The smell of Amyl Nitrate immediately triggered fun memories of gay nightclubs in Sydney in the 70s —Patches and Capricios—drag show on a Sunday night upstairs on Oxford st. 17 Years old. A girl from the suburbs.

Reflecting on the emerging gay culture and comparing it to now, and how Oxford St was a meeting place for the gay tribes where they could express themselves with gestures performing their different cultural identities—safe to do so when amongst themselves.

The music of dance culture celebrated strong female divas, connecting to black women’s struggle, feminism with lots of showgirl flair, dancing to the beat—early techno/electronic music.

St Mortiz cigarettes and bubbly defined this aspirational class; Yves St Laurent sunglasses, Christian Dior, very particular colognes from fashionable labels at the time. This more sophisticated lounge look and loud clothing mixed with the Hollywood 50s and 60s glamour, accessorised with cat eye sunglasses.

Their home interiors often featured Leopard skin fabric, silk bedding, overlooking either The Beat on Oxford St or more upmarket areas such as Lavender Bay and Watson’s Bay.


Amyl Nitrate, Prominent distinctive cologne popular with gay men in the inner city during the 70s (possible Dior or Yves St Laurent) St Moritz (menthol cigarettes), Sparkling sweet effervescence.