Brodeuses (2004)

Mme. Mélikian owns interesting beauty products.

First, a lovely flacon rayonnant of Guerlain Vol de Nuit, created by Jacques Guerlain and launched in 1933.

Second, a gold tube of Christian Dior Diorific lipstick. This packaging has been sadly discontinued.

She also owns two flacons abeilles of Guerlain Eau de Cologne Impériale, famously created by Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain in 1853 to treat the migraines of Empress Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III.

Thanks to Alessandra for submitting this post.

American Horror Story S10E01 (Cape Fear)

Sarah (Frances Conroy) wants Mickey (Macaulay Culkin) to sleep over and she tries to convince him by listing the perks of her house.

There’s heat (a pretty basic feature) and the scent of Rigaud candles, which is definitely a luxurious touch. Produced by the French perfume house founded in 1852, these candles conjure an atmosphere of decadent wealth, perfectly in tune with the personality of the writer.

Even if we don’t actually see any candle on screen, I imagine Sarah burning Reine de la Nuit, with top notes of gardenia and freesia, middle notes of jasmine, rose and coriander, and a base note of patchouli.

Madres paralelas (2021)

There are two glass shelves in Janis’ bathroom, and both of them are packed with beauty products. It’s interesting to see how most of these products somehow have a personal value for Penélope Cruz, who stars as one of the protagonists.

On the first shelf on the left, for example, there’s a bottle Chanel No. 5. This shouldn’t surprise, since the collaboration between Pedro Almodóvar and the French brand has been well documented since the late 1980s. Moreover, Penélope Cruz has been a Chanel ambassador since 2018.

Another brand which feels personal to Cruz is Charlotte Tilbury, created by the famous British make-up artist who has often worked with Penélope and has named one of her famous lipsticks after her.

On the same shelf there are two Lancôme products – Rénergie Multi-Lift Ultra anti-wrinkle cream in the purple jar and Génifique youth-activating cream in the grey jar. Again, this is personal: Penélope Cruz has been a testimonial for the brand since 2010.

On the second shelf we can see a bottle of Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless liquid foundation.

There are also two products by the Spanish brand Natura BisséC+C Vitamin scrub and C+C Vitamin SPF 30 dry oil.

Next, there’s a travel-size bottle of Lancôme Tonique Confort hydrating toner.

The compact is Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish powder.

The small pot with copper lid is another Charlotte Tilbury product, the sparkle cream eyeshadow Charlotte’s Jewel Pot.

Last but not least, two bottles of Lancôme Advanced Génefique youth-activating concentrate.

Cruel Summer S01E02 (A Smashing Good Time)

When Kate (Olivia Holt) and Jamie (Froy Gutierrez) reunite, he finds her in her bathroom, wearing her favourite sweater and taking a bath.

The pink bottle behind Kate is Skintimate Skin Therapy dry-skin shaving gel.

One of the bottles behind Jamie is White Rain extra-body hair conditioner.

Thanks to my friend Jennifer for the ids.

Cruel Summer S01E02 (A Smashing Good Time)

In the opening scene of the episode, set in 1993, Kate (Olivia Holt) is sitting at her dressing table: she’s getting ready to hit the gym and is putting on some lipgloss. In front of her there’s a classic drugstore beauty product and an unexpected perfume.

The classic is a jar of Pond’s dry skin cream.

The unexpected bottle is Karl Lagerfeld Sun Moon Stars, an amber floral fragrance by Sofia Grojsman launched in 1994. There’s a chronological problem here, because the perfume was launched one year after the events narrated in this section of the episode.

It’s an all-around unusual choice: Kate, the most popular girl in town, wearing a perfume that isn’t exactly mainstream (=recognizable) could be interpreted in different ways. For example, even if she’s popular, she’s not like all the other girls: she’s rich, so she can afford a niche-y French perfume.

The episode moves to 1994: Kate is sitting at her dressing table again and the blue bottle is still there, along with a pink-cap bottle.

This is a fragrance which deeply contrasts the presence of the Lagerfeld perfume because it’s an American drugstore classic – Dana Love’s Baby Soft, created by Ron Winnegrad and launched in 1974. These contrasting choices could indicate an eclectic taste or the desire to experiment with different products.

Cruel Summer S01E01 (Happy Birthday, Jeanette Turner)

It would be interesting to know how a flacon montre of Guerlain Shalimar eau de cologne ended up on the dressing table of Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia), a nerdy girl who dreams of becoming popular.

The TV show is set in 1993/1995, years in which the classic Guerlain fragrance was not exactly on the wishlist of American teenage girls. Did the prop masters choose it for purely aesthetic reasons? I wouldn’t blame them, but it still feels weird. The flacon montre shown here is the original version with ground glass stopper, dating back to 1936. It’s a vintage piece which Jeanette maybe bought at a flea market: if this were the reason behind it, it would totally make sense. Too bad the bottle is not given a backstory in the show.

Thanks to Alessandra for submitting this post.

A growing archive of beauty products and perfumes in movies and tv shows