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  1. #1
    shamu1's Avatar
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    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
    vita odorifera
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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....

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  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
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    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.

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

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

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    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
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    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
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    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
    Bigsugarman's Avatar
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
    shamu1's Avatar
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    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
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    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

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    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

    AnthonyDG's Avatar
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    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.

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