Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bijan by Bijan (Vintage)

I can almost hear some of you giggling.

Bijan is as 80s as it gets and I love it, despite my habit of wrinkling my nose at most of that decade's aesthetics. Big florientals become me, I guess. This ridiculously baroque blend of just about any fragrant flower known to men over a high caloric ambery base ends up smooth and honeyed on skin. It's an ultra-feminine diva with all the subtlety of Alexis Carrington, her hats, cleavage and scripted lines, but when I (dare to) wear it outside the house  it adds a couple of inches to my already significant heels and makes me feel like I could throw Krystle into the pool with my bare hands.

The opening of Bijan is loud and sharp. All those orange blossoms and Neroli insist on being heard and seen. They don't exactly calm down, but the transition into sweeter and fuller floral notes (rose, jasmine, muguet and tuberose, among several others) is less piercing. This is where Bijan starts radiating its distinct signature sillage and the love-or-hate stage begins for most. Those who are able to ride the flower tsunami will be rewarded with a rich, somewhat powdery (there's heliotrope there) moderately sweet amber. It's lush and vanillic but not really gourmand- the eighties weren't so much about yummy, after all. Bijan is probably better dabbed than sprayed, and used judiciously. Let's face it, neither the 1980s nor the Mr. Bijan himself were ever about restraint.

Bijan was released in the 1986 or 1987 (when the bottle won some serious awards). I haven't smelled the most current juice, but I'd go out on a limb and guess it has changed over the years. The only concentration still in production is an EDT (usually a dead giveaway for reformulation) and it's official retail price according to Bijan's website is $130 for 1.7 oz. Seriously. Searching online reveals it can actually be bought from various sources for under $30, and the EDP is still around here and there.

Bijan perfume ad-
Bijan billboard in Los Angeles-


  1. This is too funny. I found an older bottle (three-ingredient label) at Maax for around $9. I hid it in the back of the cabinet. I've worn it a few times and completely agree with your review -- toothache sweet and then Not Bad. Bijan had a billboard at the border of west L.A. and Beverly Hills, as you drove into the latter. It was always photos of him -- retouched beyond recognition -- sometimes with impossibly sleek wife & unbearably cute child, and his perfume. I couldn't believe I actually bought a bottle, 25 years later, but $9?

  2. Thanks for the post. I am 50 years old and this was my "signature" sent in the late 80s and I had been thinking about it just the other day. Must seek some out to see how I like it(or not!!) now!! This and the original Guess (which I would love to see you write about) and you could smell me a mile away I'm sure!!

  3. Well. I've always loved the bottle...


  4. I kind of miss seeing those billboards- always at near Sepulveda & Santa Monica with a big smiling Bijan. He used to park his Rolls (always in some screaming yellow) in front.

    I think he still does..


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