Please understand that this website is not affiliated with any of the perfume companies written about here in any way, it is only a reference page and repository of information for collectors and those who have enjoyed the classic fragrances of days gone by.

One of the goals of this website is to show the present owners of the various perfumes and cologne brands that are featured here how much we miss the discontinued classics and hopefully, if they see that there is enough interest and demand, they will bring back these fragrances!

Please leave a comment below (for example: of why you liked the fragrance, describe the scent, time period or age you wore it, who gave it to you or what occasion, any specific memories, what it reminded you of, maybe a relative wore it, or you remembered seeing the bottle on their vanity table), who knows, perhaps someone from the company brand might see it.

Vintage Perfumes For Sale

Friday, April 26, 2013

Galanos by Galanos c1979

Premier designer and personal couturier to Nancy Reagan, James G. Galanos’s signature perfume, aptly named Galanos was launched in 1979.

Fragrance Composition:

So what does it smell like?  It is classified as a Floral-Oriental fragrance for women. Galanos won a FiFi award in 1980 and I can see why.

The original vintage perfume formula:
  • Top notes: lemon, orange, mandarin and chamomile, coriander, clove, bay leaf and cypress
  • Middle notes: lily of the valley, orange flower, jasmine, gardenia, ylang-ylang, muguet, rose, geranium and carnation
  • Base notes: oriental cypress, musk, amber, vanilla, Tonka bean, vetiver, cedar wood, oak moss, sandalwood and patchouli

Just received a vintage sample from Bab, who sent me some lovely perfume samples to review this week. I am so grateful that this one was in the lot. Galanos is pure seduction. Its oriental character speaks soft, subtle tones of spices, namely clove, chamomile, bay leaf and coriander. To me it smells the way a bazaar in Morocco would smell, with baskets of mandarin oranges, lemons and navel oranges gleaming in the sun, surrounded by the stalls of the spice merchants.

Gorgeous scent, with low tones of florals such as orange blossom (my favorite) gardenia, carnation, jasmine, lily of the valley, rose, ylang ylang and geranium, finally rounds out with base notes of amber, Tonka bean, cypress, cedar, vanilla, patchouli, vetiver, oak moss, sandalwood and erogenous musk. I also detect a honeyed accord not found in the newer reissue. With all the scents melding together it would be a great scent for a harem’s incense burner, or hammam soap.

This is definitely a jewel in the rough. I thought that it would smell divine and I was not disappointed. If you find this vintage treasure for sale on eBay, snatch it up, you’d swear it was from a niche house.

Texas Monthly, 1979:
"GALANOS. GLORIOUS! Premiering at N-M. James Galanos' brilliant firstfragrance. Exciting. Warm. Elegant. A harmony of wood notes, florals and Oriental tones. The essence of his unique fashion genius. And destined to be a Galanos classic. Perfume, 1 oz. 90.00 or l/4oz.-27.50; Eau de Toilette 2 oz - $17.50.  Eau de Toilette Natural Spray 2 oz - $20.00"

Texas Monthly, 1980:
"Rarely has a fragrance so captured the essence of elegant fashion as Galanos- James Galanos' glorious fragrance. Luxurious. Uniquely individual. Always feminine. It's the original you'll want to wear every day. And night. Perfume, in a swirl of crystal - 1 oz - $100, 1/4 oz - $35. Perfume Purser Spray 1/5 oz - $22.50. Eau de toilette Natural Spray 2 oz - $22.50"

Texas Monthly, 1989:
"Fragrance fair. Galanos sets the mood with irresistible appeal. Imported by Gary Fam, Ltd.  Eau de Toilette Spray 2 oz - $30.00. Perfume ¼ oz - $65.00. Lotion 8 oz - $30.00. Soap - $10.00”


The original Galanos was launched in a very dark navy blue box with white trim and lettering, it was still being sold til around 1985 in that packaging.

photo by ebay seller looney-lindy

my own photo

At the launch, you were able to purchase all of the Galanos ancillaries: parfum, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, moisture lotion, dusting powder, shower and bath gelee, and an extra rich moisture cream. A true American original, Galanos was being sold at better department stores like Neiman Marcus alongside French perfumes of the same calibre.

Around 1989, it was packaged in a gold and black box, then it was discontinued for a short time.

photo by ebay seller cclinne

Fate of the Fragrance:

 It was re-issued in 1995, probably without the oakmoss per IFRA regulations. The newer Galanos perfume comes in a turquoise colored box. I prefer the older, vintage scents over the newly reformulated one.

Similar scents: Opium by Yves Saint Laurent, Youth Dew by Estee Lauder, Tabu by Dana and Cinnabar by Estee Lauder.

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