My sweet, sweet Halston. How do I love thee. Let me count the ways. This is a perfume that knows sweetness, but not sugar, that understands bitterness without a sour bite, that encompasses what the woods has to offer-in all that Mother Nature can produce, with the warmth and sweetness of the summer leaves, the cool crispness of Autumn bark with its lichen and mosses, the reverence of cold, crisp Winters still, and the dank, decrepitness of Springs thawing leaves, left-over and rotted remnants from season't past and now warmed by yet another season. Halston is a gestation of cycles, of primal urges and tempered by societal banality and its' demands, and that's exactly what 1975 was all about, its inaugural year. The Primal Scream was uttered in metropolitan cities, bell bottoms scraped the floors with Frye boots and platforms danced the night away while shiny winged-back hair did the hustle. Those years were a paradox of times and so is this perfume. One side is dark, damp and disquieting with its mosses while its counterpart of sweetness brings one back to better moments. America had come out of the war, and spirits, altho still dealing with adversity needed to get away. America needed a diversion. Disco was born. Halston's powerful sweetness overlies all of the notes in this timeless (now) classic. Perfumes address what society is feeling, what they may want or what they may need., Halston did just that and did it very successfully. Today's available versions are two. One is called an "alcohol-free spray cologne", available in a spray version, same bottle with tree moss extract and oak moss extract. This Halston has an oily base that dries quickly and is excellent as a perfumed moisturizer. Longevity is shorter because of its composition. The bottle without or without the name, still produced within the last few months, also has the tree moss and oak moss extract is a natural spray cologne. (I'd suggest checking the batch number for the actual date produced.) Sillage is wonderful as is longevity. The depths of todays' version may not be as strong as one of yesteryear but they are still very good and smell absolutely wonderful. They are all just completely different animals and need to be appreciated as such. The oil is sweeter at first, the vintage is deeper, and the new formulation is lighter. They are still Halston. If you adore a strong vetiver mingled with sweet patchouli and the woods, this one's for you.
Top Notes: Mint, Melon, Green Leaves, Peach, Bergamot.
Middle Notes: Carnation, Orris Root, Jasmine, Rose, Cedar, Ylang-Ylang, Marigold.
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Patchouli, Amber, Musk, Oakmoss, Vetiver, Incense.
I had to write a new review for this fragrance as I've been wearing it a LOT the past few weeks and have several different variations of it - and I love all of them.
Vintage: I have a vintage splash bottle of the cologne that has 'Halston' on the bottom label and on the box as well. This one is light and refreshing. Smells very chypre-ish but never heavy or stuffy at all. It's quite green, more green than the more current offerings and if I had to compare it to any other fragrance it would be Estee Lauder's Private Collection or Alliage. It's smooth and well blended. There is nothing harsh or loud about it at all. I think any complaints about Halston would be of the newer formulations by Elizabeth Arden(though they are quite good).
Older Reformulation: This bottle has Elizabeth Arden as the manufacturer but does NOT have the name "Halston" written on the bottle. The juice is lighter in color than the vtg. but is MUCH stronger. It's a bit harsher and less green than the vtg. and has some sharp edges to it. The opening can be rather harsh and drydown is more patchouli heavy than the vtg, but it's nice and what I've smelled the most often and recognized as "Halston."
Most Recent Reformulation: This bottle also has EA as the manufacturer, but the juice is even lighter and almost pink. It has "Halston" written on the bottle. Between this new 'pink' juice and the previous darker reformulation, I'd say this one is actually closer to the vintage bottle of Halston that I have. It is a bit greener and fresher with a little bit of sweetness to it(though I would never call it "sweet"). It mimics the green grassy drydown of the vtg cologne moreso than the older reformulation. But it's also has a little more patchouli than the vtg(probably to replace some of the oakmoss that is restricted). Both this and the other reformulation have more sillage and lasting power than the vintage. I've also read reviews that said that the reformulated version is "less pretty" than vintage. This pink version is closer to vintage and more pretty than the older reform. It still has a little more patch than the vintage, but even on my patch amplifying skin(and I don't like patchouli) it's not heavy or over bearing. I think Elizabeth Arden did a great job with this version of the reformulation. I can tell they put a lot of effort into bringing it back to the original and I can actually smell some of the notes in this better than in the vintage. I don't understand why so many reformulations end in heartbreak and Elizabeth Arden can actually bring Halston back to it's original form(for the most part).
I also have a small bottle of the perfume that was manufactured by Elizabeth Arden and while I like the drydown, the opening is quite rough. It's strong and heavy on the woods. It's probably a perfume version of the earlier reformulation that is also harsh.
Halston is unique and beautiful. I love that it isn't overly sweet nor is it stuffy. It could be worn as an every day casual scent or only for special occasions. It would be perfect in a black tie event or a picnic. I think it was made to be a signature scent. It's so uniqe and unforgettable that lately when I wear something else I end up wearing Halston instead of it because other fragrances are boring to me. Can I also mention how much I just LOVE the bottle? It's one of only 2 or 3 bottles that I would want to keep whether I liked the fragrance or not(the others being Mitsouko & Chanel No. 5 for their classic lines, and the Tocca bottles). But the Halston bottle is chic, naughty, and original so I like it best.
I will definitely repurchase and will probably be repurchasing the new 'pink' juice. It's affordable, easy to find, and closer to the vintage with a little more 'oomph.'
I think this is where I got my love for chypre's came from. Someone in their infinite wisdom gave me a bottle of this when I was in 6th grade.. Yikes! It was super strong and WAY too strong for me then. I think I probably killed my poor classmates sense of smell with this. (sorry guys) It was so bad my Mom took it away from me and I got a lesson on how to properly wear perfume from my Grandmother. Just one whiff and I fall in love all over again.
The bottle is so classic, so reminiscent of Studio 54 and the heyday of disco what with Halston himself holding court at the bar of the original New York discotheque. That said, I always remember my mom had this bottle on her dresser and it just screamed 1970s! It's very powdery on the top notes and is ultra sexy and made for the confident woman!!!! LOVE THIS classic fragrance.
Well, this is really two reviews: maybe three years ago I came across a bottle at Marshall's and tried it. At the time, it felt too adult and too heavy for Southern California, and I discarded it.
Last year I was seized with curiosity and got a travel size bottle at the fancy Rite Aid. And... yikes. I don't know if the first bottle I bought was older stock or whether they rolled out a cheaper reformulation for the mini bottles, but it was an unbelievably harsh blast of artificial rose warring with Chlorox, with no base notes. I hope it was a fluke.
I read a lot of reviews about the evils of perfume reformulation here on MUA. I too, have contributed one or two but it would appear by the reviews I am reading lately that every second review of any fragrance that has been around at least 10 years dismisses all that is not the original production year as REFORMULATED. And to perfumistas, reformulated = the devil. Just like food and wine, even if you follow the same recipe to the letter every time, there is always the occasional "not so good/bad batch" as well as the superlatively good batch, no? Sometimes when you're cooking, you may be missing an ingredient and need to substitute.... often, it comes out tasting the same, no? Back to this review: I am a self-proclaimed '70s fragrance freak. All my favourite fragrances were produced and first released within the years 1970 and 1979.
I mourned the day I finished my original bottle of Halston from the late '70s. The reviews here on MUA and fragrance boards/blogs throughout the internet had me convinced that the current Halston "formulation" was nowhere near the original. So much so that I didn't bother replacing my bottle for years. Then last week, I broke down and bought a bottle at the cheapest price I could find.
This brings me to my review of Halston. I received my little bottle of Halston with the Halston printed on the bottle which, according to noses who know is not worth the bother. I opened the box with mixed feelings of impending disappointment and cautious optimism, I sprayed it in the air. Oh my how wrong they were! My little bottle of Halston is pure oakmoss-y, green, incense, musky chypre goodness!!!
This makes me think that perhaps we sometimes "remember" the fragrances of our past/youth... wrong? Also, our body chemistry changes too. Hormones, diet, smoking, medication, etc, these things and more all affect how a fragrance develops on our skin every time we wear it.
If you have loved Halston since the seventies like I have or, if you've never even sniffed it. I recommend you do. This baby is a little powdery and very, very, sultry. This is ultra femme with a capital confidence. This is not the fragrance of a woman who needs to smell like fruity florals or dessert to feel attractive. Halston is the fragrance of women who feel good in their skin no matter how old/young they are. I'm happy to have my Halston back. Will definitely repurchase. The bottle design is legendary. continued >>
Halston, where have you been all my life?
Love the feminine softly curved bottle, and love the juice even more.
It's the perfect green, mossy, oakmoss, incense musky perfumey scent. It sprays on nice but dries down even nicer. I actually find it calming when I smell it - as if it has aromatherapeutic effect.
The lotion is nice too, a bit more mildly green in scent, will go well with the cologne.
Both are highly recommended!
This review is for Halston **before** it was acquired (and reformulated, and cheapened) by EA Fragrances. I tried some of the Halston now being sold in drugstores and discount stores, and while it retains some of its original character, it falls absolutely flat in comparison to the original. My advice is to get this on eBay-- someone is always selling vintage stock.
SO, to return to my point: Original 1975 formulation of Halston is a magical chypre on my skin. Warm, woodsy, and clean, it has some of the best sillage I've ever experienced in a fragrance. Elegant, yet subtly sexy... it reminds me in the drydown of more assertive chypres like Aromatics Elixir and Paloma Picasso, but where those scents can be aggressive and difficult, Halston is just plain lovely. At first spray, it does smell a bit "dated," if only because it employs real oakmoss and is not the faintest bit sweet. But give it 10 minutes, and it will steal your heart with its gorgeous unfolding. I can see why previous reviewers have equated Halston with the glamour and excitement of the disco era. Still, it is timeless.
For all you sweet young naive things out there who think that anything made in the 70's or 80's is granny or old lady, have I got news for YOUZE: this fragrance is a man slayer. Period. Doesn't matter if the guy is 19 or 90. This is the fragrance that wins them all - hands down! I hadn't worn it in years, but recently wore it to the bank, and a 20 year old teller was fawning all over the scent. "I don't know what you're wearing, but you smell really great!" I hated to tell him that not only was he not even born when the fragrance was in its first heydey, but that his parents were both probably still in grade school and hadn't even met yet... And yet, the kid knows what he likes! CIndy Crawford in her Halston: enough said. If you're bold enough to try it, do so.
I haven't worn this scent for years but recently got a bottle while feeling nostalgic.
I think the scent has changed. While I used to think of this as a pleasant mossy-woodsy scent, it now smells chypre but with a cloyingly sweet undertone (that I don't remember it having before). Somehow I think that it is less oakmoss and more something(?) else, more of a cloyingly sweet scent.
This REALLY has sillage....tremendous lasting power and a little goes a long way...so use lightly.
And, while it's recommended for daytime use, I find a scent this heavy more appropriate to evening wear.
Overall, I still like the scent but not as much as I did when I was in college back in the 80s. I really think that is because the scent has been reformulated. I STILL just love the bottle though.