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The 1960s were marked by a boom in the perfume industry as people went big on designer perfumes. Print and Tv advertising carried the day, promoting fragrances and highlighting new entrants, including drugstore brands which many preferred owing to their originality and pocket-friendly prices.
Prior to this period, there existed gender fluidity in the world of perfumery, whereby all fragrances were considered unisex. Come the 1960s, and perfumers started promoting their offerings as either feminine or masculine.
Popular perfumes in the 60s possessed dominant floral notes or a harmonious mix of florals, fruits, and spicy notes. While some of the formulations have undergone modification, a few gems retain their original scent profile.
And in case you are worried about staying power, the scent from a good vintage perfume endures for the day or night and can last up to 3 years under the right conditions.
What are the Best Perfumes From the 60's?
What Makes Perfumes From the 60s Special
Perfumes come and go, but vintage scents stand the test of time. And if you are a passionate fragrance collector, you know that it takes a long time for a fragrance to attain classic status. Luckily, several 1960s perfumes have managed to do this.
Vintage perfumes from the 1960s are special because they have unique stories to tell. Beyond that, they exude a classic and nostalgic vibe guaranteed to transport you back in time. Not that they are dated. Far from it.
These iconic scents from a different epoch still continue to titillate the senses, turn heads, and make a lasting impression. Many of them come in their original gilded labels on thick glossy paper, their attractive flacons sporting silvery or golden tones and further heightening the product’s opulent outlook. They make for exotic collectibles too! (Are empty perfume bottles worth anything? Find out here).
If you are curious or fascinated by vintage scents, you will love this collection of the best old perfumes from the 60s. You might even find something new to add to your collection.
In-Depth Perfumes From the 60' Reviews
Youth Dew Eau de Parfum is the creation of Josephine Catapano. Introduced in 1953, the perfume is hailed as one of the most seductive scents ever. And today, more than 5 decades later, Youth Dew remains as sensual and enticing as during its launch.
Gorgeous, unforgettable, nostalgic, and peerless are words that aptly describe Youth Dew. You see, Estee Lauder wanted to introduce a perfume that would make women feel “beautiful, pampered, and loved.” Enter Youth-Dew Bath Oil, and women world over started using it daily in their bath, but it shortly became their fragrance of choice.
This rich scent smells heavenly. It also feels remarkably exotic and sexy thanks to the arresting and complex combination of opulent spices, lush florals, and precious woods. The signature scent possesses incredible staying power, attracts tons of compliments, and comes in a stunning flacon.
Top Notes: Spices, Orange, Lavender, Aldehydes, Narcissus , Peach, Bergamot, Coca-cola
Middle Notes: Spicy notes, Rose, Jasmine, Orchid, Cassia, Ylang-ylang, Lily-of-the-valley
Base Notes: Vanilla, Musk, Amber, Incense, Oakmoss, Balsam, Vetiver, Patchouli
What we liked
- Has a timeless appeal
- Appropriate for special occasions
- Super affordable
Like Youth Dew, Diorissimo Eau de Toilette, an all-time favorite, was released in the 1950s but really took off in the 60s. The sensual perfume was a nod to the lily-of-the-valley, a holy flower that symbolizes hope, joy, and happiness to the French. Dior referred to it as the “scented expression of his soul,” and Edmond Roudnitska was the perfumer behind its formulation.
Diorissimo was a stark contrast to the sweet floral fragrances of the day. Fresh, green, and luminous, it embraces the wearer like a second skin, much like a musky perfume. The core features beautiful florals, led by gentle lily-of-the-valley, while the perfume trails off sandalwood and hints of jasmine.
This simple, soft, and lightweight scent is reminiscent of a dewy spring morning or freshly picked garden flowers, as the scent is so authentic. It has gentle staying power, is highly versatile, and the enticing aroma remains consistent throughout. A masterpiece of perfumery!
Top Notes: Green leaves, Bergamot
Middle Notes: Lily-of-the-valley, Jasmine, Boronia, Lilac, Lily, Rosemary, Ylang-ylang
Base Notes: Civet, Sandalwood
What we liked
- Elegant, luxurious, and memorable
- A delightful classic
- Subtle, distinctive, and downright feminine
Fidji Eau de Toilette came about in 1966. The idea of crafting this scent came to Laroche while vacationing in Fidji Islands. It became an immediate hit owing to its exotic, sunny origins and refined profile. The nose behind the perfume is Josephine Catapano, and this was Laroche’s debut fragrance.
When you spray on this perfume, a refreshing wave of citrus and galbanum assails your nostrils. These are soon joined by energizing florals, notable rose, and jasmine, paired with spicy facets. Finally, the base eases into the mix with woody notes from sweet musk, amber, patchouli, moss, sandalwood, and vetiver.
Fidji EDT is beautiful, elegant, sensual, and well-balanced. Also, it smells expensive and irresistibly feminine. The evocative composition shines best in summer and spring during daytime and comes in a stylish flacon, making it perfect for gifting.
Top Notes: Hyacinth, Iris, Galbanum, Lemon, Tuberose, Bergamot, Lemon
Middle Notes: Aldehydes, Spicy notes, Orris root, Rose, Violet, Jasmine, Ylang-ylang
Base Notes: Resins, Patchouli, Musk, Amber, Oakmoss, Vetiver, Sandalwood
What we liked
- Dreamy scent with a retro vibe
- Suits most occasions
The tail end of the 60s saw the release of yet another classic; Alyssa Ashley’s Musk Oil. At this point in time, new trends in fashion and music were all the rage, fueled by the desire to ditch the old ways and embrace simpler lifestyles and an oriental outlook. With perfume, this meant leveraging glamorous essential oils.
Musk Oil arrived in a miniature, heart-shaped flacon. Soon, it came as an EDT. The unique formulation blended 100+ top-notch ingredients but played up the musk note, resulting in a clean, warm, alluring fragrance. It was an instant sensation.
The modern packaging stands out – its glossy black and soft white tones represent both genders. Also visibly evident is the emblem; 2 interlaced circles with a masculine and feminine sign on either side.
Top Notes: Bergamot
Middle Notes: Ylang-ylang, Rose, Jasmine, Geranium
Base Notes: Iris, Oakmoss
What we liked
- Fresh, clean, aromatic aroma
- An everyday scent
Caleche Parfum is a refined, attention-grabbing composition conceived by Guy Robert in 1961.
Designed for the 60s elegant and sophisticated woman desiring to feel enchanting and feminine, the luxurious fragrance forged Hermès entry into perfumery.
The term Caleche refers to a horse-drawn carriage, a light and elegant 19th-century mode of conveyance, and the brand’s logo. Hermès reinvented the fragrance in 1982, launching it as a more concentrated Caleche Soie de Parfum.
This classic perfume kicks off with light-hearted citrus notes and stunning aldehydes before ushering in a floral core enriched with rose, iris, ylang-ylang, and jasmine. The heart is rich and sensual. Finally, the fragrance dries in an undertone of deep woods and chypre tones.
Caleche Eau de Toilette is pricey, but you won’t regret investing in this sparkling piece of classic French House perfumery. It’s delicious, lasts forever, and makes a terrific signature scent.
Top Notes: Aldehydes, Lemon, Bergamot, Cypress, Neroli, Orange blossom, Mandarin
Middle Notes: Iris, Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, Gardenia, Rose, Lily-of-the-valley
Base Notes: Oakmoss, Cedar, Amber, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Musk, Tonka Bean
What we liked
- Luxurious, alluring, and ultra-feminine
- Monstrous sillage
- Easy to wear
Paco Rabanne is known for unconventional offerings, including classic, timeless scents with unique twists. This iconic vintage perfume is a powerful yet subtle skin-tingling rose “metal” formulation. Credit goes to Michel Hy for creating this delicious, sparkly, clean, head-turning floral aldehyde.
Calandre Eau de Toilette is unique in that it was an experimental perfume. The perfumer combined rose, bergamot, pink metals, flowery notes, green undertones, and woody accents. The latter evoke the experience of treading on soft grass in a woodland forest, while the citrus notes make the perfume excellent for daytime encounters.
This signature fragrance smells incredible and lasts the entire day. Its fresh and juicy floral profile suits self-assured women who prefer classic fragrances with distinctive aromas.
Top Notes: Aldehyde, Green notes, Bergamot
Middle Notes: White rose, Orris root, Hyacinth, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-valley, Geranium
Base Notes: Oakmoss, Vetiver, Amber, Sandalwood
What we liked
- Suitable for all occasions
- Enticing, captivating, and provocative
- Unique and lovely aroma
Givenchy’s L’interdit is an iconic scent that invites you to indulge in “the thrill of the forbidden.” Built around a white flower infused with black notes, the timeless fragrance emits a luminous femininity laced with a dark edge.
L’Interdit is truly intoxicating. At the forefront are aldehydes, citrusy bergamot, peach, and mandarin. Next, the perfume glides to a middle layer containing rose, narcissus, and jasmine before resting on a sandalwood, Tonka, and amber base.
L’Interdit launched in 1957. A creation of Francis Fabron and specially made for Audrey Hepburn (a world-renowned actress) it was made available to the public in the 1960s. The perfume celebrates unconventional women who defy traditional rules and boldly embrace their femininity. It presents in a contemporary-styled flacon that will add a luxurious look to any dresser top.
Top Notes: Aldehydes, Mandarin Orange, Peach, Strawberry, Peach, Spices, Bergamot
Middle Notes: Iris, Rose, Jasmine, Violet, Narcissus, Orris Root, Ylang-ylang, Lily
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Musk, Amber, Tonka Bean, Vetiver, Benzoin
What we liked
- Great for winter, fall, and spring
- For bold, fearlessly elegant females
- High-quality scent with a retro vibe
This perfume from the 60s was launched as the decade came to a close. Estee Lauder’s inspiration was the Mediterranean – its beauty is captured by the citrus accords. Bernard Chant helped bring the perfume to life.
Azurée welcomes you with warm sunny notes and earthy tones on a woody foundation. Primary accords include jasmine, basil, jasmine, bergamot, vetiver, rose, moss, patchouli, and amber.
Though strong, it’s not overwhelming. If you want a memorable perfume that will turn heads and get you lots of compliments, this is right up your alley.
Azurée makes a beautiful and distinctive signature scent. It is not over-flowery or musky, possessing a clean, green, earthy vibe. Also, the perfume is not that common, which makes it remarkably unusual.
Top Notes: Aldehydes, Bergamot, Gardenia, Artemisia, Basil, Sage
Middle Notes: Jasmine, Geranium, Rose, Vetiver, Orris root, Cyclamen, Ylang-ylang
Base Notes: Oakmoss, Patchouli, Leather, Musk, Amber
What we liked
- Soft and easy going
- Good value for money
- Distinctive scent
The 1960s was an age when oriental fragrances and essential oils were considered trendy. As for the best perfumes, most had patchouli, musk, and sandalwood as staple ingredients.
We have compiled a list of the most delectable and impeccably designed scents from the 60s. No matter your age or sense of style, you are bound to find something you like.
New to vintage scents? Feel free to explore these fabulous scents. You might be pleasantly surprised at the gems you uncover.