Strange Perfume Ads From Yesteryear

by Barbara Herman

As a lover and reviewer of vintage perfumes, I can’t name many that I think smell too dated for the modern gal. Perfume ads, however, don’t always age as well. Here are a few of my favorites.

Pedo Bear: Origins. (1950s)

How do you massage with cologne? (1960s.)

“Antaeus created by Chanel to attend to the needs of modern man.” Antaeus: for the guy who can afford to jerk off with something classier than Jergen’s. (1980s?)

It takes skill to include the pissed off woman who’s reading your ad… in the ad. (1965)

Negging: it existed in the ‘60s! (1965)

Nacho cheese sauce usually does the trick for me. (1956)

What is it with pedos and bears? (1980s)

But what if I’m a big eater who is afraid of getting my hair wet in the rain and does crossword puzzles in blood gathered from furtive cutting sessions alone in my closet? Will you still love me, Bill? Bill…?! Come back, Bill!!!! (1980s)

Barbara Herman is a Berkeley-based writer who’d rather be back in New Orleans. You can find her in select cafes huffing perfume and working on a book about gender and 20th century perfumes. Her vintage perfume reviews can be read at Yesterday’s Perfume.