Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Halston 1-12

This fragrance was released the same date as its sibling, Halston Z-14, in 1976, and it has exactly the same bottle.  If you like Z-14 but have not smelled 1-12, I’m going to warn you that they are nothing alike.  Whereas Z-14 is a strong, mossy, leathery brown-hued macho scent, 1-12 is a grassy, lemony and tangy smelling chypre.  It is unique, even for its time, and is unlike anything else I own.

Most people describe 1-12 as an intensely green scent, but I only partially agree with that.  The opening is certainly green smelling, with an awesome blast of citrus, herbs and galbanum, which give off a scent of lemony green grass, or crushed flower stems.  This is a superb opening!  However, pretty soon 1-12 develops a more floral smell (there’s lavender, carnation and jasmine in 1-12) than a green one.  It doesn’t lose its greenness, thankfully, but I find it to be just as floral as it is green.

The one ingredient in 1-12 that nails down the green smell is labdanum.  Labdanum is a resinous material that has a complex smell that is green, tangy, resinous and somewhat oily.  It makes a great base note in a fragrance if you love green smells because it lasts a long time.  In 1-12, I can smell it from the minute I first spray it on – it contributes to that green flower stem smell – to the very end.  The final stages of the scent are semi-sweet because of dabs of vanilla and amber in the base.  However, the labdanum is what prevents 1-12 from being heavy and overly sweet.  It gives the scent a slightly powdery green smell, which I really like.  I think I’d hate the final stages of 1-12 if it weren’t for the labdanum; I don’t like vanilla or amber.

I find 1-12 to be an extremely smooth scent.  One reason I bought a bottle of this was because pine is listed as an ingredient.  I don’t smell any pine or any other coniferous tree smells in this, unfortunately.   Halston 1-12 is a smooth green scent, not a woody, coniferous one.

In light of today’s fragrance fashion, 1-12 is a challenging, even rebellious, fragrance.  It smells nothing like anything on the designer or niche perfume market.  Green herbal scents were popular back in the 70s, but they are far from being the rage right now.  I think 1-12 is a very masculine scent, but it could also make a great women’s scent as well.  It smells old-school by today’s standards, and that’s perfectly fine with me.  You just won’t smell like every other Joe Shmoe out on the street rocking Acqua di Gio.

MY RATING:  8/10

Fragrance House:  Halston

8 comments:

  1. Other than Polo, and Devin this is probably my favorite chypre that I know of.

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  2. I am wearing this today and am reminded--as always--of how good this smells. For years I thought that Z-14 was my main Halston frag (and it is) but I really love this....

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  3. 1-12 really is good stuff, but I prefer Z-14 a little bit more. 1-12 was an acquired taste for me, whereas Z-14 was love at first sniff for me.

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  5. Really enjoyed finding your blog and going through the back pages. Made me stop at a local discount shop and try a spritz of I-12, z-14 and Cuba Red. All so solid and all so cheap. I'm surprised musk rarely gets mentioned with I-12. It opens with a musk note almost exactly like Alyssa Ashley Unisex Musk. I had tried it out in a drugstor a few days ago so it was fresh in my memory. It's a little dirty at first and then gets slightly soapy clean. At first I thought I preferred the Z-14 but I-12 develops in to something really nice. I could see how the opening could scare someone off though. It really makes a dramatic change from start to finish. Z-14 seems a lot more linear.

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    1. I can definitely see 1-12 scaring people off, with its intense green floral smell, plus its obvious 70s style. This is a fragrance I hated when I first tried it years ago, but I like it more every time I wear it now.

      I've been meaning to try the Alyssa Ashley Musk for a long time, and have been putting it off for years.

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  6. I found this at a local Winner's for cheap and bought a bottle. It really is great stuff, and your right, IT IS as floral as it is green. That's what's really unique about it. The shift from a green frag to a green/floral and then again in to a warm slightly sweet musk. It's like three fragrances in one and it seems to push each stage almost to the point where you get sick of it then it changes. It almost gets too green but then goes floral and then you think "Man this is going to be really feminine" it goes to a warm, sweet and floral musk. The amazing thing is it pulls off each stage so well.

    How can something of such quality can be had from so little? It can be found cheaper then the large bottles of Cuba Gold for god sakes! I actually bought this for a friend, who wants to get into this madness, as his first fragrance. We were talking about it and he said he wanted something that smelled like pine and when I smelled this I really thought the opening had a nice pine scent, not in your face pine like Acqua di Selva, but more fleeting and layered. It really shifts gears even minute to minute as to what accord is taking the lead throughout the stages. But the pine is definitely there for me. Hopefully he gets it too.

    I'm a little worried I may have over played my hand for a beginner's first frag. The other I was considering was Aspen. It looks like it would be pine forward, if you believe the packaging, but I really didn't get much. Like many people have said I found it to be a greener and smoother version of Cool Water. Doesn't last as long but I find CW can last annoyingly long. Every time I've worn it I've had to wash it off and that synthetic aqua note just lingers on it own. Really bothers me. Anyway I figure at worst if he hates it I'll just take the 1-12 for myself and see if he likes Aspen better.

    Umm yeah. I think I just fell in love.

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    1. A lot of people get that pine note in 1-12, and it's listed as an ingredient, but unfortunately I smell none whatsoever. That sucks because I love pine.

      I love Aspen too, but like you, I smell no evergreen notes in it.

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