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  1. #1

    Default 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    My interest in fragrances started in the early 1990s. Although I'm easily old enough to have remembered the 1980s, I was indifferent back then about what scents people wore, so I don't have any specific memory of women drowning in Poison or guys bathing in Kouros. You're all aware of the references to "rivers of syrup" and all the other negative associations so many people have when it comes to the "powerscents" of the 80s. But I have to wonder if people are starting to reassess the qualities of those scents from that period now - many members of Basenotes certainly appreciate many of these scents, but I'm wondering if the rest of the world that enjoys perfume is starting to rethink the value of these scents.

    In a nutshell, I'm interested in your thoughts on a few facets of this issue:

    1. Why do you think so many people have such a negative view of powerscents (e.g., Antaeus, Poison, Opium, Giorgio, Kouros, Fendi Per Uomo, etc.), either feminine or masculine. Is it simply because those scents are loud, or is there more to it?:

    2. Do you think that there's a resurgence in interest in these scents, or is it really limited to enthusiasts like us? If you were to judge from the interest among BN members, one could say there is.

    What piqued my interest was a recent mention in the "unpopular opinions" thread by a member who described the 80s powerscent as an "anomaly" in perfume history. My thought is that with the 1990s, the era of "light" and "aquatic" scents, behind us, and the diversity of niche fragrances now, there's an opportunity now for us to step back and take another look at these powerscents and look at them as more than just loud, obnoxious "syrups". I'm not a particular fan of this genre, but there are some I really like, and a few like Antaeus and Kouros that I think are legitamite classics.

    Love to hear your views on these issues.

  2. #2

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Power scents smell as wrong today as the large shoulder pads that were worn along with them look today. I believe in evolution and I think our sense of smell has evolved since then. I also think that the fragrances introduced were targeting the new moneyed yuppies that were sprouting up like mushrooms at the time. Since it was probably the first time these people were spending more than $20 on a fragrance the producers had to make sure they smelled richer than Brut and Charlie. The hair, shoulder pads, cars, houses and pay checks were big, so were the fragrances. It almost happened again in the 2000s. Think Insolence and all those other Maurice Roucel monsters! Nothing like a recession to make us come to our sense.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 13th August 2009 at 11:41 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    I'll only speak for myself here. Many of these frags have strong lavender, which I can't stand. Then some are harsh in the drydown (if not harsh from start to finish), and not as sweet as I've come to like. There are some around today that do work, such as Listen by Herb Alpert. Even Z-14 is okay once in a while. But that smell of lavender up top, florals in the mids, and oakmoss with some amber in the base is just too obvious and uninteresting (if you own more than one or two). Today, it's the same thing with the light woody amber base, though I do think this base is more appealing, which is why it's more popular. However, it too gets boring if you wear too many frags with this generic base. "Artistically," I can understand if some find this type of frag lacking in "transparency," and too "heavy," without enough "clarity" in the notes. Basically, the notes are too heavy (when used together this way) and the composition is cluttered, generally speaking, of course.
    Last edited by Bigsly; 13th August 2009 at 11:58 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    Power scents smell as wrong today as the large shoulder pads that were worn along with them look today. I believe in evolution and I think our sense of smell has evolved since then. I also think that the fragrances introduced were targeting the new moneyed yuppies that were sprouting up like mushrooms at the time. Since it was probably the first time these people were spending more than $20 on a fragrance the producers had to make sure they smelled richer than Brut and Charlie. The hair, shoulder pads, cars, houses and pay checks were big, so were the fragrances. It almost happened again in the 2000s. Think Insolence and all those other Maurice Roucel monsters! Nothing like a recession to make us come to our sense.
    Hmmmmm. This is an in interesting issue you bring up. However, as the quoted post indicates, even if more people are re-assessing the 80's powerfrags lately, sentiments against still tend to be as strong as the scents in question.

    Disclosure: I am an unapologetic powerhouse junkie, though i started using scents in the mid-70's.

    Why people are against the powerhouses may be beyond most minds (mine, certainly) to decipher exactly. There would be as many opinions as contributors to the debate. On the other hand, i am a bit in doubt as to the extent of evolution of smell in human beings over just 20+ years in the scale of evolutionary progression. Trends and fashions may have changed, certainly, but not to the extent that humans generally abhor strong scents nowadays than in the relatively recent past.

    I wouldn't say for sure that there is a resurgence in interest in powerhouse scents. IMO it may just be that the issue for-and-against thereof is becoming more freely discussed.

    There is also a cultural angle which cannot be ignored, or put aside in issues such as this. In Nigeria, where i live, people are not as sensitive to the strength of scents as i have learned they are in the West. I daresay that as generally gregarious people, we like things that make statements, scents included.

    Will there be a resurgence of powerhouse scents, and improved tolerance (or "positive" changes in taste)? Much as i wish it would happen, i really do not know.

    I remain hopeful, at least for some meeting of tastes.
    ointments and perfume delight the heart....

    #BBOG!

  5. #5
    AromiErotici
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    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    Power scents smell as wrong today as the large shoulder pads that were worn along with them look today. I believe in evolution and I think our sense of smell has evolved since then. I also think that the fragrances introduced were targeting the new moneyed yuppies that were sprouting up like mushrooms at the time. Since it was probably the first time these people were spending more than $20 on a fragrance the producers had to make sure they smelled richer than Brut and Charlie. The hair, shoulder pads, cars, houses and pay checks were big, so were the fragrances. It almost happened again in the 2000s. Think Insolence and all those other Maurice Roucel monsters! Nothing like a recession to make us come to our sense.
    No question I'm in total disagreement with you bro. Why would you insinuate my sense of smell has not evolved? Because it's not your sense of smell?

    Maybe you don't have what it takes to pull off a strong 1980's scent.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    I've always thought the reason why the so-called 'powerhouse' scents were such an easy target was the propensity of a select demographic to go through a full size bottle every month or so. I daresay such a dousing of oneself in an Amouage or Tauer creation would create much the same impression. The scents themselves are not at fault; if anything the best of the lot are as interesting and wearable as anything marketed and sold since their eighties creation. But that's just me. Oops, gotta go it's six thirty - time for my Yatagan injection.

  7. #7

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    ...
    Last edited by DesGrieux; 14th August 2009 at 01:05 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by AromiErotici View Post
    No question I'm in total disagreement with you bro. Why would you insinuate my sense of smell has not evolved? Because it's not your sense of smell?

    Maybe you don't have what it takes to pull off a strong 1980's scent.
    OHHHH NOOOO....We have a battle of the noses! There is going to be a sniff off officiated by the one and only David Bowie....old school rules...whoever can spout off the most bullshit about the chosen fragrance is declared winner! have at it!

  9. #9

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Whatever "resurgence" in powerhouse fragrances, I believe is the result of an increasingly savvy market place which is perpetuated by what else, the internet. Round of applause to Basenotes and this community! Just like there was a very small market for selling your old stuff before the internet and ebay came along there was a very little market for perfume houses old stuff (their old fragrances). But now with discounters flooding the internet with old stock that use to be near impossible to locate outside of metropolitan areas pre 1998, now you or I can live in backwoods Montana and find anything you want provided you have an internet connection.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    I was born in 1987 - by the time I was even aware of what fragrance was, it was well into the nineties. My experience of fragrance on an everyday level comes from the era of fresh and light. There's an underlying assumption from many Basenoters that people of my age and generation naturally gravitate towards light, aquatic fragrances, and I'm living proof that this assumption is false. I never liked them. Long before Basenotes, long before I even knew what "aquatic" was, I could recognize that note and knew I didn't like it. And, once on Basenotes, I didn't have to learn to love old-fashioned or heavy fragrances, I liked many of them on first try ( in reference to '80s mens' powerhouses, I was only a few months here before I blind-bought Patou pour Homme and liked it immediately ). So, I can assure those in doubt, there are many people who adore heavy-hitting fragrances without being exposed to them first.

    As for heavy fragrances making a come back, I'd say it largely depends on if there is a cultural and stylistic shift. The '80s liked big and bold, both in fashion and in fragrance, which gave way to the much more subdued '90s, and I can't really say there has been an equivalent shift in fashion since then, or if there has been, it's been subtler. But, never say never ( I doubt the '50s expected the '60s, you know what I mean? )

    Basenotes is a bad group to work with if looking for the tastes of the typical consumer.

  11. #11

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsugarman View Post
    OHHHH NOOOO....We have a battle of the noses! There is going to be a sniff off officiated by the one and only David Bowie....old school rules...whoever can spout off the most bullshit about the chosen fragrance is declared winner! have at it!
    I had a LOT of fun in the 80s, but I certainly don't want to live there today. I worked for Valentino in New York and Paris, I doused myself in Van Cleef and Arpels and Antaeus, ate a lot of sushi and danced in New Wave clubs every weekend. I never want to go back there again, it's the past. Since the olfactory sense is the strongest reminder of the past, the smell of a monster 80s scent bomb just makes me feel old. Yes, I make exceptions, Derby is one of the greatest men's fragrances ever and transcends the vulgar tendencies of 1980s, as opposed to something like Oscar pour Lui, Santos and the like.
    BTW, by evolution I meant an evolution of thought, not of the actual structure of the mind. I know that takes a little bit longer. Sorry if I wasn't clear on that.
    Please, I'm not telling anyone what to enjoy, I'm just speaking for me. I guess that's not always obvious here is it? Peace to everyone and please fly whichever flag you want to fly.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 14th August 2009 at 01:30 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Dont discount the fact that most people are savvy enough distinguish the look of a fragrances packaging and determine what approximate era it came from. Some people are simply naturally averse to older designs because they are old. Cars, furniture, music, etc. They always want the "latest and greatest." When a community like Basenotes comes along, these people who have snobbish tendencies, are exposed to peoples opinions that tout the best and greatest as some of the older fragrances and not the newer ones. The access to a base of knowledge that goes against the grain of "newer is better" will appeal to some of these snobs and they will seek the older fragrances out. A situation where the casual fragrance snob would have picked the newest fragrance pre-internet now chooses an older fragrance because he/she has access to more information.

    Did that make sense?

  13. #13

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    I think noirwest makes a good point in that a lot of the distaste for scents of that era is misplaced and that the problem was more in the fact that so many people bathed in fragrances back in the 1980s, though so many people blame the fragrance. I really feel that a lot of those old powerhouses are very much appropriate today if worn sparingly. For example, one of my current favorites I'm wearing a lot recently is Giorgio For Men, which is considered a typical 80s powerhouse. I wouldn't imagine dousing myself with it, for fear of killing off my family accidentally. But with just a few sprays, I find it's one of the most beautiful scents I've ever smelled, better than most current scents I've tried. I think if more people looked at it this way, there would be more acceptance.

  14. #14

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Ahhhhh, you have discovered the zen of application, grasshopper. Less is more. It's also less but that's a completely different school of thought.

  15. #15

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    Power scents smell as wrong today as the large shoulder pads that were worn along with them look today. I believe in evolution and I think our sense of smell has evolved since then. I also think that the fragrances introduced were targeting the new moneyed yuppies that were sprouting up like mushrooms at the time. Since it was probably the first time these people were spending more than $20 on a fragrance the producers had to make sure they smelled richer than Brut and Charlie. The hair, shoulder pads, cars, houses and pay checks were big, so were the fragrances. It almost happened again in the 2000s. Think Insolence and all those other Maurice Roucel monsters! Nothing like a recession to make us come to our sense.
    Ruggles I really enjoy reading your posts because you offer your views in a witty and unsanitized manner To some degree I have to agree with you because I remember the 80s well; shoulder pads and mullets... crass, no more said.

    I want to point out though that the 80s was also the time of creation of 3 of the most beautiful scents (imho) namely antaeus, fahrenheit, and cacharel pour l'homme. They still pull on my heartstrings today.
    Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.

  16. #16

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by shamu1 View Post
    I think noirwest makes a good point in that a lot of the distaste for scents of that era is misplaced and that the problem was more in the fact that so many people bathed in fragrances back in the 1980s, though so many people blame the fragrance. I really feel that a lot of those old powerhouses are very much appropriate today if worn sparingly. For example, one of my current favorites I'm wearing a lot recently is Giorgio For Men, which is considered a typical 80s powerhouse. I wouldn't imagine dousing myself with it, for fear of killing off my family accidentally. But with just a few sprays, I find it's one of the most beautiful scents I've ever smelled, better than most current scents I've tried. I think if more people looked at it this way, there would be more acceptance.
    A lot of stuffed noses from all the coke back then... lol

  17. #17

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    I had a LOT of fun in the 80s, but I certainly don't want to live there today. I worked for Valentino in New York and Paris, I doused myself in Van Cleef and Arpels and Antaeus, ate a lot of sushi and danced in New Wave clubs every weekend. I never want to go back there again, it's the past. Since the olfactory sense is the strongest reminder of the past, the smell of a monster 80s scent bomb just makes me feel old. Yes, I make exceptions, Derby is one of the greatest men's fragrances ever and transcends the vulgar tendencies of 1980s, as opposed to something like Oscar pour Lui, Santos and the like.
    BTW, by evolution I meant an evolution of thought, not of the actual structure of the mind. I know that takes a little bit longer. Sorry if I wasn't clear on that.
    Please, I'm not telling anyone what to enjoy, I'm just speaking for me. I guess that's not always obvious here is it? Peace to everyone and please fly whichever flag you want to fly.
    In agreement, and not simply because of the "been there, done that" critique. People don't like hearing this: in the history of scents, powerhouse was an anomaly. This refers to an approach to scents, and yes, certain reoccuring (even specific notes) characteristics already mentioned. This is NOT a statement about the quality of particular scents per se...some of which I regard as fine.

    "Pulling off a scent" I can somewhat understand, but ultimately I'm me and a person is who they are. Wearing a scent with a heady opening and tons of sillage doesn't make me stronger IMO or anything. Even in a street situation to save my life...it's what I can do with my own hands. There's no powerhouse scent for fearless or resourceful. And in a simple conversation, it's still me. And making love, it's still me.

    Living one's life is the most significant thing to "pull off." Not a scent.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    1. When talking about "powerbombs" we are dealing with fashion, and, as far as I know, that beast is untameable. Coolhunters try to work it out, but the point is some creations make to the future, while others don't last much. It is the same with fragrances, what is in style today will be considered, one way or another, "old" and "dated". OK, that is not always the case, but we are talking about exceptions.

    2. Good or bad? Depends on one's tastes. In my particular opinion, I perceive in 1980's powerbombs a complexity I can't easily find today, besides the fact that today's fragrance style includes notes I just don't like - gourmand and acquatic notes. I enjoy hesperidic notes, but blended in a radical dfifferent way they are blended today. A point in case: most people trying these kind of scents find them unappealing when smelling top notes. But the same ones telling me "yikes" end up saying "hey, that smells good". So I guess these beasts are to be enjoyed in their mid and base notes.

    3. Making a comeback? I think fragrance makers are trying to, but to no avail. Rocha's Lui was regarded in that sense and it has not been succesful. YSL's RIve Gauche is in the same "old meets modernity" line, but it just one more of the crow. Take Memoire D'Homme... On the other hand, a stockist told me today Terre D'Hermes is a complete hit even though Hermes suggested retailing price is around USD 140 for a 3.3 OZ bottle.

    4. Why Powerbombs? A think it is the "À la recherche du temps perdu" syndrom. There are a thousand reasons for this hobby, in my case, fragrances are a way of recovering past times.

    5. Points in common? Many. Mike said it quite clearly. In my case, I found that Sybaris opens up like Maxim's and its dry-down is similar to the civet-like notes found in Kouros. Fendi's per Uomo has a beeswax dry-down reminiscent of Antaeus... And Maxim's top notes are reminiscent of Antaeus. Still, makes me remember old times, and contrary to Ruggles, that is good, at least for me.

  19. #19

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pollux View Post
    3. Making a comeback? I think fragrance makers are trying to, but to no avail. Rocha's Lui was regarded in that sense and it has not been succesful. YSL's RIve Gauche is in the same "old meets modernity" line, but it just one more of the crow.
    Don't you think RL and RG are referencing 70's and 60's frags more than the 80's beasts? BTW, I love them both.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 14th August 2009 at 02:35 AM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    I think the "powerscent" thing was also a good fit with the insanely me-centric culture of the 1980's. "So this is strong enough to knock out a horse and has a sillage cloud 20 feet wide? Well all the better to let people know that I AM HERE. Stuck next to me on a plane, at dinner, or at the movie theater? Tough luck, buster! I want to smell like a scent grenade, so you can deal with it or get out of my way!" And, to some degree, it's taken us 20 years to get the blood-fragrance-levels of stuff like Poison or Drakkar Noir back down below their legal limits. It doesn't mean the fragrances themselves were bad, just that they were insanely over-applied and associated with a lifestyle that isn't currently in fashion and doesn't show much signs of coming back.

  21. #21

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    Power scents smell as wrong today as the large shoulder pads that were worn along with them look today. I believe in evolution and I think our sense of smell has evolved since then. I also think that the fragrances introduced were targeting the new moneyed yuppies that were sprouting up like mushrooms at the time. Since it was probably the first time these people were spending more than $20 on a fragrance the producers had to make sure they smelled richer than Brut and Charlie. The hair, shoulder pads, cars, houses and pay checks were big, so were the fragrances. It almost happened again in the 2000s. Think Insolence and all those other Maurice Roucel monsters! Nothing like a recession to make us come to our sense.
    My dear Ruggles, you certainly have a way of stirring controversy!

    I also lived through that period of time and I could not disagree with you more. Your summation of 1980s society reminds me of that old story about the six blind men describing an elephant though each had only touched different parts of its anatomy.

    Powerscents were certainly not invented in the 1980's. There is a long rich lineage of powerscents dating from the late 1700's. If there is an aberration in the history of fragrances it is the relatively recent introduction of aquatic and fresh scents.
    Last edited by TwoRoads; 14th August 2009 at 03:43 AM.
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  22. #22

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    I agree that it was also partly an 80s lifestyle thing. I remember Gordon Gecko being a sort of a yuppie icon with some guys back then. The whole idea of showering in a bottle of Fendi Uomo seems to fit that whole power image .

    On the other hand, I think many of those scents from back in the day were very well constructed, and I have to doubt that their creators expected consumers to be dousing themselves with the stuff. Case in point, Kouros has been one of my all-time faves for years, but occasionally I accidentally overapply it (I own the splash bottle), and it can be one of the most foul scents imaginable. Again, don't blame the scents, blame overapplication.
    Last edited by shamu1; 14th August 2009 at 03:28 AM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by ortho123 View Post
    People don't like hearing this: in the history of scents, powerhouse was an anomaly. .
    You must have been the person I was talking about who made mention of powerscents being an "anomaly" in the now closed "Unpopular Opinions" thread. If 80s power scents are an anomaly, can't you say that about ANY new development in perfumery? If that's true, then aquatic scents are an anomaly (personally I have a hard time seeing people wearing most aquatics 25 years from now), just as are oud fragrances put out by niche firms these days.
    Last edited by shamu1; 14th August 2009 at 03:39 AM.

  24. #24

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    I'd say some were very good, but are now dated due to the predominant notes. An example is Francesco Smalto. On the other hand, some have transcended their time, perhaps because the predominant notes or accords never became popular. Yatagan is an example of this situation. Some were muddled and heavy, and not unique in any significant way, so there's no reason for even an aficionado to find them interesting.

  25. #25

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    I didn't think of that.. coke & cigarette smoke everywhere. Those scents needed to cut through that!

    Quote Originally Posted by KMF View Post
    A lot of stuffed noses from all the coke back then... lol

  26. #26

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    OK, this is the real reason I hate the 80's: It was the decade when AIDS first appeared and like so many others in the creative community I lost so many people that I loved to this mysterious killer. Every time I smell Antaeus I think of my first partner, the President of Valentino USA, who died as a result of AIDS in 1988.
    Yes, the yuppies were making a killing, but the creative geniuses were dying. The loss of Halston, Perry Ellis, Keith Harring, Michel Foucault, Brad Davis, Rock Hudson, Anthony Perkins, Rudolph Nureyev, Steve Rubell, Derek Jarman, Peter Allen, Dan Hartman, Ofra Haza, Liberace, Freddie Mercury, Klaus Nomi, Sylvester, Arthur Ashe, Alvin Ailey, Charles Ludlam, Félix González-Torres, Robert Mapplethorpe, Willi Smith, David Wojnarowicz, Isaac Asimov, created a void in the creative world that changed things forever.
    So, perhaps this is why I do not want to smell Antaeus, ever again. I abhor the idea of À la recherche du temps perdu when it reminds me of a decade when death came too soon to so many. I find it quite sad that not one member that's contributed to this thread has mentioned AIDS in association with the 80's. If you wore or like Halston's fragrances you were most certainly affected by the devastation of the plague called AIDS.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 14th August 2009 at 05:42 AM.

  27. #27

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    OK, this is the real reason I hate the 80's: It was the decade when AIDS first appeared and like so many others, I lost so many people that I loved. Every time I smell Antaeus I think of my first partner, who died in 1988. Yes, the yuppies may have been making a killing, but the creative geniuses like: Halston, Perry Ellis, Keith Harring, Michel Foucault, Brad Davis, Rock Hudson, Anthony Perkins, Rudolph Nureyev, Steve Rubell, Derek Jarman, Peter Allen, Dan Hartman, Ofra Haza, Liberace, Freddie Mercury, Klaus Nomi, Sylvester, Arthur Ashe, Alvin Ailey, Charles Ludlam, Félix González-Torres, Robert Mapplethorpe, Willi Smith, David Wojnarowicz, Isaac Asimov, as well as so many others, were all dying from infection of HIV.
    So, perhaps this is why I do not want to smell Antaeus, ever again. I abhor the idea of À la recherche du temps perdu when it reminds me of a decade in our time that challenged creativity for decades to come. I find it quite sad that not one member that's contributed to this thread has mentioned AIDS in association with the 80's. If you like 80's fragrances you were most certainly affected by the devastation of the plague called AIDS.
    I'm sorry the 80s were so sad Ruggles.

    They were pretty dark for me (just trust me on that one) but I can still recall special moments that were pretty happy. As always in my case those special moments are relived through olfactory association.
    Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.

  28. #28

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Many of us who grew up during the 80's look at that time as Happy Days. You have to remember that we were coming out of the dreadful 70's and it's misery index.
    In the 80's, there was an optimism in the country. New kinds of music. Cable. MTV. Live Aid. Pee-wees- Playhouse. Back to the Future. Fun. Silliness.
    People wanted to smell good, and wanted others to know it. Scents had to compete against each other to get noticed. My friend used to wear Azzaro Homme like crazy until I wore my Giorgio Beverly Hills. It took him a while before he found out what it was and switched. People wanted to get noticed, and that included fragrance.

    Now we live in the age of the offended. If I don't like your fragrance, you don't have the right to offend me. I'll complain. File charges. This is a fragrance-free building on smoke-free property in a gun-free zone. Don't offend me.
    We went from big hair to no hair. Silly music to bland music. Strong fragrances to no fragrance. Skinny ties to dirty jeans. Men and women to androgyny.

    I hate to break this to you but there are still many "power scents" made. Le Male? Black Aoud? Body Kouros? A*men? Tom Ford.. anything?

    P.S. Cocaine still exists and is as common it was in the 80's, but people have to smoke cigarettes outdoors now.
    And now we have Oxy, Ecstasy, and Meth... goody!

    Wear what you like and enjoy it!
    Last edited by weylin; 14th August 2009 at 06:20 AM.

  29. #29

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    I think we all have some painful associations that scents evoke - lost loved ones, awkwardness, struggles, etc. There are at least a dozen for me.

    Your post, with all due respect, comes off as quite cynical and negative. Perhaps people don't care to acknowledge AIDS as much anymore because of the current and very dangerous ideas out there that AIDS is not a problem anymore, and that HIV is "curable" rather than merely treatable. It is still a problem, and I'm so glad we've evolved to understand that HIV/AIDS is not a "gay disease".

    I remember losing a close friend - one of my role models, and one of the kindest human beings I think ever walked the planet, to AIDS. Watching my grandfather die of cancer and my grandmother pass shortly thereafter from heart disease were two traumatic experiences that deeply impacted me. I'll never forget these things.. but I can't go and write off an entire decade because of it. There were hard years then and there will most likely be hard years to come.

    Please don't think I'm trying to minimize your painful memories and associations, Ruggles. I hope that at some point you can disassociate yourself from these things... and that's not to say you should attempt to go back to Antaeus or Equipage just for that reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    OK, this is the real reason I hate the 80's: It was the decade when AIDS first appeared and I lost so many people I loved. Every time I smell Equipage I think of my first partner, he died in 1988. Yes, the yuppies may have been making a killing, but the creative geniuses like: Halston, Perry Ellis, Keith Harring, Michel Foucault, Brad Davis, Rock Hudson, Anthony Perkins, Rudolph Nureyev, Steve Rubell, Derek Jarman, Peter Allen, Dan Hartman, Ofra Haza, Liberace, Freddie Mercury, Klaus Nomi, Sylvester, Arthur Ashe, Alvin Ailey, Charles Ludlam, Félix González-Torres, Robert Mapplethorpe, Willi Smith, David Wojnarowicz, Isaac Asimov, as well as so many others, all died from infection of HIV.
    So, perhaps this is why I do not want to smell Antaeus, ever again. I abhor the idea of À la recherche du temps perdu when it comes to the worst decade in history for creativity. I find it quite sad that not one member that's contributed to this thread has mentioned AIDS in association with the 80's. Are people really that brain dead??????

  30. #30

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by weylin View Post
    Many of us who grew up during the 80's look at that time as Happy Days. You have to remember that we were coming out of the dreadful 70's and it's misery index.
    I will take the individualism of the 'dreadful' 70's over the mass conformity of the 80's any day of the week.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 14th August 2009 at 05:57 AM.

  31. #31

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyDG View Post
    Your post, with all due respect, comes off as quite cynical and negative. Perhaps people don't care to acknowledge AIDS as much anymore because of the current and very dangerous ideas out there that AIDS is not a problem anymore, and that HIV is "curable" rather than merely treatable. It is still a problem, and I'm so glad we've evolved to understand that HIV/AIDS is not a "gay disease".
    Please don't think I'm trying to minimize your painful memories and associations, Ruggles. I hope that at some point you can disassociate yourself from these things... and that's not to say you should attempt to go back to Antaeus or Equipage just for that reason.
    Wow, that's certainly a bunch of of patronizing and judgmental sentences. Thanks for taking my experiences and projecting them through your point of view. Like I said before, I'm only speaking for myself and not for others. My only wish is that others could do the same. This place is giving me the creeps tonight, I'm signing off for the evening before I get another lecture.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 14th August 2009 at 05:58 AM.

  32. #32

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    I don't connect the 80's with AIDS anymore than I connect the 50's with polio. I don`t want this thread to be maudlin.

    And calling people ``brain dead`out of some misplaced hatred is worse than any `patronizing and judgmental sentences`.

    I suggest we talk about the 80`s fragrances before feelings are hurt any worse and this thread is closed.
    Last edited by weylin; 14th August 2009 at 06:05 AM.

  33. #33

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    I guess I might not see how they are patronizing or judgmental statements because I might just be so stuck in my "point of view", which is a perspective you're quite unaware of. In spite of the fact I articulated and revealed my relation and empathy, you overlooked that in favor of going directly after the criticism. The cynical and negative tone of your provocative post is something I felt was worth remarking on, so I did.

    Also, I'm glad you bring up projection - as it appears this was/is the common denominator both in your contributions to this thread and your response to mine. No hard feelings. We can take this to a private discussion as to not detract from the integrity of this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    Wow, that's certainly a bunch of of patronizing and judgmental sentences. Thanks for taking my experiences and projecting them through your point of view. Like I said before, I'm only speaking for myself and not for others. My only wish is that others could do the same. This place is giving me the creeps tonight, I'm signing off for the evening before I get another lecture.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by shamu1 View Post
    My interest in fragrances started in the early 1990s. Although I'm easily old enough to have remembered the 1980s, I was indifferent back then about what scents people wore, so I don't have any specific memory of women drowning in Poison or guys bathing in Kouros. You're all aware of the references to "rivers of syrup" and all the other negative associations so many people have when it comes to the "powerscents" of the 80s. But I have to wonder if people are starting to reassess the qualities of those scents from that period now - many members of Basenotes certainly appreciate many of these scents, but I'm wondering if the rest of the world that enjoys perfume is starting to rethink the value of these scents.

    In a nutshell, I'm interested in your thoughts on a few facets of this issue:

    1. Why do you think so many people have such a negative view of powerscents (e.g., Antaeus, Poison, Opium, Giorgio, Kouros, Fendi Per Uomo, etc.), either feminine or masculine. Is it simply because those scents are loud, or is there more to it?:

    2. Do you think that there's a resurgence in interest in these scents, or is it really limited to enthusiasts like us? If you were to judge from the interest among BN members, one could say there is.

    What piqued my interest was a recent mention in the "unpopular opinions" thread by a member who described the 80s powerscent as an "anomaly" in perfume history. My thought is that with the 1990s, the era of "light" and "aquatic" scents, behind us, and the diversity of niche fragrances now, there's an opportunity now for us to step back and take another look at these powerscents and look at them as more than just loud, obnoxious "syrups". I'm not a particular fan of this genre, but there are some I really like, and a few like Antaeus and Kouros that I think are legitamite classics.

    Love to hear your views on these issues.

    For me, the nostalgic/sentimental associations I have with certain older powerhouses makes me appreciate them. While I am a fan of quite a number of modern fresh aquatics, older powerhouses seem to offer me a different experience altogether. People dislike certain types of scents for personal reasons that I certainly respect, it is the same for all fragrances. Being involved in Basenotes has exposed me to a whole lot of 80s or older powerhouses, some of which I have gone on to acquire because I truly enjoy them without any sentimental ties, and I am very appreciative of all who have contributed to that. I guess I am not an exclusive fan of any genre, be it niche, designer, older powerhouses etc. I am pretty easy to please I reckon

  35. #35

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by shamu1 View Post
    1. Why do you think so many people have such a negative view of powerscents (e.g., Antaeus, Poison, Opium, Giorgio, Kouros, Fendi Per Uomo, etc.), either feminine or masculine.
    I sort of agree and disagree with you there. "People"? Does that mean average Joe on the street? Because yes they have a negative view of powerscents because it's not what is being marketed to them anymore. They don't like the strong, mossy, smoky, musky (cats piss) notes because they currently believe that a man is meant to smell like "acqua" and "sweets" This is what the magazines tell them. This is what TV tells them. This is what 18 year old girls in a magazine say they want guys to smell like etc etc.

    However all the scents you mentioned are held in high regard by a lot of Basenoters. Maybe it's nostalgia or maybe it's just that being obsessive as we basenoters are, we can appreciate the make up of these scents. Maybe the "average" basenoter is old enough to remember them when they first came out.............. I could go on.

    I agree with all the talk of coke and cigarette smoke, these were the days of money and power etc and most people seem to distance themselves from the "arrogance" of that period in the 80's. You know that "screw anyone over to get to the top" attitude. Think American Psycho.

    I do not believe these scents are making any more of a come back than any other scent but they have never really gone away. You'll always smell someone wearing Poison, Anteus, Opium etc wherever you go and whenever you go there.

    I don't think the "powerhouse" idea will ever really become big business again because the general mass market taste has changed. For example look at the amount of people who love YSL M7 (what I'd call a modern powerhouse) on BN but the general public "Average Joe" did not like this scent, hence why It's never massively on display in dept stores. In saying that though Thierry Mugler's Angel and A*Men tick all the boxes of a "powerhouse" fragrance IMO and continue to outsell everything else all over the world. In 2008 Angel was the best selling fragrance in Paris.

    I still believe it comes down to one thing, do you like how it smells?
    Last edited by Andyjreid; 14th August 2009 at 09:44 AM.
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  36. #36

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    Power scents smell as wrong today as the large shoulder pads that were worn along with them look today. I believe in evolution and I think our sense of smell has evolved since then.
    I tend to view history as cyclical or, more precisely, a spiral. A part from sheer technical progress I don't see much evidence of human evolution. There is no greater beauty than in the cave paintings of Lascaux etc. Has any perfume improved on Jicky or Shalimar? Fashions come, go, return. In twenty years nouveau-power scent wearers (with shoulderpads ) may be bitching about the dark ages of the aquatic era.
    anyhow, I think the debate is framed wrong.
    1. there are great and awful powerscents, just as there are great and awful transparent ones. We can debate which are which, of course. I won't accept that a strong perfume in the typical 80s construction is inherently inferior
    2. you can't blame the perfume for the 80s habitus of over-application. The perfume may even be better than the intentions of its producers, if you know what I mean.
    3. The past is constantly rewritten from the perspective of the present. I do think the style will ultimately return, in some new incarnation and that will lead to a renewed appreciation of these perfumes, whatever one thinks of that.
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  37. #37

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by shamu1 View Post
    You must have been the person I was talking about who made mention of powerscents being an "anomaly" in the now closed "Unpopular Opinions" thread. If 80s power scents are an anomaly, can't you say that about ANY new development in perfumery? If that's true, then aquatic scents are an anomaly (personally I have a hard time seeing people wearing most aquatics 25 years from now), just as are oud fragrances put out by niche firms these days.
    You might be suprised by this but I agree with you that many of the aquatics will be gone with the wind in 25 years or even less...for the simple reason that so many are quite similar. What supports this is that there is some measured return to retro scents already. I'm speaking here of true aquatics...there have always been "fresh scents" of course a very broad category...

    Powerhouse and 80's scents truly don't begin exactly in the 1980's.... in the same way that the "Great Schism" between Eastern and Western Christianity didn't begin in 1054...maybe starting in the late 700;s 800's with Charlemagne...and so you are correct to look back at the seeds of powerhouse...throughout history...and I think it goes without saying that we are looking here at scents for men...and let's face we're talking colognes here...things happened faster with production and advertsing.

    Again, not simply the quality of scents but an approach to scents, with certain notes/combos considered masculine winners, and yes, as in the Bionic man..."We have the technology..."

    I think stepping back slowly into the 70's. 60's, 50's...40's 30's...and all the way through esp. barbershop and drugstore and eau de cologne....

    It would also be good to look at Polo Green as a scent that made sillage and projection "acceptable"...and why...

    In some ways fans of powerhouse scents (of which I am one of them, in a specific way) want it both ways: on one hand they can admit that something like Polo made it more acceptable for the average guy to wear a strong projecting scent...(and not simply based on overapplication of Aramis or Brut)...and here's the simple part: that before that, it was not considered that "acceptable," and not just for a few years...



    BTW, I think Polo is exceptional, a monument...a living one...and hardly needs even my opinion.

    I think the "style" has never quite left us,,,thanks to Axe sprays (of which I am fond, some of them) and overapplication of aquatics and fresh scents....and powerhouse scents such as Platinum Egoiste...(some will disagrree as in any discussion with this interp of that scent).

    And to agree with the_good_life...the notion that powerhouse scents are "intrinsically inferior" is absurd as is the notion that "fresh scents" or "aquatics" are intriniscally "superior." In some ways, "aquatics" are like (follows the reasoning) of the host of "moss guarantees success" mentality of many of the 70-'s and 80's scents...but the proliferation of the aquatics makes this less obvious...and the notes here are different.. in a way, so many are the Smaltas and Krizia Uomos of their day..with even individual companies using built-in obsolescence and need for alleged variety as a basis for more of the same...
    Last edited by ortho123; 14th August 2009 at 11:46 AM.

  38. #38
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    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    My favorite fragrances are all powerhouses from the 70 and 80. I think CK screwed everything up coming up with perhaps the first mass marketed Unisex fragrances. I like masculine fragrances and the 70 and 80 brought the best of it.
    The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

  39. #39

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by shamu1 View Post
    If 80s power scents are an anomaly, can't you say that about ANY new development in perfumery? If that's true, then aquatic scents are an anomaly (personally I have a hard time seeing people wearing most aquatics 25 years from now), just as are oud fragrances put out by niche firms these days.
    Oud is not something new in fragrance, unless you limit perfumery as something of "Western-style fragrance."

  40. #40

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    If you wore or like Halston's fragrances you were most certainly affected by the devastation of the plague called AIDS.
    Or you just......like the scent.

  41. #41

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by zliang View Post
    Oud is not something new in fragrance, unless you limit perfumery as something of "Western-style fragrance."
    I know oud isn't new, especially in the Mideast, where I hear it's been around for centuries. What I meant was that it seems just about every niche house these days has an oud scent. Kind of like acquatics in the designer realm.

  42. #42

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    [WOW, what a good thread.

    From a newbie perspective;

    yes, I first went to the aquatics, I found some I liked and then I went to the power fragrances. I think i went there next because

    1) discussed often in BN,

    2) normally the price was reasonable and easy to obtain,

    3) I thought they would be easier for me to understand, my untrained nose could recognize leather, tobacco, vice lavender, anise, etc.

    While I know I'll have to come back to power scents again when I have more experience, I am now trying to move toward more subtle but also complex Fragrances. I need to learn to recognize the other scents (lavender, anise, etc).

    Thank you for this very helpful thread

  43. #43

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    As an aside, I have to say that I think the term "powerscent" is pretty hilarious, like Popeye eating spinach. Ka-POW!!

  44. #44
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    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    You know, it's funny, I post on a few different forums and message boards, and some of them make me feel really old when I realize I may be talking to someone who is barely in their teens. Basenotes, I think, is the only forum that consistently makes me feel young! There are many members here in their 40's, 50's, 60's... and I think that's a great thing, it keeps the quality of discussion high with less nonsense than some other forums. But anyway, my point is, I feel fortunate in a way to have been only three years old at the close of the 80's. Since I don't really have any memories, good or bad, of that decade, I have a certain freedom to judge scents from that era without the burden of potentially negative associations interfering with my appreciation of the scent. I will admit though, that my experience with this type of scent is still very limited, so I look forward to trying some of these very loved/hated/controversial scents!

  45. #45
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    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by jbr View Post
    You know, it's funny, I post on a few different forums and message boards, and some of them make me feel really old when I realize I may be talking to someone who is barely in their teens. Basenotes, I think, is the only forum that consistently makes me feel young! There are many members here in their 40's, 50's, 60's... and I think that's a great thing, it keeps the quality of discussion high with less nonsense than some other forums. But anyway, my point is, I feel fortunate in a way to have been only three years old at the close of the 80's. Since I don't really have any memories, good or bad, of that decade, I have a certain freedom to judge scents from that era without the burden of potentially negative associations interfering with my appreciation of the scent. I will admit though, that my experience with this type of scent is still very limited, so I look forward to trying some of these very loved/hated/controversial scents!
    I was basically as old then as you are now.

    None of us can take credit or blame when we're born. Our generation is our generation and it exposes us to the good and not so good of its time.

    I don't have the "freedom" of association you speak of, but am free to try current frags as well as classics I missed back in the day. I think our sense of smell gets attuned to what we are exposed to in formative years and then without realizing, we use it as a measuring stick. I know I do.

    I do lament the ingredient changes in today's offerings, however, if I was growing up today, current releases would be the norm. In the end, it's all good. You don't miss what you never had...and in my case, there's always vintage sellers.

  46. #46
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    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by AromiErotici View Post
    I was basically as old then as you are now.

    None of us can take credit or blame when we're born. Our generation is our generation and it exposes us to the good and not so good of its time.

    I don't have the "freedom" of association you speak of, but am free to try current frags as well as classics I missed back in the day. I think our sense of smell gets attuned to what we are exposed to in formative years and then without realizing, we use it as a measuring stick. I know I do.

    I do lament the ingredient changes in today's offerings, however, if I was growing up today, current releases would be the norm. In the end, it's all good. You don't miss what you never had...and in my case, there's always vintage sellers.
    Very true! All good points and well taken.

    Anyway, I would like to address one of the initial questions posed by shamu, regarding a possible resurgence in popularity of these kinds of fragrances. While I have not specifically noticed such a phenomenon, I think it's certainly possible. During this past decade music, fashion, etc. inspired by the 80's has at various times become popular with the younger generation, so why not fragrance? To some younger people I think these scents can be refreshing and a little exotic, because, even if some of them may have been ubiquitous when they first came out, they are often considerably less popular these days, and compositionally they are very different from the mainstream scents of today. And since many of them are also quite affordable nowadays it gives people an opportunity to smell a bit different without spending too much.

  47. #47

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    It is entirely possible and even probable that 80's scents would make some sort of comeback. However keep in mind that whenever a retro style is brought back to the forefront (whether it is scents or fashion), it is always done with a modern twist. So while some of those famous notes and accords may return, maybe they're not quite as potent as the real thing. Another possibility would be to bring the strength back, but with more modern notes and accords...
    Last edited by KMF; 16th August 2009 at 01:52 AM.

  48. #48

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    I tend to view history as cyclical or, more precisely, a spiral. A part from sheer technical progress I don't see much evidence of human evolution. There is no greater beauty than in the cave paintings of Lascaux etc. Has any perfume improved on Jicky or Shalimar? Fashions come, go, return. In twenty years nouveau-power scent wearers (with shoulderpads ) may be bitching about the dark ages of the aquatic era.
    So in your view we are just the same old bruts with more complex machines to hide behind? I like that. My view on humanity is that it isn't always necessarily moving forward, I also believe in 'devolution'. Things move back and forth, get stuck, make huge leaps and then for some reason we sometimes enter a dark age.
    I agree that in the pantheon of good things we will always find the Lascaux cave paintings and Beethoven's symphonies, but do you honestly think we'll find a bottle of Oscar de la Renta pour Lui sitting on high? I find it amazing that Annick Goutal, Jean Laporte and Diptyque were producing their subtle and amazing works at the same time things like Giorgio and Drakkar Noir were being concocted. Talk about a cultural war!
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 15th August 2009 at 01:29 AM.

  49. #49

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    If there is a resurgance of 80s powerscent, maybe because some of us are sick of the anemic light aquatic scents that my teenage-hood was dominated by (I'm on the tail-end of Gen. X).

    Or maybe, like Luca Turin's review of "Coco" - it is really a beautiful fragrance with negative association.

    Or perhaps because there are people who wear a 1980s "marketed-as-feminine" power scent to ensure they will not smell like any other guy within 20 miles...
    Q: How do you make a feminine fragrance masculine?
    A: Add 'Pour Homme' to the bottle
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  50. #50

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    EXCELLENT post .... didn't grown up in the 80's but grew into manhood then.
    Fantasticly relative explanation Weylin.


    Quote Originally Posted by weylin View Post
    Many of us who grew up during the 80's look at that time as Happy Days. You have to remember that we were coming out of the dreadful 70's and it's misery index.
    In the 80's, there was an optimism in the country. New kinds of music. Cable. MTV. Live Aid. Pee-wees- Playhouse. Back to the Future. Fun. Silliness.
    People wanted to smell good, and wanted others to know it. Scents had to compete against each other to get noticed. My friend used to wear Azzaro Homme like crazy until I wore my Giorgio Beverly Hills. It took him a while before he found out what it was and switched. People wanted to get noticed, and that included fragrance.

    Now we live in the age of the offended. If I don't like your fragrance, you don't have the right to offend me. I'll complain. File charges. This is a fragrance-free building on smoke-free property in a gun-free zone. Don't offend me.
    We went from big hair to no hair. Silly music to bland music. Strong fragrances to no fragrance. Skinny ties to dirty jeans. Men and women to androgyny.

    I hate to break this to you but there are still many "power scents" made. Le Male? Black Aoud? Body Kouros? A*men? Tom Ford.. anything?

    P.S. Cocaine still exists and is as common it was in the 80's, but people have to smoke cigarettes outdoors now.
    And now we have Oxy, Ecstasy, and Meth... goody!

    Wear what you like and enjoy it!

  51. #51
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    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    Don't you think RL and RG are referencing 70's and 60's frags more than the 80's beasts? BTW, I love them both.
    You are right in your observation, but in terms of sillage or "strength" it does remind me of the scents discussed in this thread.

  52. #52

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    So in your view we are just the same old bruts with more complex machines to hide behind? I like that. My view on humanity is that it isn't always necessarily moving forward, I also believe in 'devolution'. Things move back and forth, get stuck, make huge leaps and then for some reason we sometimes enter a dark age.
    I agree that in the pantheon of good things we will always find the Lascaux cave paintings and Beethoven's symphonies, but do you honestly think we'll find a bottle of Oscar de la Renta pour Lui sitting on high? I find it amazing that Annick Goutal was producing her subtle and amazing work at the same time things like Giorgio were being concocted.
    I've got to go and put on my wide shoulder suit and flip that Huey Lewis LP over!
    Not a fan of Oscar myself, but what about Versailles pour homme, Or Black, Sander Man Pure, Leonard pour homme, V&A, Antaeus, Yatagan or even the Ur-Power scent of them all, Knize Ten?

    As to Huey :

    "Patrick Bateman: Do you like Huey Lewis and the news?
    Paul Allen: They're OK.
    Patrick Bateman: Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes, but when Sports came out in '83, I think they really came into their own, commercial and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He's been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far much more bitter, cynical sense of humour.
    Paul Allen: Hey Halberstram.
    Patrick Bateman: Yes, Allen?
    Paul Allen: Why are there copies of the style section all over the place, d-do you have a dog? A little chow or something?
    Patrick Bateman: No, Allen.
    Paul Allen: Is that a rain coat?
    Patrick Bateman: Yes it is! In '87, Huey released this, Fore, their most accomplished album. I think their undisputed masterpiece is "Hip to be Square", a song so catchy, most people probably don't listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it's not just about the pleasures of conformity, and the importance of trends, it's also a personal statement about the band itself.
    [raises axe above head]
    Patrick Bateman: Hey Paul!
    [he bashes Allen in the head with the axe, and blood splatters over him]
    Patrick Bateman: TRY GETTING A RESERVATION AT DORSIA NOW YOU FU..ING STUPID BASTARD! YOU, FU..ING BASTARD!"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwicLgOGJOI (viewer discretion advised)

    So yeah, that'sa part of the 80s (and the human condition), but there's always also The Pixies.
    Last edited by the_good_life; 15th August 2009 at 01:47 AM.
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  53. #53

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    Not a fan of Oscar myself, but what about Versailles pour homme, Or Black, Sander Man Pure, Leonard pour homme, V&A, Antaeus, Yatagan or even the Ur-Power scent of them all, Knize Ten?

    As to Huey :

    "Patrick Bateman: Do you like Huey Lewis and the news?
    Paul Allen: They're OK.
    Patrick Bateman: Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes, but when Sports came out in '83, I think they really came into their own, commercial and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He's been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far much more bitter, cynical sense of humour.
    Paul Allen: Hey Halberstram.
    Patrick Bateman: Yes, Allen?
    Paul Allen: Why are there copies of the style section all over the place, d-do you have a dog? A little chow or something?
    Patrick Bateman: No, Allen.
    Paul Allen: Is that a rain coat?
    Patrick Bateman: Yes it is! In '87, Huey released this, Fore, their most accomplished album. I think their undisputed masterpiece is "Hip to be Square", a song so catchy, most people probably don't listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it's not just about the pleasures of conformity, and the importance of trends, it's also a personal statement about the band itself.
    [raises axe above head]
    Patrick Bateman: Hey Paul!
    [he bashes Allen in the head with the axe, and blood splatters over him]
    Patrick Bateman: TRY GETTING A RESERVATION AT DORSIA NOW YOU FU..ING STUPID BASTARD! YOU, FU..ING BASTARD!"
    Now I have to break out my Bret Easton Ellis? I'm too square to be square and therefore, I'll never be hip.
    Yes, the ones you mention are all great works of perfumery, but isn't Knize from the paleolithic era?
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 15th August 2009 at 01:35 AM.

  54. #54

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    I find it amazing that Annick Goutal, Jean Laporte and Diptyque were producing their subtle and amazing works at the same time things like Giorgio and Drakkar Noir were being concocted. Talk about a cultural war!
    Ruggles, you just inadvertently raised an issue I've been wondering about: even though many or all of the "powerscents" were created in Europe, was the whole trend focused primarily in the U.S.?

    Your mention of Annick Goutal caught my interest because that's overall my favorite fragrance house and I consider her scents to be of the classic French style of perfumery, so I too find in amazing that she was creating marvels like Eau de Monsieur and Sables around the same time stuff like Roberto Cappucci and Fendi Per Uomo were being released. Again, it makes me wonder if we're merely talking about an American 80s trend.

  55. #55

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by shamu1 View Post
    Ruggles, you just inadvertently raised an issue I've been wondering about: even though many or all of the "powerscents" were created in Europe, was the whole trend focused primarily in the U.S.?

    Your mention of Annick Goutal caught my interest because that's overall my favorite fragrance house and I consider her scents to be of the classic French style of perfumery, so I too find in amazing that she was creating marvels like Eau de Monsieur and Sables around the same time stuff like Roberto Cappucci and Fendi Per Uomo were being released. Again, it makes me wonder if we're merely talking about an American 80s trend.
    I worked for Valentino in the 80's and the US was his biggest market. This was true of all the French and Italian designer companies during that time. American was eventually replaced by Russia and the Middle East, but that has now gone bust. China and India, the two anticipated big markets for luxury goods never delivered on their expectations.
    So, yes - I do think that the US was a huge target for all those big hair fragrances. I hung out with a lot Parisians and exiled Persians in the 80's and they all wore things like Equipage, Vetiver and Eau Sauvage, total class.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 15th August 2009 at 01:48 AM.

  56. #56

    Post Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    T o give you the short version of a long story. The fragrances from that era were made with panache! They demanded a certain sense of class, and style. Which is why so many have stood the test of time. IMHO
    Last edited by Ron199; 15th August 2009 at 01:54 PM.
    Don't panic. Just stay calm, and reload....

  57. #57

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    Yes, the ones you mention are all great works of perfumery, but isn't Knize from the paleolithic era?
    1924. But all those leathery chypre powerballs have a Knize gene in 'em somewhere.
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  58. #58

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    I hung out with a lot Parisians and exiled Persians in the 80's and they all wore things like Equipage, Vetiver and Eau Sauvage, total class.
    Glad you clarified the mention of Equipage! I can't remember if it was you or another member who wrote earlier in this thread that Equipage was an 80s powerscent, or something like that. I thought, huh?! Equipage is the antithesis of a powerscent, and I love it, though not for that reason. If you've read my other posts, you'll know I get defensive about Equipage!

  59. #59

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    Quote Originally Posted by AromiErotici View Post
    I was basically as old then as you are now.

    None of us can take credit or blame when we're born. Our generation is our generation and it exposes us to the good and not so good of its time.

    I don't have the "freedom" of association you speak of, but am free to try current frags as well as classics I missed back in the day. I think our sense of smell gets attuned to what we are exposed to in formative years and then without realizing, we use it as a measuring stick. I know I do.

    I do lament the ingredient changes in today's offerings, however, if I was growing up today, current releases would be the norm. In the end, it's all good. You don't miss what you never had...and in my case, there's always vintage sellers.
    Whoa! Got that right. Plus one, Word!, and keep on truckin' right there, bro.

    Could not be said better.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  60. #60

    Default Re: 1980s Style "Powerscents" - the bad rap and a comeback?

    One or the reasons I posted this thread was that because some fragrances have gotten a lot of attention on Basenotes that are heavy and strong like the 80s powerscents were. I'm talking about scents like A*Men, B*Men, and Mazzolari Lui and Patchouly. Are these the powerscents of the future?

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