I filed away this Caron advertisement from 1940 a while ago, not just because I liked it, but because I had a feeling that its imagery was borrowed from some earlier work of art. Yesterday, in a completely unrelated search, I came across the source…
Maybe I’m just in a nostalgic mood these days—then again, when am I NOT in a nostalgic mood? A few weeks ago I wrote a short post about Brideshead Revisited and its wine-tasting scene. Now I’m thinking about the film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Evil Under the Sun.
Christie’s murdery-mystery novel Evil Under the Sun was published in 1941 and this film was released in 1981. It was directed by Guy Hamilton, with a screenplay by Anthony Shaffer, who also wrote two other Christie screen adaptations, Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and Death on the Nile (1978). Peter Ustinov played Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective who (as always) cracks the case.
Here’s a Coty advertisement from 1949, featuring an array of gift sets and special holiday editions of classic fragrances like Chypre, Emeraude, and Muguet de Bois. I wish I could step back in time and pick up some L’Origan, maybe even in the “Cinderella slipper” packaging…
Wishing you luck with any shopping you may be doing today!
Flipping through the Sunday New York Times, I came across a short profile of Marie-Lise Jonak and Baptiste Bouygues, the mother-and-son team behind the new perfume brand Ormaie. The full article is available online, as “Brand to Know: A Line of All-Natural Perfumes, Made by a Mother and Son.”
For me, the packaging is the most interesting aspect of Ormaie’s story—see the photo above! The bottles and labels are classic French elegance, while the beechwood tops are fun nods to the work of Ettore Sottsass and other postmodern designers.
However, the Times (especially in the print version) focused on topic of all-natural perfumery…
Time for a mid-month check-in!
Reading: Just about to finish Kurban Said’s Ali and Nino, from a recent Boxwalla “book box.”
Audio: I’m hooked on Slicing Up Eyeballs’ 1980s playlists on Spotify. The “100 Best of Songs of 1980” may be my favorite one.
Art: Jewelry: The Body Transformed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
I came across this delightful piece of printed ephemera on the New York Public Library website. It was produced by the French lithography firm of Lithographie F. Appel and it probably dates to the 1880s. It’s a trade card from a series promoting the shops and businesses of the city of Saint-Denis, just north of Paris. In this image, a perfume bottle is transforming into a woman, or vice versa—we’ve all been there, haven’t we?—while surrounded by other toiletries, a powder puff, and an artist’s palette. It’s a nonsensical image, like some kind of “Alice Through the Belle Epoque Looking-Glass,” and I love it.
Image: The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. c1876-1890. Scrapbooks of colored advertising cards in English and French: volume 3.