Perfume Directory

Halston Z-14 (1976)
by Halston


Halston Z-14 information

Year of Launch1976
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 491 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerVincent Marcello
PerfumerMax Gavarry
PackagingElsa Peretti
Parent CompanyRevlon Inc > Elizabeth Arden Inc
Parent Company at launchNorton Simon > Max Factor

About Halston Z-14

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 Z-14 fragrance notes

Reviews of Halston Z-14

I purchased 3 different Halston Z-14, two are from Ea is the Jeff Gordan edtion..the newest formula is horrible , it shouldn't be called Z14 , should be just called Halston 14 or something cause it's nothing like the Jeff Gordan edtion which carries somewhat of the original formula buts it's still good , today I received a 4oz bottle of Halston Z14 from French ...and I tell ya , it's a beautiful Fragrance , very leathery.very Oakmossy herbal and chypre/ fourgere ..I have no idea why would they flip this cologne upside down the way EA did , u don't need to over apply with this one or reapply like todays colognes,I did a side by side test with the Jeff Gordan version and the scent holds true to what it once was..the treemoss and oakmoss in it is what holds the smell together but not as potent , not at all, now what I'm wearing now is a powerhouse..very earthy and leathery I wanna say like Aramis Devin Country Cologne , it resembles Halston.some guys still like the new formulation ,when I first sprayed it on I thought for a minute it was the true scent of the past, but no all I get is cinninmon that's it lol like big red chewing gum , there's no lie in the rumors fellas , I don't even know what to do with my new Halston Z-14 bottle I guess for a bathroom freshner..thumbs up for the vintage formula only if u don't have one go hunt one down , there pretty cheap I won mines in auction on eBay for 30$ 4oz bottle new in the box , I don't think halstons come sealed at all..but yes go find a true vintage bottle , Jeff Gordan edtion is good also but not potent like this one
30th October, 2019
Leshutch Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Review for 2018 purchase. It smells like cinnamon plasticine with a fizzy citrus to me. I just don't like it.
07th August, 2019
Okay....this review is for a '90/'91 2oz splash cologne made by Halston N.Y. that I just purchased. I never thought Z-14 could smell this way! Now I know why this is categorized as a Leather.. Forget about current 'big red' or older 'big red', JG era or anything 2000s for that matter (not that they suck, though, but....) THIS! After the initial blast of alcohol, you get kicked in the teeth by a very persistant and powerful trinity of cypress, leather and LEMON which instantly reminds of vtg Eau Sauvage Extreme. From there on it just keeps on giving: lemon, green, cypress, leather, wood, moss, peppery florals and just beautifully aromatic and golden brown.
And after a few days of usage and air getting mixed into it, it kinda smoothes out and really comes to live.
Cinnamon, you ask? Yup, it's there. But it don't matter, cuz it plays supporting 8th fiddle or so in the background and you kinda forget about it along the way.
This juice sure is well-preserved and has most definately been stored properly. Un-opened, NOS, BNIB. It was an honour popping this cherry. So there.
28th March, 2019
Roy Halston Frowick was a larger-than-life personality in the fashion world of the 1970's. Between his appearances at Studio 54, his notorious pillbox hats and ultrasuede dresses, he was quite literally the epitome of the disco decade, furthered along by his fragrance line starting with the eponymous feminine from 1975. Halston himself was really much more interested in other men however, having an on-off relationship with famous artist Victor Hugo that ran a decade, plus launching not one, but two masculines simultaneously when he took his house international in 1976. Z-14 and 1-12 are pragmatically named after their perfumer's codes, with both being a product of Max Gavary (mostly of Puig fame), and Vincent Marcello, known only for his work on the infamous Caron masculine known as Yatagan (1975). Both Halston scents share identical packaging (although early 1-12 bottles had purple caps), but Z-14 is the louder brother, and more successful as it's the only one still produced between the two. Z-14 more or less embodies the scent of the club-going male in the mid-70's the same way Lapidus Pour Homme (1987) or Le Male (1995) did for their respective decades, being a 70's forerunner to the powerhouse style that dominated the 80's. Z-14 would go on to become "the" masculine by the house, and when many guys say they're wearing "Halston", they really mean Z-14. Hell, the stuff was still getting endorsements as late as the 2000's with Jeff Gordon adorning Halston packages, which says a lot for the lasting power of this potent juice. Sure, it had major competition from stuff like Yves Saint Laurent Pour Homme (1971), Pierre Cardin Pour Monsieur (1972), Paco Rabanne Pour Homme (1973), and many others in the disco nightlife of the decade, but Halston Z-14 always is the first to be name-dropped by anyone who was there, which says a lot.

Z-14 in vintage form is an entirely different animal from the newest IFRA-compliant version. Normally I don't pick on reformulations as hard as some may do, but in Z-14's case, the vision has been utterly destroyed by IFRA standards and downmarket realignment thanks to EA Fragrances taking the mantle away from French Fragrances. Usually new productions contain at least the fundamental characteristics of the original formula, but it just isn't so here. The rumors of Big Red chewing gum and Lysol aren't far from the truth, so vintage is the only respectable way to go here if you want to smell what the perfumers intended. Luckily, there was no major change from 1976 to 2011 IFRA reformulation, so that's a very wide (and thus affordable) net being cast. Z-14 as it should be experienced opens with a telltale bergamot, lemon, basil, cypress, and gardenia salvo that at once is reminiscent of that furniture polish opening YSL Pour Homme possesses, but also is crisper, rounder, and more pillowy thanks to the herbs and rich heart that backs it up. Vetiver, jasmine, patchouli, coriander, cedarwood, cinnamon, and geranium all represent this heart; it's part barbershop, part floral chypre, and part aromatic fougère, which is a heady amalgam that also runs through the base as well. I smell the waxy citrus, jasmine, cedar, and patchouli most in this phase, until the base comes into play. Halston Z-14's dry down consists of sweet amber, suede-like leather, olibanum, benzoin, buttery oakmoss, musk, and smooth tonka. It's once again an abutment of chypre and fougère designs, but the fougère aspects win out due to the sweet warmth and earthy glow of Z-14 when it reaches skin scent. This final phase of the wear is most indicative of the vintage's quality and current formulation's butchering of the perfumer's vision, since nothing but musk, benzoin, an whatever synthetic standing in for moss remains in the new juice.

Roy Halston Frowick really had the loud, brash, arrogant style of the hairy barrel-chested 70's male pegged to a T with Z-14: it's an aromma which comes on charming, a bit safe, then slowly ratchets tension like a sexual climax throughout the wear until a comfortable afterglow is achieved in it's final stages. It surely wasn't the raw virile sex juice of the early 80's masculines like One Man Show (1980), Kouros (1981) or Antaeus (1982), but it certainly shows it's naughty intent on it's sleeve, which is why it could hang toe-to-toe with them in the 80's, but started to become "your Dad's cologne" by the 90's and beyond. Z-14 isn't a total sleezeball with animalics like some of what I named, but it certainly creates a randy mood, so I'd say not to wear it as an office scent, as the softer and more dapper 1-12 works better in that capacity. Z-14 is a good, if dated night time fragrance from fall through spring. Most vintage fans don't need an appropriate context for this, and will just wear it whenever they want a layering of smooth citrus, woods, florals, amber, moss, and musk to enrich their day. It may not be the sweaty gold-chain wearing go-getter it once was, but Halston Z -14 in the legendary "pinch bottle" (or flattened jellybean as I call it), has lost little to none of it's charisma in the 40+ years it's been around, just so long as you buy stock older than 2011. Anything afterward is more like a Time Life disco anthology CD collection: close but not the genuine article. Oh by the way, Avon Deep Woods (1974) has a strikingly similar, albeit milder vibe, despite being two years older. Talk about spooky omens!
27th March, 2018
Halston is clearly a less well-known name in the UK, but alas the joys of these boards is easy to hunt out scents that you've never heard of. Z-14 is one such scent, as is the designer house of Halston.

Not wanting another cypress/chypre, I reluctantly tried the current version. Let's just say the connections to big red gum are totally justified. Cinnamon in a bottle. You might be forgiven for wanting to dust your rice pudding with it!

Vintage on the other hand, even something I would class as semi-vintage, is clearly on another level. Woody, resinous, potent and long-lasting (and yes, with some cinnamon in there - but not a truck load), this is another one of those scents that any chypre lover should vie to try at least once in their life time. It’s hard to believe that this scent is so affordable. Two sprays are enough to last a whole working day. Projection is quite strong. Wearers should expect their clothes to smell of the mossy accord for days later.
19th October, 2017
I didn't like this fragrance at first. I first bought it for $9.99 and all it smelled like was Red Hots candy. Cheap, simplistic, dated, and cloying. A cheap-o not worthy of wear.

I later tried it again and I developed a new found respect for it. Yes, the opening is still Eau de Red Hots and not very sexy, but I got past that and noticed that the scent dried down into this very nice mixture of cinnamon, leather and tonka. And I usually don't even like cinnamon notes in fragrances! This really shines in cold, wet weather. I don't think it's suitable for any other time.

The opening is overwhelming, even the middle a bit, but once this settles on your skin, it's really something special. All the notes come together better. It's an extremely masculine smelling scent. The price tag and "dated" comments will bias some people, but I highly recommend wearing this out several times before making a final judgment on it.

Italian Cypress? I wouldn't know as that one's been discontinued. But if you're fond of John Varvatos Vintage I think you'd appreciate the dry down of Z-14.

As far as reformulated classics for under $20 go, I think this is one of the better ones out there, if not the best.

19th August, 2017 (last edited: 30th June, 2020)

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