Los abrazos rotos (2009)

Lena (Penélope Cruz) is a broken woman: trapped in an unhappy marriage, she desperately longs for freedom and real love. She lives in a luscious house, she’s always dressed elegantly, she’s surrounded by expensive objects, but all this rarely gives her joy.

Perfumes and beauty products follow her in many scenes, as if they were heavy trappings of a fake identity. The triangle-shaped bottle of Lancôme Trésor body lotion makes its appearance for the third time, so now I guess it’s safe to say that this is her signature scent. It’s an unusual choice, because I would see Lena wearing something more peculiar, with more personality, so I guess this is another way to force her into a role she doesn’t feel comfortable with.

In her bathroom there is also Givenchy Ysatis, a floral chypre fragrance created by Dominique Ropion in 1984.

Last, there’s L’Occitane Eau d’Iparie, an oriental woody fragrance launched in 2005.

Pieces of a Woman (2020)

Martha (Vanessa Kirby) goes shopping at a department store. The lip colour she wears is Maybelline Superstay Ink crayon lipstick in Settle for More. The brand sticker has been removed.

In the same display there are other Maybelline make-up items – Fit Me! Matte + Poreless foundations and Fit Me! concealers.

Été 85 (2020)

David (Benjamin Voisin) and Alex (Félix Lefebvre) are recovering after being attacked by bullies at a local fun fair. They’re cleaning themselves up in David’s bathroom.

The first bottle I can see on the left side of the bathroom shelf is Boucheron Pour Homme eau de toilette. I don’t think David wears it, so it’s likely to be something his late father used to wear.

There’s another perfume bottle, and this definitely belongs to David’s mother, the outgoing Mrs. Gorman. It’s Fabergé Babe, a floral fragrance launched in 1977 and famously advertised by Margaux Hemingway.

In the screencap above there’s also a tube of Colgate toothpaste.

On the shelf there’s also a bottle of Pétrole Hahn Vert hair lotion and a box of Nivea Creme.

Conte d’hiver (1992)

Félicie works as a hairdresser. One of her clients is reading a magazine while having her hair washed. The back cover of the magazine features an advert that will surely send a thrill of excitement down your spine: the ubiquitous Guerlain Samsara!

The nose who created one of the greatest Oriental fragrances was Jean-Paul Guerlain. Launched in 1989, it was housed in a beautiful pagoda-like red bottle with gold accents.

Parenti serpenti (1992)

If you asked me what is the ultimate Christmas Italian film, I would surely choose this one. Despite being a brutal depiction of the petty intrigues and toxic relations among the members of the same family, it’s a comedy, so the line between laugh and darkness is very very thin.

I’ve watched it many times, but I’ve never noticed an intriguing detail in Milena’s bedroom: the iconic silver, black and turquoise metal bottle of Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche on her vanity. Milena, as most of her relatives, masters the art of simulating and pretending, and rarely shows her real self. Using a very trendy perfume is in tune with the character, who wants to appear different from what she really is.

Thanks to my friend Rocco for the id.

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