Words: Charlie Leeves & Emily Venables
Nostalgia is a wonderful feeling, especially when it's connected to fragrance! That oh-so-familiar, warm and fuzzy feeling when you come across a scent that conjures up long lost fond memories. Today, we're embracing that feeling wholeheartedly and taking a step back in time to look at the scents of the booming '50s, swinging '60s, and groovy '70s.
Plus, at the end of this article, you could be in with a chance of winning 1 of 3 perfume bundles worth £250 as we celebrate the launch of Boom Radio! Read on to find out more...
Welcome to the '50s
The 50s were an interesting time, the fallout of WW2 was still being felt around the world and new art movements were emerging. Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art showed how society’s views had changed over the past decade with a shift towards mood and colour over traditional mediums and forms.
Although launched in 1948, Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps became one of the defining fragrances of the 1950s.
L’Air du Temps translates to “the air of the time”, this perfume aimed to capture the atmosphere of a post-WW2 world in a bottle. Top notes of carnation and gardenia accord make this an iconic floral fragrance. Heart notes of jasmine and rosemary pair poetically with bold sandalwood base notes. The dove on top of the bottle is the symbol of peace and perfectly sums up this fragrance. It captures a moment in time and puts it in a bottle; the scent is calming and relaxing - no wonder it is still popular today!
Estee Lauder Youth Dew perfectly embodies the youth's spirit, which emerged as the biggest influences in fashion, beauty, and music in the '50s. Just think back to the rise of Teddy Boys and the effortlessly cool James Dean, if you need a reference!
Youth Dew is a mixture of delicate floral notes and rich spices, which has led it to be labelled one of the sexiest fragrances of all time, quite fitting for a decade that boasted Hollywood stars like Marylyn Monroe and Grace Kelly!
It’s in its duality that’s this scent finds its allure; no longer were female fragrances solely defined by floral scents. The top notes of rose and lavender are coupled with earthy moss and bold spices in the base notes. This fragrance embodied youth culture at the time, and like most things from the '50s, its timeless nature makes it perfect for everyday wear today.
Time for the Swinging '60s
The '60s was the decade of love and counterculture! Out went the social norms of the previous half a decade, and in came a new world of flamboyant clothing and the relaxation of social taboos. One of the most defining moments of the '60s was Beatlemania. The Beatles not only influenced music; they influenced society as well. They wore suits on stage and still bowed after each performance and this subtle sophistication is emulated in the fragrance Aramis.
This fragrance embodies masculinity; top notes of citrus and bergamot play off the sage heart notes to create a full-bodied scent. Finally, raw base notes of leather and oakmoss bring this fragrance to a close. This woody fragrance stands the test of time; it was perfect for adding that effortlessly classy touch to a decade known for a carefree attitude to life, and it is still a favourite of many men today. In The Beatles' words, “money can’t buy me love” but what it can buy is a fantastic fragrance…
Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring Audrey Hepburn was a standout film of the decade and cemented her as a style icon. It is, therefore, no surprise to see a fragrance like Hermes Caleche emerge during the decade. This was the first women’s fragrance produced by Hermes, and it manages to capture the beauty of the '60s. Citrusy top notes of bergamot and orange blossom add a tangy zing to the scent. Floral jasmine and ylang-ylang sit weightlessly on the skin, slowly emitting waves of seductiveness. Finally, cedarwood and oakmoss close this sent with a full-bodied goodbye. The class of the silver screen stars live on in this fragrance; allow yourself to be a star of your own with Hermes Caleche.
Step into the '70s
The '70s were a decade of change, described as the “Me Decade” by some historians. Gone were the feelings of togetherness that sprouted after the Second World War, and in came the idea of individualism. Britain elected its first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and the social changes that started in the '60s continued and picked up pace in the '70s.
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen was released in the mid-70s. No one had ever experienced a song quite like it before; it managed to combine rock and opera seamlessly. Paco Rabanne Homme was a new fragrance in the '70s, and just like Bohemian Rhapsody, Paco Rabanne Homme was also the first of its kind.
It was the first-ever aromatic Fougere, creating a whole new fragrance family! This aromatic scent combined lavender and thyme in the top notes giving the fragrance an airy lightness. The heart notes brought a clean feel to the scent with natural geranium and cloves, keeping with the natural elements of the fragrance, base notes of tobacco and oakmoss round off this fragrance. Paco Rabanne Homme was a trailblazer in the fragrance world and is still one of our favourites today.
The '70s was also a decade full of controversy; the Watergate Scandal sent shockwaves across the world. Not to be outdone, the perfume world had a controversial fragrance as well. The fragrance was Opium by Yves Saint Laurent.
It was almost stopped from being produced due to its name; however, it has endured these initial hardships to become one of the most popular fragrances of all time. This oriental scent combines mandarin orange and aldehyde in the top notes to give a rich flavour to the fragrance's start. Soon carnation and patchouli add floral and herby notes to this alluring fragrance. Finally, classic touches of ambery accord end Opium by Yves Saint Laurent. If you want people to become addicted to you, then this is the only fragrance you’ll need.
There was a huge cultural shift from the '50s to the '70s moving away from collectivism to individualism which is reflected in the fragrances released during this time. Scents became bolder and more experimental but always held on to an air of classiness! It's no wonder we're so fond of them some 50 years later!
WIN 1 of 3 perfume bundles worth £250!
To celebrate music and fragrance icons, The Perfume Shop has teamed up with the newly launched Boom Radio to give away 3 fantastic fragrance bundles worth £250 each!
Boom Radio, which launched this month, is aimed at the 14million baby boomers who know a thing or two about icons, having lived through the most exciting days for music and social change in the '60s and '70s!
All you have to do is click the link below and tell Boom Radio about your favourite music icon (we revealed a few of ours in this article) and what they mean to you in a maximum of 300 words. We're on the lookout for exciting and original entries and maybe to learn a thing or two about musical icons ourselves!
There will be three winners, and entries close midday Friday 26th February 2021.