“I would like to express my gratitude to K. Gift for undertaking the comparison between the new and old perfume formulations as a valuable introduction to this review.”
You can read the original Thai language review at this website.
The first thing that impressed us and made us remember this perfume brand is the white ceramic bottle design, adorned with patterns on the front that represent various fragrances. This is another strength of the brand that helps customers remember it easily. The bottle serves as a functional everyday item, a beautiful decoration, and looks stunning in photographs.
However, it’s not just the bottle that impressed us. When experiencing the first spray of the perfume, the familiar scent for Thai people comes to life, whether it’s Borneol, Chalood (Alyxia nitens Kerr), or Niam leaves (Strobilanthes tonkinensis Lindau), which have been used to create Thai fragrances for ages.
Nevertheless, don’t assume that the scent will be old-fashioned, ancient, or goosebump-inducing. In the Original line of Siam1928, various fragrances branch out while maintaining an exotic essence of ancient Thai traditions.
In early April, we had the opportunity to try the original fragrance, which had been reformulated in 2023 (2566 BE). The perfumer has adjusted and added twists to all four scents: Rasvika, Chanaraj, Tipakorn, Assan, and introduced a new fragrance called Karawik. It was quite fortunate that we had kept the old samples, so we could compare the old and new formulas.
In this review, we will skip the fragrance notes and focus on comparing the scents between the old and new formulas instead.
Original Formula: The opening scent of Yuzu is prominent, accompanied by the fragrant aroma of Niam leaves. This creates a wide and well-distributed sensory experience, leaning towards a refreshing, sharp, yet delicate and lively scent. It also carries an underlying sense of tranquility from the subtle green foliage notes.
New Formula: The role of Yuzu is toned down, and we now detect a more distinct tobacco scent. The new formula provides a sweeter, warmer, and more luxurious feel.
The ambiance of these two fragrances is different. The original formula resembles a morning sun, while the new formula evokes the feeling of an evening sun. As we define it, the original formula brings to mind the word “elegant,” and the new reformulation conjures up the word “handsome” when smelled.
Original Formula: I must say that I am quite fond of the original Rasvika formula and have had the opportunity to use it frequently, as I received a full bottle as a gift from a close friend. What I love about this scent is its antique quality, with the aroma of Thai floral powder and a cool, refreshing Borneol fragrance. When sprayed on the skin, the feeling of “coolness” instantly comes to mind. However, a slight drawback is that it can be challenging to wear, as in a traditional Thai context, people around us may associate this scent with bath and body products, which is why I find it more convenient to use when I am at home.
New Formula: The new Rasvika formula seems more contemporary. The cool Borneol and floral powder scent has disappeared, replaced by a powdery dust fragrance. In the opening, we can detect a distinct iris root scent, intertwined with subtle, hidden notes. It leans towards a skin-hugging aroma that, when smelled, makes you want to sniff it again. This reformulated scent seems much easier to wear.
Comparing the two, we can clearly see the differences in Rasvika. It has transformed from a calm, traditional Thai woman who stays at home to a modern, more youthful, beautiful, classy, and sexy woman. When testing on paper, the iris root scent has a slightly acidic tone, but once applied to the skin, the fragrance is not as sharp or piercing as when tested on paper. Instead, it becomes smoother and blends well with our natural body scent, giving off an alluring skin-hugging aroma.
Original formula: I must admit that when I first tried Chanalaj, I wasn’t quite impressed with its scent. I wasn’t fond of the sharp opening notes of bergamot and grapefruit, which were rather overwhelming to my nose. However, as the scent transitioned to the soft middle notes of jasmine and lotus, I began to feel better about it. I particularly liked the dry-down, which was deep and serene. Perhaps it’s because I have always been a fan of the sweet scent of jasmine.
New formula: The sharp opening notes that I don’t like once found overpowering have disappeared. I can now detect the scent of lotus blossoms in a pond, which is fresher, sweeter, cooler, and cleaner than before. This new interpretation of the scent evokes a clearer image of a lotus pond at dusk.
I am quite surprised by the changes in the new Chanalaj formula. The abrupt transition between the notes is now gone, and the scent feels smoother and more profound. It could even be described as a rather romantic fragrance.
Original formula: The original Assan fragrance features aquatic notes with a salty and slightly bitter oceanic tone, mixed with jasmine. This combination evokes feelings of hot beach days and floral garlands, which doesn’t suit my preferences, making it difficult for me to wear, especially when mixed with my perspiration on my skin.
New formula: Jasmine remains the main character in the new Assan formula, but it is now fresher, cleaner, and less salty. I find the jasmine to be more vibrant, transparent, clear, and resonant.
The Assan scent is not one that I find easy to wear in my everyday life, due to the chemistry between the fragrance and my skin. However, it is a unique and unusual blend that stands out from other fragrances on the market. I believe that the notes in this scent are relatively rare, making it a love-it-or-hate-it type of fragrance.
Now, let’s discuss the new fragrance from the Original line that was launched alongside the others: Karawik.
Top Notes: Lavender, Galbanum
Middle Notes: Coconut, Magnolia, Wild Mango
Base Notes: Oakmoss, Sandalwood, Cedarwood
According to the website, this fragrance was inspired by the birds in the mango forest (actually, the brand beautifully described it as a bird of paradise in a mythical forest, but we’ll simplify it for easier understanding, hoping the brand won’t mind).
We love the mysterious aspect of this scent; each time we inhale it, we get alternating notes of unripe and ripe mangoes, evoking the atmosphere of a dense, humid jungle. As we smell the mango notes, we also detect hints of coconut interspersed with the intense green aroma of leaves.
This fragrance is quite unique for us, as it combines the unripe mango scent we love with the coconut scent we’re not so fond of. However, overall, it effectively conveys a contemporary Thai vibe and the hot, humid climate of the country. When sprayed on the skin, it lasts quite well.
In summary, the reformulated scent is more user-friendly and accessible while still maintaining the DNA of the original fragrance. We are confident that if you compare the scents of both formulas, you will appreciate the improved version.
Note: The fragrance experience and review are based on personal experiences, as each person has different sensory perceptions that depend on memories, environment, and individual personalities.