These vintage perfume ads feature some of the most popular fragrances of their day. I’ve used one or two of these perfumes in the past, and received great attention. Some of the older fragrances are still being produced today, while others are long discontinued, but available on eBay for large sums of money. Aside from the actual perfume, many vintage perfume ads are available for purchase online and are suitable for framing.
1 Shocking by Schiaparelli
In general, vintage perfume ads are beautiful and sometimes even funny, but in this ad, Schiaparelli says of Shocking: “It gives women ideas which they reflect, even if they don’t live up to them. It is not to be given to secretaries or Other Men’s Wives except at your own peril.” WHAT? The year was 1937, and that content was appropriately SHOCKING. You might be able to snag a bottle on eBay, but the price is positively…you know.
2 Lasso by Jean Patou
Launched in 1956, Lasso’s advertising. “Votre Arme Secrete,” translated to “Your Secret Weapon.” This is a floral-leather fragrance containing fruity and floral notes, oakmoss and leather. Information regarding the year Lasso was discontinued is hard to find. If you really want a bottle, you might check eBay now and then.
3 Evening in Paris by Bourjois
This lovely fragrance debuted in 1928 and had its demise in 1969, only to be reformulated and relaunched in 1992 as Soir de Paris. This floral scent was popular since its initial launch. The cobalt blue bottle is synonymous with EIP, as collectors of rare Evening In Paris memorabilia call it. Fragrance notes include apricot, peach, violet and rose.
4 3 Perfumes in a Can of Spam
Well, this kind of blew me away. Perfume in a canned ham? You get “Evening in Paris,” “Tweed,” and “Folie de Minuit” nips (thin tubes) free, when you buy the special 2-can pack of Armour Star Treet, at your favorite grocer’s. What a strange hook-up is this. I can’t even imagine the conversations these companies had leading up to this pairing.
5 Primitiff by Max Factor
Using supermodel of the day, the lovely Jean Patchett, Max Factor told us that Primitiff was “for the woman who is every inch a female” and “A bold fragrance? Perhaps. But why not let your perfume say the things you wouldn’t dare to?” In the 1950s, women wouldn’t ask for what they wanted in the bedroom. Aren’t you glad it’s 2014?
6 With the Beatles by Olive Adair Ltd
Certainly, not the most beautiful of bottles, but in 1963 the Beatles had 31 listings on the Hot 100 and Beatlemania was in full swing. Each bottle featured the faces of the four Beatles in the corners. I can’t find fragrance notes for it, but I can tell you today that it smells of money. That is, if you should stumble upon one someday, it could be worth a couple of thousand to the right collector.
7 Wind Song by Prince Matchabelli
Wind Song had many such print advertisements featuring good-looking men instead of pretty models. This one from 1959 reads in part: “Aftermath of a lovely disturbance. When Wind Song whispers your message, he can’t get you out of his mind. You are the lovely disturber that wakens its fragrance to fulfillment.” I’m sold! I love this advertising and the clever use of subtext. Wind Song is a floral fragrance that you can still pick up today online or at your favorite drugstore. Watch out; this is a man magnet.
8 Chantilly and Quelques Fleur by Houbigant
A tale of two fragrances. Chantilly is an oriental perfume that I find too old fashioned to wear today, although it is available online and at drugstores. Much too powdery for me. Now, Quelques Fleur is a different story. Still the original scent that was launched in 1912, and found at Nordstrom today, where just one ounce is one hundred bucks!
9 Tabu by Dana
Tabu had an infamous beginning. It seems Jean Carles was commissioned to create a perfume for prostitutes, and Tabu was born. The fragrance's motto is naturally, “The forbidden perfume.” Tabu is an oriental floral scent with great projection and longevity. Love the little black dress in the ad!
I love vintage advertising, from perfume to liquid stockings. It’s interesting to see which products stood the test of time and which just faded away into obscurity. Did you find these ads fun or interesting? Have you ever worn any of these fragrances?