Friday, April 25, 2014

Vintage Perfume Ads

Let's take another trip back in time through old perfume ads (see also this one). The one above is obviously not that old. Model Shalom Harlow was the face of Shalimar in 1998-1999. Still, it looks from a different era. Perhaps because of the classic Guerlain bottle.

Parfum d'Hermes, 1985 was ready to tangle you with its ribbons (I'm seriously butchering the translation, I know). Hermes has recently standardized their bottles into the classic Caleche style, and Parfum d'Hermes is no longer in production, and its younger sibling, Rouge d'Hermes, has been reformulated at some point. Too bad.

The more famous Miss Dior ads are the classic ones by Rene Gruau, but how lovely is this one from 1977?

Who's more qualified than Cristobal Balenciaga himself to sell his Le Dix perfume?

Less mysterious but oh so pretty, Blue Grass by Elizabeth Arden in a 1967 ad. I haven't smelled the perfume in ages, but this imagery makes me want to go hunt a vintage bottle.

The only Bourjois perfume I've tried is the classic Soir de Paris. Is anyone familiar with Endearing?

Back to Guerlain. I'm trying to remember  if there ever was a non-blonde Chamade model. This one is Christine Bloster, probably in the mid 80s.

Chanel Eau de Cologne was actually around before the Les Exclusifs version. This elegant ad is from 1947.

And in a sharp contrast, one of the iconic images from my childhood: Charlie. I can still conjure the scent even though I haven't actually been anywhere near it in more than twenty years.

Another throwback to my childhood, my mother's Chloe. I wear the masculine Lagerfeld on the right.

Two Coty classics: Chypre and Paris in gorgeous Lalique bottles. Ads from the 1930s.

Corday perfumes. I'm kind of on a mission to find these bottles. The only one I have is L'Ardente Nuit.

Fath de Fath, 1957. A real gem.

We can't have a vintage ad post without Rene Gruau. This one is from 1979. I'm trying to remember if I ever tried Dior-Dior.

Shalimar, again, in a 1927 art deco ad.

More art deco: Houbigant, 1930. I'd remodel my bedroom after this bottle and box.
This 1937 Lancome ad is a good fit for the modern reissue of Peut Etre.

More Rene Gruau, this time for Lucien Lelong.

Back to the 80s, this Paco Rabanne ad cracks me up. You'd never see a bespectacled and fully clothed male model in a perfume ad today, and that's a shame. And didn't I date a guy who looked like that somewhere around 1991?

I thought I knew everything about Piguet perfumes. But Dingo? DINGO? It's a 1946 ad and I'm guessing the dingo didn't live to see the 50s. Still, I'd sell a soul and some internal organs for a bottle of what may be a lost Germaine Cellier creation.

This is a much later ad for the 1937 classic Sortilege that appeared in Vogue UK in 1973. Still very fitting for the perfume, wouldn't you say?

The last one is not a perfume ad, but I love the classic Dior bottle (looks like Miss Dior in eau de cologne concentration. I have one just like this) in this 1972 hair spray advertising.

All images via, and


  1. This is such a feast! Many thanks. And now I've seen everything - a perfume ad using budgerigars ! (Parakeets you might call them in the US?) And continuing the Australian theme, I'm stunned as you to think that there was once a perfume called Dingo. I have to say that the native Australian dog does not conjure any pleasant ideas for me as a scent.

  2. My grandmother, Mimi's, favorite and signature scent was Coty Paris. I can still smell it. Loved this post.

  3. Great post! Ads do bring back memories. Love your comment about male models!


  4. Lovely! I love looking at perfume ads and analysing what they convey to us about both the scent and how things were at that time. These days it's all semi-naked men and women. Sigh.

  5. You've outdone yourself with this wonderful collection - thanks so much, Gaia! nozknoz

  6. I love looking at vintage perfume and cosmetic ads, so thank you for this. I have that exact bottle of Endearing on my vanity. It was my mother's. Sorry to say it is totally empty. Delightful to see the ad for it.

  7. Shalom Harlow is the most beautiful person on earth!! My favorite 90s model.

  8. Ah, memories, scent memories. I miss the real Chloe - today's is NOTHING like the tuberosey original. OH - Miss Dior, that rosey smooth sandlewood - NOTHING like today's Miss Dior. What a shame. Funny how the perfume industry just 'rolled over' and allowed the outlawing by the EU (if I have it correct) of certain scent ingredients. As always, it is business, it must be all about the money. The 'old people' who knew these scents 'die off' and they are sold anew to people who have no scent memory of how they were before. Who cares and the cash registers continue to ka-ching.

  9. Love these!! Thanks for posting them. I think I'd buy a lot more print magazines and save them if they still had ads like these (especially the Rene Gruau ads). Have been looking for a bottle, a sample, a broken sliver of bottle with a hint of scent still on it of Dingo for centuries - no luck yet, but hope springs eternal. I wonder if the name was at least part of the reason for why it disappeared into the black hole of perfumes.


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