Monday 14 March 2022

HALSTON 1-12 by Halston

When we talk about the newest fragrance, or the latest must-have release, our thoughts will instantly turn to those images of the bottles that we’ve seen in magazines or online. We instinctively look forward at what is to come, but there is a treasure trove of perfumes that are also waiting for us in the past. The idea of “newness” is often confused with “latest” but, if you stop and think about it, everything is “new” to someone. With finances getting a little tighter, some historic searching can turn up some fantastic fragrances at inexpensive prices. So, with that in mind, it’s time to rediscover Halston 1-12.

There is still a big misunderstanding when it comes to the price of a fragrance. A £20 perfume is not necessarily any lower quality than a £150 one. They are both governed by the same safety requirements, they may even be made in the same factory, so the only test is your own nose. Do you like it? If the answer is yes then buy it. Over the years I’ve smelled fragrances that range from £5 right up to £8000, and I’ve yet to find one that truly deserves the big price tag. So, it's time to open your eyes to the possibilities.

Halston is a name that was once synonymous with the most cutting edge fashion but, due to company takeovers and the founder’s extravagant lifestyle, it slipped from the catwalk to the department store. Roy Halston Frowick’s company grossed an astronomical $30 million between 1968 and 1973 so, when it was bought by Norton Simon Industries in 1973, the opportunities really did seem limitless. One thing that Halston had always wanted to do was create a fragrance to go alongside his fashion empire. This arrived in 1975 in the form of the feminine Halston by Halston, but he wanted more.

The following year saw the launch of two masculine scents, apparently due to Halston not being able to make his mind up which was his favourite. Halston Z-14 was the patchouli imbued scent of 1970s New York, the aroma of hot bodies in the famous Studio 54, and had a definite feeling of excess. It was a worldwide bestseller when it launched, in a bottle designed by Elsa Peretti, but its restrained partner also shouldn’t be overlooked. Halston 1-12 is almost the daytime equivalent of its noisy counterpart, in a shared bottle, but with a refined elegance that isn’t afraid to draw on masculine florals. So, is it time for a revival?

The fragrance opens with an incredible rush of galbanum and bergamot, so you're literally bathed in piercingly green notes, before a softening touch of orange starts to temper the scent slightly. The bergamot links perfectly down to the aromatic lavender and basil but, in a really clever pairing, the blend of jasmine with clove adds an edginess to what could otherwise be an overly floral note. The green aspect never fully disappears and is joined by earthy vetiver along with a note of oakmoss but, in a nod to timeless elegance, a shaving-soap sandalwood and labdanum is reminiscent of crisp suits, chiselled jawlines and a touch of after-hours romance. It may have originally been designed with men in mind, but chypre ladies will love it.

Halston 1-12 is available widely on the internet, and also in drugstores and chemists, but is currently a wonderfully inexpensive £19.95 for 125ml on Amazon. [Bottle was purchased]

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