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.

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