Thursday, August 25, 2011

Giorgio Beverly Hills- Giorgio (vintage)


Giorgio by Giorgio Beverly Hills is the embodiment of all that was loud and tacky in the 1980s.  Giorgio was meant to make an impression, and, boy, it did. Like a giant plastic flower arrangement in colors not available in nature. You just had to stand there and stare at it in disbelief.

Giorgio is a floral perfume, of course. It also smells like a milk and fruit smoothie that was left in room temperature for an hour and seeped into every corner of my nose and mind. On my skin there's a level of sourness that makes it even harder to stand, but I remember distinctly how on someone I knew in 1989 Giorgio was a giant inflated orchid. When researching Giorgio's notes for this review I discovered that, indeed, orchid is listed in the heart. Ten points to my 19 year old self, I guess, for identifying it so clearly.

Back in 1989, my Giorgio-wearing coworker was a minor beauty queen and catalog model. She was my age but only dated much older guys who had lots of money, sports cars and lavished her with expensive gifts. It was the first time I came face to face in real life with logos such as Gucci and Armani. Our male coworkers circled around her begging to be allowed to come closer and sniff her Giorgio. I sprayed my Paloma Picasso and cursed.



Sometime last year I came across a vintage bottle of Giorgio in extrait de parfum. It joined my collection for the sake of nostalgia, research and out of spite. Since then I've tested it numerous times only daring to dab a tiny drop on my wrist, each time it ends up sucking up all the air around me and taking over. I'm not modest in my perfume usage. I like to spray with abandon, marinate in juice and fill my living space with the sillage of everything from Miel de Bois to vintage Shalimar. But this... this... creature from Beverly Hills... how could people back then spray themselves silly with this monstrosity?

Notes: orange blossom, peach, apricot, bergamot, ylang-ylang, tuberose, gardenia, jasmine, rose, orchid, sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla, amber, cedar, oakmoss and musk.

Giorgio Beverly Hills has been downgraded from its original boutique exclusivity and hefty price tag of the early 80s to a cheap drugstore perfume. I'm not willing to risk my nose and sanity by testing the current incarnation, but if you're familiar with it, please chime in and tell us how it fares.

Photo of Joan Collins as Alexis Carrington from somewhere on the web. Giorgio Beverly Hills adverts (1989 and 1990) fro couleurparfum.com.

14 comments:

  1. You may hate me for this but I'm only commenting on your use of the Joan Collins photo. I got a lot of crap for my nickname, Alexis. I went to grade school in the early 80's so yes, I was ALEXIS CARRINGTON...then I got upgraded to ALEXIS CARRINGTON COLBY DEXTER when I worked at a coffee shop and one my gay customers would greet me that way every morning when I served him coffee.

    As for Giorgio Beverly Hills, I'm actually glad I don't remember what it smelled like! I do remember a version of it in the form of an imitation and it was an aersol body spray. I forgot what those were called but they were horrible!

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  2. Hi Gaia:
    Great site. As that we are ambling down memory lane, what do you think of the Gayle Hayman perfume "Delicious"? I really was taken by it in the '90's and I think that I may still have a bottle of it somewhere. I may try it again and see what happens. You are right about "Giorgio Beverly Hills". It is overblown, over done and excessive in every way. Sort of like a blowfish almost.

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  3. I remember Giorgio well. In fact, I saw a bottle not long ago at a discount store and actually cringed at the box before I realized it.

    You put into words how I felt about that scent. Every-single-class I had when this was popular had at least one if not more females wearing it (in college). The rooms were rife with the "stank". I always remember the style of the clothes those girls wore, Liz Claiborne flats with lil' bows and matchy matchy Liz purses. Large barrette bows in their frosted blonde hair with uber claw bangs. Styled back from the ear so that their Anne Klein lions head earrings could be clearly seen. Their oversized color coordinated cable knit sweaters. That just wasn't my scene. LOL. It sounds as if I were jealous, nope-- I had my own "new wave" style going on. haha.

    Like you I had different tastes in fragrance and I would wear Fendi by Fendi or Karl Lagerfeld.

    ~Katherine~

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  4. I'll never forget it! That fragrance could force me off an elevator. That and Red. I found them vile at the time and can't imagine wanting to relive the experience.

    Thanks for reminding me that you can take some perfectly lovely ingedients and still ruin a fragrance. LOL

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  5. Giorgio was the fragrance for the sorority girls when I first began college at a major midwest university. Although the scent is meant to be associated with glamour and Rodeo Drive, I associate it the girls who wore it exclusively on campus. For me, Giorgio is a sorority girl in a pastel Izod polo shirt, designer jeans and wears a pearl necklace and white tennis shoes. The campus reeked of Giorgio in and out of class. Bars were an atrocious mix of Giorgio, cigarettes and beer. I was the freak wearing Molyneux Quartz, Je Reviens, and L'Heure Bleu.

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  6. 20+ years ago, I was hired to replace a lady at a law firm. She was training me, so I spent the entire day with her. She was a lovely woman, but apparently her signature scent was Giorgio. She wore it every day, and lots of it. All these years later I still cannot stand that fragrance and just thinking about it makes me a little queasy. Thanx for that stroll down memory lane. ;)

    P. S. I really enjoy this site, and especially when it includes the cats. :)

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  7. I had an aunt who wore this. I never could stand it; and even though she had excellent taste in most every other way, in this she disappointed me. I was wearing Caron and Chanel perfumes and still do. It is hard to believe that this is still sold, but then Joan Collins and Linda Evans were the epitome of beauty!

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  8. Ouch...what a scathing review of my previous favorite perfume. I cannot tell you the compliments that I got when I wore it. As I got older, and my work space was relegated to a cubicle, I left it simply due to the face that it was a too strong not because the scent was offensive. That scent evokes fond memories of my youth and days when my sons were little. Too bad it evokes such negativity in others.

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  9. @lexi920--My best friend wore the aerosol body spray. It was called Designer Imposters. She claimed it smelled better than Giorgio!!

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  10. I loved reading this post! Also, the pic of AC with her face 5x whiter than the rest of her body made me laugh out loud.

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  11. I know some people adored it but I couldn't bear this scent. Waiting to cross Dayton and Rodeo was like being gassed. I was almost glad when they got the divorce and sold the whole mess to Avon. That corner became Fred Hayman and all was right with the world until Avon opened up a mini-Giorgio boutique up the block.

    The place didn't last. Avon sold off Giorgio in '89 and Rodeo after 8 years just smelled like any street.

    Did you know that Giorgio was also the first fragrance to have a test strip? Yes, you can blame that on it as well

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  12. It *did* force me off elevators -- regularly!!

    A very dear friend of mine in art school wore it as her signature scent. She was in her late 40's/early 50s at the time, and having an affair with our Japanese print making instructor (who was famous for his erotic etchings). It was a present from her ex-husband.

    I could smell which elevator she had taken to get to the photo lab, hours after she had gone up. It would immediately give me heartburn and make me gag.

    There is only one scent I hate, and it is Giorgio.

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  13. I rather liked it in the 80s, when I was a high schooler. A close friend of mine wore it, but I think she dabbed, and at very low levels of saturation it was just a sweet lemony tuberose - with, maybe, lots of blue eye shadow. Electric tuberose.

    The current version is absolutely horrid, with a neon chemical artificiality that I don't remember. Bleargh.

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  14. I know this is an old post but I'm a newbie and reading everything :)) I have to say that I was a young'un in the 80's and I remember loving Georgio - it was all the THING back in those days, like some fashionable fragrances are all the THING right now. But let this be a warning to y'all, in 20 years you will be hearing your kids smelling your beloved fragrances saying 'how could they wear such atrocities and call them beautiful back then!?' Y'know? ;)

    Those loud, in your face fragrances back then really fit the times, they are like a story, a diary, about what it was like to be young back then just like your own current favorites tell a story about how it is to be young and live in the present times. It's not that they were 'bad', they are just different. Fragrance is art, and art speaks to the moment, yeah?

    I recently found an old bottle of Georgio in some stuff I had forgotten about. I put a tiny dab on and WHAM! it took me right back to my 20's - what I wore, where I was standing, how I was feeling, where I was 'at'..... it was intense. And I was surprised to discover that I still love the fragrance not only because of it's massive floral note, but because it has the ability to warp time like nothing else. It's like a magical elixer :) I will always cherish this little bit of my past wrapped in the Georgio bottle, and you all will do with your favorite fragrances. I will probably at some point try the reformulation just to see how it compares and I will try, TRY, to keep an open mind, ha! :))

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