Crazy flared pants, disco music and a newfound sense of freedom for many were just some of the things that the 70s were about.
But if you grew up in this era, then you might remember some very distinct smells. While many perfumes from the 70s have now been discontinued, even just a mere whiff of these fragrances will take you back to your youth.
Some of the world’s most iconic perfumes come from the 1970s so I’ve created a list of some of my favorites. I’m sure you’ll spot some you remember right here.
Discover the most popular perfumes from the 70’s in the video:
17 Of The Most Popular Vintage Perfumes From The 70’s
1. Aliage Estee Lauder – 1972
If there’s an Estee Lauder perfume from the 70s that stands out in most people’s minds, it is Aliage. This was sold as a sport spray and had a light yet deep character that was rich, woody and earthy. However, on that first spray, Aliage was a burst of citrus and jasmine making it a perfect sunny day perfume.
Aliage was a simple blend of oakmoss, nutmeg, rose and woods that felt very mature but not stuffy. There was a lightness to it that had a sense of fun and allowed you to wear this as an everyday fragrance with great ease.
2. Diorella Dior – 1972
Luxury fashion and fragrance house Dior did not disappoint in the 1970s with its iconic Diorella. Even the name sounded ultra glam and the scent did not stray away from this. This beautiful floral fragrance was feminine and light yet felt super elegant and expensive.
Diorella combined citrus accords with florals and musk to create a sophisticated everyday perfume. I’d say that was a more mature fragrance; something that a rich aunt would have worn in the 70s; perhaps, you’d have snuck in and stolen a couple of spritzes when you wanted to feel grown up!
3. Opium YSL – 1977
Opium is one of those perfumes that instantly springs to mind when you think of fragrances from the 1970s. In its year of release it took the perfume market by storm and was a scent that glam, mysterious ladies were dying to get their hands on.
Opium is a very complex blend with an array of notes. But the general character is warm and spicy with inviting amber accords. It feels oriental and exotic and something you might have worn on vacation if it wasn’t for the heavy projection which made it an ideal winter fragrance.
4. Anais Anais Cacharel – 1978
I perceive Anais Anais as one of the most iconic perfumes of the 1970s. While it came out towards the end of the decade, it was really well received and continued to be popular in the 80s and 90s.
Anais Anais was a light floral perfume that was beautifully feminine. Bursting with an array of floral accords and citrus notes, it almost felt like summer in a bottle.
Magazines advertised Anais Anais heavily which I think is one of the reasons it grew in popularity so quickly. If you wanted to feel attractive yet trendy, this was a go-to fragrance.
5. Dana Heaven Sent – 1970s
Heaven Sent was a popular Dana fragrance in the 1970s that was discontinued. However, the brand relaunched it in 2001 and it’s still as popular as ever. This light, floral fragrance was perfect for summer days. It had something of a romantic character making it ideal for a first date.
Not only that but Heaven Sent was super feminine. At a time when women were being liberated, it was important to still have that sense of vulnerability and delicateness. The white floral accords of rose and lily of the valley captured this while the woody, patchouli base made you feel powerful.
6. Yardley Chique – 1976
Chique was one of the most memorable perfumes from the 1970s and I’m pretty sure that every woman owned a bottle. Even today it remains a popular choice for mature women and is seen as a classic scent.
Yardley Chique was a floral fragrance with additional prominent fruity notes. It was perfect as a perfume for special occasions and was anything but shy. If you wanted to get noticed in the 70s then the loud, outgoing character and enormous projection of Chique would help you to achieve this.
7. Revlon Charlie – 1973
I remember everyone still going crazy for Charlie in the 90s and 00s and from its launch in 1973, this perfume took the world by storm. It has a classic yet distinct aroma that is ideal for everyday wear. It’s light and inoffensive but strong enough to create a stir.
Charlie was elegant and feminine with a huge number of favorite floral notes like jasmine, violet, gardenia, and hyacinth. Perfect for summer and affordable enough to douse yourself in the aroma, I can see Charlie continuing to be popular for years to come.
8. Dana Love’s Lemon Scent – 1970 – Discontinued
Love’s Lemon Scent by Dana was popular throughout the 70s and while it’s not available now, the brand does make a lemon alternative called Fresh Lemon. If you’re a fan of bright, citrusy perfumes then Love’s Lemon Scent was probably your signature scent.
As an uplifting perfume, it didn’t hold back. It had a seriously strong opening that burst forth with lemony accords. That said, Love’s Lemon Scent wasn’t offensive and quickly dried down to an intimate perfume, ideal for cozy summer dates.
9. Skinny Dip Wild Strawberry Cologne – 1970 – Discontinued
Wild strawberry was a fun and fruity 70s perfume for women that was launched right at the beginning of the decade. This youthful fragrance captured the spirit of the 70s when young people were being liberated and finally able to explore life without limits.
With gourmand notes of red berries and strawberry alongside white florals and aldehydes, there was a real sense of character to Wild Strawberry. Even as you got a little older, the more mature facets of the fragrance shone through so you could continue wearing this as your signature scent.
10. Coty Wild Musk Oil – 1972
Wild Musk was an amber floral fragrance that, for me, just captures everything the 70s was about. It has that je ne sais quoi in the musky, rosy composition that instantly transports you back in time. With vanilla accords, Wild Musk felt warm and comforting and it was extremely affordable.
This affordability meant that all women could benefit from the luxurious and mysterious character of this perfume. Wild Musk wasn’t in your face or offensive but instead gave off a delicate sillage that would entice those around you.
11. Rive Gauche YSL – 1971
If there is anything that jumps out about Rive Gauche immediately, it’s the packaging. That iconic blue, striped bottle immediately takes you back. The bright colors of the 70s were reflected in the packaging and the scent showed off the bohemian, hip culture of the decade.
Rive Gauche was designed for the trendy, metropolitan woman who still wanted to retain her femininity. With floral notes and aldehydes, it’s a classic scent with a modern twist. In fact, YSL updated the composition back in the 2000s which is likely why Rive Gauche is still as well-loved today as it was back in the 70s.
12. Lauren Ralph Lauren – 1978
Let me start by saying that I HATE the bottle for Lauren by Ralph Lauren. It’s too dark and masculine for a woman’s fragrance. But, we don’t judge a book by its cover and what’s inside that hideous bottle is actually rather delightful.
A green floral fragrance, this was the brand’s first women’s perfume and it did very well. I love the rosewood at the head and the vetiver in the base. There’s a real outdoorsy feel to this perfume that I think makes it perfect for wild, adventurous women.
13. Love’s Rain Scent – 1970 – Discontinued
Love’s Rain Scent was a perfume that many women swore by. A lot of people would have had this as one of their first ‘proper’ perfumes and it was so popular because of its versatility. Love’s Rain Scent was a refreshing, green fragrance that was ideal for both daytime and evening wear.
The problem is that this light, mossy, citrusy perfume is no longer available so if you want that hit of nostalgia, you might think you’re out of luck. But there is some hope, Dana released Love’s Rainforest back in 2010 which has very similar accords to Love’s Rain Scent so you can still get that vintage vibe.
14. Avon Candid – 1977 – Discontinued
Candid by Avon is considered to be a classic scent. A lot of people describe it as an ‘old lady’ perfume but I prefer to use the term mature. For older ladies, this vintage scent will take you right back and there’s a real air of sophistication to it.
Candid is no longer available but there are some products in this scent like skin softener and roll-on deodorant for sale on websites like eBay.
If there’s one thing that we all remember Candid for, it was its potency. This wasn’t a perfume for the faint-hearted as just a single spray would project across a room and the smell lasted all day!
15. Alyssa Ashley Musk Perfume Oil – 1969
OK, this is a bit of a wildcard as Alyssa Ashley Musk Perfume Oil was actually not launched in the 70s. It came out just a year before in 1969 but it really became popular through the 1970s so I had to include it.
Musk Perfume oil was a blend of more than 100 ingredients that came together to make a terribly sensual perfume with a mysterious character. This fragrance was ideal for evening wear but wasn’t so in your face that it would offend. In fact, Musk Perfume Oil by Alyssa Ashley was a more intimate perfume that was ideal for those special romantic dates.
16. Styx Coty 1911 – 1970 – Discontinued
Styx was originally launched all the way back in 1911 but it was relaunched in the 70s and became something of a classic. One of the things that really stands out about this perfume was the advertising; a black and white poster telling you to ‘let me touch him with my magic styx.’ Slightly suggestive if nothing else.
Styx was a sophisticated fragrance with notes of vanilla and patchouli which gave it a warm character. Having remained so popular over the decades, I’m surprised that it’s no longer available. That said, many of the replica perfume companies have launched copies of this scent if you want to take yourself back in time.
17. Dana Love’s Baby Soft – 1974
The Dana range of perfumes seemed to be a massive hit in the 1970s but none were as popular as the iconic Love’s Baby Soft. The concept behind this perfume was innocence meets sexiness which made Love’s Baby Soft a surprisingly versatile perfume.
Beyond the garishly bright pink bottle lies a fragrance that’s light yet bursting with provocative notes. You’ll find beautiful florals sitting alongside earthy patchouli and a hint of vanilla that was sure to entice.
Perfumes From The 70s That Were Popular In The 80s
Some perfumes just stand the test of time without even having to try. There were plenty of fragrances launched in the 1970s that remained popular through the 80s and beyond. Take Anais Anais, for example, this delicate floral perfume could be smelled on women right through the following decade.
Opium and Rive Gauche by Yves Saint Laurent continued to be well-loved through the 80s. Even today these classic scents are still being enjoyed. But that doesn’t come as much of a surprise when you consider what an excellent range of fragrances YSL has to offer anyway. They even launched Black Opium as a late flanker to the original back in 2014 which has been just as well received.
As I touched upon earlier, Charlie by Revlon continued its success through the 80s and well into the 90s. This was such a classy yet easy-to-wear scent that I doubt its popularity will dwindle, especially as a handbag spray, for as long as Revlon keeps producing it.
One of the fragrances that I didn’t include on this list was Faberge’s Babe. This chypre floral fragrance was highly intoxicating and immensely popular after its release in 1976. The perfume continued to be a staple for many women throughout the 80s but it was oddly discontinued in 1992. But if you loved this perfume, you’re in luck as a new version was launched in 2015 so get ready to step back in time!