The “It” Perfumes of 1985

The "It" Perfumes of 1985 | Giorgio of Beverly HIlls } Finnfemme

I’ve been a huge perfume fan my whole life. So perusing through the September 1985 issue of Vogue magazine,  I was reminded of the many scents that I wore and were popular that year. But the scent that captures the essence of the ’80s to me was the ubiquitous Giorgio of Beverly Hill perfume. Seemingly everyone wore it. It was strong, instantly identifiable, and left a lot of sensitive-to-scent people coughing and gagging in its wake. I remember women wearing this to work (I worked in corporate banking), and having to smell it all day long. It lingered everywhere; especially when you were trapped on the elevator with someone wearing it. I don’t recall wearing this myself – I think I got enough of it from the wearers around me.

The "It" Perfumes of 1985 | Paris by YSL | FinnfemmeParis d’Yves Saint Laurent parfum was more my style. Of course my favorite YSL perfume was and is Opium, but I did venture out into some of his other scents. As I remember it, Paris was a more flowery scent. I loved the whole ad imagery of this scent – slightly reminiscent of the golden age of 1950s Paris – very French classic elegance.

The "It" Perfumes of 1985 | Obsession/Calvin Klein | FinnfemmeCalvin Klein’s Obsession perfume was actually launched in 1985. With its sexy advertising campaign featuring nudes, it got a lot of attention due to shock value. Obsession is a perfect Oriental blend and is also one of my favorites.

The "It" Perfumes of 1984 | Ysatis/Givenchy | FinnfemmeYsatis by Givenchy, a lovely coconut-y floral scent parfum, launched in 1984. It’s fun to practice pronouncing it – “Eee-sant-ees by Jee-vahn-shee – in your best French accent. What I like about this ad is its ’80s Art Deco revival style. It features a painting within a painting of designer Hubert de Givenchy.

The "It" Perfumes of 1985 | Charlie/Revlon | FinnfemmeWhile Revlon’s Charlie perfume will ALWAYS remain a scent of the ’70s for me, it was still kicking around in 1985.  With its insouciant Annie Hall-like model updated for the ’80s, it declares “Wear an original”.  Introduced in 1973, I wore it then. But I don’t recall wearing Charlie after about 1975.

The "It" Perfumes of 1985 \ White Shoulders/Evyan |FinnfemmeWhite Shoulders was an American perfume that was introduced in the 1940s by Evyan. “The best the world has to offer.” With its lilac/jasmine/rose/gardenia blend, it was and is a classic fragrance. This 1985 incarnation of White Shoulders advertising features a photograph of of a white-shouldered woman, with a man looking on. They are surrounded by a painting of white shouldered/nude women.  To me, even though I didn’t wear White Shoulders, this remains an iconic 1980s advertisement.


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