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  1. #1

    Default Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Hi - OK, this has been bothering me for a while. I'm looking to identify a men's fragrance that I think enjoyed some popularity in the early to mid-1980s. It will have been 1985-1986, when I was about 13.
    I particularly remember smelling it on a (then much-hated, bullyish) boy I went to school with. He was the preppy type, had the clothes and hairstyle to match, and therefore in my mind I also connected the way he smelled with that fashion / lifestyle. Thing is, I secretly really really loved the smell, and it was the one thing I wanted to copy from him (OK, and perhaps his popularity with the girls).

    Anyway, 20 years on, and I'd really really love to smell that stuff again (and possibly start spraying it on myself). So what did it smell like?
    Well, that's the hard part. Back then I had even less of a sense of smell (I'm still v much a newbie now), let alone the vocabulary. From my fragmented memory:

    * Wintery-warm, no citrus-freshness
    * I'd say it was either a 'dry' oriental or a sweetish woody fragrance.
    * But when I say 'sweet' I mean nothing like Joop! or A*Men. In fact, I don't think it was edible-sweet at all, apart from maybe a slight spicy gingerbread-quality.
    * It had a certain old-fash 'well-groomed barbershop'-quality.
    * But despite the above wasn't Old Spice. For sure.
    * Pre-1985 (as is obvious from the above)
    * May have been a young man's thing then, but the lad may also have swiped it from his dad's dresser of course.

    Any (any!) ideas much appreciated.

  2. #2
    nearfantastica
    Guest

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    1980's... Hmm..

    the ones that immediately come to mind are.. Polo Green, Drakkar Noir or something by CK..maybe Obsession, Eternity?

    Since he was a school boy, I'm not sure he would have been delving into frags like Tsar.

    a.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    maybe the pierre cardin in the michael-graves-does-phallic bottle?
    baald

    Buy my extra scents - mainly niche - over 50 items (tiny bottles)

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    I'll add RL's Safari to the mix. I had that one when I was around that age and it strikes me as maybe having a similar vibe to what you mentioned (warm, dry, sweet but not too sweet, kinda woody).

    But, I've not smelled that fragrance in probably 15 years (I found Chanel PM at about age 13 and for the next five years it pretty much dominated), so I could be off.

    But, other than the aforementioned Polo, Drakar Noir, I'd say Safari might be a decent guess.
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Canoe? or Pinaud Clubman?
    Last edited by stuigi; 14th December 2006 at 11:08 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    The description does sound like Obsession but since everyone was wearing it then, I think you would have smelled it on more guys than just that one bully. I would agree that RL's Safari is a possibility.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    It's got to be Kouros. No doubt about it. I knew that kid too.
    --Chris
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Pre-1985 and available in the Netherlands - could have been Paco Rabanne pour Homme... Polo Green would be my second guess.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB
    It's got to be Kouros. No doubt about it. I knew that kid too.
    --Chris
    That kid was me, Chris. How could I forget Kouros?

    Obsession and Safari came about much later.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Safari's such a great suggestion — until you realise it was not launched until 1992!!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eluard
    Safari's such a great suggestion — until you realise it was not launched until 1992!!
    Wow! I guess I'm younger than I thought; I could have sworn it was older than that. Anyway, strange how being completely incorrect about something can suddenly make your day (haha).

    Well, then I'm out of ideas...
    Last edited by rach2jlc; 14th December 2006 at 11:52 PM.
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

  12. #12

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter
    Pre-1985 and available in the Netherlands - could have been Paco Rabanne pour Homme...
    This is a very good suggestion - especially if you can recall any soapiness...
    Edit: ... then again, perhaps the "barbershop" quality covers soapiness...?
    Last edited by musky_monkey; 14th December 2006 at 11:39 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    The only other thing I remember wearing that long ago was Lagerfeld Classic.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    This is also that one that came to my mind based on the description.

    Quote Originally Posted by baald
    maybe the pierre cardin in the michael-graves-does-phallic bottle?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Try Azzaro PH! One of my all time faves. It was a monster frag back in the mid 80's and still today. Best seller in Europe. Sweet, woody and barbershop screams Azzaro to me. Classic frag, awesome longevity, and women adore it.

    The other super popular frags back in 1985 were Lagerfeld and Drakkar.
    Peace ~ Markymark

  16. #16

    CologneJunkie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Quote Originally Posted by nearfantastica
    1980's... Hmm..

    the ones that immediately come to mind are.. Polo Green, Drakkar Noir or something by CK..maybe Obsession, Eternity?

    You took the words right out of my mouth!!! These are exactly the ones that came to mind for me too.
    "Wait...is David Bowie really God?" - Penelope Garcia

  17. #17

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    I'm thinking about Aramis and most of all Azzaro pour Homme.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions! (Keep them coming)

    Elimination round:
    -definitely not Kouros. I know Kouros
    -Safari and CK Eternity are from too recent.
    -CK Obsession is borderline, since it says 1986 in the directory. I'm also worried this may be too 'lush, seductive' and too little 'distinguished gentleman'. But I'll go smelling, just in case.
    -Polo Green: the descriptions all talk about a clear pine/fir note, that I don't remember from the fragrance.
    -Drakkar Noir: descriptions in the directory lead me to believe this may be too 'fresh' for what I was trying to describe. Same goes for Paco Rabanne PH, which I think I remember - soapy indeed, which isn't what I meant by the barbershop association.

    Most promising:
    -Pierre Cardin
    -Lagerfeld Classic
    -Azarro PH (though the descriptions there vary from 'refined old English gent' to 'only if you have loads of chest hair')

    I will smell around. Thanks again.
    Last edited by naranjito; 15th December 2006 at 08:03 AM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Naranjito, I have nothing else to add to the above, but my curiosity is piqued! You must come back and tell us if you track this one down.
    Last edited by Dante; 15th December 2006 at 11:08 AM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Some suggestions that come to my mind:
    Santos
    Antaeus
    Sagamore
    Versace L'Homme

  21. #21

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Aramis had two other products on the market at that time:

    Aramis 900 (not available anymore, to get an idea how it smelled, you can try aromatics Elexir by clarins (also E. Lauder) It was the male version.
    and
    Aramis Devin

    happy searching

    René / EauxM

  22. #22

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Be sure to let us know what it was when you find it

  23. #23

    Smile Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    My gut says the lad stole Aramis from his father. Be sure to check it out!

    What about some betting... anybody?

  24. #24

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Quote Originally Posted by naranjito
    Thanks everyone for your suggestions! (Keep them coming)

    Elimination round:
    -definitely not Kouros. I know Kouros
    -Safari and CK Eternity are from too recent.
    -CK Obsession is borderline, since it says 1986 in the directory. I'm also worried this may be too 'lush, seductive' and too little 'distinguished gentleman'. But I'll go smelling, just in case.
    -Polo Green: the descriptions all talk about a clear pine/fir note, that I don't remember from the fragrance.
    -Drakkar Noir: descriptions in the directory lead me to believe this may be too 'fresh' for what I was trying to describe. Same goes for Paco Rabanne PH, which I think I remember - soapy indeed, which isn't what I meant by the barbershop association.

    Most promising:
    -Pierre Cardin
    -Lagerfeld Classic
    -Azarro PH (though the descriptions there vary from 'refined old English gent' to 'only if you have loads of chest hair')

    I will smell around. Thanks again.

    I think there's a pretty good chance it is Drakkar, especially since according to your comments you don't remember trying it? You can't go by other people's descriptions of a scent. Go to the mall and sample it. It's still carried by a lot of stores.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Got to be Antaeus. That was my "go to" bullying scent in 1985.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Burberry's Original, with Devin coming in a close second.

    Peggy: "Right now, we have to get to the mental institution. Something terrible has happened."
    Latrelle: "What?"
    Peggy: "Brother Boy has tried to kill himself. He jumped out of his bedroom window."
    Latrelle: "Isn't he only on the second floor?"
    Peggy: "Yes, but he hit his head on a lawn gnome."
    Fr. Sordid Lives: The Series
    *****
    "Live, live, live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death."
    Auntie Mame
    [/B]

  27. #27

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Quote Originally Posted by jerd
    Got to be Antaeus. That was my "go to" bullying scent in 1985.
    :-)

  28. #28

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Was it gag-inducing? If so, it's probably Bogart's One-Man Show.

    I didn't mean that, really. It's actually a pretty nice scent, unless you smell it on every other guy. After a while it gets kinda annoying. I found that it played very little with body chemistry - it smelled absolutely the same on every single man who wore it. That's probably why after a while I found it to be so annoying.

    Come to think of it, I haven't smelled it recently. I should give it a whirl.

  29. #29

  30. #30

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    My first two thoughts were Lagerfeld or Escada Homme, but further investigation shows the Escada didn't come out until 1993.

  31. #31

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    One more vote for Drakkar Noir

  32. #32

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    I'd be amazed if it were the Drakkar, but I'll know soon - a sample is on its way to me. The rest I'll be sniffing in stores if possible. It'll be great to confuse the staff there: "what are you smelling all these outdated colognes for? Why don't you try the Armani Remix?"

  33. #33

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    I wouldn't discount Paco Rabanne - although it smells super clean and ultra fresh out of the bottle, when it settles that aspect diminishes and on some people it's never really there. My father wears it very well for example. It sounds the most like what you're describing, gingerbread etc.

  34. #34

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Santos??? JHL perhaps?
    *********************



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  35. #35

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    OK, one to definitely and definitively cross off the list: Drakkar Noir it is not.
    A mini arrived in the mail today, and two thoughts came to mind:

    1. No, no, no, this is definitely *not* the fragrance I'm looking for with respect to the early '80s preppy git. Drakkar Noir is *much* too fresh and sharp. The stuff I'm looking for is much smoother, warmer and, in a sense, softer.

    2. OMG, wow. This is Drakkar Noir? The legend, the classic, the only-good-for-bearded-bikers now? Of course I remember this stuff! Everything from GIT/Cool Water and their followers is indebted to it. What's more, every other shower gel and toliet freshener is. That lavender+citrus+pine opening is so amazingly familiar! Interesting drydown, though: the citrus lingering + kitchen spice + a major dose of patchouli gives off a much more refined aura than the opening moments suggest.

    So I'm looking for warmer, smoother, and less sharp. Perhaps more 'old man' (or 'old money') too. Maybe it had amber, musk, tobacco?

    [On a sidenote: along with the Drakkar there arrived a mini containing Laroche's Horizon. Nice! It's sort of mint+lemon+smoke at first, not dissimilar to M7 Fresh. Waiting for it to evolve - will post in the relevant current thread on the subject if I've anything more intresting to say]

  36. #36
    nearfantastica
    Guest

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Wait a second..

    the 80's..could that have been a Georgio Beverly Hills fragrance?

    How about Red, by Georgio Beverly Hills? Heady, spicy..in your face...

    If not, something more ambery.. maybe Lagerfeld Classic, which has a very ambery, powdery.. serious, smooth tone to it... could that be your doggy? It came out in the late 70's but still could have been in useage at that time.

    a.

  37. #37

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Aqua Velva was still around then...

  38. #38

    Smile Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Love this thread--takes me back to early college days...

    The first thing I thought of from the description (and my own wearing at that time) was Lagerfeld Classic. Other popular scents at the time that may fit the bill are: Chaz, Chaps, or Pierre Cardin.

    Gotta love the 80's!

  39. #39

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    I (stubbornly) still say it's One-Man Show. Although I agree that it could be Paco Rabanne (I loved that one, btw).
    Veni, Vidi, Visa.

  40. #40

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Zizanie?

  41. #41

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    Maybe Lapidus pour Homme? That was kinda popular over here in The Netherlands in the 80's.

  42. #42

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    The only popular scents that I can remember from about then, were Drakkar, Obsession, Polo, Roger & Gallet Open (clique following in my high-school) and Carrington.

    Ojay

  43. #43

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    I'm guessing Paco Rabanne. It was quite ubiquitous among my friends in high school circa early 80s.

    -Sloan

  44. #44

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    I'm going to mention a few that may fit the descriptions and time frame; Chaps, Krizia Uomo, Zizanie, Wall Street, Aramis, Aramis 900, Devin, Azzaro PH, Lagerfeld, and the original Perry Ellis for Men.

  45. #45

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    My guess is Giorgio Beverly Hills for Men.
    It came out around 1984.

    Giorgio for Men by Giorgio Beverly Hills is a Oriental Woody fragrance for men. Giorgio for Men was launched in 1984. Top notes are aldehydes, orange, , fruity notes and bergamot; middle notes are carnation, sandalwood, patchouli, cinnamon, orris root, cedar and rose; base notes are honey, tonka bean, amber, musk, benzoin, oakmoss and vanilla..

  46. #46

    Default Re: Need help identifying a fragrance (1980s)

    I was thinking Paco Rabanne, but Halston Z-14 certainly comes to mind. This can be had CHEAP and though I am sure it's a reformulation it still smells damned close to the original.

    Aramis and Antaeus may be longshots, but if it isn't Z-14 you may wanna check those out.

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