U.S. Sailors and Marines from the USS Iowa on shore leave shop for perfume in Bermuda, circa 1943. (Photo by Ivan Dmitri/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
I’m still distressed by the news that Henri Bendel will be shut down in January 2019 by its owner, L Brands, due to low profits. Last week I took a look back at The Gilded Cage, Henri Bendel’s shop-within-a-shop for perfumes and cosmetics. Today I’ll share five memories of Bendel from my own scented timeline.
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!
My husband and I recently went to see the new documentary McQueen. I’ve been an admirer of Alexander McQueen’s work for a long time—even before his death in 2010. In 2011 I was a frequent visitor to “Savage Beauty,” the retrospective exhibition of Alexander McQueen’s designs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and I’m still haunted by McQueen’s artistry and the magical way it was showcased there…
I’ve just added a lecture to my schedule… I’ll be speaking about classic perfumes on July 19, as part of the “Hamilton Lectures” series in Manhattan.
For information and tickets ($40 each) to this “show & smell,” visit the Hamilton Lectures website.
Hope to see a few of you there!
This week, the exhibition “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As an art historian and a fashion fan (not to mention, a Catholic!) I can’t help but anticipate this event. The preview images are sumptuous, to say the least.
And, as usual, I can’t help making a few perfume connections. Here’s a list of fragrances that would work well as olfactory companions for a Catholic-themed outing to “Heavenly Bodies.” I’ve paired some of them with garments in the show and my own selection of other works from Met’s vast collections.
I’m teaching a class at the Brooklyn Brainery on Thursday, April 12 (6:30 pm). It’s called “Sensual Scents and Aromas” and it will be a multi-sensory lecture (fragrance! art! tea pairings!). For information and registration, please visit the Brainery website. Hope to see some of you there!
Image: Detail of John William Godward, The New Perfume (1914). Private collection.