Made in the USSR: 7 popular fragrances of that era
Made in the USSR: 7 popular fragrances of that era

Contrary to the widespread opinion, especially among young people, that Soviet women did not take care of themselves and were generally asexual, we insist that there was fashion in the USSR, it was simply very different from the Western in its naivety and touchingness. That is why the fashion trends of that time evoke a special thrill and nostalgia.

Today we decided to tell you a little about the perfumery of the Soviet era and have compiled a list of the most popular fragrances of that era, which were produced in the USSR.

Red poppy

One of the most famous fragrances of the Soviet era. Produced by the Moscow factory "New Zarya", its first release was timed to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution. By the way, the creation of new fragrances for one or another significant date has become a kind of tradition of the factory.


In the same year, the premiere of R. Glier's ballet "Red Poppy" took place, which became very popular among the people. Red poppies were depicted everywhere, which inspired the factory's perfumers to create a new fragrance. The smell of the perfume did not quite correspond to Soviet standards, but was somewhat opium, dizzying. But this did not stop him from gaining popularity among the fair sex for a long time. The fragrance remained popular even during the years of Stalin's rule. At the moment, the release of "Red Poppy" is discontinued, and the famous perfume can be purchased only in a vintage version.

The Queen of Spades

The Queen of Spades is another anniversary fragrance from the Novaya Zarya factory. They first hit the shelves in 1949. The issue was timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Pushkin's jubilee. The perfume turned out to be bright in every sense: from a rich, earthy aroma to the original design of the bottle and packaging. The Queen of Spades cost from 3 to 5 rubles, which was a lot for that time, this money could live a whole week. The scent was dominated by iris, but there were also notes of narcissus and hot rose.


Historians point out that the original scent was much different from what has been sold on store shelves since the late 60s. The fact is that at first, exclusively natural ingredients were used to create the perfume: ambergris, plant extracts; but then they were replaced by artificial ones, which naturally could not but affect the fragrance - the perfume became more primitive.

Gold of the Scythians

This fragrance is rightfully considered the pinnacle of the Soviet art of perfumery. It was created in the 50s. During this period, the country was gradually recovering from the war devastation, and people only began to delight themselves with small human joys, before that there could be no question of this. The perfume turned out to be extraordinary in all respects: this is an interesting design of the bottle, reminiscent of a massive gold jewelry, and, of course, the fragrance itself, for the creation of which amber, vanilla, bergamot, ylang-ylang and sandalwood were used. The smell is luxurious.


And the bottle, as the creators wanted, resembled some kind of ancient treasure. The perfume even won a prize at an exhibition in Brussels. "Gold of the Scythians", like many other things at that time, was difficult to get, but those who were lucky enough to use it admit that they remembered this fragrance for a long time. Perfumes are still being produced, and, despite the fact that the scent was slightly simplified, it is still one of the most popular products of "Novaya Zarya" and staunchly competes with imported perfumery.

Lily of the valley silvery

It should be noted that the flower theme occupied a key place in Soviet perfumery. And lilies of the valley were especially popular. Firstly, their smell is very pleasant, and secondly, it was believed that it calms the nervous system. "Silver Lily of the Valley" is a product of another no less popular Soviet factory "Northern Lights" (Leningrad). It began to be produced in the 1940s.The perfume was very cheap, and you could buy it literally at every step. But at the same time, the smell turned out to be very successful. Absolutely all Soviet women liked their light, fresh scent with hints of the scent of spring flowers.


Silver Lily of the Valley is considered one of the highest grossing daytime fragrances of the Soviet era. The Northern Lights Factory no longer produces Silver Lily of the Valley, but perfumes with this name exist in the New Zarya line, though they have nothing to do with the former.

The secret of the Riga woman

This fragrance was released much later than the first, only in the 1980s. It was produced at the Latvian plant "Dzintars", which has a very difficult history. Until some time it was not Soviet at all, and only became so in the 70s after numerous reforms.


The products of the factory were especially popular among Soviet women, as they were something “foreign”, which was very attractive. Dzintars spirits were generally equated with French ones. As for the "Secret of Riga", then, as experts say, the aroma was deservedly appreciated. All ingredients were natural. The fragrance was dominated by violet, but there were also notes of rose, white lily of the valley and iris. The "Secret of Riga" was not cheap - 15-17 rubles per bottle, but at the same time it was wildly popular. Spirits are still being produced, and they are still in demand.


Perfume "Shahrazada" is one of the most interesting creations of Soviet perfumers. They were developed at the Alye Parusa plant in Nikolaev. Their aroma was very sweet, smelled of caramel, marmalade and a little bit of Tarhun lemonade.


Although “Scarlet Sails” were very cheap - even schoolgirls could afford them, but in the 70s they were one of the most popular oriental fragrances. Now their production has been discontinued, and you can buy perfumes only in vintage stores.

Red Moscow

And, of course, Krasnaya Moskva. Who has not heard of this perfume? They, along with many other well-known symbols, are the personification of the Soviet era. "Krasnaya Moskva" was the most coveted perfume of all girls of that time. Despite the rather high price, there were whole lines behind them in department stores. It is generally accepted that perfumery, like many other things, in the Soviet Union had to be discreet, chaste and moderately simple. But "Krasnaya Moskva" can hardly be called that. And many believe that the success of this fragrance is precisely in its contradictions. As with all successful products, there are many different rumors circulating around them. And Krasnaya Moskva is no exception in this sense. There are many options for the history of their creation. But since these perfumes were produced at the famous Moscow factory, the head of which was the Frenchman Heinrich Brocard, the version associated with him took root among the people. According to her, since the end of the last century, Henry has been creating perfumes for the Empress Maria Feodorovna herself. And one day he presented her with fragrant wax flowers, which became the prototype of the future fragrance. They say that "The Empress's Favorite Bouquet" appeared in 1913. He was the prototype of "Red Moscow", which began to be produced only in the 1920s, revived the perfume by the chief perfumer of the factory August Michel, giving them a name corresponding to the spirit of that time.


The attitude towards the aroma is still ambiguous. Despite the fact that many criticize him for "excessive straightforwardness and harshness", he was wildly popular both in the USSR and abroad, and was one of the most elite fragrances - it was used by both famous actresses and the wives of party leaders. The cost of "Krasnaya Moskva" was not cheap - 5-7 rubles, but in comparison with imported ones - and not very expensive (people paid a whole salary for French perfumes - 30-40 rubles). By the way, Krasnaya Moskva is still being produced, and some women remain faithful to their favorite scent to this day. Among them is the famous actress Renata Litvinova.

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