Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a season of scented delights!
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…
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!
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.
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.)
For those of you returning to school this week (as student or as teacher) or for any of you embarking on a new research or writing project this fall—here’s a magazine advertisement for Revlon’s Intimate. This perfume was released in 1955 but the ad seems to date to the early-1960s.
Wishing you luck as you hit the books this fall!
Are you doing any Christmas shopping this week? Have you trimmed the tree? We’re keeping things relatively simple this year, but I’m enjoying the preparations.
In the spirit of opened gifts and fulfilled wishes, here is a Christmas advertisement for Bourjois Evening in Paris, dated 1961. The “dreams come true” in this ad are assorted Evening in Paris gift sets. (I own a vintage bottle of Evening in Paris, mostly likely dating to the 1960s, and I love it…)