The Best Women's Fragrances of the 80s - that are Still Amazing Today!

By Jane Duncan, freelance writer

May 11 2022

Perfumes are having a moment as recent data indicates that fragrance sales in the US increased by about 50 percent in 2021. Moreover, it was found that customers are choosing stronger scents as they feel transported to another time or place while wearing them.
If you're on the hunt for a potent, in-your-face scent that leaves a positive impression, look no further than the 80s for inspiration. Some of the most popular perfumes from the Decade of Excess are unabashedly loud, have outstanding longevity, and are considered "beast mode" scents by the fragrance community. They were also often packaged in boxes that had bright and daring colors to make them appealing on the shelf.
If you want to add a new perfume to your collection, here are the best fragrances of the 80s that are still amazing today.
Chanel Coco advert from 1985 - woman with bottle of perfume

Chanel Coco advert from 1985

Chanel Coco

Everyone knows about Chanel No.5, as it is considered to be the most iconic fragrance from the House of Chanel. However, most women find it too dated to wear nowadays. This is why Chanel Coco has a place in the hearts of most perfume enthusiasts since it had a lighter, somewhat fresher take on oriental perfumes, which was all the rage back in the 80s, so it's easier to wear today.

Launched in 1984, Coco is described as a spicy, warm amber fragrance. The top notes are composed of Bulgarian rose, peach, Mandarin orange, and jasmine, the middle notes are mimosa, orange blossom and cloves, while the base notes are tonka bean, amber, vanilla, civet, and sandalwood. 

Although it smells rich and spicy, it's still modern and sexy enough to be worn as a signature scent throughout the year. However, if this is your first time trying a warm amber scent, it's a good idea to reserve this fragrance for the winter season, since it truly smells beautiful and comforting on a cold day. Since it contains vanilla, which most people associate with comfort, relaxation, and joy, you may find that this fragrance can positively impact your mood, especially on dark and dreary days. 

Estee Lauder Beautiful

Compared to most 80s fragrances, Beautiful by Estée Lauder seems more reserved, but make no mistake, it can leave a noticeable, lovely trail of scent whenever you wear it.
This fragrance was launched in 1985 and is described as a floral, aromatic, woody, green, and powdery scent. The top notes are composed of a mix of citrus fruits, such as bergamot, lemon, and Mandarin orange, as well as florals such as rose and lily. The middle notes are tuberose, mimosa, chamomile, lily-of-the-valley, orange blossom, and geranium, while the base notes are composed of vetiver, sandalwood, amber, and cedar.
If you like a strong floral perfume, then this one may be a good pick as it's classy and timeless, and it has moderate sillage and longevity. A lot of brides wore this in the 80s, and most kids who grew up in that decade fondly remember their moms wearing the fragrance. 
Estee Lauder Beautiful 1988 Advert with bride and groom western scene

Estee Lauder Beautiful advert from 1988

Ptisenbon Tartine et Chocolat

Not a huge fan of florals and orientals? Then Ptisenbon Tartine et Chocolat may be your cup of tea. This fragrance, which was launched in 1988, was created by the House of Givenchy and was marketed as a children's perfume, but grown women were buying this clean and bright scent for themselves. It was particularly in demand in tropical countries, since this light citrus floral scent made women feel fresh and clean on a sweltering day. 

The top notes are orange, lemon, and galbanum, the middle notes are lily-of-the-valley, jasmine, and honeysuckle, and the base notes are composed of Brazilian rosewood, musk, oakmoss, and amber. The scent doesn't last throughout the day, so you may need to reapply after every five hours or so, but it's still a good, fresh, non-cloying fragrance that's appropriate for any occasion.

Some of the best fragrances of the 80s can evoke memories of a simpler, happier time, so even if you don't wear perfume, why not buy a bottle or two for nostalgia's sake?

These perfumes are still available in the market, but you may find that there are slight changes to their scent since most of them have undergone reformulation. Whether you prefer a loud, oriental fragrance, a powerhouse floral, or a delicate, clean scent from the 80s, you'll surely turn heads while wearing a perfume from this iconic decade.