From the expensive designer fragrances to the budget-friendly drugstore options, we scoured the pages of vintage magazines, and found more than a hundred classic brands here. They’re shown below in alphabetical order. (Are we missing your favorite? Let us know in the comments!)
1000 by Jean Patou: The essence of extravagance (1989)
In this scent-strip world we live in, “1000” de Jean Patou remains aloof.
Exotic. Soignee. Redolent with rare flowers and precious fragrant oils. Nightblooming jasmine, rose centifolia, mysor santal and the rarest of the rare, Osmantbus from China. Osmanthus blooms for a short time each spring, and it can be found at a market in Canton.
More than seven million flowers are picked to produce a single kilogram of the jasmine essence used in “1000.” Little wonder this marvelous fragrance is known as the essence of extravagance…
Adolfo perfume and cologne (1985)
Albert Nipon perfume and eau de toilette (1985)
Almay fragrance for women (1989)
Anais Anais perfume by Cacharel (1987)
Ann Klein II — The Fragrance (1987)
A Touch of Class fragrance by Faberge (1982)
Awesome compact solid fragrance for teens (1988)
Aviance Night Musk from Prince Matchabelli (1984)
Cabochard vintage perfume (1980)
Champagne fragrance by Monteil (1982)
Calandre perfume by Paco Rabanne Paris (1984)
Chanel No. 5 – The famous classic perfume (1983)
Chantilly perfume by Houbigant (1985)
Charlie vintage perfume by Revlon: Wear an original. (1985)
Charlie Oriental perfume by Revlon (1989)
Charlie Naturals perfumes by Revlon (1985)
Three scents: Forest Herbal, Rare Musk and Fresh Flowers
Charlie Perfume-in-Cologne, from Revlon (1982)
Introducing the first perfume-in-cologne. Spray it on, it’s a cologne. Hours later, rub it gently, and it blooms into Charlie perfume. It’s the darndest thing.
Chloe — Parfums Lagerfeld (1987)
Ciara perfume from Ultima II – First impressions last. (1980s)
Cie perfume by Candice Bergen (1980)
Cinnabar fragrance from Estee Lauder (1983)
City Girl shimmering perfume (1985)
Coco parfum from Chanel (1986)
Colors de Benetton (late 1980s)
Benetton — Perfume of the world. Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette Vapo-Spray, Eau de Cologne
Dioressence by Christian Dior (1980)
Diva by Emanuel Ungaro (1988)
An unfair advantage in a world of seduction.
Emeraude by Coty (1985)
I love only one man. I wear only one fragrance. Emeraude.
English Lavender perfume and cologne by Yardley of London (1983)
Enjoli retro 80s perfume (1983)
You can bring home the bacon. Fry it up in a pan. And never let him forget he’s a man! Enjoli. (By Charles of the Ritz)
Epris fragrance by Max Factor (1982)
Estee Lauder Private Collection fragrance, with Paulina Porizkova (1988)
Eternity from Calvin Klein (1988/1989)
This 80s ad features supermodel Christy Turlington
Evere fragrance by Erno Laszlo fragrance (1989)
Budapest 1930: Erno Laszlo. A man who knew women instinctively. What interests them and pleases them.
Evere — A sensuous tribute to Laszlo’s love of beauty, and to the beauty of love.
Fidji de Guy Laroche (1980s)
First de Van Cleef and Arpels (1983)
Fleur de Fleur fragrance by Nina Ricci Paris (1982)
Fleurs de Jontue fragrances (1985)
Forever Krystle fragrance, based on the Dynasty TV show (1980s)
Both created to celebrate the love that lives forever.
Friday, the fragrance (1989)
Gasoline perfume for women (1985)
Gem perfume by Van Cleef and Arpels (1988)
Gianni Versace perfume (1984)
Giorgio Beverly Hills fragrance collection (1988)
Gucci No. 3 (1989)
Halston vintage perfume (1986)
Heaven Sent ’80s perfume (1986)
It takes a certain kind of cool: Heaven Sent perfume and musk
Imari fragrance for women from Avon (1985)
Interlude perfume and cologne (1986)
Intimate Musk by Revlon (1985)
Jardins de Bagatelle by Guerlain Paris (1985)
Je Reviens perfume and cologne by Worth (1982)
Jungle Jasmine retro perfume (1981)
Jean Nate after bath splash with Kathie Lee Gifford (1989)
Jontue perfume by Revlon (1987)
Wear it and be wonderful.
Jovan Florals fragrance collection (1987)
Jovan Musk Evening Edition (1986)
Ad features actor Billy Dee Williams – Lando Calrissian in Star Wars
Joy de Bain perfume from Jean Patou (1988)
Knowing, by Estee Lauder (1989)
L’Air du Temps perfume by Nina Ricci (1986)
L’Interdit vintage perfume from Givenchy (1985)
Lady Stetson perfume (1987)
An exciting blend of contrasts like America itself.
Lauren retro 80s perfume from Ralph Lauren (1980s)
She has her own spirit, and it graces everyone she comes near.
Le Jardin romantic fragrance by Max Factor (1980s)
Le Jardin D’Amour perfume from Max Factor (1987)
Le Sport perfume from Coty — Ad with Christie Brinkley (1980)
Play with style. Le Sport is more than a fragrance. It’s a way of life. The look. The feeling. The vitality of the new sport lifestyle. Day and night, you play with style.
Liz Claiborne: The Fragrance (1989)
All you have to be is you.
Loulou perfume from Cacharel (1989)
Love Notes perfume and cologne by Yardley of London (1984)
What you put into words, we put into fragrance. (This 80s ad includes the cringeworthy Valley Girl-style handwritten note that says, “like Hi! You are totally mega awesome! For sure, Cindy”)
Love’s Baby Soft (1982)
Some of the nicest things happen in Love’s Baby Soft.
Lutece perfume by Houbigant (1985)
The perfume for days of gold and sapphire nights.
Magical Musk by Toujours Moi – Max Factor (1984)
Magie Noire parfum by Lancome (1983)
In the ad for this vintage perfume from the ’80s: “Believe in magic.”
Maxim’s de Paris perfume for women (1985)
Midnight Musk by Bonne Bell (1984)
Marilyn Monroe fragrance with star quality (1984)
There’s a little Marilyn Monroe in every woman. Wistful. Glamorous. Sultry. Innocent.
Most Precious perfume by Evyan (1980s)
Musk by Alyssa Ashley ad – Sensuously female (1989)
Night Blooming Jasmine perfume and cologne by Jovan (1982)
Niki de Saint Phalle perfume: Dangerous, but worth the risk (1984)
Ninja fragrance from Parfums de Coeur (1985)
Conquer your heroes without killing your budget. If you like Opium or Cinnabar, you’ll love Ninja.
Nocturnes de Caron fragrance for women (1985)
The fragrance of a thousand flowers drifts in a whisper. As each descends, it strikes a single note. Slowly… softly… the music begins. Romantic, languid sounds that beckon. Nocturnes de Caron. Let the dream play on.
Nuance perfume from Coty (1982)
Nuance always says Yes. But you can always say No.
Nina by Nina Ricci Paris (1989)
Obsession by Calvin Klein (1980s)
Ombre Rose fragrance by Jean-Charles Brousseau (1984)
Opium perfume by Yves Saint Laurent (1988)
Opium: A fragrance as opulent and festive as the season.
Oscar de la Renta perfume (1980s)
Experience the power of femininity
Paloma Picasso perfume (1988)
Parfum de Bic pocket perfumes (1989)
(Yes, the Bic pen and lighter people had a perfume line back in the eighties. Who knew?)
Paris perfume by Yves Saint Laurent (1989)
Passion perfume from Elizabeth Taylor (1987)
Be touched by the fragrance that touches the woman.
Pheromone perfume from Marilyn Miglin (1988)
Poison perfume by Christian Dior: Poison is my potion. (1987)
Ptisenbon by Tartine et Chocolat (1988)
Their first perfume: A fragrance for babies and young children – created by Givenchy
Rive Gauche by Yves St Laurent (1980s)
Sinan perfume by Jean-Marc Sinan Paris (1985)
Skin by Bonne Bell (1980s)
Skin Musk by Bonne Bell (1989)
Sophia perfume by Sophia Loren for Coty (1985)
Raffinee perfume by Houbigant Paris (1982)
Rainbows perfume from Elizabeth Arden (1981)
Samba retro 80s perfume (1989)
Sand & Sable by Coty (1987)
If you’re not brave enough to wear this… wear this. Sand & Sable. We dare you to wear it.
Scoundrel perfume by Revlon, with actress Susan Lucci (1987)
Never met a Scoundrel I didn’t like.
Shalimar perfume by Guerlain (1987)
The most famous Guerlain introduces its parfum de toilette.
Sophia perfume by Coty — Sophia Lauren (1982)
Like the woman who inspired it, always magnificent. Never the same.
Sung by Alfred Sung vintage perfumes from the 80s (1989)
The essence of style. Eau de parfum.
Tabu retro spray cologne by Dana (1980)
Tatiana Perfume by Diane Von Furstenberg (1985)
Tatiana perfume – 1989 bottle style
Tea Rose perfume from The Perfumer’s Workshop (1983)
Tiffany perfume (1988)
Uninhibited perfume by Cher (1989)
Vanderbilt perfume from Gloria Vanderbilt (1987)
Let it release the splendor of you.
Verve vintage body-scenting mists by Prince Matchabelli (1980s)
Victoria’s Secret vintage perfume (1989)
Vivage by Louis Feraud for Avon (1985)
Whisper of Musk by Jovan (1984)
White Linen perfume from Estee Lauder (1989)
White Shoulders fragrance from Evyan (1986)
The best the world has to offer.
Wild – The fragrance (1989)
Vintage Wind Song perfume from Prince Matchabelli (1980)
Ysatis by Givenchy (1988)
Xi’a Xi’ang vintage eighties perfume (1988)
The fragrance of imagination. Xi’a Xi’ang. To travel to the past. To allow what is forbidden. To obtain that which is elusive. (By Revlon)
Vintage perfumes from the ’80s: Designer perfumes smelling like a rose (1983)
Excerpted from an article by K Marcum – The Record (Hackensack, New Jersey) May 1, 1983
Giorgio Armani. Yves Saint Laurent. Oscar de la Renta. Names that shake women’s fashions every year are causing ripples in the fragrance industry.
Of the 500 fragrances currently on the market, one in 10 bears the name of a designer, according to the Fragrance Foundation, an industry trade association. However, many retailers report that as much as one-third of their fragrance stocks mirror the names found on ready-to-wear labels.
“Whenever you’re dealing with an intangible product like perfume, it helps to create a visual concept of it for the consumer,” says Annette Green, executive director of the Fragrance Foundation.
“With designer fragrances, the visual keys are the designer’s clothes. Even if a woman can’t afford the clothes, she can at least splash on the fragrance.”
That makes selecting a fragrance gift especially easy for Mother’s Day, a prime holiday for perfume counters. All the harried gift-giver has to do is keep his eyes open for clues.
In other words, if a woman likes Oscar de la Renta’s feminine confections, you’re safe going for his romantic, floral scent. If, on the other hand, she leans toward the simple, architectural lines of Italy’s Armani, you’re better off selecting his equally clean, namesake fragrance.
Women who like to wow an audience wearing dramatic Yves Saint Laurent garb will respond favorably to his Oriental-inspired Opium.
Of the top 10 selling fragrances nationally, more than half are from designers — Lauren, Vanderbilt, Halston, Chloe, Chanel No. 5, Oscar, and Opium (from Saint Laurent).
Challenging these established designer fragrances are recent entries such as Armani, Missoni, and Krizia, according to the Fragrance Foundation.
A strong whiff after World War II
Although designer fragrances have made a dramatic impact on the industry during the past 10 years, they are nothing new. Coco Chanel introduced her top-selling Chanel No. 5 in 1924.
Americans didn’t get their first strong whiff of fragrance fever until after World War II when returning servicemen brought perfume home to their sweethearts. That put the United States on the road to becoming the world’s largest fragrance consumer.
Vintage perfumes from the ’80s by American designers
An American designer fragrance was still several years in the offing. It wasn’t until 1968 that Norman Norell created his namesake scent and launched the designer fragrance invasion on this side of the Atlantic. Since then, the market has grown by leaps and bounds.
“There are very few designers — at least American designers — who haven’t come out with a fragrance,” says Greene. “Designer fragrances seem to have outlived many of the other things designers have licensed.”
Besides having a nose for what sells, American designers also have the know-how for turning smells into scintillating big business.
They have increased the standard fragrance offerings of perfume, eau de toilette, and cologne to include a whole range of body-fragrance products, such as perfumed lotions, bath soaps, powders and after-bath splashes.
The next fragrance phase may well be created by artists. French sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle recently painted her personal concoction into the perfume picture. A scent from Paloma Picasso, jewelry designer and daughter of artist Pablo Picasso, also is rumored to be near completion.
Even special stores have gotten into the aromatic act. Neiman-Marcus, for example, created its personal Volage scent 2-1/2 years ago. More recently, Sakowitz president Robert T. Sakowitz came up with Night Breeze.
Regardless of which type of scent you select, there is a right and a wrong way to narrow the field. Never smell straight from the bottle because all you’ll get is the overpowering aroma of alcohol. Make sure to try no more than three at a time on your wrist so they don’t mix together and blend into one.
The fragrance industry talks about scents in terms of a 1-2-3 punch, and experiencing all three levels is essential to selecting the proper fragrance.
Level 1 is the top note or the immediate impression you get when the bottle is opened. Next comes the heart, or the middle note, which is only revealed 10 to 15 minutes after application. This is the real, central smell that should last about three to four hours.
The final smell is the base note, the level that gives warmth and permanence to the fragrance.
Once you’ve determined the scent, it’s time to consider the strength you want. Perfume is by far the strongest — and most expensive — followed by eau de toilette (toilet water), cologne, and, finally, splash.
Also take into consideration that layering whatever scent you select makes the fragrance more economical. Bathing and moisturizing with fragrance-scented products reinforces the perfume you finally apply, and allows you to use less of it.