I Capture the Castle (2003)

icapturethecastle_bornunicorn (6)

icapturethecastle_bornunicorn (8)When Cassandra (Romola Garai) and Rose Mortmain (Rose Byrne) visit a luxury department store in London, the smell that impresses them the most is a bluebell perfume spritzed by a sales assistant. Rose establishes a connection between that smell and heaven, emphasized by the unusually posh place they’re at.

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icapturethecastle_bornunicorn (1)Later in the film, Cassandra and Stephen Colley (Henry Cavill) have the same conversation; it’s Cassandra who utters the “I can smell heaven” previously said by her sister. In this case, they’re not referring to the perfume, but to real bluebells.

icapturethecastle_bornunicorn (2)Rose writes a letter to Cassandra, describing the preparations for her upcoming wedding to Simon Cotton. She speaks of her visit to the same luxury store she went to with her sister some time before: the place, she explains, has the same exact smell, “heaven and bluebells”.

icapturethecastle_bornunicorn (3)Cassandra is over the moon when Rose gives her the bluebell perfume as a birthday present. This is a fictional perfume, but the label and the box remind me of Penhaligon’s Bluebell, an intoxicating perfume created by Michael Pickthall and launched in 1985.

penhaligonsbluebell_bornunicornLady D and Kate Moss were/are among the fans of this floral green fragrance, a triumph of hyacinth, made peculiar by earthy tones of cloves and cinnamon.

9 thoughts on “I Capture the Castle (2003)”

  1. Hello! I’m rereading the novel just now, as I do most summers. I became curious about the perfume and went exploring, then found your page. In the novel, the perfume is called “Midsummer’s Eve” and sadly, it appears that it was either entirely fictional or else a real scent that was so short-lived that it’s since vanished entirely. I suspect they made it “Bluebells” for the film to make a more explicit connection with the real bluebells in the film. A shame, since that means no ICTC fans can ever get their hands on that beautiful blue bottle!

    Your page is lovely and it was a very happy coincidence that brought me here.

    1. Hi! Thank you for your lovely comment. Oh, Midsummer’s Eve is definitely a fictional perfume, and that’s a pity, because it would be a great name for a fragrance. I agree: in the film they chose Bluebells perfume as a connection with the real flowers, and that’s a pity again, because it’s another fictional perfume (the Penhaligon’s one came later). Too bad for the novel fans 😞

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