La cage aux folles (1978)

lacageauxfolles_bornunicornAlbin Mougeotte (Michel Serrault) is getting ready to become his drag queen self, Zaza Napoli. The dressing table is super-busy: I’d love to identify everything on it, but I’ve come up with a couple of perfumes only.


Y-perfume-ysl_bornunicornThe first sits on the left: it’s Y, one of the first perfumes by Yves Saint Laurent. Created by Jean Amic and launched in 1964, it’s a chypre fruity fragrance opening up with a triumph of aldehydes, honeysuckle, gardenia and peach. It was advertised as the “invisible dress by Yves Saint Laurent”, made “especially for his devilishly aware clientele”. I wonder if Albin was among them.

The second sits on the right: it’s the unmistakable flacon montre of Guerlain colognes. It has the gold screw-cap stopper, which is accurate, since the film was directed in 1978. The central disk on the label is purple, so it’s Jicky.

guerlain_jickycologne_bornunicornIt’s one of the historical scents by Guerlain, created in 1889: according to Fragrantica, it was one of the first perfumes created with addition of synthetic materials. The top notes include rosemary and citrus (lemon, bergamot and mandarin orange); the middle notes include tonka bean, lavender, orris root, basil and jasmine, balanced by the warm base notes of spices, leather, sandalwood, benzoin, amber, Brazilian rosewood and vanilla. This sounds just perfect for Albin’s flamboyant personality.

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