Sunday 10 May 2015

An 80s Love Affair

I don't want it and I don't need it, but I MUST have it. That is the way my mind works when I see a discontinued perfume; the thrill of finding an old master, a classic, a rarity. However, if you tell me that the perfume is from the 1980s then it becomes a fight to the death. What is it about this decade that makes us lose all sense and spend a fortune bidding on a bottle of perfume that could end up smelling like gin?

Well, those ten years saw an incredible output of fragrances with what seemed liked a release nearly every week, so it was impossible to keep up with each one. So many slipped under the radar that a search on eBay turns up the most eclectic mix. Forget the big companies, forget even the infamous Giorgio of Beverley Hills, the eighties saw the birth of the celebrity fragrance.

The television show “Dynasty” enjoyed an audience of twenty-one million at the height of its success, so it was inevitable that merchandise would start to appear. 1984 saw the launch of the fragrances Forever Krystle and Carrington, advertised by Linda Evans as Krystle and John Forsythe as Blake. Originally limited releases, they soon became widely available in American department stores, indeed Forever Krystle enjoyed respectable sales even after the series had finished, which unfortunately couldn’t be said for Carrington. In a 2011 interview Evans revealed that she actually worked with the perfumer on her scent, although it is unlikely that Forsythe did the same. The fragrances were originally released by the company Charles of the Ritz, and in 1986 their ownership passed to Yves Saint Laurent before finally ending up with Revlon in 1987.

At this moment, somewhere on route from Pennsylvania, my bottle of Forever Krystle is waiting to be discovered thirty-one years after its original release. So what do I know about it? Actually very little. It is described as a floral fragrance featuring bergamot, mimosa, rose and musk, so nothing earth-shattering. However, something about it made the public spend over six million dollars on it in 1985. I’ll report back once it arrives, but for now hand me my mobile telephone that looks like a brick, a suit with shoulder pads, and the essential filofax … I’m heading back to the eighties, and I may be gone some time!

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