For those of you who are of a certain age and who followed fashion or the years of Studio 54 you likely have some memory of Roy Halston Frowick, known mainly as Halston. For those of you who don’t, there was an excellent bio of him a few years ago as well as the subsequent Netflix miniseries. Halston’s Studio era was when I was entering my teens. Living in a small New England college town New York was where I wanted to be: I watched movies like “Eyes of Laura Mars” and wanted that to be my life. Minus the icepick murderer. Halston was late nights, limos, effortless glamour, fabulous clothes and fun. (Of course a 12 year-old didn’t know about drugs. Or crime. Or paying New York rents.)
Now, a lot of the Halston Glamour didn’t really trickle down into the burbs. His infamous ultrasuede shirtdress and wispy, flowing wraps were more suited to a lady built more like wispy Baby Paley than sturdy Babe Ruth. Unlike his contemporaries, he flatly refused to do designer jeans. So the Halston you could get in every day life was the scents: the woman’s (which we will cover when STC gets me my sample,) and the two men’s, Z-14 and 1-12.
Z-14 was the first release, from 1974. Notes (from Fragrantica)
Cypress, Lemon, Bergamot, Green Notes, Basil and Gardenia; middle notes are Cinnamon, Vetiver, Patchouli, Cedar, Coriander, Geranium and Jasmine; base notes are Leather, Oakmoss, Benzoin, Musk, Amber and Tonka Bean
1-12 was released in 1978 with notes (from Fragrantica)
Green Notes, Lemon, Galbanum, Bergamot, Basil and Mandarin Orange; middle notes are Pine Tree Needles, Lavender, Juniper Berries, Carnation and Jasmine; base notes are Oakmoss, Labdanum, Cedar, Musk, Amber, Tonka Bean and Vanilla.
I did actually have both back in the day and I think that 1-12 as considered a little bit of a disappointment. Z-14, while not something that would rock the world back on it’s heels today was fairly heady stuff in 1974 with it’s notes of leather and smoke and a slightly buzzy note that was rumored to smell like cocaine (at least what I heard, but then it was also rumored that if you drank a coke with pop rocks your head would explode.) 1-12 was a bit more of a standard fougere, with it’s barbershop freshness hiding some, but not all, of the late night into early AM antics. If Z-14 smelled like a night at Studio, then 1-12 smelled somewhat like the trip home the morning after, from an anonymous apartment after an anonymous encounter; a quick gargle of his Listerine and a wake-up splash of his English Lavender before heading out for the day.
Do I have to say I bought both? I had to use my allowance at Steiger’s in the Hampshire Mall to do so, but I did..
Both of these are available on the interwebs at shockingly low prices: under $15 each. They might seem slightly dated to some, in a “I know I’ve smelled that but can’t quite pinpoint where” kind of way. Personally I think they are the kind of thing you’d pay 10 times the price were it not in that familiar Elsa Peretti bottle (Although it looks like they no longer bother manufacturing two different ones.) I purchased mine online and spent less than $30 and consider it money well spent.
Now where’s my copy of “Eyes of Laura Mars”?
Photos: Interwebs, Pexels, my iPhone.