One night last week I rewatched The Devil Wears Prada (dir. David Frankel, 2006). It’s been a while. I needed a laugh and I figured I’d enjoy seeing some Manhattan locations that I haven’t been able to visit in over three months.
I also remembered that the movie includes a few cameo appearances by perfumes (which makes sense, for a story that takes place at a glossy fashion-and-beauty magazine). …
The opening sequence of The Devil Wears Prada is a montage of stylish NYC women dressing for work, with a few fleeting glimpses of beauty products included. There’s a bottle of Prada Eau de Parfum on the bathroom counter—easy to spot, due to its plum-colored atomizer bulb.
Robin at Now Smell This reviewed Prada in 2006, noting,
Prada released Prada Eau de Parfum, their first mainstream perfume offering, in 2004. It was developed by Carlos Benaim, Max Gavarry, and Clement Gavarry, and the notes include bergamot, orange, bitter orange, mandarin flower, mimosa, rose absolute, schinus molle, peru balsam, patchouli, raspberry flower, labdanum, tonka bean, vanilla, musk, and sandalwood. Prada won a Fifi award for the fragrance in 2005.
And wait, there it is again, in another woman’s medicine cabinet. In this shot the Prada atomizer bottle overlaps with a bottle of Dior Miss Chérie, another timely choice. Quoth Robin:
Miss Dior Chérie was launched this year  by Christian Dior’s haute couture and womenswear designer, John Galliano, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Christian Dior’s birth. The fragrance was created by nose Christine Nagel and has notes of mandarin, strawberry leaf, violet, jasmine, caramel popcorn, wild strawberry sorbet, musk, and patchouli.
I also see some Oscar Blandi hair products, Dior skincare (?), and a BeneFit Dandelion blush.
Yes, Elvis’s granddaughter modeled for the Miss Dior Chérie ads. And no, the Miss Dior Chérie currently on the market is NOT the same fragrance. This one was discontinued and its name was repurposed. Dior likes to confuse us sometimes.
Stanley Tucci is one of the film’s highlights; he plays Nigel Kipling, art director at the fictional Runway magazine. And hey, look what’s pinned to the wall behind him, above the lightbox: the original Prada fragrance ad (see above).
Gird your loins for product placement!
And here’s one more example that almost slipped past me: as Andy (Anne Hathaway) steps out of the Lexington Avenue subway station at 51st Street, guess what appears above the station entrance? Yes indeed.
I caught one other perfume grabbing screen-time in this film, and it was an odd choice. Meeting some of her non-magazine friends for dinner, Andy doles out swag from her workplace—Clinique gift sets, a Marc Jacobs purse, and a bottle of fragrance that her buddy Doug (Rich Sommer, later a cast member of Mad Men) snaps up.
It’s Aquolina Pink Sugar, a cloying vanilla-musk concoction that was indeed popular in 2005-2006, but it doesn’t really seem like something that Doug would be dying to try. Couldn’t the prop team have found something a little less girly and teen-trend, a little more upscale?
Anyhow, as a palate cleanser, here’s a glimpse of the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis Hotel, where Andy rushes to meet a smarmy journalist guy who’s doing her a favor and certainly not expecting any form of repayment, of course not. I’m not bothering to check his name because this character and his relationship with Andy haven’t aged well.
On the other hand, I’d love to head to the King Cole Bar for a Sidecar right now.
And there’s very brief cameo appearance by The Dandy of New York, Patrick McDonald, appearing as himself (who else?!). Unlike Pink Sugar, he’s a completely logical and desirable grace-note in this film.
Did I miss any perfume cameos in this movie? If you know of any, please give me a shout!