I can see it now, the entire arc of Drakkar Essence's lifespan, encapsulated in the blink of an eye. This relatively mundane, shampoo-like designer offering is welcomed briefly by North American and European consumers, who find it competent enough to stand beside their bottles of Bleu de Chanel and Bvlgari Aqva, until it is all used up. Then the majority of first-time purchasers decide not to become second-time purchasers, and Laroche's sales figures for this product nosedive dramatically in the fourth quarter. There are some in the fragrance community who actually do like the stuff, and go to buy back-up bottles of it, mostly Guy Laroche completists whose girlfriends wear Fidji on special occasions, but when they get to the department store perfume counter, uh-oh, just kidding! Drakkar Essence is discontinued, sorry.
A couple months go by, and the threads on the online boards have by now lit up with some mild chatter about the scent's fleeting presence on the legit market of "authorized retailers" (in most cases, Macy's), and some wonder where they can still score a bottle at a reasonable price. That's when the grey market retailers on the internet catch wind of the scent's limited availability, and the hawks swoop in to buy up whatever stock remains. Those that are late to the party network on it non-stop until they have at least a few dozen bottles to sell. But of course, when these bottles are posted, their price has been increased forty, sixty, eighty percent. Then one hundred percent. Then two. Those who are actually familiar with how Drakkar Essence smells see the gouging and tell themselves, "You know, it was nice enough, but not worth these prices. Guess I'll have to pass on more Drakkar Essence." Oh to be a unicorn breeder . . .
But those who haven't smelled it yet and who have money to burn - real money to burn - pony up. They take one wearing of the stuff out on the town and decide they wasted their money, so they attempt to turn the loss around on Ebay and, just to sweeten the deal for themselves, jack their asking price about twenty percent higher than what they paid for it. The same hawkers that had a go at it the first time snatch up these second-round rejects, and the number of Drakkar Essences that sell on the Bay appear to be terrific, at exhorbitant prices. Two hundred and twenty-five bucks for three ounces? Sold. Of course, by this point the buyers are just people looking to resell at an even higher mark-up. Like many discontinued perfumes, the sales are between sellers, a fragrance trading hands. The sparse fan base for this fragrance dried up long ago. It's a stunningly mediocre and uninspired arrangement of synthetic mint, citrus, lavender, cheap woods, and white musk, little more than a shower gel at Walmart. But it's discontinued, and it's a successful brand name. You may never score another bottle of Drakkar Essence again. It must be worth a mortgage payment.
Having smelled it, I can save everyone the trouble: it isn't.