Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A Scent That Sends Me Back

I'm in the market for a new fragrance, and I'm anxious to try Gucci's new Gucci Guilty. Of course, the most important thing about perfume is the scent (pink pepper, lilac, patchouli, and amber), but I have yet to take a sniff. What has totally intrigued me is the bottle. It's sexy looking in a 1970s way. Kind of edgy, kind of sleek. A little bit like these:

Check out this bedroom decorated by Jay Spectre in 1977. Being the traditionalist that I am, my eye is immediately drawn to the 18th c. French desk and chair. But look at the bed. The bedposts are wrapped in suede with slivers of lucite punctuating them. The underside of the canopy is mirrored as are the window shutters. I'm not advising anyone to decorate their bedroom as such, but I do admire Spectre's work, and you have to admit that this room is quintessential 1970s contemporary design.

If you follow The Peak of Chic Facebook page, you've seen this image before. How stunning is this? A fountain and water channel maze in Ibiza designed by Javier de Olaso, c. 1977. I could see Ridley Scott directing a Chanel no. 5 commercial here. Share the fantasy....

How about this chair from Charles Hollis Jones? You've got a brass frame with lucite back, seat, and legs. OK, so in the right environment, I think this could work. Do you?

I have to say that I find this room stunning (it too is from the 70s), even though I couldn't live in it. Look at the wall with black mirror- love that. And yes, the table is low, but it's awfully stunning. It's wood that has been painted and lacquered so that it resembles granite.

There are elements to this 1970s-era interior that still look good today- but not those vertical blinds. Glossy surfaces, neutral colors-it makes me think of Calvin Klein

and this Helmut Newton shot of model Lisa Taylor dressed in Calvin. (Hey, this was hot stuff for the 1970s. In a way, it still is today.)

...and I think of Halston

like this fabulous hammered silk satin dress by Halston (1976) in this classic photo by Scavullo.

And to think that a bottle of perfume started this entire stream of consciousness.

(Spectre photo from Architectural Digest, September 1977, Jaime Ardiles-Arce photographer; water maze photo from Architectural Digest, September 1977,Georges Palot photographer; chair ad from AD, October 1977; two living room photos from Contemporary apartments (The Worlds of Architectural Digest))


  1. Style wise, the 70s really were their own beast, wouldn't you say? I think the Halston dress was one of the high points,mirrored canopy on the low end.

  2. I have always love Halston.
    The Gucci bottles a so sharp
    looking . Lavender? Gucci?
    I like the flowers and the scent, just thought such an old fashion smell for that company.


  3. The Jay Spectre bedroom: could never sleep there; the Halston dress is perfection and timeless. Thanks for the perfume bottle musings.

  4. I especially love the first room and the last evening gown. Beautiful!

  5. As with many things, when done with conviction, and with the best materials, the 70's look can be quite elegant and sophisticated. It is unfortunate though that, as in the case of Art Deco, the slightest diminution of ingredients in this look makes it completely fall apart. One item out of place or a material not of the finest quality turns it into a cheap joke, hence the reviling of so much of it since that era. Certain styles and epochs are more forgiving of lesser imitation; this is not one of them.

  6. adore your post!xx peggy

  7. You are so right about the Gucci bottle. It's beautiful, maybe worth buying the perfume. Have a great week!

  8. Love the that Gucci bottle/design! And the 70's flashback...thanks for sharing!

  9. kate pm9:46 PM

    Oh, just happen to come across Gucci Guilty yesterday at the duty-free. It was the bottle that caught my eye. I liked the scent. In fact, I also sprayed a sample on the card and the scent is still lingering in my purse.

  10. Just saw this in the airport...going back to smell.

  11. Thanks for a trip down memory lane! And, seriously, the Helmut Newton shot could be today, if the dress were shorter!

  12. Amazing how you manage to capture the essence by using photos alone, a rare and special talent. Great Post.