Category: 80s style

digging (into) vintage: Cacharel Loulou, 1987

(Image Mervyn Gorman autochrome, 1913) Perfumer Jean Guichard. I recently found a vintage bottle of  Cacharel Loulou, a spiced floriental in the vein of Coty l’Origan (1905) and Guerlain l’Heure Bleue (1912).  The three could be seen as variations on a theme, and, though l’Heure Bleue is the most iconic of the three, it wasn’t the first.  It took l’Origan’s style…

digging (into) vintage: Chanel Antaeus, 1981

Hercules and Antaeus, by Isidro Gonzalez Velazquez and Juan Adan. Chanel Antaeus, 1981.  Perfumers Jaques Polge, François Demachy. Chanel Antaeus was my first perfume.  I don’t remember who gave it to me, but I didn’t choose it myself.  Looking back, my touchstones in perfume were Patou Joy, Lanvin Arpege, Dior Eau Sauvage and Paco Rabanne pour Homme.  The first two my mother had, and introduced me to classical perfumery. …

Amouage Interlude Man, 2012

(image Robert Longo, Men in the Cities, 1979) Perfumer Pierre Negrin. God knows Amouage have done the ‘go big or go home’ style masculine fragrances before. In fact they are some of the line’s most successful perfumes. Hybrid vigor, Amouage’s implicit goal, has led to beautiful fragrances that highlight traditional Eastern materials and Western compositional methods. The sensibility that results…

digging (into) vintage: Giorgio Beverly Hills Giorgio, 1981

  Perfumer Bob  Aliano I don’t quite understand the big perfumes of the 1980s. At heart, they carried a mixed message. They are unavoidable: large, loud, instantly recognizable, distressingly unmistakable.  They are written in bold print and are meant  to stand out.  The problem is that they were also used as identifiers to signal inclusion in a group, or rather,…

digging (into) vintage: Hermès Bel Ami, 1986

Perfumer Jean-Louis Sieuzac In retrospect, Hermès Bel Ami marks the midway point between the dry woods of Chanel Antaeus and the gasoline slap of Dior Fahrenheit. The connection is leather, which both the Chanel and the Dior hint at, but the Hermès wraps itself in.  An intermediate species can by definition only be identified after the fact.  So, here we…

digging (into) vintage: Givenchy Ysatis, 1984

(image, dreadful 1980s shoulder pads as worn by Joan Collins) Givenchy Ysatis, 1984.  Perfumer Dominique Ropion. Ysatis gives me some new thoughts on scent and memory. It comes from an era when I rarely wore perfume, and didn’t pay attention to the state-of-the-art at all.  Still, I remembered it instantly when I found a perfectly preserved vintage specimen recently. Ysatis…

digging (into) vintage: K de Krizia, 1980

  Perfumer Maurice Roucel Discovering a chypre from the early 1980s that you’ve never tried is dicey. While it’s new to me, it’s by no means a new perfume, and has lived, loved and likely been reformulated a number of times, probably  fatally. Hand a new fumie a current bottle of Diorella, she’ll sniff and then look at you and…