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Popular Women's Fragrances From the 1980s

  • Calvin Klein Obsession
  • Christian Dior Poison
  • Giorgio Beverly Hills
  • Estee Lauder Beautiful
  • Elizabeth Arden Red Door
  • Cacharel Anais Anais
  • Givenchy Ysatis
  • Guy Laroche Fidji
  • Revlon Charlie Red
  • Coty Exclamation
  • Love's Baby Soft (both 1970s and 1980s)
  • Revlon Electric Youth by Debbie Gibson

Popular Men’s Fragrances From the 1980s


  • Fabege Brut
  • Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir
  • Ralph Lauren Polo
  • Davidoff Cool Water
  • Calvin Klein Obsession for Men
  • Giorgio Beverly Hills for Men
  • Bijan for Men
  • Yves Saint Laurent Kouros
  • Paco Rabanne Pour Homme
  • Pierre Cardin Pour Monsieur
  • Aramis by Aramis
  • Antonio Puig Quorum
  • Jovan Oleg Cassini 


Fragrances in the 1980s

There was nothing understated about the 1980s and the fragrances showed that. They announced the wearer long before you could see her/him. The 1980s were a decade that demanded excess and people flaunted their newfound wealth. The decade was characterized by consumerism and the acquisition of wealth and possessions. Fashions were big and bold and fragrances were bigger and bolder with many of them so powerful they were impossible to ignore. The fragrance industry doubled it size during the 1980s. 462 new fragrances were launched in the 80s (281 women, 181 men) as compared to 197 in the 70s, 77 in the 60s and 36 in the 50s.

Designer scents were the thing in the 80s. Loud, powerful, and potent perfumes that were the kind of scents people imagined that the 80’s power bitches from Dallas, Falcon Crest, Knots Landing, Falcon Crest and The Colbys would have been wearing. Joan Collins was even the face of Revlon Scoundrel. It was also the decade that Giorgio was launched and became an immediate smash. A powerhouse floral so strong that some restaurants refused to seat customers wearing it, Giorgio was only the beginning of what would prove to be the last decade where big perfumes could stand in for personality or be something to hid behind. These “big” perfumes included Calvin Klein Obsession, YSL Opium and Dior Poison for women and Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir, Calvin Klein Obsession for Him and Pierre Cardin Pour Monsieur for men. Their names caused controversy and their ads were decadent - blatant, erotic advertising that made the fragrances even more popular.

Something interesting to note: When Andy Warhol died in 1987, his long-time friend, Paige Powell, tossed a bottle of Estee Lauder Beautiful into the hole. Andy liked to wear a fragrance for three months and then catalog them to remember certain periods in his life by the scent. 

What's Going on in the World in the 1980s 

Perfume Advertising in the 1980s


1980s Retro Fragrances

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