I spotted the yellow bottle of Giorgio Beverly Hills at Debenhams, in one of those days where too much offer makes me indecisive and, a little unwillingly, decided to give it a spray. I’m not sure where the negative bias came from, maybe because you would know it’s from the 80s only by the name, and it makes you wonder why in the world it’s still on the market, although in the discounted perfumes section. But I had read about it so many times, it’s a piece of history, and history cannot be ignored forever.
Giorgio Beverly Hills was launched in 1981, and back then it was something expensive (now you can grab a 90ml bottle on eBay for less than 30 Euros), but also something worth saving for. From the couple of reviews that I checked, sure many hate its intensity (someone even claimed they got an asthma attack from it), but to those who love it (like this lady for example), it brings back lots of fond memories.
It was the first one from a small independent boutique that would promote a lifestyle (the first perfume to represent a lifestyle was Opium, launched five years before, but that came from Yves Saint Laurent), in this case one of flaunted luxury. As it’s often pointed out, Dynasty started to air on the same year.
No wonder then, that Giorgio perfume opens with powerful white florals, but just when I was thinking “there you go, what else could it be?” the fragrance turned out to be more than stinky notes from your grandma’s closet: the gardenia-tuberose accord leaves space to peppery and soapy tones and fresher yellow sun rays. After all, California is where it comes from. Of these secondary notes, the peppery ones would be the most present, probably coming from Ylang-ylang, taking almost an oriental incense twist at times. While the intensity sure was there, the infamous uber-natural duration that everyone seems to fear was missing: after 3-4 hours it was already gone from my skin, and I had to rely on the blotter for the warmer and lightly vanilla-sweet finale.
So there you go, I paid my tribute to Giorgio by Giorgio Beverly Hills. Its fame preceded it, but it wasn’t so bad as they picture it. Having said that though, it still smells of 1981. I wonder which one Joan Collins would choose today, between this one and Truth or Dare.