Okay I was wrong.

So, every once in a great while it happens. Something that I was sure that I loathed pops up and decides to seduce me. Sometimes it’s something that I didn’t even loathe, but just something I didn’t get. 

Jicky was one that for years I Did Not Get. There was something that was just.. missing. I don’t think it was even really me- I was at the South Coast Plaza Neiman Marcus back around the turn of the millennium with my BFF Sue and I was seriously considering splurging on a bottle of the perfume. The bottle of it was just so pretty and I just loved the idea of wearing one of the oldest perfumes still being produced and breathing “Djeeekeee” when someone, bowled over at how delicious I smelled, asked me what it was. Sue said “Well that doesn’t smell like $300..” and at the time she was right. 

I don’t know what happened: maybe my hide had to age into it or my sense of smell had to mature or Mercury had to go out of Retrograde or something, but I finally bought a bottle and it Just Clicked. It’s glorious. I love it.

Actually this has happened a couple of other times in a far more minor way. I used to hate and loathe Angel with the flaming passion of a thousand suns. I decried it as cheap smelling (to borrow March- or was it Patty’s moniker) chocko-vomit that was the garlic to my vampire. Even my subsequent initiation to and love for SL Borneo (which treads some of the same ground) could not make me loathe it less. But then I had a coworker on whom it was just divine- the milk chocolate was an invitation to lean in and the patchouli on her was mellow and dreamy, not the cheap, headshoppy BO accord I got out of it. It didn’t make me want to go out and buy a bottle, but it made me rethink that it should be banned and burned.

Then there is Giorgio. For those of you who are not of a certain age, Giorgio started life as a shop on Rodeo Drive in my very own hood- just a much nicer part of it. Giorgio was really the store that changed Rodeo Drive to RODEO DRIVE- what was originally a hodge-podge of local stores and restaurants like Hunter’s Books, Carroll & Co. men’s clothier’s and the Luau suddenly had Harry Winston, Louis Vuitton and Bijan. Giorgio was even the inspiration for Judith Krantz’ book “Scruples” (she name checks the store as being a competitor, but her fictional one is set up just like it.) Of course Giorgio was going to have an eponymous scent and of course it was going to be more Canon Drive Casual than ChampsÉlysées Chic. At the $250k launch party there were celebs galore and for years the scent would be spritzed out of the store onto the intersection of Rodeo and Dayton.

I hated it.

It was a BIG fragrance- BIG white florals, BIG woods, Big amber, rubbed down with an angry feral cat and powdered to an inch of it’s life. It was JUST TOO MUCH and quite a few of the people who loved it seemed to think the proper application was start spraying the neck and when you were standing in a puddle of runoff, you were good to go.

But then.. You know how one of those online frag places gets you to order stuff by saying get to X amount to get free shipping? Well a bottle of Giorgio was perfectly priced for me to get there. (yes, I spent $12 to save $6 on shipping. I slept through Economics.) I thought, why not? I can wear it in the privacy of my home or use it to repel rabid ferrets or clean my tires. So the EDT arrived.

It was lovely.

Years and doubtless reformulations later, that which usually destroys a scent did Giorgio proud: all of the shoulder pads and sequins and mirror-ball cowboy boots and gold coke spoons are gone and what it left is a lovely floral with a hint of powder and just enough animal to make it interesting. Once again, not sure I need to wear it outside (unlike Jicky) but it’s very pretty and my pillows are loving it.

Okay, Tonstant Weader, what are the ones you’ve done a 180 on? Let us know in the comments.

All of my bottles or samples were either purchased by me or a GWP. Images: Pexels.

  • Portia says:

    Tom,
    My Mum had a bottle of Giorgio in her car for respritz purposes. That car smelled so good to me. She’d pick me up from school or the train or sports and that smell would be safety, home and love. I still have dregs in the last bottle she had in 2001 when she died.
    Portia xx

  • Musette says:

    And…wow did you bring back a memory. Giorgio…pumped out of the Rodeo boutique like Raid. Good times.

  • Musette says:

    Lol! Funny how So Very Many of us seem to have ‘slept through Economics’ when it comes to STUFF WE WANT (and omg yes on shipping).
    I can’t think of a 180 right now…but I can tell you what isn’t a 180. Opium and Aromatics Elixir. Both still have the ability to lodge in my soft palate and STAY, hammering away with a pickaxe,until I take to my bed with a migraine.

    • Tom says:

      Opium and AE I seem to avoided for the most part. They didn’t end up in every nightclub and elevator I seemed to go to in the 80’s like Giorgio or Angel did.

      But they were evil.

  • March says:

    LOL!! I knew what Giorgio smelled like from the nine million perfume inserts in magazines (boy does that make me feel old!) I thought it was huge and I kind of liked it, based on rubbing those inserts on my wrists … but what it seemed to represent to me, that Hollywood/Beverly Hills in-your-face glamour, was as distant as Mars.

    • Tom says:

      It was right down the street for me- what’s funny is that the actual scent was “Giorgio” of Giorgio for only a few years before the Hayman’s got a divorce, sold Giorgio and the name to Avon and started calling the store Fred Hayman (Avon opened a dedicated Giorgio boutique in a small space in the 300 block.) The years when it was GIORGIO really happened when Avon owned them.

  • Dina C. says:

    Puddle of runoff” had me howling, Tom! I knew those girls in high school. Not because they were my best buddies, but because I shared a gym locker room with them. The minute the hideous gym uniforms were peeled off, girls started spritzing Giorgio or Love’s Baby Soft. Showers? Heck no. They only gave us five minutes in between classes, and our building was mammoth — no one had time for an actual shower! I seem to remember Giorgio had a pineapple top note, too, that made it juicy and mouth-watering. It made those girls want to keep refreshing their scent all day long. Who cares if you couldn’t breathe?!?!

    • Tom says:

      One of my dearest friends, now deceased, used to do that. I witnessed it in Agent Provocateur when she literally doused herself in the eponymous fragrance. She just kept spritzing and spritzing this gawd-awful stuff. I had to cancel lunch- I couldn’t be within five feet of her without gagging..

  • alityke says:

    I bought Jicky with my first ever full paycheque in 1979. Just beautiful! I no longer wear it, for me it is tied to that time too strongly. Maybe that’s a reverse 180?
    Tabu would be my positive 180. In the 70s I loathed it. A friend wore it as her signature. We were teenagers ffs! I was wearing Jicky & enjoyed the typical chypres of the time so Tabu worn in nuclear quantities was so the opposite of my fragrant aesthetic. Now Tabu is my guilty pleasure, especially the bath & body stuff. I only wear a touch of the fragrance itself as a private pleasure, definitely do not wear it in public.
    Maybe the key is wearing something with a delicate touch rather than using a fragrance with a fireman’s hose

  • cinnamon says:

    I first read that as ‘I slept with economics’.

    Mine is Shalimar. Wouldn’t try it for ages. Just pure pig-headedness rather than anything else. Then did and kicked self for all the time I’d lost not wearing it.

  • Kathleen says:

    Such a fun post Tom! I love to read your descriptive fragrance memories. I also have loathed Angel after initial attempting to wear it eons ago. Even on others. I ventured a sniff of a sample about a year ago out of curiosity, and I actually found it interesting but I could never wear it. I didn’t get Jicky in my early perfume days thinking who would wear that? Now I find it fabulous. And Giorgio? I used to love to sniff the strips in magazines, but I’ve never worn the perfume. Your economics makes perfect sense to me, I may need to add some Giorgio with next order.

    • Musette says:

      Angel… I can’t get past the YUUUUGE!!!! quantities people spray. That and Polo. Why is that? Both are so big that a leeetle bit is perfect! But nooooo! They must dump a gallon of it on, from head to toe. Alas. Xoxo

      • Tom says:

        Some of the boys scents are even worse- I have a neighbor who bathes in designer knock-offs and the (partially outdoor) corridors and stairwells reek of them hours after he has left for work.

    • Tom says:

      Let us know whether you liked it or not..

  • Shiva-woman says:

    OMG! Hate Angel!!! It’s not in the same category for me as SL Borneo. Angel is frozen blue and red berries after an apocalypse comingled with a melted chunk of metal from a nuclear blast. I do remember Georgio. Not fondly. Every college campus breezed with the scent, college corridors snuffing the life out of some of us, bodies felled behind lovely hedges. I won’t go back. I love your economics, and your willingness to brave the dark forces of Angel and Georgio, but nope. I loved Jicky right off the bat though. I love lavender, and Jicky has that plus! So, I would have swooned at the bottle. And Borneo…I have a half bottle left from a decade or so ago. I may have to pull that out. I too am in California but up north in the Sierras and we just got hit hard with rain, snow, sleet, thunder and lightening. A bit of Borneo might be what this winter storm needs…

  • Tara C says:

    Snap on the Jicky – smelled the parfum this summer and suddenly it was love. Angel I have fallen in and out of love several times. Currently it’s a no go. Giorgio, now that’s big memories of the 80’s. My mother and I wore gallons of it, until I moved on to Poison. Those were heady days!

    • Tom says:

      Ah, Poison. I kind of miss those big-shouldered scents. Speaking of 180’s they really swung back the other way later on. Everything smelled like candied fizz water, like you bathed in diet cherry 7-up. I don’t think I will remember that era fondly.