15 musky, flowery perfumes women wore in the 1970s

From Charlie to Baby Soft, from the drugstore to department store, these were the scents to sniff in the disco decade.

The 1970s were an earthy decade, from the brown and orange color tones in our homes to the shaggy hairstyles on our heads. So it's no surprise that the perfumes and colognes of the era were appropriately musky and woodsy.

Of course, flowers were still a mainstay of the perfume industry. The disco decade was also a time of massive marketing expansion, as more and more products appeared in our stores. There were dozens of strange shampoos alone.

Combine that with a growing population of working women, and you have a plethora of advertising for the woman of the 1970s.

Some of these scents were sold in drugstores, while others were kept in glass cases at the department store.

Have you worn — or sniffed — any of these?

1. Rive Gauche by Yves Saint Laurent (1971)

Image: Pinterest

YSL in some ways kicked off 1980s style with its "Left Bank" and ad campaign. The bottle was a sleek cylinder in black, blue and chrome. 

2. Styx by Coty (1971)

Image: Coty Perfumes

Coty later jumped in the musk game with its Wild Musk, but this ad for "the magical fragrance" charmed us with its spells.

3. Aliage by Estee Lauder (1972)

Image: Boston Red Lox

Ah, yes, a "sport fragrance." We think picnicking is a sport, too.

4. Diorella by Dior (1972)

Image: The Non-Blonde

As the green color scheme implied, this had high citrus notes.

5. Charlie by Revlon (1973)

Image: Finnfemme

Perhaps no affordable perfume summons more nostalgic memories than Charlie. It soon became the world's top-selling perfume.

6. Ciara by Revlon (1973)

Image: Revlon Perfumes

For those that wanted a stronger, earthier scent than Charlie, there was Ciara.

7. Love's Baby Soft (1974)

Image: Mondo Molly

In some ways, Baby Soft was sort of the Axe Body Spray for young women in the 1970s. The ad campaigns tended to get a little creepy.

8. Skin by Bonne Bell (1975)

Image: Madge's Hat Box

Musk: It's not just for adults. Bonne Bell sold a lot more Lip Smackers.

9. Tatiana by Diane von Furstenberg (1975)

Image: Yesterday's Perfume

"For the woman who's ready to start something." Named after the designer's daughter.

10. Anaïs Anaïs by Cacharel (1978)

Image: Raiders of the Lost Scent

So flowery the ad looks like it was photographed through a lily petal.

11. Bluebell by Penhaligon's (1978)

Image: The Perfume Girl

"Bluebell by Penhaligon's" sounds a bit like an Alfred Lord Tennyson poem.

12. Cinnabar by Estée Lauder (1978)

Image: Parfumo

"Cinnabar" would also make a great name for a sticky bun shop in the airport.

13. Enjoli by Charles of the Ritz (1978)

Image: Yesterday's Perfume

Charles of the Ritz cranked out this budget scent for the "24 hour woman." The commercials featured a woman singing a bluesy song, "I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan."

14. Lauren by Ralph Lauren (1978)

Image: The Non-Blonde

You have to give it to Ralph Lauren for not changing from decade to decade.

15. Nahema by Guerlain (1979)

Image: Fragrantica

Jean-Paul Guerlain closed out the decade with this rose-heavy perfume.

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KMP50 50 months ago
What about Skin Civet? I wore that religiously!
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