Mario’s First Love : YSL Jazz

It was fall 1988. I had just had by braces removed and I was 17. A silent young man, revolted with my shyness, I was ready to live my life. I felt the need to wear a perfume. I wanted this perfume to send the signal of who I was, romantic and ready to fall in love. A love at first sight, forever.

It was the end of the eighties. Male perfumes at that time were power houses. The choice of fragrance was very limited. The other young men wore either Polo, Azzaro or Drakkar Noir. I could not identify with any of these scents, too adult, manly and macho for me. I was still a kid with a few hairs on my chin.

I did several tries with the available scents on the market. I tried Calvin from Calvin Klein, Antaeus from Chanel (which made me cough). Too strong, way to strong for me. I recall also Armani, which I loved, it was so refined, elegant and distinguished. I recall that being distinguished was a wish that I did not have. I wanted my life to be dyonisian!

I chose Jazz, the new Yves St-Laurent. I might be the first person who bought this fragrance in my city of Sherbrooke (and probably the only person wearing this in my school). I was blown away as soon as I first smelled this incredible scent. It was the total opposite of any other male perfume for this time. Jazz was santal and rose, period. It was very potent, so romantic with the rose. It was almost androgynous, a novelty at that time. I danced the night away with this perfume, I fell in love at first sight, like I wished, and I thought this would be forever. I made all sorts of mistakes that I wish I could do again today. All of these memories are enhanced by this perfume, because I recall the smell. This is vibrant in my memory.

Jazz was reformulated many times and sadly, none of the subsequent formulations were made with the same accords. I believe that the release of the original version paved the way for a new type of sandalwood/androgynous fragrances of the time: JOOP! 1989, Chanel’s Égoïste 1990 and Égoïste Platinum. I believe that Jazz and Égoïste Platinum share a lot of similarities.

If I was 17 again, I would wear Égoïste Platinum and dance until through the morning light.


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  1. I loved Jazz so much… The scent, the bottle (the original keyboard bottle), the commercial… everything! I was 18 in ’86… I still miss it, all reformulations that I have smelled recently are harsh and chemical. Strangely my impression of it is quite different from yours, it smells more masculine to me but the common denominator is that smells like an explosion of joy, or at least as the decision of joy. I relate so much with your post! Thank you

  2. mario

     /  February 27, 2014

    Hi Christos,

    Thanks for your beautiful comment! I believe that we have danced on the same music. It is sad that this wonderful smell is lost forever.



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