There's nothing like a good '80s throwback. If you want to be a bit more subtle in your nostalgia than a full on '80s outfit, however, a great way to pay homage to the decade that brought us big hair, synth pop, and plenty of shoulder pads is to wear an '80s perfume. I was born in '84, so it wasn't until the '90s that I was old enough to care about wearing any fragrances. As brands from the '80s continued to make their way into the next decade, though, I definitely remember a select few scents making my list of favorites.
Though I didn't personally partake in the gloriousness of the most iconic '80s perfumes, my mother and I looked over several names together and she definitely remembers the popularity of nine particular scents. She herself was a nonchalant wearer of whatever she got her hands on and didn't have a particular go-to fragrance. My Dad, on the other hand, is still a Stetson and Brut wearer, so it's fair to say that some brands from the '80s will never, ever die (nor should they have to).
Long live the allure of the '80s, I say. A smell can do wonders in taking you back to a certain era. If only there was a way to transfer scents through computer screens, I'd do it. For now, I'll just have to relish in their legacies.
Think you recognize the model in the ad? You probably do, as it's Famke Janssen before she made it big as Grey/Phoenix in the X-Men series.
This is the perfume I most remember, and it made its way into my personal collection in the '90s. I loved the super sweet concoction that always made me smell fresh and fun. Like the slogan goes, "Make a statement without saying a word!"
Marketed for men and especially those of the cowboy variety, it's no wonder my own father loved this now classic scent. The smell kind of reminds me of sweet alcohol, so when it comes to the cowboy hat and boot-wearing man, "Stetson fits."
Admittedly, this fragrance debuted in the '70s, but its popularity was huge in the '80s, and I still remember seeing a few bottles of it knocking about come the '90s. Essentially, it was like a liquid form of baby powder. It definitely made an impact on the "tween" market and still deserves a splash every now and then, if you ask me.
One of the biggest designer fragrances of the '80s, which arguably helped develop the perfume commercial as we know it today, Giorgio Beverly Hills — not to be confused with Giorgio Armani — was a fragrance for those with a luxurious mindset. Because, you know, everyone is supposed to want that movie star sort of lifestyle, right? Obviously not, but the scent still makes a killer impression complete with its iconic yellow and white striped box.
I still remember bottles of Obsession sitting on my high school friends' dresser drawers in the late '90s. As recently as a few years ago, I was wearing Obsession Night. Hey, when you're obsessed, why not continue to wear it?
My mother has told me that this designer fragrance was noticeable as soon as you walked in the room. That level of intensity warrants a shout out, if you ask me. I just saw an Instagram post in which Grace Woodward, a U.K. celebrity stylist, wrote that she "doused herself in Poison," as well, so if it's good enough for her, it's good enough for me.
Couldn't afford the designer fragrances back in the day? No problem, that's where Designer Imposters came in. I remember seeing these body sprays in drug stores when I was a kid with their famous lines for each knock off: "If you like Giorgio, you'll love Primo!" I'm pretty sure they're still making smell-alikes of Britney Spears fragrances to this day. And Primo? Still on the market. It's a budget-friendly person's dream come true. You can shop the whole gamut of the Designer Imposters line at, you guessed it, Walmart.
8. Electric Youth By Debbie Gibson
Singer/songwriter and actress Debbie Gibson launched this perfume to coincide with her album and single release in 1989. She sort of paved the way for pop stars to create their own fragrances, which we still see going on a lot today. If there's a must-try on this list, it's Electric Youth, simply because it embodies the youth culture of the time. Pop culture cheese at its very best.
9. Malibu Musk
Launched in 1989, this body spray reminds me of the L.A. Looks hair gel of the '90s. A definite drugstore brand that allows you the "California" scent super cheaply, it's something you can imagine Barbie wearing (but in the greatest of ways).
Malibu Musk Spray Seriously, who wouldn't want to smell like the decade that brought us synth pop, perms, and the Brat Pack? Good times.
Images: Courtesy Brands