Monday, August 7, 2017

Decades of Fragrance: Smell Like a Suffragette or a 50s Housewife with Besame's Fragrance Line

It should be noted that this blog does not have yet have sponsoring. Everything we review/feature on here has been bought and paid for out of our own pockets, so nobody is "buying" our two cents.

I recently discovered Besame cosmetics. I loved the idea of wearing a lipstick that is an exact shade from 1952 or whatever. That was a win! I tried their foundation. That was not a win. I tried their powders...WIN!  And now I'm trying their fragrance collection. I bought the sample pack.

First up is 1910.

In 1910, WA state adopted women's suffrage. In the next ten years, more states would follow. So you can very easily imagine a suffragette sweating on the street as she carries her sign, the heat causing her floral perfume to permeate the air around her. This decade was also about poor housing, the shirtwaist fire, worker strikes, Margaret Sanger, and WWI. Majority of women probably could not afford perfume.

My first thought was FLORAL. Most definitely. And I'm no expert but I was thinking gardenia, roses, no idea. Just floral, not quite roses and not irises either. I had no idea. According to their website it is most likely jasmine that is entrancing my nose. My husband also likes it. 
Did anyone else notice? No. But I work around men, men afraid to compliment a lady for fear of sexual harassment charges.

1920....Women finally get the right to vote. Jazzy music is popular. Radio happens. Think Cable Girls.
Image result for cable girls

I don't love this one. It didn't smell too bad at first. At first I was thinking Chanel No. 5, musk, lace doilies...old ladies...then throughout the day as this one merged with my body chemistry, I thought...eww, body odor. 

My husband said it wasn't strong enough. I felt it was too strong and not in a good way. 

The website says there's floral scents in it, but for me the base notes, namely musk, overpower the jasmine and violet. This simply wasn't a winner for me.

1930: This was the decade of FDR and Eleanor and New Deals, of Depression, of Amelia Earhart, the dust bowl. It was a time of great struggle for people in America yet at the same time a time of new and amazing opportunities for women, though we still had a ways to go. But we were getting....rebellious and we were being heard. Photo below from

My thoughts: At first I thought bergamot. Slightly orange. Then I thought spicy. And while I can't say it's bad, it's not for me. There's something a bit masculine about it. And if it had been transferred onto me from say, Carey Grant or William Powell, I'd love it. But it didn't come from a romantic tryst with anyone. LOL

They say: I was close!! Mandarin. I knew I was smelling something along those lines. Also supposed to be a hint of smoke. Makes sense!
1940... a great time to be a woman; a bad time to be a man! While they went off to war and quite possibly didn't come home, we were becoming Land Girls, WASP, nurses, bomb builders. It was a time for quick romance and rationing. Perhaps they just didn't have much time for perfume or perhaps scent was being rationed as well, because while pleasant, I didn't find this smell very strong and even after wearing half the bottle, it didn't seem to linger.

Image result for women in the 1940s

My first thought was Baby Soft, that perfume from the eighties, mixed with something else... Their website says: Top notes: bergamot, cognac, davana; Heart notes: rose, clove, labdanum; Base notes: sandal wood, amber, benzoin. I'm not sure what any of those smell like so not sure what I'm smelling.

1950s...It was a time for women to stay happily at home and be homemakers and men to go back to everyday jobs. It was Lucille Ball and June Cleaver, poodle skirts and letter jackets, awesome big cars, and sock hops.

It smells floral to me. I love it but it's staying power....was nil. I could not smell it an hour later.

The site says gardenia, musk, vanilla, and more. It's a lovely smell. It just isn't very strong.

1960. Now I like this decade. I dig the clothing--most of it--and I love the TV show That Girl. She's my fave! Granted that was the late 60s, but she's so cute! So think That Girl and Good Girls Revolt. Great show.

The 60s was sugar meets spice. Women were exploring more with their least openly. Skirts were getting shorter. We were demanding equal pay.

My! LOVE this one. I thought floral and musk and something I can't identify but I like. I really like this one. And no wonder! According to the site, it has grapefruit, coriander, jasmine as well as other scents. I love all those smells.

So then it came down to: which should I buy? 1960 or 1910? I love them both.

I went through all my perfumes and did a comparison to see if I had anything similar already and I actually found a nearly identical scent to 1910 in Shelley Kyle's Annabelle. Very very similar. I love them both, but I think when I place my next Besame order, I'll get the 1960 perfume because I have nothing else that smells like it and I love it!


  1. This is such a good post. Thanks for reviewing this product. Very good explanations of each scent. Makes me want to smell them too.

  2. Where did you put the perfume when ypu sprayed it on because that would have a big impact on how long it lasts and the change in fragrance with ypur body chemistry.

    1. My neck, middle of my chest because I sweat there and then it smells good, and inside wrists. I'm not sure where else we're supposed to put it. I'm not spraying my va jay jay. LOL