I used to work for Byredo and Bel D'Afrique is an excellent scent indeed, one of the top 3 sellers when I worked the line.
Scent/Fragrance of the Day thread - Page 1636
Can't help there - I've never tried the vintage.
It's the original atomizer.
I've smelled both, they're quite similar. The original is more raw and leathery, the gold is softer.
SOTD is Japon Noir. I was reaching for TF London, but picked this one up instead. It's one of those quickly discontinued scents from the original lineup of PB's that had a lot of character. I like it very much, although it's a bit better for fall and winter.
I have a very agnostic approach to perfumes. I've no loyalty to any particular house or maker--if it makes me curious, that's good. If it works well on my body, that's great. And if it intrigues me in a good way--I'll buy it. I tried about half a dozen Byredos over the past few days and Bal d'Afrique was the only one that left me unable to pinpoint just what it was all about, other than it smelled so, so good. Light, but complex. Fresh, but dark. Woody, but not heavy, and with a floral quality to it that goes so well in the heat of summer. And a lengthy, leisurely drydown that isn't mere vanilla or musk or powder, but a mix of all with something beyond. It's quiet, but not imperceptible.
There are some houses that have produced so many scents I like that I automatically try everything they release, even if the notes don't look appealing to me. Tom Ford, Etat Libre d'Orange, Jul et Mad, and Amouage are in that category. Then there are other houses that produce things I like so rarely that I don't try their new offerings unless the notes look good and they're getting lots of strongly positive reviews. Byredo is in that category for me.
I agree with Amouage, Tom Ford, and Etat Libre d'Orange (I've never tried Jul et Mad) being some of my favorite houses, along with Diptyque and Le Labo off the top of my head. Byredo is down at the bottom of preferences for me as well, along with Killian and Bond.
As I always said, the new one is worth the money. Is it the same? No. But, given the issues with vintage stuff, it's worth the effort. The difference is in the underlying "funk," which is basically the issue with all the Dior reformulations of Roudnitska stuff. Diorissimo and Diorama are the most obviously scarred in the transformation; Eau Fraiche and Diorella less so.
The new Diorella retains all the crisp fruity chypre. It also keeps the base. What is lacking is that rotten, animalic funk. So, it's more like a strange fruit fragrance but still very nice. The old Diorella is a strange fruit fragrance, but with a weird funk hiding underneath. It's not something everybody will love. But, for connoisseurs it's lovely. The new one is a nicer roundabout experience. Soft, a little powdery (an augmented chypre), and sharp. The old one is a harsher, warmer, more bodily experience. Like a dress shirt after a day of hard work, and hands covered with lemon or orange pulp.
In short, the new is worth it and still very much Diorella. Nevertheless, it is NOT the exact same fragrance.
I then annoyed my husband by applying this test to his arms as well. Rinse. Repeat.