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Bijan Women – Famous people love it - September 18, 2015



Bijan Women - 1988 FiFi award, Bottle Design


One Saturday night a couple of years ago, during our meanderings on the net in search of fascinating perfume tidbits, Gwen and I discovered the Celebrity Fragrance Guide, a site whose diligent research has matched famous people with their most favourite fragrance(s). Along with our oohs and ahhs there were a few outright hahs! as we went through the list from A to Z. “She/he wears THAT? Who would ever guess….” Most of the classic and luxury mainstream brands, a few niche, and even some generic drugstore brands were listed, but there was one name that appeared quite often, one I’d seen mentioned on perfume blogs, but never paid much attention to. It was Bijan.

Annette Bening wears it, Candice Bergen, Natalie Cole, Angelica Houston, Aretha Franklin, Bo Derek, Hillary Clinton, even Queen Elizabeth wears Bijan for Women. And Julio Iglesias, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jack Nicholson, George Lucas, Steven Speilberg all wear Bijan for Men. Now you might point out that all these famous people are on the far side of fifty, but they are also people with strong character, good taste, and great wealth who could have the most luxurious expensive bespoke scents created for them – and they wear Bijan. That was enough for me. I tracked Bijan down on a couple of websites and ordered bottles of Bijan Women and Bijan Men that same night.

Bijan was created and named after Bijan Pakzad, a Persian immigrant and entrepreneur who opened his luxurious “by appointment only” men’s clothing and accessories boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills in 1976. Appealing to Hollywood celebs, he also attracted global clients like Tony Blair and Vladimir Putin, and he dressed Presidents Reagan, Bush Father and Son, and Barack Obama. Adventurous, larger than life, Bijan as a designer was known for his colourful fanciful opulence and attention to detail – visit to experience his world. He died in 2011, but the Rodeo Drive store continues to thrive under the leadership of his longtime business partner and his three children, and the FIFI award-winning perfumes continue to be loved by a loyal clientele.  

Bijan Women and Bijan Men were launched in 1986, a time when bigger was better, a time when shoulder pads and hairdos were huge, and so were perfumes. These are massive scents with intense sillage, so be warned. They should each be applied sparingly and discreetly to be fully appreciated - anything more than one dab or spritz will cause anosmia or paralysis. I exaggerate, but you get my drift.

My single spritz of Bijan Women opens full and floral, filled with orange citrus neroli, spiced rose, vegetal tuberose sharpened with lily of the valley, a floral symphony riding on a swelling base of honeyed moss and resins. It smells almost medicinal after a few minutes but then begins to sweeten as it moves into the heart, the spices becoming stronger with a hint of cumin, and then softening and becoming creamy with the addition of sandalwood, amber, tonka, and dark vanilla notes. The dry-down is deliciously plush as Bijan Women becomes more pliant and feminine, expanding and wafting with the lovely rose-spiced floral accord mixed with warm musky amber and powdered wood notes.

Bijan Women is a lush heady scent with a big bold sillage – one spritz will take you from dinner through to brunch smelling just as wonderful as the moment you stepped into the limo. Is it too dated, too 80’s, too much for our refined 21st century noses? Nooo, not at all. All those famous people can’t be wrong. When I wear Bijan, it makes me feel just like a diva, a mega-star, or even a queen, and sometimes that’s exactly what you want a perfume to do.

Bijan Women is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00  for 1 ml.