Shulton. I doubt I will like any more than P & G Classic I buy at the drug store but after reading the arguments for years I decided to find out for myself. I’ve used OS for more than 50 years and Classic smells exactly the same to me but isn’t as strong a scent which is a good thing in my opinion.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
Thanks for the heads up. I can’t even use mentholated soap. I just ordered a bottle of their Shulton. I doubt I will like any more than P & G Classic I buy at the drug store but after reading the arguments for years I decided to find out for myself. I’ve used OS for more than 50 years and Classic smells exactly the same to me but isn’t as strong a scent which is a good thing in my opinion.
The second Shulton order arrived but turned out to be Rubicon which does not smell like Old Spice. I’m through with India. The American Classic I buy at the grocery is excellent anyway.
 
I actually have a quart sized bottle of Old Spice 'type' scenting oil, which came off e-Bay a couple years ago. I can take the dollar store stuff, or a bottle of Avon Spicy (not a bad knock off, if the scent lasted longer) and put a few drops in. This stuff stays smelling great all day long, and is pretty darn close to the original Old Spice scent. - Made with all essential/natural oils.
 
I have a bottle of vintage Shulton Old Spice Cologne ca. mid seventies. Put some on one morning recently and it was still going strong at 4 PM. When you wear it it announces your presence before anyone sees you. Great but not an every day scent.
 
Has anyone ordered the Indian Old Spice from West Coast Shaving? It $8 for 50ml... kinda pricey, but I'm tempted to try it.

I remember my Dad using Old Spice in the 1980's... great memories.
 
Only if it is old stock made at Goa plant by a Shulton licensee. Then it was given to Marico Industries. It went back to old licensee who made it till 2009/10.
Now P&G has given the production contract to Rubicon. I assure you it is nothing like old Spice I knew from old day and new stock is absurdly high on alcohol. Their lime version is somewhat better and you can always amp up lime with couple of drops of lime essential oil.
 
Has anyone ordered the Indian Old Spice from West Coast Shaving? It $8 for 50ml... kinda pricey, but I'm tempted to try it.

I remember my Dad using Old Spice in the 1980's... great memories.
Not worth it.

I am convinced that all versions of Old Spice are more or less the same, the only differences are due to variations of individual chemical suppliers and also the effects of aging on perfume.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
Not worth it.

I am convinced that all versions of Old Spice are more or less the same, the only differences are due to variations of individual chemical suppliers and also the effects of aging on perfume.
I’ve been using OS as my main AS since the 60’s and still smells the same to me
The only difference to me is that it doesn’t seem so “loud” as it once was which is a good thing in my opinion. I tried some Indian (Rubicon mfg.) and it didn’t smell like OS to me.
 
I would never be able to tell the difference between the different versions as I have no recollection of the 'oroginal'.
I do like the present formulation. Its not my first pick but I do sometimes buy it. Its nice in the fresh spring air or in the autumn, I find. Its not a clean enough scent for the hot summer, so I stick with things like Aqua Velva at those times of the year.
 
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