Category Archives: perfumes in movies

Day Out of Days (2015)

The opening scene shows some of the beauty products used by the protagonist, the actress Mia Roarke.

From the left we can see a jar of Cetaphil moisturizing cream.

There’s a bottle of MCMC Noble fragrance, created by Anne McClain and launched in 2009.

Next, there’s Hamadi Organics shea leave-in moisturizing styling cream.

Next, a peachy pink blush by MAC.

Last, the small toppled-over bottle contains Mario Badescu drying lotion.

Thanks to my friend Jennifer for the screencaps and ids.

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

While perfume lovers and professionals still believe the urban legend according to which a bottle of Caron Narcisse Noir appears on Norma Desmond’s vanity (it doesn’t), no one has ever taken the time to see what’s actually on that table.

Well, I have and I love what I’ve found – three Lucien Lelong bottles!

Right under the round standing mirror on Norma’s left there’s a short bottle with bow-like stopper: it’s Jabot, launched in 1939.

If we move to the left side of the table, there’s a tall balloon bottle containing Balakaïka eau de cologne, launched in 1939.

When Norma stands up, we can see a golden bottle of Orgueil on a small table on the far left. This Jean Carles fragrance was launched in 1946.

I don’t think my passion for Lelong perfumes is a mystery: I’ve written about them many times and I find their bottle designs very distinctive and original. Seeing some of them on such an iconic dressing table really makes sense: it shows us that Norma Desmond is a fragrance lover and supposedly uses more than one fragrance, as shown by the several bottles sitting on the table (I haven’t been able to identify them all).

Now another question pops up: if we assume she is wearing a Lucien Lelong perfume in this famous scene, what perfume is it? Where does the infamous tuberose come from? It could be from Orgueil, which, according to Basenotes, includes tuberose in its heart notes, along with carnation, iris, jasmine, rose, clove and nutmeg.

Gli indifferenti (2020)

Lisa (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) and Maria Grazia (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) have been close friends for a long time, but things are changing: Maria Grazia accuses Lisa of having an affair with her boyfriend.

The conversation they’re having in this scene is very harsh and unpleasant, but, by contrast, it takes place in a very chic and civilized setting – the perfume shop where Lisa works.

The perfume on the table in front of them is Xerjoff Casamorati Gran Ballo, which Maria Grazia will buy to wear at a masked ball later in the film. This white floral eau de parfum was launched in 2013.

Madame Claude (2021)

When Madame Claude (Karol Rocher) first meets Virginie (Liah O’Prey), she takes her into the office bathroom to teach her the general rules of personal hygiene.

On the washbasin there’s a Guerlain refillable atomiser of Shalimar.

Later, Madame is taking a bath in her own apartment. On a glass shelf above the washbasin there’s another atomiser of Shalimar, which means the classic fragrance by Guerlain is her signature scent.

Thanks to cedriceccentric for the id.

Un tranquillo posto di campagna (1968)

There are many bottles on Flavia’s dressing table: among them, the unmistakable green bottle of Victor Acqua di Selva, a classic fougère fragrance first launched in 1949.

The tall bottle with gold stopper on the right is Rochas Madame Rochas, a woody/floral creation by Guy Robert launched in 1960.

Moving to the far right side of the table, there’s a fluted bottle with silver stopper: it’s another Rochas perfume, Moustache. It’s unclear whether this bottle contained the eau de toilette concentrée (launched in 1948) or the eau de cologne (launched one year later, in 1949): in any case, the fougère fragrance was a successful creation by Edmond Roudnitska and Thérèse Roudnitska.

La femme d’à côté (1981)

Philippe (Henri Garcin) and Mathilde (Fanny Ardant) are a happy couple until they move next to a former lover of hers. By the end of the movie their relationship is still a thing, but jealousy and regrets don’t make it easy.

There are several interesting products in their bathroom. The aqua bottle with pink stopper, for example: even if I haven’t found any visual evidence, it’s a Jeanne Gatineau skincare item – a cleanser or a toner.

Not surprised to see a splash bottle of Lancôme Magie Noire: this fragrance, created by Gerard Goupy, Jean-Charles Niel and Yves Tanguy and launched in 1978, wonderfully suits Mathilde’s femme fatale character.

There’s also a Chanel bottle, which I believe contains a bath oil.

Last, there’s a square bottle by Lanvin. Even in this case, it’s impossible to read the front label. If we take the plot of the film into account, I like to think this is Rumeur, an Andre Fraysse creation launched in 1934.

La Femme d’à côté (1981)

When Arlette (Michèle Baumgartner) tells her husband Bernard (Gérard Depardieu) that she’s pregnant, we can get a quick glimpse of some products she keeps in her bathroom.

Among them there’s a Guerlain zigzag box, first introduced in 1967. Unfortunately the name of the product is impossible to read; from the arrangement of the letters on the front oval it could be an eau de cologne.