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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Big Love, with No Apology: Bijan by Bijan

By Tom

My Scent Twin posted about this scent, which reminded me that I've had a beensy little tester of this forever. Since it's been in the back of a closet forever it was in good shape and I thought I would revisit it.

Flashback to the late 80's: Reagan was in office, "Dynasty", "LA Law" and "Knots Landing" were the big shows and I was moving to Los Angeles. I chose specifically to live in Beverly Hills, since (compared to NYC) rents were cheap and I wanted to live in the quietest, safest neighborhood I could find that still let me walk to the party-town that is West Hollywood.

80's scents were big. Big Shoulders big. Hiroshima big. Giorgio was still open at the corner of Rodeo and Dayton, puffing its eponymous scent into the intersection. At that long light it would permeate your car for hours.

Bijan didn't spritz. Bijan was super-exclusive. You didn't walk into Bijan, it was appointment only in an era when that was unheard of. What people didn't hear was that once you bought something from Bijan there was an unheard of level of customer service: if you popped a button or tore a lining a trip to the store would mean that you and your garment would be pampered equally. If you were a resident of the Westside who traveled Santa Monica Boulevard Bijan was a fixture on his billboard near Sepuleveda, his tanned smiling face reminding you that he was having a great time selling stuff you can't afford to people you'd never meet. His new-every-year Bijan-yellow Rolls-Royce was always parked in front of his store, parking tickets be damned.

At the end of the decade Bijan introduced his fragrance. It was a big, rich concoction of white flowers with an ambery vanillic base. The sample I have isn't labelled, but I suspect it's and EdeP at best and a few dabs at the crook of the elbow are as handsome and as dated as Brenda Dicksons "Welcome to my Home".

But you know, it's still better than 80% of most things coming out right now, and if American Apparel can make a fortune recycling the 80's then why not this? Just please, for pitys sake, don't spray...

From Gaia's review: The only concentration still in production is an EDT (usually a dead giveaway for reformulation) and it's official retail price according to Bijan's website is $130 for 1.7 oz. Seriously. Searching online reveals it can actually be bought from various sources for under $30, and the EDP is still around here and there.

My sample is from the bowels of my closet.

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Blogger Flora said...

I really loved this back in the day but it's so big I never dared to wear it! If it were released today I believe it would be a hit, a real Angel-fighter.

I will have to keep an eye out for a small bottle of the EDP from the discounters, maybe I can finally own it.

12:09 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think there a lot of closet-cases out there that admire this one. It's a big scent, but not as much a room-filler as some others of the era.

1:53 AM EDT  
Anonymous Olfacta said...

I actually bought a bottle of the EDT for $9.00 -- with the magic 3-ingredient list on the box -- at Maax about a month ago. I never, ever thought I would own this, not after all the billboards plastered all over Beverly Hills with the man's (retouched mightily) face on them! (Tom do you remember those?) It's a little heavy on the ylang-ylang at first, but once that's gone it dries down to a nice spicy amber. I

7:34 AM EDT  
Anonymous Olfacta said...

Oop, sorry -- re-read the post, obviously you do remember the billboards. That'll teach me to speed-read, I guess.

7:37 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom: I never got to smell Bijan. In the '80's, I worked in a law office that catered to the wealthy. All the rich women who came in wore Giorgio. It would seep under the conference room door like an evil spirit and linger for hours and hours! It made me hate this scent forever!


8:36 AM EDT  
Blogger StyleSpy said...

Does the bowels of your closet have an e-commerce site? 'Cause I have a feeling I would like to shop there...

9:29 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said... really painted a picture of 80's life in LA here. And Flora's "angel fighter": good one! That's what I recall this was..a white floral oriental merger. Scared to buy it now (friend's request)as there seems to be so many versions, which is the correct 80's version she is likely hankering.

11:45 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I miss those billboards. He always looked so darned happy.

11:46 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Actually I'm not sure that they aren't still up. I don't do that commute anymore. Have you seen them?

At least the yellow Rolls is still out in front of his store.

11:47 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Giorgio was nice in tiny doses. Sadly nobody ever wore it in tiny doses.

11:48 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Style Spy-

My closet pales in comparison to a lot of other peoples..

11:49 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Smelling this and Angel in the same room might actually kill you.

Gaia points out that the stuff available today is most certainly a reformulation, so I think your friend might be out of luck

11:51 AM EDT  
Anonymous Olfacta said...

I don't know about the billboards, because I don't live in LA any more, but I bet that if they are it's the same picture as in the 80's!

Had a roommate who wore Giorgio once. After she moved, the smell lingered for two weeks.

7:06 AM EDT  
Anonymous Marian said...

I've walked passed Bijan on Madison a million times and have never seen anyone inside. Do you think the fumes could have knocked them out 30 years ago and they haven't yet revived? Perhaps I should phone 911.

9:22 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think if I had a roommate who wore that I'd move..

3:51 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I don't think I've ever seen anyone shopping at the one on Rodeo either, but it's not like I'm camped out there.

You might need to call 911 for a customer when they get the bill. Serious sticker shock can occur

3:52 PM EDT  
Anonymous Alien said...

I bought Alien Prodigy Body Lotion from Zumali Online Shopping. Its really nice

2:29 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always' love bijan Cologne , it is old cologne but stil has unique smell and cheap price. i just bought my cologne from Discounted perfume shop.

11:57 PM EDT  
Anonymous Bella said...

I just have to say I really hated all those big '80's perfumes! While I liked the clothes and the big hair, I couldn't stand those scents. I used to wear Romeo Gigli's scent which was a very light floral and Givenchy's, Ysatis.
Angel, Dune, Giorgio, Bijan, et all--GROSS! LOL

7:42 PM EDT  
Anonymous eleven european mystics said...

:-) 'a true Angel fighter' it was Flora, but something in it made it adjustable to one's own skin,or maybe it was due to my F.D.O (fragrance devouring ogre). I make Bandit whisper,can you imagine? Viva Bijan original.

5:38 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bijan perfume is the only perfume I will ever ware. But I want to purchase the original deodorant (NOT DNA). The first one that came out in the white Stick with the orange bottle of Bijan on the front of the container. Where can I find this? I know someone out there has some unopened case of it. I Want It. I won't take no for an answer. Please email me. Thank you. Patricia

8:02 PM EST  

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