There Are Many Loves, But Only One #ThrowbackThursday

Because how could there be more than one?  That would be weird!

I was going through my Facebook memories a few days ago, and a memory popped up where I described a Cartier commercial I saw in 2012 during Good Morning America.  It was a doozy of art meets “what the heck am I watching?”, and reading the status earlier this week reminded me of two commercials from my childhood (one of which is actually still airing) that still make me scratch my head to this day.

This week, we’re diving into the pretty glass bottle of scented liquid, and pulling out two commercials from the archives about perfume/cologne/fragrance.

(For the curious, the early 1990s music video-type treatment of scent commercials was covered in a previous Throwback Thursday from November 2015, as well as its follow-up).

Today’s commercial from comes out of 1985, and is actually two commercials – one very quick ten-second spot, the other a much longer (ok, 30 seconds) commercial with sweeping, dramatic scenery, music, a plot, and a voiceover telling quite the story.


It’s a story of obsession…


It’s a story of a woman, and the people she adores…

…and the moment it all changed.


And it has something to do with perfume/cologne/fragrance.

Watch the story unfold, and reveal the fragrance, when you click play!

“Oh, the smell of it!”


A line spoken by creepy people (with strong senses of smell) who like your scent.

“First at Robinsons.”


This commercial aired in 1985, and set off a chain of future quirkiness we’d only come to find in every 1980s and 1990s Calvin Klein commercial.  Parodied on several occasions – in 1987 by Saturday Night Live, in a placement for “Compulsion,” the world’s most indulgent disinfectant” (“oh the price of it!”), and in a promo for the television show Wings from the early 1990s, Obsession was one of those bizarrely compelling to watch commercials that felt like art trying to be art.

As for the department store plug, J.W. Robinson’s was a Los Angeles-based department store that operated in Southern California and Arizona.  There was a separate chain division with stores in Florida (sold in 1987 due to Florida’s economy).  Robinson’s was succeeded by Robinsons-May in 1993, and was bought out by Macys in 2006.  Essentially, it has been defunct for 26 years.

But Obsession is still around, so…partial win?

We’ll take victories where we can, friends.

Anyway, tomorrow we move on from indulgent scents that trigger the type of emotional response seen in Lifetime movies (and apparently, Calvin Klein ads), to a totally different scent that invokes another type of feeling.

Find out tomorrow, but until then, have a great Throwback Thursday!

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