Whenever I fall in love with a product, the retail gods take it off the shelves. If I was given a dollar everytime this happened, I’d be rich.
I remember my mother used to complain about this. She loved a perfume called Demi-Jour by Houbigant. Then the company stopped making it. After she passed away, all I had left was an empty bottle, which I cherished. A few years later my sister discovered that a new company now makes Demi-Jour: Dana Classic Fragrances of New York. She got me a box for my birthday, which I covet like liquid gold.
The same thing happened to my favorite perfume: Milles Fleurs by Crabtree & Evelyn. For some unknown reason it was discontinued in 1980, and I never liked any of their replacements.
What is it about these long-lost products that we would love to have back? Memories of our best summer? Our first love? Our youth? If I could find a bottle of Sea & Ski suntan lotion — a 1960’s brand once more popular than Coppertone — I would take a good whiff and be transported back to my Cape Breton summers as a teenager. But it’s no longer made and all that remains is the trademark.
This happens with food, too. There was a cookie that my grandmother bought similar to Arnott’s Lemon Crisp but under another brand which I can’t for the life of me remember. I have scoured the shelves of my local store but can’t find it. It may be available in another province, in the States or even in Europe, but not here. She also kept a handful of green spearmint jelly-filled buttermints in her apron pocket. They are nowhere to be found, only the ones with blue peppermint jelly. Not a big thing, I know. But it’s a detail about this wonderful lady that I wish I could hold in my hand again.
Now my daughter is complaining about this same phenomena: the demise of Time Out chocolate bars by Cadbury, introduced to Canada in 2001 but discontinued here due to lagging sales. Our local pita shop Extreme Pita, that stopped offering pineapple. No more chocolate peanut butter bars sold at Starbucks. Don’t know if this is a local decision or franchise wide. What does all this mean?
That I pay way too much attention to this stuff and am a sentimental, nostalgia junkie or that my taste doesn’t run with the majority of consumers out there, and anything I really like will eventually go the way of the dodo bird.