Category: 70s style

Estée Lauder Cinnabar, 1978

Perfumer Bernard Chant? Spicy, resinous amber perfumes are a feel-good genre in perfumery. The individual components (vanilla, benzoin, labdanum…) are like prefab bases and can single-handedly provide the blueprint for an Oriental perfume. The risk is the kitchen-sink syndrome. Cinnabar’s topnotes juxtapose a bright, aldehyde/bergamot accord against a boozy amber mix, a trick learned from Youth Dew. The segue from citrus to…

Bruno Fazzolari Au Delà and Seyrig

Image Philip-Lorca diCorcia. Perfumer Bruno Fazzolari. It’s a fine point, but Bruno Fazzolari’s perfumes Au Delà (2013) and Seyrig (2015) don’t imitate perfumes from the past.  Instead, they take their genres apart and discover what makes them tick.  Even though Fazzolari refers Seyrig as “inspired by the aldehydic motifs of the late ’60s and early ’70s perfume” it steers clear…

digging (into) vintage: Cacharel Anaïs Anaïs, 1978

Photo, Susan Meiselas.  Hanging out on Baxter Street, 1978.  From The Prince Street Girls | New York (1976-2011) Perfumers Roger Pellegrino, Robert Gonnon, Paul Leger and Raymond Chaillon Cacharel Anaïs Anaïs is an unsurpassed example of top-down design in corporate perfumery.  Employing marketing strategies intended to launch products into the advertising pantheon of ‘Household Name’ commodities such as Coca-Cola and…

Why I’m Wearing Cristalle Today

There is a succinctness to Cristalle that appeals to me.  It makes me think about syntax and tense in language.  The past is perfect, the present is subjunctive and the future is conditional. My relationship to time has everything to do with the language I speak, English, which favors an analytical/logical view of dividing time.  Preterite, pluperfect, present, conditional, anterior,…

digging (into) vintage: Oscar by Oscar de la Renta, 1977

  (Left: Oscar de la Renta  early 1970s. Right: Yves Saint Laurent 1974) Perfumer Jean-Louis Sieuzac made some of the most memorable and influential perfumes of the 1970s-1990s. Yves Saint Laurent’s era-defining Opium (1977) smothered the oriental genre in spice, making the previous big-girls like Shalimar and Youth Dew seem quaint.  In the 1980s Sieuzac skipped the match, but piled…

stray thoughts on the fougère, part 1 for Kevin

  The New Man of the 1970s, or how Paco Rabanne pour Homme maintained the psychic stability of society. Paco Rabanne, 1973.  Perfumer Jean Martel. However it came about, by the early 70s, masculinity teetered on a tight rope. Men had grown up assuming tht the privileges of their gender were as basic as air or gravity. They were unprepared to…