Vanities: Debi Mazar

PAPER Magazine, January 1997 issue.

I recently heard Debi Mazar being interviewed on WNYC’s “All Of It” (you can listen here!) and I started thinking about my longtime style-crush on her. I’m not sure exactly when I first became aware of Mazar’s work as an actor, makeup artist, and girl-about-town, but I do remember buying this issue of PAPER and feeling that her presence on the front cover was a bonus.

(I wish I could go back and leaf through that entire issue, which was PAPER’s annual guide to NYC, but I’d probably get too depressed and cranky. Just as well.)

Gai Mattiolo perfumes, 1997 ad with Debi Mazar

Did I ever see this ad for Gai Mattiolo perfumes, which would have run around the same time? I’m not sure. It looks vaguely familiar but I think that’s just because I’ve come across it more recently, plus it’s a bit Mugler-ish and/or Moschino-ish in style.

Some very stylish celebrities don’t necessarily have an interest in fragrance; others do. Debi Mazar turns out to be one of the latter. Her taste in perfume is consistent with her tastes in beauty products, home decor, and fashion: vintage-y, downtown-based, a mix of high and low.

Into the Gloss visits Debi Mazar’s apartment

Into the Gloss interviewed Debi Mazar about her favorite beauty products in 2014 and published photos of her bathroom and bedroom, revealing some fun finds there. Mazar loves Dr. Hauschka body oils and bath oils (especially in Lavender) and at the time she owned several products from the Italian brand Borotalco.

Here’s Borotalco scented talcum powder, just barely visible in that photo. (Mazar owned the matching shower gel, too.) In another shot from this article, a big bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap in Eucalyptus is also visible. (I love Dr. Bronner’s, too, although I lean towards Rose or Almond. It’s a great multi-purpose product.)

In her interview with Into the Gloss, Mazar said that she likes to use scented soap to hand-wash her lingerie. Myrurgia Maja soap is one of her favorites. She mentions how glamorous yet inexpensive it is, and she’s right (but wouldn’t you pay more just for that packaging if you had to?).

Carpe Diem

There’s also this intriguing photo with a Diptyque Ambre candle and a small pewter box reading CARPE DIEM. What does it contain?! Hairpins? Earrings? Pills? (I found it online, here.)

SMN and HIS

Last but certainly not least, we can spot a large Santa Maria Novella candle in a terracotta vessel. In other interviews, Mazar has mentioned favorite SMN products like the body lotion in SMN’s signature Melograno (pomegranate) fragrance and their elegantly bottled orange blossom water, which she likes to spritz onto her sheets at bedtime.

That maroon-and-white figural container next to the candle is a real vintage prize. It originally held (or still does?) HIS Northwoods cologne from the Chicago-based company House for Men…from the 1940s-1950s.

A partial inventory of her vanity

More recently, Mazar shared a photo of her dressing table on Instagram when she was recovering from Covid-19 in 2020. She was thanking Eric Buterbaugh for sending her three perfumes from his line: Violet, Jasmine, and Dahlia. (I’m not really familiar with Buterbaugh’s fragrances, other than sniffing them in Saks at one point, but this line got such widespread press when it was released.)

In a very generous gesture towards curious Instagrammers (like me), Mazar named some of the other perfumes in that shot: Chanel No. 5, Molinard Habanita, Guerlain Shalimar, Byredo Gypsy Water, Santa Maria Novella Acqua di Cuba, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Sanguine Muskissime. It’s a mix of classic, niche, and heritage; really nicely edited.

I’m also spotting a Serge Lutens bottle there and wondering which one it might be. La Fille de Berlin? Ambre Sultan? and there are three Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier bottles, so I’m wondering what the other two are, if they’re not all Sanguine Muskissime.

The two clear rectangular bottles with the circular caps had me stumped for a while, and for good reason: it turns out this brand isn’t sold in the United States so I’ve never seen it in person or on any of the websites I typically browse. It’s an Italian company named Farmacia dei Cinghiale. The purple label for Violetta can be identified in the dressing-table photo; here’s the perfume with its box, from the company’s website.

Cool downtown girls unite

A little later in her Covid recovery, Mazar posted another photo of her vanity. Yes, there’s the Ambra from Faramacia dei Cinghiale! She was sharing this shot to thank Chloe Sevigny for sending a bottle of Regime des Fleurs Little Flower. (I reviewed it for NST a while back, if you want to know more.)

I’m still trying to decipher the swirly purple bottle at the left and the black one with the clear cap at the right. Let me know if you have any ideas!

I know this feeling…

Debi Mazar’s preferences in perfume seem so personal and so well-defined that I can only imagine what she was thinking when she attended the Fragrance Foundation awards in 2017. This photo of her holding a factice of a Caroline Herrera perfume bottle is worth the proverbial thousand words. (Is there anything on that tray she’d actually wear? Maybe? Doubtful, though.)

Mazar mentioned on “All of It” that she recently moved to Italy, so I have a feeling I won’t be spotting her around NYC anytime soon. I wonder how her new dressing table set-up looks. In any case, my crush on her style has only increased. I think we even share some similar tastes in scent. Do you have any overlaps with Mazar’s perfume collection? Let us know!

One comment

  1. My overlaps with Debi are Chanel No. 5 (I’m guessing a lot of us overlap on that one!) and her general love of anything rose, iris, orange blossom, or violet.

    It’s always a welcome surprise when celebrities turn out to be true fragrance lovers and not just well-paid spokesmodels. On a non-fragrance note, I used to watch Debi and her husband Gabriele’s show Extra Virgin on the Cooking Channel, and they both seemed very genuine and like people I’d enjoy spending some time with.

    Like

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