Five Perfumes to Wear for an Eclipse

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On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will be visible from North America. I’m hoping to step outside to watch the moon pass the sun for a few minutes, even if I’m only getting a partial view in New York City. I just need to make a pinhole viewer out of a cereal box first!

Important consideration, though: what fragrance to wear for this once-in-lifetime occurrence? Here are five suggestions…

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The Art of Perfume Ads: Helena Rubinstein Emotion (1965)

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In late 2014, I visited the Jewish Museum to see an exhibition on the life, career, and art collection of cosmetics mogul Helena Rubinstein. The show included materials related to the perfumes released by her brand, which was especially interesting for me. I was particularly curious about the ads for the fragrance Emotion, launched by Helena Rubinstein in 1960.

This ad, which dates to 1965, shows a stylish couple posed against a background of wavy black and white lines that resembles the patterning of a particularly mod zebra. The man is kissing the woman’s hand, or perhaps inhaling her perfume.

The backdrop is really the point, though—we can find an embracing couple in perfume ads from every decade of the past century, but that bold (even overpowering) design places this image squarely in the middle of the 1960s and nowhere else…

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Perfume and Art: Audrey Flack, “Jolie Madame” (1973)

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I’ve never had a chance to do any “official” research on Audrey Flack’s work, but I’ve been a fan of her photorealist still-life paintings for a long time. Here’s one titled Jolie Madame, dated 1973. (It belongs to the National Gallery of Australia.)

Flack (b. 1931) is known for her contemporary reinterpretations of vanitas images—still-life compositions that symbolically evoke mortality and the “vanity” of earthly pleasures…

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O Pioneers? A Reaction to Allure’s Recent Perfume Coverage

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First things first: I’ve been reading Allure magazine since the 1990s. And I’m always happy to see in-depth coverage of perfumery in a mainstream magazine.

However.

When I noticed a feature article titled “The New Fragrance Frontier” by contributor Liana Schaffner in the July issue of Allure, I settled down with anticipation to read it. In keeping with the issue’s “American Beauty” theme, it was a discussion of independent perfumers who create offbeat blends inspired by the American landscape.

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