80s Perfumes Are Back. and no, This Is Not A Drill !
We Tested Out 4 Classic CULT 80s Fragrances To See If They Can STILL BE Pulled off In 2017.
Ah, the 80s. A time of shoulder pads, alarming amounts of hairspray and of course perfume that can knock you out at 20 paces.
Many of these dubious fashions are back (although it’s more a subtle accent to an otherwise stylish outfit, rather than neon blue eyeshadow that could be seen in the dark), but the iconic perfumes of this glamorous era have been largely ignored. Until now.
Fumeheads are seeing a resurgence of some of these class heavy, spicy and oriental scents.
And at Sauce HQ, we sure as hell love a good challenge. So we decided to open the windows, grit our teeth, and spray away to see if any of these grand-dames of perfume can be pulled off today. Let's find out, shall we?
No. Just no.
That was my first reaction when I accidentally sprayed my usual two squirts. The sillage and projection filled the room, then I swear, started to creep under the door to the outside corridor. Poison is almost a living entity, full-bodied and screaming for attention.
But when it settles down, this scent is hauntingly beautiful. If you like tuberose and white florals with an attitude, then this one is for you. All other white flower perfumes pale into significance besides Poison. Even the gloriously sumptuous Alien by Thierry Mugler is the plain daughter of this mother of all white flowers.
Just be aware that the original advert has a woman with red eyes, as if something abrasive has been rubbed in them. I think she just managed to over-spray and is now in need of a gas-mask. Apply this with an over-cautious hand, or even just spray onto a cotton ball and then dab on the skin. Anything more will clear a room.
Do you remember this ad? Here's something to spark that memory. ( ps : 80s ads were always cool af)
Opium, Yves Saint Laurent
Opium is the original spicy scent that spawned a thousand imitators. If sand had a smell, then this would be it. A rich, dancing sand that brings exotic but lonely dessert nights to mind. Crunchy peppercorns have been crumbled into with creamy jasmine, then mixed with a generous dose of rare spices.
Bear in mind that Opium is very dry to a modern nose, with none of the current sweetness that seems to be a pre-requisite for any female perfume. All in all, I like it as an alternative to the cookie-cutter scents available today. It’s a strange and challenging scent, arguably more a woman’s smell than a young girl’s.
Available here, NZ $174
Linda Evangelista +YSL. MERCI!! (Not sure about the whole caucation slave man situation)
Beautiful, EstÉe Lauder
Pretty petals floating on aldehydes. If Chanel no. 5 is the champagne of perfume, then this is the tee-totaler’s spring water.
Beautiful has always been wildly popular as a wedding day scent and I can see why. Brides will love this. Or perhaps someone who wants an office scent that has a slightly nostalgic vibe for days gone by, when women were women and men were men.
Available here in a refillable bulb atomiser, NZ $225 for 100ml
Brings back all sorts of nostalgia.
This is not be confused with that darling of the naughties, Coco Mademoiselle – the fragrance that launched a thousand copycats.
Coco is a classic, oriental amber with lashings of spices. It has been likened to Jazz music, in that it’s something of an acquired taste. For me, it’s one of those scents that I really want to love, but I can never quite bring myself to get past the first five minutes of cloying notes. Pre 90s perfumes that were meant to seduce tended to include civet, which brings to mind the fur of some musky animal - preferably already dead and hanging round your neck as a fur stole.
And this is a scent that screams 80s. The spice, the potency and the unabashed sensuality takes absolutely no prisoners. If you want a fragrance that gets you noticed, then this is it. Best worn with killer heels, a hint of shoulder pads and an ever so slightly sharp-toothed smile.
Major 80s jewel envy coming your way! Chanel always knows what's up.
Cover Image Photography | Wono Kim
Words | Helen Easson
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Helen Easson is a self-confessed beauty addict, with a particular weakness for beautiful perfumes. An international freelance writer and author; Helen lives in Auckland, New Zealand.