RETRO - Jovan Ginseng Perfume
Year Introduced: 1975 - Feminine
Notes: Ginseng, herbal notes, floral notes and amber
Ginseng's tag line was: “Inspired by the wonder‐root that has made so much history. (To help you make history all over again.)"
An excerpt from a review on Fragrantica:
H&R Guide correctly identifies it as a sweet lily-based floral. (In the same group as Estee Super, Revlon Moon Drops, Faberge Babe, Miss Worth, Ivoire de Balmain, based around sweet lily and 1970's musk.) Ginseng is centered around lily but it has a sharp "green" component that is unique; I'm guessing it's that sharpness that's supposed to represent the ginseng. It has a sweetness from the lily and amber, and of course there is musk, and there is also noticeable frankincense in the base, which helps give it an unusual quality. This is a fairly unique scent and many people remember it and feel nostalgic for it.
Another one from Fragrantica:
I do not smell ginseng itself except perhaps weakly, but what I do smell is something inspired by Chinese spices, of the type found in 5-spice powder: ginger, cinnamon, the citrusy-green Szechaun pepper...those are found here in abundance over an oriental base of amber with hints of patchouli, musk and a teeny-tiny drop of vanilla for roundness.
And one final excerpt from a review on Fragrantica:
Take a bale of sun-warmed hay ladened with freshly watered mums. Put that scent in a bottle. Does this appeal to you? This is why I pine for vintage Jovans. You loved them or didn't but they said something in a distinct voice without irony, fuss or apology.
Their counter advertising read: Jovan Ginseng Perfume. The mysterious fragrance of life and love. And a beautiful way to stir the senses. Cologne Spray Mist. As full of promise as the perfume, but in popular cologne form.
An advertisement from April 1975 read:
Jovan Ginseng. Inspired by the wonder-root that grew in the forests of ancient China. Said to possess the power to prolong life and love. Now in Jovan Ginseng for women and men. There's Jovan Ginseng Perfume. The fragrance of life and love. Jovan Ginseng Cologne Spray Mist. As full of promise as the perfume. Yet promises a lighter experience.
An advertisement from November 1975 read:
The fragrance inspired by ginseng. Legendary wonder-root of ancient China. Said to prolong life. And love. Which makes this perfume all the more exotic. Enchanting. And beautiful. A fragrance created to enhance the subtle powers of a woman. To mystify her man. Jovan Ginseng Perfume. (And captivating cologne.) You can bet your dynasty on it.
The box reads (in Chinese characters and English translation):
The mysterious fragrance of life and love. Of sensuality and youth. Of Ginseng. The wonder-herb of the Orient. Oftentimes called the world's oldest aphrodisiac. Now in a beautiful perfume that is said to possess the power. To stir the senses. Apply a few drops and you'll experience a wave of pleasant warmth, invigoration. And desire. So will your man. Jovan Ginseng Perfume.
Ginseng has been discontinued.
We are decanting from an unopened bottle of the original perfume version of this fragrance.