Perfumes of the past

Smell is the most evocative sense of all – so it’s no wonder we have such fond memories of perfumes past. We’ve been talking about the perfumes we remember our mums and grans wearing, so here’s some of our favourites – enjoy your trip down memory lane…


lanvinArpège by Lanvin

It was described as the fragrance of 1,000 flowers (when in fact it contained 60 floral essences). Still a classic for day and evening wear.

44b9bfa93d71b996467bf2f80aabc71eHypnotique by Max Factor

A wildly popular fragrance of the time, the bottle was in the form of a black cat in a plastic dome. It was affordable too!

Soir de Paris by BourjoisSoir de Paris by Bourjois

The most well known fragrance by Bourjois, Evening in Paris was a classic and feminine perfume – apparently a favourite of Jackie Kennedy.


Unforgettable by AvonUnforgettable by Avon

Remembered as one of Avon’s finest perfumes – the scent was a potpourri of flowers and spices. It was pure elegance and reasonably priced at the time.

Opium by Yves Saint LaurentOpium by Yves Saint Laurent

With its oriental-spicy scents, this is a heady, rich evening perfume. The name caused a stir in the US when it was launched, which only added to its huge popularity.

Tabu by DanaTabu by Dana

Its tagline was Tabu, the forbidden fragrance and it was created to be sensual and shocking – the taboo of the times…


Charlie by RevlonCharlie by Revlon

You either loved or hated the pungent Charlie. It was created with the independent woman in mind, a classic day perfume with floral earthy tones.

Anais Anais by CacharelAnais Anais by Cacharel

This legendary fragrance mixed lillies with green and white flowers to create a sweet, floral, musky perfume – it’s still as popular now!

Rive Gauche by Yves Saint LaurentRive Gauche by Yves Saint Laurent

The name means left bank – for the left bank of the river Seine, where the YSL boutique can be found. It was created for the free and independent woman.


Coco by ChanelCoco by Chanel

Launched in 1984, Coco has an oriental-floral fragrance that makes everyone feel sensual and glamorous…

Ysatis by GivenchyYsatis by Givenchy

The ultimate in sophistication for eveningwear – it’s elegantly floral and smells like a little bit of luxury (especially when you’re 17).

Eternity by Calvin KleinEternity by Calvin Klein

Created by Sophia Grojsman as a tribute to Klein’s marriage in 1988, it’s instantly recognisable with its overpowering pink sandalwood and musky scents. One to love or loathe.

Dewberry and White Musk by The Body ShopDewberry and White Musk by The Body Shop

Was there a single teenage girl (or boy) in the 80s who didn’t wear one of these scents? Standard issue for all 15 year olds, they were the scent of growing up – if you didn’t wear one, the person you fancied definitely did.


2 Responses to Perfumes of the past

  1. Sue Harrison says:

    Aqua Manda,Green Apple are my personal favourites they are from the 70’s

  2. Brenda Evans says:

    I remember my mother in the 1940/50 using Velouty but only on Sundays.It came in a little tube, she also used Californian Poppy perfume.

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