Old Spice Original Vs Classic (Don’t Be Fooled by the Knockoffs!)

My first experience with Old Spice Original Aftershave came from my grandfather when I was just a little boy. He always had a bottle of that aftershave sitting on his bathroom sink, and I remember thinking that Old Spice just smelled like my grandfather. I still use Old Spice from time to time after shaving, but there is a lot of controversy over the brand these days.

Old Spice Original was the original scent formulated and used by William Shultz in 1937. In 2008 Procter and Gamble changed the name of the original scent to Old Spice Classic, likely altering the ingredients and fragrance. The Old Spice Original imported from Italy in the white glass bottle is the closest to the original fragrance of Old Spice.

So, Old Spice Original seems like it would be the better choice, but there are many ways to compare the two. The availability, packaging, and scent all play a large role in choosing between one or the other. Let’s put both scents head-to-head to see which one is truly superior. 

What’s the difference between Old Spice Original and Old Spice Classic?

I want to start off this section by saying this – there is a lot of controversy around this subject and once you start looking into it you will see that a lot of people on both sides of the issue claim that they are right.

Basically, some people swear up and down that Procter and Gamble have changed the formulation and their new products don’t smell like the original. Other people will swear that the new products are exactly the same as the old ones. Still others will say that the new formulation (Old Spice Classic) is actually the original formula and the old one (Old Spice Original) is now the one that is different and smells worse.

In this article, I’ve done my best to take the most up-to-date information and add it to my personal experience. In fact, I actually have a bottle of Old Spice aftershave under my sink that belonged to my GRANDFATHER that I used to write this article.

Based on my research and experience, you should purchase the ‘Old Spice Original’ aftershave in the white glass bottle that is imported from Italy. The scent of this product is the closest to the original, traditional scent of Old Spice.

Here is that specific product – check the reviews and questions to confirm that it was produced in Italy!

Yep, that’s the closest to the old, old spice you can get!


With all that said, the fact of the matter is that nobody really knows what is happening with the fragrances of Old Spice these days, and your best bet is to head to the store and give them the old ‘sniff test’ to see which one you like the most.


This is the first place things get weird with Old Spice Original vs Old Spice Classic.

If you look online, you’ll see many different versions of Old Spice Original and Old Spice Classic. in 2023, in fact, it is possible to find both “Original” and “Classic” options with plastic or glass bottles, yellow or white bottles, and new or old logos. Check out the next section for more info on this.

Digging further into the reviews, and you’ll see that some of these products are imported from India, others from Italy, others from Canada, etc. There doesn’t seem to be a clear correlation between where these products come from and their fragrance and quality.

However, most people seem to agree that the Italian version of Old Spice Original is the truest to the original scent.

Again, Here is that specific product.


As I mentioned above, the there are big differences between packaging when it comes to Original and Classic versions. The problem is that there doesn’t seem to be strict rhyme or reason as to which ones look like what.

In the past, I would have said that Old Spice Original would be in a yellowish glass bottle while the newer Old Spice Classic would be in a white plastic bottle. However, as you can see in the pictures below, this isn’t always the case.

Take a look at the pictures below to see what I mean. Both of these products are listed as “Old Spice Original”

two versions of old spice original aftershave

And then take a look at this picture comparing different “Old Spice Classic” products.

three versions of Old Spice Classic


Now for arguably the most important part – the scent.

Based on reviews for both Original and Classic scents as well as my personal opinion, the Original scent is superior for a few reasons.

Both Original and Classic have scents of vanilla, cinnamon, citrus, and cedarwood, but the Classic version seems less noticeable and fades more quickly after the initial application. Based on my experience, Old Spice Classic lasts about half as long as the original and has lost many lingering base notes that make Old Spice Original so wonderful in my early childhood memories.

It’s important to consider that if you have only ever tried the Classic version, you will most likely be happy with it. The Original version smells and feels like more of an upgrade to the Classic version after comparing them together. 

Another thing to point out is that there doesn’t seem to be a way to guarantee that the product you buy will have the scent you expect.

Countless reviewers online have contradicted the idea that the new version smells worse than the original and vice versa. Basically, any given product will have reviewers claiming it is the original, superior scent along with other reviewers complaining that it has the newer, inferior fragrance.

As I mentioned before, your best bet is to find the Italian imported version of Old Spice Original.

Let’s look into a bit of the history with these products.

The history of Old Spice Original vs Classic

In 1934, a man named William Lightfoot Schultz saw an opportunity when he became aware of the emerging popularity of colonial-style American furniture. Shultz wanted to create a shaving product for women that would be reminiscent of the old colonial days of America and set out to create Old Spice. 

In 1937, the first Old Spice product was released and marketed toward women. After its immediate rise in popularity, the marketing was shifted towards men in 1938. 

Throughout the following decades, Old Spice stayed true to its nautical theme and experimented with various different ships to use on their label. These days, you can even find authentic, sealed bottles of the original Old Spice product labeled ‘New Old Stock’ if you want to experience the past.

Note that although aftershave doesn’t really expire, it is likely that the fragrance has broken down some inside the bottle, especially if it has been opened.

In 1990, Old Spice was purchased by Procter & Gamble. They began to expand their reach into new territories of fragrance products and released deodorants, skin care products, body sprays, and body washes. 

In 2008, the Original Old Spice scent was changed to the “Classic” scent, but only in the United States. Note that no reliable source claims that the product also had upgraded ingredients, although it is likely that happened.

Here’s an old photo of the original inspiration for the Old Spice packaging. 

Old Spice Original

Old Spice Original is the repackaged version of “classic” and is typically made in Europe or India. It is also USUALLY seen as the superior product in terms of quality and is the fragrance most similar to the ORIGINAL formula.

Again again – Here is that specific product that you are looking for!

What does Old Spice Original smell like?

Although the formulation is a closely guarded secret, the fragrance notes of Old Spice Original have been collected and reviewed over the years, leading to a pretty accurate profile.

Top notes

Old Spice Original has a bright collection of top notes that mixes citrus and spice together:

  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Star Anise
  • Nutmeg
  • Various aldehydes (floral and citrus fragrances)

Middle notes

Moving into the middle notes, Old Spice Original mixes floral notes together with a little spice:

  • Jasmine
  • Geranium
  • Pimento
  • Carnation
  • Cinnamon

Base notes

Moving into the base notes, Old Spice Original includes more masculine fragrances:

  • Cedar
  • Musk
  • Vanilla
  • Coumarin
  • Grass
  • Tobacco

This random old dude (who definitely has experience with the ORIGINAL version) recently did a direct comparison between various Old Spice aftershave products to arrive at the conclusion that the Italian-made Old Spice Original was the best product.

Where can you buy Old Spice Original?

Old Spice Original is more readily available in the US than the Classic version. My favorite place to buy shaving products is Amazon, which always has a competitive price. Here is a link to where you can buy Old Spice Original aftershave

Keep in mind, however, that there is some controversy in terms of which product you are actually getting when you purchase ‘Old Spice Original.’

Other than Amazon, most stores, supermarkets, and pharmacies will carry Old Spice Original. Check out Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Target, etc. These stores should all have what you are looking for. 

Available Products

Old Spice Original comes in a variety of different options for your everyday use. The products provided in this scent are aftershave, cologne, deodorant, and body wash. Let’s go into more detail on each one.

Old Spice Original Aftershave

Old Spice Original aftershave is one of my favorites from the product line. This aftershave is readily available for about $17, and the reviews are always very positive. 

Old Spice Original Cologne

Old Spice only offers two options for cologne, and both are not branded as “Original” scents but rather are just called “Classic.” You can find the Classic cologne spray for about $27. The reviews describe it as having a strong scent that lasts a long time.

Old Spice Original Deodorant

Old Spice Original deodorant is marketed as the “high endurance” deodorant and many people claim this scent is the closest to the original one out there. The best deal is the pack of 3 for $15 on Amazon. The mostly positive reviews describe it as lasting all day and successfully covering up body odor. 

Old Spice Original Body Wash

Finding Old Spice Original body wash is a bit tricky as the true Original product is a bit hard to come by and is on the pricier side. Again, like the deodorant, it’s marketed as “high endurance” and is available on Amazon for $20. The positive reviews describe it as smelling clean and fresh.

Old Spice Classic

Don’t get confused here – Old Spice Classic is the newer Old Spice product introduced when P&G took over. Although it has ‘Classic’ in the name like the original version, this is the NEW VERSION!

What does Old Spice Classic smell like?

Based upon research, Old Spice Classic does differ slightly from the Original. The scent of the Classic version is described as still having a warm spicy scent first, then added citrus notes. 

The difference comes in the scent of spicy clove and a scent that’s best described as creamy woods. There’s a truly vintage scent to Old Spice Classic that you will have to smell and compare it against the Original side-by-side to grasp the differences. 

Where can you buy Old Spice Classic?

Like the Original, Old Spice Classic products are most readily available on Amazon, but you shouldn’t have much trouble finding some of them in your local store as well. 

Available Products

Some specific products of the Classic line may be more difficult to come by in local stores like the aftershave. Still, most of the other products like cologne, deodorant, and body wash are widely available to US consumers. 

Old Spice Classic Aftershave

Old Spice Classic aftershave is available on Amazon for $20, and the positive reviews describe it as having a crisp and clean feel with a delightful masculine scent. 

Old Spice Classic Cologne

Old Spice only offers two colognes in their product line, which are both the Classic scent. The Classic cologne spray only comes in a pack of 3 and is available through Amazon for $27. The reviews describe it as having a strong scent that sticks around for a long time.

Old Spice Classic Deodorant

The Classic deodorant is available on Amazon for $13; the best value is the pack of 2. The positive reviews describe it as having that vintage Old Spice scent and notes that it can be difficult to find in stores. 

Old Spice Classic Body Wash

The Classic body wash is available through Amazon for $18 and the best value is the 2 pack. The positive reviews describe the scent of citrus, clove, and the vintage Old Spice smell that’s difficult to find elsewhere. 

old spice original vs classic

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