Obtained what was reported to be manufacturer's sample vials of the original formula of the famous Halston. I remember older girls in school swooning over the spritzes they'd snuck from their mom's bottle - it was seen as the ultimate in adult sophistication, like sneaking a cigarette or keeping a pair of 3-inch heels in your locker that your parents didn't know about. I have no actual memory of sniffing it tho, and picked up these samples with hopes of catching the "real deal".
The first thing to hit me was a powerfully metallic aroma, followed by some medicinal notes, along with a tiny hint of that 'stale old bottle of perfume at the thrift store' unhappiness, but thankfully, not a lot of that. It's a loud number, tho - almost big 80's.
About an hour in, things have settled just a bit, and a soapy, herbaceous complexity comes through, riding on a wafer of fresh hewn cedar. To me this seems quite masculine, enough to make me wonder if I wasn't sold the men's version. Will have to investigate, as the vial is printed "Halston Cologne," with no gender mentioned. It doesn't take much imagination to picture this as the seed for later, more audacious unisex herbal frags, like L'artisans Timbuktu.
Five hours in, the base has worn down to that same initial sharp metallic note, now only much fainter, and that complicated herbaceous matrix continues to convey a certain type of affluence; Spearmint, vetiver and patchouli, definitely, perhaps a hint of musk under it all. Not one for my permanent collection, not really melding well with my own chemistry, but glad I gave it a whirl. It does make it's unique statement, even now.
Barbara Herman got it right again - a green, mossy chypre. "Bitter herbaceous green with mint balancing woods and oak moss and a floral heart."
However, I find it hard to believe this was once the second best selling scent in the world, next to Chanel #5. It seems quite tame, albeit quite pleasant.
Top notes: Tagetes (Marigold), Spearmint, Peach, Bergamot
Heart notes: Jasmine, Cedarwood, Rose, Carnation, Orris, Ylang
Base notes: Moss, Patchouli, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Olibanum, Musk, Amber
This is just tame on me, nothing extraordinary, and I am experiencing a vintage bottle.
Another sacrifice to an over-educated nose, I am afraid.
By all means, do try it.
I own a vintage bottle of Halston from the early 80s gifted to me by my mother (who also loves this scent). I am convinced that there is a strong genetic component to the way a fragrance wears on the skin. Original Halston smells delicious on both me and my mom. My mom wore this when it first was released in the mid 70s.As a kid, I remember my mom smelling of Halston the morning after a night out with my dad.
We are both strong but feminine women so the fact that this one starts off girly and floral and gradually developes into a more traditionally masculine fragrance is very appealing. I don't seem at all drawn to the more modern fragrances that smell like soap or fruit. I would rather have vintage Halston with all of the dirt and drama.
This is for the current, drugstore version. After all the bad press, I was wary of this one, but really liked it on the tester card and had to give it a whirl. I wish the notes were here to give me a jumping off point. I'll have to rely on my own novice smeller...
At the top I mainly got powdery flowers with a strong mossy, woody undertone. The moss kept it from being too "girly" which I liked. Then the spices came out! I got cinnamon, clove and dare I say, curry? A note of sweetness has crept in, smoothing everything to an overall "warm" scent, without real distinctive notes.
Don't anybody throw anything, but it reminds me a little of Coco, which I adore.
Unfortunatelly, there's the sillage issue. I really enjoy a moderate amount of sillage, and this isn't load per se, but I find it "skreetchy". The skin scent is lovely, but the sillage is uncomfortable harsh.
26th October, 2011 (last edited: 27th October, 2011)
I just want to say that I disagree with the guy who said this fragrance is "butch." On me, it actually comes out smelling soapy and soft. It also reminds me a lot of Chantilly which was my signature fragrance for years. Both fragrances smell very similar on me. I would recommend this one for anyone who likes a nice Chypre fragrance. :)
I along with many women of my generation flocked to buy this fragrance when it first came out on the market. It was lovely.
Oh, my poor Halston, what have they done to you!