I was one of those lucky Vogue magazine subscribers back in 1983 who opened up the newest issue and discovered a scented paper sample, impregnated with one of the most remarkable and exceptional fragrances theretofore. It was simply DIVINE; it was flamboyant, it was fun and it was very unusual. It was Giorgio Beverly Hills, and rightfully called "extraordinary cologne". There was nothing else like it.
To kipe a phrase from SJP's Covet ad campaign: "I had to have it". And because it was, back in the day, rather expensive comparatively speaking, I had to budget for it. But pinching my pennies wasn't a hardship at all; I would've cut back on almost everything just to get my hands on that juice.
To obtain it, I had to mail away for it. Yes, one had to send a paper check through the mail, and I waited rather impatiently for the parcel to arrive. But the wait was worth it. Yes, this was heaven!
Potent is an understatement, but I was judicious in how I used it, never more than one mist-and-walk through spray. I would not let it shout, but its presence was delightfuly apparent, and in those days before it became available in department stores, I had many, many appreciative comments and compliments. "What IS that fragrance? It is WONDERFUL!" I don't think I've ever received as many compliments on a fragrance I've worn since. It was absolutely a head-turner, for both women and men.
And so, I was a happy young woman, happy because Giorgio Beverly Hills is, at its heart, a happy, fun-loving fragrance. Happy because my chemistry made this fragrance blossom and sing, and this unique fragrance was "mine" and mine alone, at least for a short while. But soon enough, that all changed.
Everyone loved Giorgio Beverly Hills, and when it became available in department stores, everyone got it, wore way too much of it, and it became a sorry cliche; a cariacature that represented the worst of the 80's decade. Primo, the imposter body spray just magnified and further bastardized the situation. It was no longer "mine", no longer unique. And familiarity, while not breeding contempt, did bring a sense of cookie-cutter clones, the very opposite of my personality.
So, I put it away and moved on to other perfumes.
Gradually, others put theirs away, too, and it's now rather uncommon to catch a whiff of it while out and about. I can't remember the last time I smelled it on someone.
My bottle is now 28 years old and only the last third of it remains. The juice has slightly darkened and a few of the sparkling top notes are gone. But overall, it's still all there, still as fabulous and delightful as it was in the very beginning. And I still wear it now and then, without apology. It still suits me, still elicits compliments, still makes me happy. And that's what it's really all about, isn't it?
13th September, 2011