Bringing back the 80’s! Xia Xiang + JCC No2


Post by Robert Herrmann


Hey Frag Friends, Robert H. here, writing from my small island home in the Pacific Northwest…

Today it’s All about the 80’s!

Got these little honeys in a mixed auction lot awhile back and they’ve been sitting on my desk since then. So today when I decided to clean my desk (again) I decided to give them a try!

um……WOW! Just WOW! Shall we talk about absolutely classic late 80’s Chypres? Yes, let’s!

80s Fragrances

Xia Xiang by Charles Of The Ritz for Revlon (1987) (L)
JCC No2 by Maurice Roucel for Castelbajac (1987) (R)

JCC No2 by Maurice Roucel for Castelbajac 1987

JCC No. 2 Castelbajac FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, lemon, bergamot, fruity notes, galbanum, gardenia
Heart: Carnation, rose, jasmine, lily of the valley, iris, ylang-ylang, sandalwood
Base: Amber, castoreum, labdanum, leather, moss, patchouli, olibanum

One spritz from this bottle and my head was REELING from castoreum, oakmoss and galbanum overload! I had to sit down, the skank was so overwhelming. And gorgeous.

That skank only stays for about 10 minutes then fades into the background and stays there, throwing out tendrils of raunchy beaver scent to mix with the heart and drydown. Phew.

Then leather, labdanum, patch and flowers appear, beautifully blended, and absolutely “old school”!

Rose, ylang, carnation, iris…. it’s all there in typical 80’s fashion, when the hair was BIG, the shoulder pads were BIGGER, and the perfume was potent!

Xia Xiang by Revlon 1987

Xia Xiang Revlon FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, Amalfi lemon, tangerine
Heart: Jasmine, African orange flower, gardenia, ylang-ylang, rose, lily-of-the-valley
Base: Sandalwood, patchouli, oak moss, tonka bean, vanille, peach, plum, chamomile

Xia Xiang (pronounced “see-AH see-AHNG”) by Revlon was launched in 1987.

No less potent, but a bit “softer”. No blast of animalic, but LOTS of oakmoss, and again every flower you can think of with some fruit accords thrown in because why not, right? Powder, sandalwood, patch, tonka, vanilla, it’s all there.

Made by Charles Of The Ritz, my first thought was that this would be a big-hot-floral-mess, but no. It all comes together to produce a perfect harmony of flowers and notes that proves the point that less is NOT always more!

Bring back the 80’s!!!
Actually, no. Don’t. Just the pre-IFRA perfume!

Do you have a favorite 80’s scent that you’ve rediscovered?

17 thoughts on “Bringing back the 80’s! Xia Xiang + JCC No2

  1. Hi Robert,

    I just love it when I find new/old scent treasures in a lot! Lucky Robert! Thank you for introducing me to these two 80s frags.

    I still have a couple of shoulder padded dresses and suits around here. I’m saving them because I just know they will be back in style one of these days (?). In the meantime I keep using my old 80s bottles of Obsession, Samsara, Niki de Saint Phalle and Fendi. My recent 80s re-discovery was made in the chaos of my perfume storage, a half ounce of the first Bijan perfume. I’m loving that one all over again. Maybe I’ll try the old Poison too? No, that might be taking nostalgia a bit too far – at least for today…

    Azar xx


    • Haha Hi Azar! I LOVE that you still have that dress! The 80’s were such a benchmark era for perfume, but I often forget about the potency and end up having to de-gas the house. But those scents! So many to love! Xoxo


  2. Wow how this post makes my heart race! You cannot imagine how I love the 80’s AND the 80’s perfumes. I know both of the gems you mention but I never came across them and wasn’t able to try them. What a shame…
    I don’t even know where to start with my dearest perfumes from the 80’s…Armani Woman, Jil Sander III, Mystere de Rochas, Vu by Ted Lapidus, Valentino…just recently I found a forgotten bottle of J’ai Ose by Guy Laroche in my mother’s drawer. There’s still a fair amount left and I almost fainted when I smelled it after more than 20 years. It’s an absolute masterpiece! (not to be confused with the brand J’ai Ose which still makes “the same” scent. Don’t ever think it’s even similar to the original Guy Laroche’s perfume!) Sigh…


    • Neva, I LERRRRRVE Mystere, and have a small stash that I sometimes pull out just to stare at, like a dragon and its hoard. And I had forgotten about the Jill Sanders, there’s a vintage decant somewhere in my boxes….off to go dig around! Thanks! Btw…. The Revlon pops up on ebay/etsy often so if you see a bottle, snag it! Xoxo


  3. OH LORD I loved Xia Xi’ang – one of the few bottles I actually used up, to the last drop, before my perfumes went bad from age and light exposure (before I knew what leaving them on my dresser could do to them.

    It was the 80s, man. Everything was BIG, so you didn’t have to hose yourself down to smell nice, even though hosing was pretty common… I nursed a 1 oz dabber bottle of Chloe through about twelve years! Those were the days when you could pick up a pretty dang decent smell at the drugstore for notta lotta cash. Sigh.


  4. 80s is one of my favorite decades in terms of perfumery. I am, particularly, fond of floral chypres from this era. I know Opium came in late 70s but I try to think of it as an 80s perfume because it found its proper market status in the 80s.


    • Hey Fazal, I don’t know anyone that would argue with you on Opium being an 80’s scent, that WAS the Opium decade!


  5. Hey Robert,
    WOW! You find some really interesting stuff in those mixed batched. I’ve never heard of either of these and it makes me wonder if we even got them in Australia.
    I have a few 80s faves including Byzance, Coco, LouLou, Fendi and Boucheron femme. All huge and all gorgeous.
    Portia xx


    • Portia! You would love these! Big, bold, brassy 80’s time capsules each! They’re still widely available on etsy/ebay and not at all expensive. The JCC2 b Roucel is a killer! Xoxo


  6. I completely forgot about Xia Xiang! I loved that stuff. I think I even convinced my mom to buy me a small bottle at some point. The 80’s were a perfect perfume decade for me. Big and bold. Like my hair and makeup. Lol.


  7. Hey Poodle, you should try it again! It has held its own thru the years, and is as good as any power ‘fume from the 80’s can be!! Xoxo


  8. Yeah the 80’s were great lol…Chanel no 5 opium paris were my fragrances of the era…still love them…


    • Hi Anna Maria, I will love both of those til my dying breath! The 80’s were challenging at times, but damn we smelled good!! LOL!!


  9. There must be someway to bring Xia Xiang back! I have not found a replacement for something that !Ade me feel soon good. Please call Revlon!!!!


    • Hi Barbara! Have you tried ebay for it. There are usually a few inexpensive bottles listed! I love the stuff! Good luck! xoxo


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