As we bid farewell to American actor Burt Reynolds (1936-2018), let’s look back to his ads for Elizabeth Taylor’s perfume White Diamonds…and some of his other scent-related moments.
White Diamonds was released in 1991 and was a best-selling celebrity fragrance long before every pop star and her sister jumped on the celeb-scent bandwagon. Taylor and Reynolds had already been friends for a long time (he reportedly advised her on negotiating her $1 million salary for Cleopatra), and he was featured in television and print ads for White Diamonds in 1998. Kenny Rogers also did the honors in his own set of White Diamonds ads.
(These appearances obviously pre-dated Brad Pitt’s bizarre 2012 campaign for Chanel no. 5, which was hailed as a groundbreaking move—a male star as the face of a top-selling feminine fragrance. Apparently we’d already forgotten about the Men of White Diamonds.)
So here’s Burt:
“There’s nothing like the fragrance of a woman. Especially if that’s all she’s wearing. I never forget a woman in diamonds.”
“A woman’s prerogative? To change her mind. A man’s prerogative: to change it back.”
And what was Reynolds’s favorite cologne for himself?
Reynolds supposedly wore English Leather in the 1980s—to bed, with nothing else—and that seems like a perfect fit for him. (1)
And did you know: Reynolds a licensed men’s fragrance named B.R.,through his own mail-order lifestyle catalogue in 1983. (Other Burt Reynolds-branded merchandise included men’s silk pajamas, belts, VHS cassettes of his favorite films, and skincare products.)
He said that B.R. was inspired by the scents of his Southern upbringing: “We finally captured it—a little jasmine, a grove of citrus.” It was packaged in a sapphire-blue bottle. (2)
I haven’t been able to find any photos of B.R. or the catalogue online, but isn’t it fun to imagine?
1.Leslie D. Weinberg, “Celebrities Bare Their Souls—and Toss Out Their Pajamas,” Palm Beach Post, April 11, 1983, p. 14.
2. Shirley Eder, “Burt Reynolds Catalogues His Gift Ideas,” Detroit Free Press, October 13, 1983, p. 51. Cheryl Blackerby, “Burt Puts His Dreams Up for Sale.” Palm Beach Post, December 16, 1983, p. 45.