New fragrance from Halston. (Hedonism and the Last Days of Disco).

by Katie on August 17, 2010

Halston’s new fragrance had piqued my interest before I first smelled it.

The name is everything. Hmm….Halston (like ‘Sister Sledge’s’ Gucci and Fiorucci), the name conjures up an era of hedonism and hip where the truly glam and the effortlessly stylish discoed on down to Gloria Gaynor, First Choice, Van McCoy and Teena Marie at Studio 54 as the world slowly marched towards the ‘80’s, AIDS awareness and ‘greed is good’.

Those were the days of the beautiful people…. Jackie O, Liza Minnelli, Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, Liz Taylor, Ali MacGraw, Anjelica Huston, Lauren Bacall, Diana von Furstenberg, living it up and playing nightly like one long David Bailey photo-shoot.

A self-celebrated celebrity so famous he only used one name, Halston was the archetypal designer’s designer. His minimal, glamorous, sleek and impeccably tailored designs not only embraced the times, they represented the era in all its suave, nonchalant yet hedonistic hoo haa. A firm believer that “”You’re only as good as the people you dress” Halston had his pick and was dubbed “the premier fashion designer of all America” by Newsweek.

As big as his business empire and almost as out of control, the pressures of perfectionism plus partying wildly to excess led to his demise. In 1988, he was told he had AIDS and two years later it claimed his life. His last act was to donate his white Rolls Royce, a symbol of the times, to be sold for AIDS research. He was as good as the people he dressed.

So Halston now? That’s quite a brand to re-invent and to re-build into a 21st century pedestal. But Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein and shoe empress Tamara Mellon have worked their millionaire magic since 2008 and hey presto, we have a fashion house on the rise with Marios Schwab at the helm and Sarah Jessica Parker as creative director for Halston Heritage and the dresses selling in Harvey Nichols and Net a Porter. And now the big stuff, how to evoke the era of Halston in a fragrance for the 21st Century?

The new Halston woman (fragrance) slides onto your skin as easily as a foot sure, jive talking Tony Manero hip swayed on to the dance floor in ‘Saturday Night Fever’ only with much more chic and substance. Pure amber at his heart, the fragrance delves into a weightless veil of tuberose with golden smooth sparkles of Italian Mandarin as an instant hit.

Too sweet on first application, the fragrance changes shape quickly as the sweet golden amber heart dries down to a white suede and exotic sandalwoods reeking of ‘70’s nostalgia. Yes, the fragrance is sweet but not cloying and will be a sure fire hit with modern disco divas who have never ever danced to ‘Cherchez La Femme’ (more’s the pity) but who no doubt identify with Candi Staton’s ‘Young Hearts Run Free’. It’s meant for night time shenanigans and the density of a crowded bar/club.

This is a modern disco fragrance with a nod to the past but it’s more Diana Ross than Love Unlimited Orchestra and that’s the pity. I don’t think you can ever really truly capture that era in a bottle. Halston was a child of his time.

Halston Man is an altogether different animal and I liked this a lot but it’s certainly more metrosexual than heterosexual if you follow my drift. It’s crisply masculine with bursts of Bergamot and brush strokes of Geranium leaves which expand into the amber heart with Myrrh and Labdanum. At the base, there’s a heavy sedated Oud Wood that rocks with drips of musk. This is pure Barry Gibb Bee Gee meets Mr Manero, all unbuttoned shirt and sexual swagger.

The Halston fragrance bottles are designed to perfection as we’d expect from a deeply stylish house. Designer, Elsa Peretti (she of the Tiffany heart design) fashioned these with an ergonomic, bulbous, sexy twist. Bathed in gold and making a statement, these are too good to hide. They speak for themselves and they should. No label is present. Now that’s chic. That’s Halston.

Halston Woman Amber and Halston Man Amber are available exclusively at Harrods and from 25th July 2010

To relive and to replicate the days of ‘Studio 54’, purchase the newly compiled “Complete Introduction to Disco’”(1970-1980) from Universal Records. Available from August 2010.

Catwalk pics of Halston A/W 10 by kind permission of

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Anonymous August 18, 2010 at 6:07 pm

How do these new scents compare with the original Halston fragrances which were really ‘of their time’? Have they re-worked these too? I hope they keep the originals the same as they were wonderfully potent, long lasting and ‘nose’ catching.


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