All posts by Born Unicorn

Pedantic archivist of beauty products in films and tv shows

Suburra S01E04 (Buon Appetito) and S01E05 (La lupa)

Spadino (Giacomo Ferrara) is a young member of a Sinti family which controls part of the illegal activities in Rome. Even if he’s homosexual (his mother knows but she’s not supportive), there’s an arranged wedding for him: he’s to marry Angelica, from another Sinti family.

His brother Manfredi (Adamo Dionisi) forces him to spend some time with his fiancé and he reluctantly accepts.

His bedroom is very flashy – arabesque wallpaper, animalier bed cover, a Thug Life poster, gold and purple furniture and a LED screen above the bed. The objects on his dresser, though, reveal a very different side of him.

There’s a brown box with yellow lettering from the Collezione Barbiere by Acqua di Parma. Such a choice contrasts with the image this character has created for himself.

But the real shock comes from the factice bottle with wicker decoration sitting on the same purple dresser.

This bottle is shown in another episode, just before the wedding ceremony. Spadino’s mother, Adelaide (Paola Sotgiu), is giving him a very important heirloom as gift – his late father’s switchblade.

I have no idea how a Revillon splash bottle ended up on that dresser, but I think it’s incredibly exciting. Unfortunately, the back of the bottle is shown, so I don’t know if the one in the TV show contains Detchema or Carnet de Bal (the wicker bottle was used for both).

Now the question is: is this a totally casual prop or was it specifically chosen for Spadino? Is he a lover of vintage perfumes? I hope I’ll see more in the second season (I’ve almost finished watching the first one).

Night Bloom (2020)

Night Bloom [1] is the latest creature of the talented filmmaker and actress Coco Baudelle, a short film that has been selected by several festivals around the world, including the 2020 Venice Shorts. In a bit more than 5 minutes, we are taken into a dreamy world of white roses drenched in rain, echoes from Jennifer’s Body by Karyn Kusama, satin ribbons and a seemingly endless sleep, all accented by wonderful piano scores. Lucky for us, some scenes feature beauty products, which I’ve listed as follows.

The tall bottle with black cap on the right side of the shot is Chanel Hydra Beauty essence mist.

The plastic bottle with pink cap in the beauty case is Glossier Milky Oil make-up remover.

From the left to the right: the jar contains Aquaphor healing ointment

The Chanel white tube is Hydra Beauty mask

The tall pink bottle is Glossier exfoliating solution

The white brush with nylon tufts is by Mason Pearson

The lipstick in the floral case behind the nail polish bottle is by Gucci

Last, there’s Chanel Joues Contraste blush.

The nail polish seen in the previous shot is Chanel Le Vernis velvet nail colour in Ultime.

[1] You can watch Night Bloom on Instagram.

This Is Us S01E12 (The Big Day)

Several bottles of perfume can be seen on a tray. Most of them are decorative, but one is real: it’s California perfume by Avon.

This is the 1976 Anniversary Keepsake edition, the front sticker decorated with a beautiful floral design and a Gibson girl. The perfume was originally produced in 1905 by California Perfume Company [1] with the name California Bouquet.

[1] The company would change its name to Avon Products Inc. in 1939.

Thanks to my friend Maurizio for the id and screencaps.

The Boys in the Band (2020) and Van Halen’s Poundcake Music Video (1991): A Mystery Solved!

When Donald (Matt Bomer) arrives at Michael’s, he takes his shirt off and throws himself on the friend’s bed. There’s a bottle on the shelf behind the bed and believe me when I say that I’ve spent most of my waking hours (since I watched the film) trying to identify it.

Things took a weird turn a couple of nights ago, when the same bottle popped up in a music video I used to love as a teenager – Poundcake by none other than Van Halen! The 1991 video, directed by Andy Morahan, famously shows Eddie Van Halen using the power drill technique in the introduction and in the solo. But it also features girls showing up for an audition, and that’s where the mysterious bottle appears.

I had just decided to abandon the Boys in the Band bottle to its sad destiny, when the Van Halen showed me the way. I had to identify it! I turned to the place where I know I can always find an answer – the Fragrantica forum – and an answer is what I got. A surprising one.

My mistake? Thinking that bottle was a perfume. Now I know it’s Richard Hudnut Three Flowers/Tres Flores brilliantine, housed in this beautiful glass bottle with aqua green conical stopper.

There’s more: it appears in its original form in the Van Halen video, but it has a different label in the Joe Mantello film and that was the ultimate trap. After much pondering, I’ve realised it’s the same bottle: they just changed the front sticker for the film, probably to make it look like a perfume.

Thanks to c_donna and all the lovely ladies at Fragrantica who helped me solve the mystery.

La voz humana (2020)

The Woman (Tilda Swinton) is applying mascara in front of a round mirror. The bathroom she’s in is tiled in different colours and is full of beauty products and toiletries.

Starting from the left red-tiled niche, I’ve identified:

Rochas Eau de Rochas bath and shower gel

Chanel La Crème Main hand cream

Perlier Honey Miel bath and shower cream and Thai Coco body lotion

Chanel Paris-Biarritz shower gel

Moving right, there’s the blue-tiled niche, where there are two hair products:

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Touchably Full conditioner

L’Oreal Extraordinary Oil oil-in-milk leave-in hair cream

Now there’s the washbasin counter, packed with bottles of medicines.

The first perfume bottle I’ve spotted is Hermès Eau de Citron Noir cologne.

Then there’s obviously the Chanel No. 5 factice.

Next, three products by Natura Bissé from the C+C Vitamin line – face cream on the far left, sun protection at the top left corner of the washbasin and micellar cleansing water next to the tap.

There’s also a bottle of Chanel Les Beiges foundation among the medicine bottles.

All the right part of the counter is for Chanel make-up items. So we can see

Joues Contraste powder blush

Rouge Allure red lipstick

A cream blush

Poudre Universelle Libre loose powder

Les 4 Ombres eyeshadow palette in Tissé Camélia

Palette Essentiel in Beige Clair

Les Beiges compact powder

Le Lift Lèvres et Contours firming cream.

Last, two toothpastes in a silver glass

One is Marvis Classic Strong Mint toothpaste.

The other is Verkos Kemphor toothpaste.