Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Vintage Advertising Champions: Cacharel

This specimen of vintage advertising from the 1980s by the French brand Cacharel comes as the imaginative apex of an aesthetic we don't come across anymore. The white knickerbockers-style outfit with the straw hat and the knee high socks in Mary Janes has a vaguely early 20th century feel to it. The lion is imposing and has a questioning look in its eye, it is hoever reflected ~please note~ alone and on a checkered floor on the opposite page of the advertisement.

They just don't make them like this anymore…


  1. Mainly, because advertising these days runs on the belief of "Everything MUST BE SEXY!" Sigh, what I would do for an advertisement that used adventure or wit or anything other than the "SEXY."

  2. I think I remember that ad!

  3. oh, yes, what jennifer koth said, yes!

  4. In terms of advertising, I think it's hard to beat Cacharel - so many memorable ads, like the Anais Anais one, which you have described before. Sad to think that the soft focus young women of Anais Anais later became the oversexualized teenagers of so much modern advertising.


  5. Anonymous08:38

    I was just thinking 'how arty' before reading your comments!
    That does make me feel quite nostalgic. Strange not to see the obligatory semi-clad writhing woman etc!

    Looks like a scene from Death in Venice or a 70s Kate Bush album cover, but I can't guess what perfume it's for. The lettering is very 70s, a bit like that used for the film 'Cabaret'.

    One of my all time favourite male perfumes was Cacharel pour Homme, loved the bottle too, it's nice that they still make it

  6. Maria10:21

    Also, it's not for a specific product, is it? Just a brand image... ahh.

  7. J,

    ain't that the truth...
    I kinda think 80s were racier in that regard, to be honest, but the advertising was more daring and imaginative than the dull "boobs and @ss in show" of today. Mondino, Goude etc also did some wonderful work.

  8. Carol,

    you must tell us details! I didn't recall it and would love to learn more.

  9. NFS,

    I think it's the saturation of the thing: it's everywhere, it doesn't really register anymore, you know?

  10. M,

    it is as you say. Cacharel has lost something of the plot in the intervening years I think. It was GREAT up till the early 2000s (and the scents were good), then the financial troubles, change of hands etc took their toll...

  11. R,

    I am not entirely convinced it's for a perfume ad, it seems like a clothes ad (though the style isn't very wearable, but Cacharel were known for their nostalgic vibe anyway).
    It DOES recall Death in Venice (the era style is so characteristic), the girl is styled a bit like Tadzio. ;-) Good catch!

    To be honest the typeface of Cacharel hasn't changed too much through the decades, so the 70s vibe is consistent with the brand's arc throughout the 80s and most of the 90s if I am not mistaken.

    Haven't smelled Cacharel pour Homme in ages, need to retest at some point.

  12. M,

    yup, it's a brand ad. But a very good one, I thought. I'm genuinely interested in advertising you see.

  13. Anonymous11:54

    Very important to credit the genius vision of Sarah Moon who created the imagery for Cacharel from the 70s to the maybe mid 2000's. A true heroine.

  14. Back then, I was obsessed w/fashion magazines - and any image that harkened back to the 'old' days. (I was reading a lot about The Jersey Lilly and Buster Keaton, the silent movie starts, etc etc)

  15. Miss Heliotrope02:32

    I was thinking Narnia. But that might be just me...

  16. Anon,

    indeed! Very true.
    I believe I had mentioned her great work when talking about Anais Anais and the ad images of that one, back a while ago.

  17. Carol,

    fascinating!! The Silent era has a lot of imagery which surfaces in subliminal messages (Loyd, Keaton, Gish) in advertising and fashion especially, it's fun to pick up the references I bet!

  18. C,

    Narnia eh? It never crossed my mind, to be honest, but then I have not read (nor seen) any of the Narnia saga.


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