A fizzy, green, soapy '70s floral chypre of the type that's been out of vogue for a while, and that marks its wearer as an iconoclast of sorts. I LOVE it! Yes, there are the associations that come with smelling this affordable, ubiquitous scent everywhere during my formative years: my chain-smoking, pants-suited grandma wore it; my college friend with the jean jacket and thrift-store boots got her bottle at Woolworth; girls in gym class fumigated their stinky pits with Charlie in a can. It was always a bit downmarket, now even more so.
But oh, this stuff is fresh, gorgeous, and full of sex appeal. It's sharp and bright and projects like a mofo when first applied-- even in cologne strength. Back in the era of excess, Charlie was actually sold in 8-ounce and 16-ounce bottles-- whew! Lots of women overdid the Charlie and turned others off to it. But when applied with restraint and discretion, this is just beautiful. One of my husband's favorites.
Big difference between vintage and current on this one. The stuff currently sold in drugstores is definitely Charlie, but cheapened and harsh and twangy. I have a bottle of that (which I mostly use as air freshener) and a 1/4 ounce bottle of vintage pure perfume, and the perfume is far more well-blended, rich, and smooth-- could definitely hold its own against any Chanel. You can tell vintage bottles on eBay because (a) they come in a splash bottle; and/or (b) lettering on the bottle itself is blue; and/or (c) they are called "concentrated cologne" or "perfume."
It's also worth noting that while this fragrance is big and green and effervescent, it is decidedly casual and friendly. It was marketed to be used daily, something a saucy modern woman could "toss on" along with her jean skirt. I love that about it, too.
I was surprised to learn that "Charlie" won a Fifi award (the perfume version of the Oscar) back in the day. Though I was just a kid, I can still vividly recall the commercials for "Charlie" with Shelley Hack dressed in a man-tailored suit. "Kinda young, kinda now, Charlie, Kinda hip, kinda wow, Charlie" so the jingle went. "Charlie" might be middle-aged now, like me, but I have to say, there have been two occasions in the past year when I asked someone what they were wearing because I liked their aroma, and low and behold, they said, "Charlie." And no, I was not in a nursing home when these instances occurred. These were younger women. Needless to say, I was shocked to learn they were wearing good old, "Charlie," a scent from the 70s.
You might be curious as to what "Charlie" smells like and with good reason. There aren't any testers in the stores where "Charlie" is sold, namely drugstores and Walmart. My advice: smell Elizabeth Taylor "White Diamonds" or Estee Lauder "White Linen." If either one of these appeals to you, I think "Charlie" will be right up your alley.
I have to say, "Charlie" isn't typical of what I wear. I am always so worried about knocking folks over with my scent. It's easy to over do it with Chuck so just remember " a little dab will do ya." Would I purchase "C" again, probably not. But the walk down memory lane has been a fond one.
My review refers to what is now being sold as "Charlie Blue", presumably the modern day formulation of the original Charlie.
I am not a fragrance snob and am always on the lookout for a drugstore bargain, in fact I am doing my best to work through all the classic, even iconic drugstore fragrances still available today. My mom loved and wore Charlie for many years and still does on occasion, so my associations with it were previously positive.
I picked up a bottle two days ago when it was on special at my local drugstore, but unfortunately this one is no longer a winner in my book. I found it sour and boozy with a dominant geranium note . My husband said it smelled quite pleasant, if unremarkeable, but I found it cloying and somehow off-putting.
To those unfamiliar with Revlon's Charlie line, there are many flankers available. I am quite partial to Red and Gold, and have White on order based on positive reviews. At the affordable prices these sell for, they are all worth a try.
I wore this in the mid/late 70's in high school and during a grad school work study in England. I remember they had a whole makeup line to go with it. Smelling it always reminded me of that time in my life.
I picked some, up just for nostalgia, and wore it one day. My long time boyfriend who was born 10 years after Charlie came out sniffed my neck and gave me his first whole unabashed "WHAT are you wearing, you smell so good?". He'd never smelled it before. He works for an international company and travels a lot so he can get me anything from Paris or London, but Charlie is STILL his favorite scent on me.
I love this fragrance!! I keep it in my locker at school for if I ever forget to put on perfume before school. I sometimes spray it after gym class if I'm really sweaty, so that I can atleast smell good!! It has such a fruity smell, the smell actually reminds me of Orbit chewing gum (the mixed berry flavour). The bottle's great as well, I once dropped it by mistake as I was picking up something off my dresser and it fell off, the bottle wasn't even cracked! Looked just the same! Make sure you go out and buy yourself some of this perfume, it's great!
I remember this fragrance when i was in gr. 5, i so loved it and i would feel so grown up whenever i wore it. I had the smallest spray bottle.
I picked up a bottle of the eau de toilette for an extremely reasonable price - for 3.5 oz, $8.99...brand new in box from a reputable retailer. I do enjoy the eau de toilette...this IMO is the closest to the original charlie i remember. I once purchased the cologne version and it paled in comparison...so definately recommend EDT.
I think it is a versatile scent, i can see it blending well in an office, nite or day or any occasion really. I also love MM Destiny, Jontue, Enjoli, Giorgio..i would be curious to see what the common notes are which are most likely white flowers.
I am definately enjoying this and dries down and melds amazingly with your skin....3 or 4 spritzes and you will feel lovely wearing this. Although i don't smoke, i know this is the type of fragrance that would smell great ie. in a niteclub lol...i love fragrances like that!
Again EDT instead of cologne is the way to go if you have not liked the cologne version...consider picking up the EDT!
The original Charlie was my very first experience with perfume. My mother wore it all the time when she was young and I always loved the way it smelled on her (Dad must have too since he gave her a bottle for Christmas every year). Mom traded up to Tocade and Chanel #5 when she was older so I always think of it as a scent for younger women even though it's considered an old-fashioned fragrance now.
I bought some Charlie Blue spray cologne in college in a fit of nostalgia to see how it would smell on me, but was sad to find the scent had been reformulated with some horrible cheap-smelling base, so I tossed it. I tried several of the more expensive green florals but wasn't thrilled with any of them. Then a couple of years ago I saw "vintage" Charlie concentrated cologne on eBay and decided to order some and... TA-DAH!! It's exactly the fragrance I remembered - a very warm inviting floral, slightly sweet but not cloying with a soft hint of musk. It's become my usual daytime scent and I often get compliments when I wear it, thankfully no one has accused me of smelling like a grandma yet. I've also found it layers very nicely over a touch of Shalimar extrait for evening wear, the drydown lasts forever and guys are gaga for the flowers & vanilla combo. I just really hope the people selling the vintage stuff don't run out! I recommend trying some if you've only sampled the icky stuff Revlon makes now, it's usually available on eBay for a very reasonable price.
I'm only 20 and I beyond adore this perfume. I got it from a friend's mom when we were in elementary school, and to this day, still love it - it's sweet and sexy, and strong (which I like) - the only problem is, I never wear it out because everytime I do, I have atleast one person asking who smells like their grandmother! I just wear it around the house, people just can't appreciate 70's fragrance ;)
My mom wore this when I was a kid. My mother was (and still is!!!) the "cool mom!" She wore the popular clothing styles of the day, hair and makeup styles too, while many of my friends moms were more matronly. My mom was always the only one in the bunch who built sandcastles right there in the mud with us kids (we grew up by the beach), has never taken herself seriously and is still my beauty icon. This smelled great on her and even if I tend to like much sweeter scents so it isn't really my thing (my grandmother's favorite likely would not have suited my mother at the age my grandmother wore it either), it brings back but nothing but fond memories.
Many scents are timeless, and some are very much of their time. I can appreciate both types and add that some women can pull off scents from any era, and people young and old want to know what they're wearing! My mom still occasionally reaches for this and I have heard total strangers remark how nice she smells, and ask what it is? Yep, still smells good on my dear mom and I'd buy this again so she will always have some on hand!
I'd never had an allergic reaction to anything until I caved into a wave of nostalgia while at Walgreens and purchased a bottle of fondly remembered Charlie.
An hour later, and through the next day, my eyes and nose would not stop running, random and violent sneezing fits made the idea of driving suicidal, and I was reduced to a state of histamine misery I never even knew existed.
I am less reactive than a glass bowl, I neverevereverever have issues. So I'm putting this out there for anyone else who assumes they're impervious to allergies. This one is definitely Try Before Buy. Actually make that, Try, Wait a Bit, Buy.
May you learn from my woe.