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What does Halston perfume smell like? And who designed the original bottle?

Bruno Cooke May 17, 2021
what does halston perfume smell like

Netflix’s eponymous miniseries has sparked interest in Halston’s perfumes. What does Halston’s original perfume smell like, where to buy it, and who was the designer of the Halston original perfume bottle?

Who was Halston’s original perfume bottle designer?

Not only was Halston an influential figure in America’s fashion scene, his name is also on the bottles of some very popular perfumes. 

He released his first self-titled perfume in 1974. The Halston perfume bottle designer for this first bottle was longtime friend Elsa Peretti.

Peretti died on 18 March this year, leaving much of her estate to the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation.

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Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

A legacy of perfumery

The following year, he launched Halston Classic. In 1976 he introduced another fragrance for men, Halston 1-12.

Although Roy Halston Frowick died in 1990, his name lives on in the world of perfumery. Unbound, Catalyst, Halston Man, Halston Woman and Woman Amber all hit the shelves after his death.

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How much did Halston make from selling perfume?

Halston’s perfumes featured as part of the $1 billion deal he struck with department store JCPenney in 1983.

But before that, sales of his signature perfume generated $85 million – in just two years.

Halston perfume original – what does it smell like?

Halston’s signature scent has been a favourite for decades.

Its perfume profile on Fragrantica gives it numerous descriptors, including woody, aromatic and earthy.

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Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Halston perfume notes

Specifically, Halston Classic’s top notes are green leaves, mint, melon, bergamot and peach. These are the initial scents that lure in the nose – the first impression of the fragrance.

Middle notes are also called “heart notes”, and form the main body of a perfume. Halston’s middle notes are marigold, carnation, cedar, orris root, rose, jasmine and ylang-ylang.

Bass notes bring depth, and tend to emerge half an hour after application. Those discernible in Halston Classic apparently include oak moss, vetiver, amber, incense, patchouli, sandalwood and musk.

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Where to buy Halston perfume

Basenotes lists Halston’s 1975 scent as still in production, and numerous Halston fragrances are available for purchase online.

Numerous vendors on eBay and Etsy are also selling Halston perfumes, with a spike in interest since the launch of Netflix’s miniseries.

However, according to Fast Company, the Halston brand lost something following its deal with department store JCPenney.

While the brand lives on, its “resuscitation” has apparently been a “long process”. Numerous high profile figures have lent creativity and business acumen to the brand, “with limited success”.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.