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Smells Like Only Yesterday: Vintage Perfume Advertising

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vintage perfume ad

Back in January 2015, we covered men’s cologne advertising (That Manly Scent She Craves); so, in the spirit of equality, let’s have a look at perfumes for women…

1968 Yardley perfume

This perfume advert comes to us from 1968 – featuring Dinah Lee, who had just released her The Mod World of Dinah Lee LP.  But who is the mystery band featured below her?  Her backup band?  Inquiring minds want to know.

vintage perfume advert

“Clinically tested to help young girls move through their teen years with poise and confidence.”

I didn’t think that was something you could clinically test… did they scientifically measure the poise and confidence of lab mice sprayed with Young ‘n Free.

057_PIZZAZZ magazine 1978

The 1978 advert on the left proclaims that what excites boys the most is…. (drum roll please)… softness.  Um, okay.

You may recognize the model in the advert on the right – that’s Pam Dawber of Mork & Mindy fame.

1968 bath perfume vintage advert

Me so morny.  Me love you long time.

(Sorry.  I couldn’t resist.)

vintage perfume advert

“The 8 hour fragrance for the 24 hour woman.”

I guess we can presume that, for 16 hours, she’s not smelling too good.

Harpers Bizarre Feb 1975 (5)

Harper’s Bizarre Feb 1975


088_Faberge Colognes advertisement

Faberge colognes – for the woman with peculiar tastes in rings.

133_Glamour 1981

Glamour Magazine 1981

“She’s not going to marry the boy next door”… she’s going make a huge mistake and marry a thoughtless douche-bag instead.  Buy our perfume.

Harpers Bazaar - Dec 1972

Catherine Deneuve in Harper’s Bazaar – Dec 1972

1980 perfume ad

This is just batshit insane.  She’s letting her dog pull her on rollerskates… while she’s reading a book… wearing a pageboy hat and thigh-high socks!

vintage perfume advert

Cachet: for all types of women – ladies who like hats, ladies who make couches and ladies with with big breasts.

vintage perfume advert

Woman’s Day magazine 1985

1969 perfume ad

In 1969, Faberge had the “brilliant” idea to make their fragrances frozen.  Yeah, that’s right – frozen cologne on a stick!

vintage perfume advert

1939 perfume advert

Amazingly risque for an advertisement from 1939!

1985 perfume

This hilarious perfume piece comes from a 1985 Family Circle magazine, wherein a bunch of goofy men tell the world how they like their women to smell.  Marc likes his women to smell musky, whereas David just likes his ladies to use soap.

1959 perfume ad

The labels on these 1959 bottles read “Here’s My Heart”, “Bright Night” and “Persian Wood”… how very exotic.

blue jeans perfume advert

From mid-century elegance to roller-disco tackiness, we’ve made quite the tour of perfume advertising history, but this is where we get off.  Until next time -cheers!

  • Steve Mills

    What, no comment about the Love’s Baby Soft container shape?

    • Yeoman Lowbrow

      Yikes! Hadn’t noticed that. A dual purpose product if there ever was one.