Category Archives: perfumes in movies

Chilly Scenes of Winter (1979)

There are several toiletries in Clara’s bathroom.

The pink plastic bottle on the left is Clairol condition shampoo.

Next to it, a snail-shaped perfume bottle by Avon. It’s unclear what scent it contained, because this bottle was used to house several fragrances – Charisma, Brocade and Régence, among the others.

Thanks to my friend Jennifer for the picture and Avon id.

Madame Sousatzka (1988)

Some years ago I read on a perfume forum an interesting fact about the scene above, featuring Shirley MacLaine sitting at her vanity: a bottle of Guerlain Mitsouko appeared in it. I had never watched this film before, so I couldn’t tell if the rumour was true. Now I can tell that it’s not!

No Mitsouko in sight but a floral box with rounded edges, containing Madame Rochas by Rochas! Too bad the box doesn’t reveal its content.

I love this choice. The name of the perfume echoes the title of the film; plus the white floral fragrance (created by Guy Robert and launched in 1960) suits the flamboyant yet melancholic protagonist.

Los abrazos rotos (2009)

Lena (Penélope Cruz) is a broken woman: trapped in an unhappy marriage, she desperately longs for freedom and real love. She lives in a luscious house, she’s always dressed elegantly, she’s surrounded by expensive objects, but all this rarely gives her joy.

Perfumes and beauty products follow her in many scenes, as if they were heavy trappings of a fake identity. The triangle-shaped bottle of Lancôme Trésor body lotion makes its appearance for the third time, so now I guess it’s safe to say that this is her signature scent. It’s an unusual choice, because I would see Lena wearing something more peculiar, with more personality, so I guess this is another way to force her into a role she doesn’t feel comfortable with.

In her bathroom there is also Givenchy Ysatis, a floral chypre fragrance created by Dominique Ropion in 1984.

Last, there’s L’Occitane Eau d’Iparie, an oriental woody fragrance launched in 2005.

Bitter Moon (1992)

When Mimi (Emmanuelle Seigner) follows Oscar at a house party after their break-up, she’s wearing a drab dress and looks very depressed. He mocks her by advising to put some make-up on. She follows the advice by powdering her face.

In the bathroom where Mimi powders her face there are three great perfumes. The first on the left is Hermès Calèche, created by Guy Robert and launched in 1961.

The bottle with drop-shaped stopper is Van Cleef & Arpels First, created by Jean-Claude Ellena and launched in 1976.

Last, Caron Nocturnes de Caron in the fascinating black bottle with round glass stopper. This floral perfume, created by Gerard Lefort, was launched in 1981.

Conte d’hiver (1992)

Félicie works as a hairdresser. One of her clients is reading a magazine while having her hair washed. The back cover of the magazine features an advert that will surely send a thrill of excitement down your spine: the ubiquitous Guerlain Samsara!

The nose who created one of the greatest Oriental fragrances was Jean-Paul Guerlain. Launched in 1989, it was housed in a beautiful pagoda-like red bottle with gold accents.

Parenti serpenti (1992)

If you asked me what is the ultimate Christmas Italian film, I would surely choose this one. Despite being a brutal depiction of the petty intrigues and toxic relations among the members of the same family, it’s a comedy, so the line between laugh and darkness is very very thin.

I’ve watched it many times, but I’ve never noticed an intriguing detail in Milena’s bedroom: the iconic silver, black and turquoise metal bottle of Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche on her vanity. Milena, as most of her relatives, masters the art of simulating and pretending, and rarely shows her real self. Using a very trendy perfume is in tune with the character, who wants to appear different from what she really is.

Thanks to my friend Rocco for the id.

La dea Fortuna (2019)

The bathroom that needs Alessandro’s intervention as plumber has a very peculiar decor: lots of Guerlain bottles lined up on the marble washbasin countertop. They have a decorative function, because they are filled with colourful liquid and not with perfume.

Most of the bottles are the teardrop-shaped flacons goutte, with shell-shaped stopper. First launched in 1923, it was created to hold the eau de toilette version of the most popular fragrances of the maison.

The taller bottles are flacons abeilles, still used for colognes and eaux de toilette. Originally designed to hold the Eau de Cologne Impériale, it’s decorated with bees, symbol of Napoleon.