Photo 1990Eau de Toilette

Photo (Eau de Toilette) by Karl Lagerfeld
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Photo (Eau de Toilette) is a perfume by Karl Lagerfeld for men and was released in 1990. The scent is woody-spicy. The production was apparently discontinued.
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Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesAldehydes, Bergamot, Galbanum, Lavender, Mandarin orange, Lemon
Heart Notes Heart NotesCyclamen, Carnation, Honey, Jasmine, Coriander, Caraway, Rose
Base Notes Base NotesAmber, Benzoin, Oakmoss, Gaiac wood, Musk, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Tonka bean, Cedar

Ratings

Scent

7.1 (230 Ratings)

Longevity

6.6 (163 Ratings)

Sillage

6.3 (157 Ratings)

Bottle

6.7 (169 Ratings)
Submitted by DonVanVliet, last update on 14.10.2020.
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Reviews

9.5
Scent
8
Longevity
8
Sillage
7
Bottle
Fragrantix
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Fragrantix
Fragrantix
Very helpful Review    9  
My 25th anniversary with "Photo"
In the summer of 1995, I found out that the fragrance that had often been noticed by others and that had always fascinated me was the fragrance "Photo" by Karl Lagerfeld. A Mitazubi had bought it. Immediately I went to the next department store and got myself a big bottle, but not without spraying it with the available tester
"Photo" fascinated me from the first moment on. This ever-present soapy and flowery aura, with perceptible tangerine and metallic notes in the top note, rounded off in the further course of the fragrance by increasingly mild spiciness (wood notes, soft leather in the background) as well as an increasing powderiness, immediately captivated me. And this spell has remained until today, the year of my 25th anniversary with "Photo". "Photo" smells and looks to me like freshly washed laundry, which smells so clean and noble that I can't get enough of it. The fragrance always manages the balancing act between sweet and tangy-spicy scents, without ever appearing overly sweet or extremely tart in the overall impression. It skilfully forms a bridge between the tart barbershop scents of the 80s and the more airy scents of the 90s. Even the reformulated version, which Coty released in 2005 and which is often criticized here, still manages to do this to a large extent, although not quite as expressively and fluently in the course of the fragrance as the original version from 1990.

Unfortunately "Photo" has disappeared from the market in the meantime. You can still find some leftover stock on the internet at proud prices, but you should be careful with the original version, which was offered until 2004 (the flacons with the green calculator writing on them). Many of the flacons still on offer today are probably from the 90s. Unfortunately, the many years have not been good for the fragrance, the ingenious top note is now almost regularly broken. This is expressed in a rather musty-looking opening, the heart and base notes now tend to be more than intentionally spicy, even if the fragrance itself still works here. In the reformulated version (2005-2012, white print on the flacons), the fragrance is still ok in my experience, but unfortunately the ravages of time are gnawing at the remnants here as well. It's only a matter of time before these too become unusable.

There are some replicas from German, Austrian and American suppliers and I assume that I have tried all available ones by now. I don't have anything against replicas per se and some to other classics are also made quite passably, but everything I was (had to be) allowed to smell regarding "photo" so far, was unfortunately not usable. Either they are too spicy or too flat, the characteristic flowery soapiness is missing on all replicas so far.

However, I still hope that the fragrance will be re-released sometime or someone will release a good (or at least passable) replica of it, so that "Photo" and I can celebrate our 50th anniversary as well
9 Replies
9
Scent
8
Longevity
8
Sillage
8
Bottle
Schmutzfuss
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Schmutzfuss
Schmutzfuss
   5  
A Kölsch for Guido!!! - It's on me!
What did I love the fragrance and how much I would love to call it my own again! But on the auction portals there are mostly only greedy cutthroats and shady rabble :-(
I had my first contact with fragrance only at the beginning of the 00s. In order to earn some money on the side, I waited or was the "Zappes" behind the counter of a restaurant/bar/pub of a good friend. The job was fun, one earned good tips and the guests were also nice and friendly to 99%. At that time I wasn't as addicted to scents as I am today, ( unfortunately or thank God?) but one of the most striking memories is the smell of one of our regulars. Guido showed up every weekend with his wife and a couple of friends and they always occupied one of the tables near the counter. So he was in my "responsible district". Guido was a well-groomed, typical Cologne moustache in his late thirties and always dressed in summer with a polo shirt (only real with the rider on it) and Chino-Bermuda as well as sailing shoes. Besides, this group of guests was always very nice, uncomplicated and humorous.
One day - when Guido & Co were our guests again - I went to the bar table to take the order. Immediately I noticed a wonderful scent, which I had never smelled before. When I asked who or what smells so great here, Guido grinned meaningfully. "Photo" of Lagerfeld was apparently what I would smell. Unasked I sniffed at his neck, the group giggled and I was blown away! I quickly noted the name of the fragrance on the beer mat and put it in my pocket Thus, over time, a certain ritual developed when Guido stopped by for a Kölsch. I sniffed (with pleasure also acting-exaggerated) at his neck and turned the eyes. And Guido I usually never disappointed, because he usually always wore the scent at that time.
So it went on for a few weeks and at some point Guido came to me at the bar some evening when he was a guest again. He handed me an almost 1/3 full bottle of Photo and grinned. He had bought this bottle some time ago, but now he had "smelled it tired". He knew how much I would like the scent and would like to give me the rest. With me he would know that I would appreciate the gift as well. Man, was I happy! I thanked Guido in the proper way by not having to pay quite a lot of Kölsch that evening... Me neither, I was standing right at the source
Oh, crap, I should write something about that scent. I almost forgot, sorry!
As far as I'm concerned, there's musk and moss in there. That's almost always enough for me to like a fragrance like that. I can be easily manipulated if the mixture between the two fragrance components is right.
However, the start is not typically masculine, but rather pleasantly fruity and fresh. But after a while it develops a really distinctive dynamic: masculine, spicy, woody. And yet it doesn't lose its freshness and fruitiness, which disappears easily, but is still noticeable. A terrific combination, which I haven't smelled anywhere else for a long time.
When writing, I really start to rave about the "good old days" and I give Guido a Kölsch beer and say "Thank you very much!"

5 Replies
Peanut
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Peanut
Peanut
Top Review    51  
Three quarters full
I distributed brochures during the fall holidays to buy it for you for Christmas. I had no idea of the scent. I had no idea about scents, woods, oakmoss, but you just had to get it: A photographer should own and carry "Photo", I thought.

I had no idea if it would suit you, because the scent seemed to me irrelevant. It was the name that counted for me. My ignorance paired with good intentions was rewarded: Because "photo" fitted exactly, it smelled something like the water from the pouring bottle that always wafted in your darkroom when I visited you so as not to take the bus home from school. Woody-sweetish and bitter-soapy, somehow generic, yet anything but arbitrary.

At some point the scent fell a little out of time. He became more invisible in the abundance of the ever more sparkling, sporty new releases, but you wore him unflinchingly. Not exclusively, but continuously. I gave it to you every now and then, because it belonged to you like your snap finger, your beard and your loose sweaters.

"There are still personal things in the bathroom," said the hospice nurse as we packed your things. She opened the window and let cold air flow into the room. Outside, people rushed back and forth to do the very last Christmas shopping, to get the annual, inevitable desperate gifts, naturally just before closing time. I went to the bathroom and looked around: Your shoes next to the oxygen bottle, your lavender soap, toothbrush. The bottle "Photo" at the washbasin. I had no idea you had him with you till the end. It was certainly not the same bottle as the one on Christmas Eve twenty-five years ago. But the same.

I put it in my pocket and took it home with me. I couldn't take you home with me anymore. It didn't make any sense to me, it was Christmas Eve. So much to do now - and yet nothing more. What do you do when your favorite person leaves? Where to look, where to find? Can Christmas even die and how long does "never again" last? An empty head, a full heart, a three-quarter full bottle of "Photo" in the coat pocket.

I still have no idea. Your Photo bottle is still exactly three quarters full. I always only sniff the spray head carefully, more than that I lack the guts. Because the last time you sprayed - and I want it to stay that way. None other than your snap finger should ever operate the sprayer. They have also set "Photo" - how cynical. Maybe it's better that way, because it reduces the probability that someone will give it to someone for Christmas. So by pure coincidence, as a gift of desperation just before closing time.
20 Replies
9.5
Scent
8
Longevity
8
Sillage
7
Bottle
Buenolfato
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Buenolfato
Buenolfato
Top Review    12  
Horror is spreading..
Not about the scent, but about the fact that the production of Photo has probably been stopped for some time, which unfortunately somehow passed me by
So the time has come for profiteers, as can be seen from the fact that in the large online mail-order house someone actually offers the 125ml bottle, which Rossmann wasted every month for a twenties just a few years ago, for 260 euros.

I have come to terms with the inevitable and will therefore write a little farewell review to one of my favourite waters and long-time fragrance companions.

Whereby I suppose that the photo fans of the first hour like Scorpio from the end of the Lagerfeld brew are not so taken along now.
And I can understand it quite well.
The original, unreformulated version, which I got to know myself at the very beginning of my Photo-Liason, was indeed a different, better caliber than what followed later.
A real feast for the senses, especially the senses of smell.
Herb, fresh, flowery, always a bit "dark" and mysterious.
Even the opening was unusual in comparison to many other men's perfumes in this direction.
The indicated shot of photo bowl synthetics, bergamot, lavender, mandarin and all the fruit that was buzzing around; this inimitable mixture has left a deep impression on me.
The beautiful woody chord, which was later added with further spices like coriander and which determined the scent experience until the end, made Photo unmistakable for me and above all designed in such a way that I never had enough of it despite frequent use.
Something that only few other fragrances can claim from me.

And the new photo?
Yeah, dimmed down, faded, ironed smooth, sanded. Evil tongues also say: castrated.
In the mainstream, fewer and fewer manufacturers want to challenge their customers with fragrant corners and edges. Still, I liked that one too.
Perhaps also the imagination that he still possessed much of the aura of his predecessor made me graciously overlook his quirks.
At least the projection and the durability hadn't changed too much.

Anyway, now both are no longer there and I have to turn to other waters.
But not without thanks to Master Karl for a wonderful and, in my opinion, the best of his perfume creations, with which I combine many beautiful hours and experiences.
3 Replies
8
Scent
5
Longevity
7.5
Sillage
5
Bottle
K1

121 Reviews
K1
K1
Helpful Review    3  
Classy classic but not retro
You may review this perfume but are you sure your review is trustable without considering its retro version and without considering Photo in its hey-day? Felling Photo truly needs to review some classic masterpieces, although, Photo never entered that list. But it is and was not that bad!

Photo (my review is upon my vintage version sample from my dear friend Panos) is a soft classy classic leather jacket/white t-shirt mate aldehyde spicy. Kind of fresh, kind of dandy, kind of masculine and manly floral air. Not a "boys are back in town" type of perfume but definitely "dandy is back" type!

Photo opens with deep freshened aldehyde, faint animalic-form, soft floral and all in autumnal fresh mood. Like in YSL Live Jazz, coriander and lemon play important rule in the composition. If you're in classics, Photo stays somewhere between modern and classics, not so old school, nor so contemporary.

Longevity: close to skin in lasts so long, but longevity for favorable power is about 5 hours.
sillage: Soft, light and moderate.
Scent: I love it but it's all about taste.
ColinM

516 Reviews
ColinM
ColinM
   3  
Uninspired fougère
Photo by Lagerfeld is a more than conventional masculine cologne with citrus, lavender, carnation, rose, spices and woody-mossy notes – shortly a fresh, woody-soapy aromatic fougère halfway Versace l’Homme (to which it is much similar) and Armani pour Homme. While the accords are conventionally “barbershop” there is a youngster, cleaner vibe all over, like in the two abovementioned fragrances – which are however both much better than Photo in my opinion. Everlasting woody-rose drydown. I wouldn’t say it is bad, it is nice and graceful instead, but also terribly dull and highly forgettable . Sometimes “forgotten gems” are forgotten for a reason...

5,5-6/10
7
Scent
5
Longevity
5
Sillage
7.5
Bottle
Drseid

753 Reviews
Drseid
Drseid
   3  
A Picture of Oakmoss Heaven...
*This is a review of the vintage version of Photo.

Photo (vintage) opens with sparkling aldehydes and bergamot citrus to give the scent a bit of bite early before they dissipate as very aromatic lavender joins bitter-green galbanum, and powerful oakmoss rising from the base. As the scent enters its early heart phase, the dominant oakmoss remains as the aromatic lavender and galbanum move to a supporting role, as rose and carnation florals join a dark slightly dirty musk to give the green overall accord an almost musty floral undertone. During the dry-down the oakmoss and florals lose their bite as sweet honey, sandalwood and amber emerge late to soften the finish. Projection is average and longevity is slightly below average to average at 5-7 hours on skin.

Photo is one of those scents I sniffed in a magazine 20+ years ago, impressing me just enough to remember I sniffed it but not quite enough to seek it out back then. Having now semi-blind bought a bottle of the vintage juice years later I can certainly see the allure it has on its many fans. I am not a lavender lover, but the stuff used in Photo (vintage) is very nicely done with a focus on its aromatic qualities and the gorgeous oakmoss used is so strong it is near impossible not to notice it almost immediately. Where the scent falls down just a hair is in the middle phase where the musty florals can be a bit off-putting. Not to say they detract so much for me to not enjoy and recommend Photo, just be aware that this is not quite the clean scent you may think. The finishing dry-down of Photo (vintage) may be the best part of the scent as its honey note seems to come out of nowhere, really working perfectly to soften its relatively bracing green overall nature. The very good 3.5 star out of 5 rated Photo (vintage) is a great way to get a taste of a time when oakmoss reigned queen and compositions had more bite. I have not sniffed the current version of the scent but I know just from the oakmoss in the vintage juice reviewed here that one should stick to the vintage version as there is no way it can be in the current stuff (in any large way) due to regulations and with the vintage juice still selling for $20-$35 a bottle there is no reason not to go for "the good stuff".

Statements

KimJongKimJong 5 months ago
8
Scent
6
Longevity
5
Sillage
7
Bottle
Current version: a gloomy spicy fougere, feels like Tom Waits in Jim Jarmusch's movies. Good scent but it's a bit weak.

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