These masculine powerhouse chypres are so complicated, but they usually have the same basic elements. There were an awful lot of them for a while there and it's kind of difficult to really identify what each one brings to the table.
As for 1-12, everything is in its place: Bergamot fusing with lavender to smell kind of fusty. Lemony wood to fill out the middle. Acacia or hawthorn to make everything waxy and 70's. A solid chypre base, further decorated with powerhouse staples like vetiver and oily patchouli.
Whenever I get to know a scent like this, I feel like I'm deciding whether or not I like it mostly based on what it DOESN'T do, as if I'm judging it based on a checklist of pet peeves more than its own true merit. But that's just me. And 1-12 doesn't smell like cough syrup or dank, nasty herbs, and it's not so waxy that it smells dead. Though it is pretty fusty, which I'm not really a fan of. All in all, that earns it a thumbs up, but I don't think I need a bottle of this.
"Stopping at 3..."
My best friend since high school has become unintentionally the cause of both one of the best and one of the worst moments in my perfume life. Here's why...
During the '80s he moved to London to study optometry. When I saw him again some six moths later, I was blown away by the fragrance he was wearing.
"Gee man! This is absolutely breathtaking! What on earth is it?"
"These are exactly the words I used the other day." he replied. "It's Halston 1-12."
As it turned out, he had encountered a fellow student wearing it, and he was as flabbergasted too.
And when he showed me its gorgeous bottle, I was about 95% sure that this was going to be the one.
Cause 1-12 was everything I could wish for.
Green, earthy, warm, absolutely heady and overly masculine. All in all a stunning fragrance in a bottle so beautiful that I couldn't get enough of handling it.
Oh, and girls loved it.
What else could a twentysomething ask for?
And so, 1-12 became a staple in our perfume wardrobe for a few years, until for some reason we couldn't find it anymore. And thus it was gone but not forgotten.
A couple of months ago my friend dropped by my house for an afternoon coffee, as he does regularly. Only this time he had something special in his pockets. Two brand new 125ml bottles of 1-12 having been just delivered to him. One of them was a gift for me. Excited beyond words, we made our coffee and sat on the couch in full anticipation, ready to enter the memory lane, with the two bottles about to serve as our time machine. We sprayed our wrists and waited for the miracle. It never happened. We stood in silence exchanging long stares. What we were sniffing was a ghost, a pale remnant of an once mighty presence. As if the bottles contained 25ml of the 1-12 we remembered, with the remaining 100ml being water. But even the quality of the fragrance seemed to have been dramatically changed for the worse. If 1-12 was to be considered a scale, what we were sniffing would hardly reach 3, and even reaching that low would have it panting. We gradually turned from disappointed to angry. It was such a letdown, that for a couple of minutes my friend tried to convince us that it was Z-14 the one we remembered and not 1-12. But then I reminded him of the little debate we had back in the days, about whether its name was 1-12 or I-12, and thus stopped him from flogging this long dead horse and gave his remaining futile hopes a coup de grāce. To say that we nearly mourned as if someone had died that evening, would not be an overstatement. Cause something had died indeed. Wows, originality, forwardness and balls. Along with a piece of our past. And this kind of loss is always a great one, no matter how often it's suffered.
So all I can do after this fiasco, is to stay true to my perfume guerilla tactics and try to spare you the frustration by shouting it from the rooftops. "Good people of the '80s, don't let this swindler fool you! Go for the vintage splash!"
I guess I owe a huge thanks to the "luminaries" running Elizabeth Arden, Inc. for being so full of inspiration and love about perfumes. Great work guys, please do keep doing it. Oh, and if you feel like sinking some other vessel of our memories with all hands, please go ahead and sink it. After all who needs memories when cash is flowing, right?
This was the first cologne I ever bought with my own money. Way back in 1984 in middle school! Every boy in school had it. lol.
Thumbs up... and why not? After getting bowled over by the Z-14 with it's tsar bomba sort of powerhouse appeal that Shouts pepper and cinnamon, I've finally had the pleasure of owning the 1-12 (my brother, who lives in the U.S gifted it to me.)
I know this frag is cheap as chips and may cost as much as a big mac but to hell with that. This cologne smacks of old school charm and oozes with quality. It's a distinct fragrance that, as a fellow reviewer rightly pointed out is the other one of a ying-yang equation (after comparing it with it's sibling the Halston Z-14).
The basil and lemon are pronounced in the top notes and the dry down is more sophisticated with vanilla, tonka, and a hint of green and sour notes.
An 80's barbershop perfume with sophistication and substance. Hell of a good juice if you can carry it well.
I love both Z-14 and I-12. They are a ying and yang sorta thing. Z-14 is a dark jungle full of tigers and snakes where I-12 is fresh from the bath about to go play golf. Throw in the fact that Halston couldn't decide which one to release simply said "release both". In the same bottle!! Exquisite!!