Perfume Directory

Halston 1-12 (1976)
by Halston


Halston 1-12 information

Year of Launch1976
Average Rating
(based on 246 votes)

People and companies

PackagingElsa Peretti
Parent CompanyRevlon Inc > Elizabeth Arden Inc
Parent Company at launchNorton Simon > Max Factor

About Halston 1-12

The international roll-out for Halston fragrances in 1976 was masterminded by Michael Edwards, who told Basenotes why Halston chose to launch with two male fragrances:
"Halston couldn't make up his mind which one he preferred so he said, “Launch both”. The names, Z-14 and 1-12? Those were the perfumer's code numbers."
Basenotes visitor, Bryian Davis tells us "the bottles were inspired by the soft shapes fingers would make pinching the form, that's where the name 'pinch' bottle came from. "

Halston 1-12 fragrance notes

Reviews of Halston 1-12

Considering where we are at with reformulations of z-14 and 1-12, at least both are available ridiculously cheap. I paid $10 each which for 1-12 is a great buy. I'll leave z-14 for it's own review.
I really like 1-12, it is definitely understated with just a touch of the citrus in the opening drying down into a very pleasant musk glow. It definitely smells like the 1970s, but not in a macho way. For me there is a weird note resemblance to restaurant soda machine water 'funk' that you only pick up from fountain water and soda from say an A&W or other vintage restaurant with lots of orange and brown decor I know that's odd but I thought I would throw that in just in case someone else gets that. I like 1-12, though it's not worth a deep hunt for or a must have. Thumbs Up.
14th November, 2020
French Fragrances out of Miami,FL in the green glass bottle is a good source that still did the vintage formula.

This opens up with it's base of green mixture of what smells like laurel leaves with a hint of oakmoss refreshed with lemon. This part kind of reminds me of Agua Brava. You'd expect this to be coarse when paired but there's a modern lavender note that stands out and comes across the spectrum to smooth things out...reminds me of Ivory Original soap. 1-12 is very musky to me almost as hefty as Kouros...but without a fecal reminder of any kind. A little cedar in this though not too much. Floating around in this scent is a little amber that gives a little resin to the green side. There isn't a dry quality about Halston 1-12. This is a very fresh, wet, and slick smelling green barbershop scent. This isn't identical to Quorum but I would recommends to fans of that scent looking for an older sibling that holds it's head high.

The current formula EA Fragrances isn't a horrid fragrance. But the green side and amber has been removed from 1-12 hence why the glass color is no longer green. It's just a really lemony and musky scent now. EA doesn't usually butcher classic fragrances. I have a feeling they pitched the Halston fragrances to a millennial focus group and they found the bottles stylish for a younger group...but not the fragrance.

Thumbs up to the vintage formula of Halston 1-12.
20th August, 2019 (last edited: 21st August, 2019)
Halston 1-12 is to my eyes, the gentler, softer-spoken, and more romantic brother to the other, much more iconic Halston Z-14, which shares bottles, and release years. Roy Halston Frowick was an American fashion pioneer and mildly lecherous playboy of the Studio 54 era, backed by his odd decision to launch both final masculine compositions presented by perfumers Max Gavary and Vincent Marcello. 1-12 seemed to be the much more dapper and sensual of the two compositions, with the real magic happening late in the wear, with 1-12 being soft in the opening, and building slowly to a warm glow, while Z-14 came on loud, grew louder in the heart and gradually grew quieter after the base notes appeared. 1-12 was definitely the tortoise approach while Z-14 is the hare. As history would have it, the boisterous machismo of the 70's male culture, particularly in the disco scene, would favor Z-14, while the genteel guys in poet shirts, into Dr Hook or Harry Nilsson, candlelit dinners, and aperitifs by the fireplace probably took delight in 1-12, but they were certainly the minority at the time. I'm in that underdog camp as well, and I much approve of 1-12's vibe over Z-14, since it feels more timeless. Despite being discontinued, 1-12 is so unpopular that much of the stock exists, and it sells for peanuts. EA Fragrances never made any upon acquisition of Halston, so only French Fragrances and back ever made 1-12, so this is almost blind-buy worthy for fans of the style, which in 1-12's case is the same aromatic chypre/fougère hybrid as Z-14.

1-12 opens with the 70's wondergreen known as galbanum, it's not a heavy dose like Aramis 900 (1973), but mixed well with bergamot, basil, lemon, and the sweet manadarin orange, which always rounds or softens most fragrances it opens. There's a real risk to overapply 1-12 in this stage, because the top notes are not screaming for vengeance like Z-14 and people not used to more subtle scents might keep laying on the trigger until they can "smell" the top. Trust me on this, 1-12 likes to slowly tweak the volume knob, so just spray, sashay, and walk away; you'll thank me later, I promise. The middle is where 1-12 shows first prospects of it's true power, with lavender ushering in pine, then juniper, jasmine, and carnation before the floral warmth peaks and the base takes over. A heavier cedar base note alongside the pine note middle keeps this crisper even in the final stages than it's beefier twin, but oakmoss, amber, tonka, and musk keep it in familiar territory with the surprising touch of vanilla in the finish to attach coattails to 1-12's suit. You won't do the Hustle in 1-12, but you might just toss on a Commodores slow jam and do an easy two-step. 1-12 is very much the 70's after-party scent, after all the booze is gone, the band has packed up, and the DJ just takes requests to see the evening out; it's certainly easier to wear to work, and few people if any are going to recognize it on your collar, making it almost niche in appeal. This works best in spring and fall to me, as it's not built for extreme heat and won't power through the cold.

1-12, much like Balenciaga's Ho Hang (1971), was subtle at a time when subtlety wasn't in fashion. It didn't survive the 2000's culling of many great classics much like Ho Hang too, but similarly could be successful if marketed on the smaller scale most on which niche perfumers operate. This is because 1-12 has a lot of things that appeal to a modern connoisseur of obscure masculine scents: discretion, depth, and undeniable originality. I guarantee few things smell remotely close to 1-12, and it's a special breed of scent that's both sharp and round at different points, and never hits at a funny angle or shows a coarse side to it's note pyramid. It's leaps and bounds more sophisticated than many 70's male stalwarts, but again, not profound like them since it goes for the long-haul rather than the first impression, which is probably why it wasn't as likeable too. People don't want to sit and wait through an experience to see if it was worthwhile, either it clicks or it doesn't, which is also why 70's progressive rock didn't survive either. Put on that old Genesis record, spray on some Halston 1-12, and take a journey. You might not be immediately impressed like you will be with Z-14, but you'll savor the experience more. Besides, it's so unusually cheap and plentiful it almost begs to be tried.
28th March, 2018
dreese Show all reviews
United States
There are light, sublime touches of lemon, basil, juniper, carnation, and jasmine that show through the cedarwood and mossy base. This smells like laying beneath a large oak while each note appears like sunlight shining through the leaves above you. Distinctly masculine, green, and powerful. One of the very few 80s masterpieces that still smells the same now as it did back then.
05th November, 2017
Man, this must have been really something back in the day, before it got reformulated.
I LOVE the opening of this fragrance.
Is this what's considered a "green" opening? I don't know but I love it. It's got an old school vibe to it, early 80s in my mind, even though it came out in 1976.
The only bad thing is that as the top notes evaporate, what you're left with is something very powdery and soft. It's not unpleasant at all. It's nice. But you can envision your grandma's perfume smelling something like this.
In the context of the era it was produced, it was probably awesome, but if you wear this today, at best you'll come across like an anachronism and at worst, like you mistakenly put on grannie's perfume.

Many people say that the reformulation of this and its brother Z-14 don't do the originals justice. The original of this was probably killer.

That said, I give this a neutral. I'd give it a thumbs up, because it's a pleasant smell, but I don't think anyone can really pull this off with its dry down these days. It's just not that masculine.'s cheap ($10), the opening is fantastic for those two minutes, and the rest of it is at least pleasant. I really like the bottle too. If EA Fragrances can ever get this back to whatever it was originally like, I'd gladly pay more to try it out.
19th August, 2017 (last edited: 21st August, 2017)
When this first came out, I was but a bored 10 year old, killing time until my Mother and Sisters got finished in the fitting room. Stupid old dresses. Anyways, I remember standing at the Halston counter at Strawbridge & Clothier department store and the kind lady attendant allowed me to sample the fragrances. Z-14 was absolutely amazing with its bold burst of lemon and cedar woods; however 1-12 was just as breathtaking with its burst of green notes and soft, powdery musks. The bottles were out of this world and to a young lad, it was like holding the holy grail! (*Back then Z-14s bottle was brown glass and 1-12s bottle was black/dark purple glass.)
I couldn't decide then which one was better and nearly 40 years later, I still cannot pick one over the other. They're both different with 1-12 being softer and more elegant while Z-14
is bold, daring and sporty! Two good friends.
I still wear both 1-12 and Z-14 in constant rotation from my fragrance wardrobe. I will admit that when I wear 1-12 the compliments come flooding in, and I've even received phone calls from a few clients asking what scent I was wearing, because they want to buy it too! Most unusual, especially for such a inexpensive fragrance, but I'll take a compliment when I can get it.
I have heard that Halston himself could not choose between the two scents, so he launched both. I'm just glad that he did!
28th December, 2016

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Halston 1-12 Cologne for men 2 oz splash

US • Buy it now: USD 13.00.

Vintage Halston 1-12 After Shave for men 8 oz

US • Buy it now: USD 79.99.

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