All posts by Born Unicorn

Pedantic archivist of beauty products in films and tv shows

Scarface (1983)

When it comes to identifying beauty products on screen, one of the most challenging scenes ever is from the seminal film by Brian De Palma and features Elvira (Michelle Pfeiffer), the glamourous trophy wife of the protagonist. Over the years I have tried many times to give a name to the products on her vanity, with no real results. The screenshot above is from the famous Jacuzzi scene set in the Montanas’ baroque bathroom [1]: Elvira is doing her manicure while snorting cocaine.

In the set photo above we can see there are two bottles of nail polish in front of her. Both are easy to identify.

The pale pink nail polish is by Lancôme, and dates back to the late 1970s.

The pale champagne bottle is unmistakable: it’s Chanel Le Vernis nail colour, which in the 1980s had the same squared packaging with shiny black stopper it has today.

[1] In 2020 I wrote about the same scene by identifying the perfumes sitting by the Jacuzzi.

I have lost count of the people who have submitted this picture to my attention, so sorry if I can’t credit everybody. Among them there are certainly my friend Rocco and LadiesofthePast.

Topāzu (1992)

There are three interesting products on Ai’s table.

The first from the left is Yves Saint Laurent Paris, the floral powdery fragrance created by Sophia Grojsman and launched in 1983.

The glass bottle with white stopper is Clarins Huile Anti-Eau body treatment oil.

Last, a bottle of Chanel liquid foundation, possibly Teint Naturel.

Thanks to Alessandra for submitting this post.

Windfall (2022)

There’s a lovely selection of Chanel perfumes, skincare and make-up on the Wife’s dressing table.

First on the left, an elegant jar of frosted glass with glossy black and gold cap containing the No. 5 body lotion.

Next, No. 5 eau de toilette in the tall bottle with black stopper. Not sure if this is a vintage splash bottle, the modern spray bottle or the spray refill for the atomiser.

There’s also a bottle of Hydra Beauty lotion.

The only item of make-up is Les Beiges Teint Belle Mine Naturelle healthy-glow foundation.

Last on the far right, a classic spray bottle of No. 5 eau de parfum.

Thanks to Jessica for first posting this on her Instagram account and for allowing me to share it.

Blow-Up (1966)

There are several bottles on the bathroom shelf in Thomas’ studio.

The dark green bottle on the far left is the atomiser of Rochas Moustache eau de cologne. This fougère fragrance, created by Edmond Roudnitska, was launched in 1949.

Behind Moustache there’s a tall bottle with red stopper: it’s Eau de Quinine hair tonic by Pinaud.

The most intriguing bottle sits on the far right side of the shelf: it’s the one made of frosted glass and with gold stopper.

It’s Lenthéric Onyx cologne, launched in 1964 and now discontinued.

The Virgin Suicides (1999)

This film has haunted the imagination of cinephiles since its release, thanks to its eerie atmosphere, suspended in the symbolical middle earth of adolescence and tainted by death.

Some of the scenes set in the bedroom of the Lisbon sisters have often piqued the interest of beauty lovers too, fascinated by the many beauty products and perfume bottles featured in them. During all these years I tried to identify some of the bottles from the screencap above, but always failed. Until today.

The bottle on the far left definitely looks like Dana Heaven Sent, created by Loc Dong and launched in 2001. But there’s a problem here, since the film was released two years earlier.

But there’s an explanation! This perfume was originally launched by Helena Rubinstein in 1941, so I believe Sofia Coppola’s prop masters chose a vintage perfume for the shot above. After all, you can see the original and the re-launched fragrances basically have the same bottle.

But there’s more: the spray bottle next to Heaven Sent is Jōvan Musk cologne, first launched in 1972.

Thanks to the invaluable help of Peter (a reader of this blog) for the ids.

Tre piani (2021)

Dora (Margherita Buy) helps Monica (Alba Rohrwacher) give a bath to her newborn baby. There are several interesting products in the room.

First, the unexpected presence of Hermès Concentré d’Orange Verte on the wall shelf. This citrus unisex fragrance was created by Jean Guichard and launched in 2004.

The white bottle on the bath-tub shelf is an Italian baby-care product, BabyGella body wash.

The red bottle with white stopper on the glass wall shelf is Clarins Eau Dynamisante, created by Jacques Courtin-Clarins and launched in 1987.

The green bottle is the iconic Roberts Borotalco talcum powder.

The bottle with white round stopper is Chicco Acqua di Colonia, an eau de cologne for children.

Tre piani (2021)

Dora (Margherita Buy) is taking a bath in Luigi’s bathroom. The three bottles behind her are Italian drugstore products.

The transparent bottles are both by Omia Laboratoires: one is the aloe vera body wash, the other is the tea tree oil shampoo.

The blue bottle is the Blue Iris foam bath by Perlier.