80’s Perfume Advertising

French Perfume, Life in France, Perfume, Perfume Advertising, Pop Culture

I live in an old house – not for much longer mind, but one that has a lot of treasures contained within. Last weekend I unearthed a pile of 1980’s Madame Figaros and found some great perfume advertising images in their dusty pages. Now I will be searching for other older magazines as they are a wonderful source of information and the occasional humorous interlude too.

Some of the images are top notch – the Opium advertisement with a very young Jerry Hall and the  Montana Parfum De Peau I adore. The art direction is fantastic. Some of the others are not as stunning but a nice insight nevertheless into an era, and of perfumes I’ve not yet encountered. Yes I was very much Alive and Kicking in the 80’s so it’s an era that I hold dear. The L’Air du Temps photographer I believe is David Hamilton, who had  a  preference for very young women and was recently accused of rape and subsequently committed suicide. If you take a look at his photos it’s very obvious that they’re soft porn like and the girls were very young, or made to look very young. Photographers are in a powerful position to take advantage of models – Terry Richardson, Mario Testino and Bruce Weber come to mind but that is another story.

In the entertainment pages Catherine Deneuve says she isn’t a feminist, Meryl Streep is featured for her role in Sophie’s Choice and Stephanie of Monaco talks about changing careers. She had a moment as a pop star if you will.

I will also add that the food section photographs in the magazines are rather alarming, with pastry covering everything in sight. I remember one of the first dishes I mastered in the 80’s was baked apricot chicken. A tin of apricots with chicken and a Maggi packet of who knows what. I wonder if it will come back in an ironic way.

Here are the images I found.

Any favourites here? And have you tried any of these perfumes?


Gianni Versace Megan In Sainte MaximeOpium Megan In Sainte Maxime80sPhotos
Megan In Sainte Maxime
 Jardins de Bagatelle Megan In SAinte Maximefullsizeoutput_277e

6 thoughts on “80’s Perfume Advertising”

  1. I remember some of these, Megan, although I had forgotten it was a young Jerry Hall in the YSL Opium ad. I find a lot of modern perfume advertising quite formulaic and hilarious.


    • Hi Rich. Me too. Most modern perfume advertising is pretty bad. The one ad I do like is the Kenzo World ad with the crazy dancing woman in the green dress. ⚡️


  2. I remember the Jardins de Bagatelle ad–with a magazine scent strip that made me fall in love with the fragrance. I probably wouldn’t have tried it otherwise, since I’m not really the type for white florals.


    • Hello there. Scent strips are so practical in magazines and skin care too. In France most magazines have them still. I’m not sure if this is the case in other countries. And with your situation proof they work too. I love the pearls and white glove. Quintessential 80’s.

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  3. I am a big fan of the 80s and 90s perfume ads. My favourite has to be Shiseido under the direction of Mr Lutens. He did a magnificent job reigniting Shiseido as a force.

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    • Hello. Shiseido was the best with Lutens. I totally agree with you. I remember when the makeup was everywhere in the 80’s and his images were absolutely stunning and they still look incredibly timeless. He really added art to the images. Thanks for popping by. ✌️

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