Category Archives: stars’ vanities/make-up cases/cabinets in real life

Ava Gardner’s Dresser (1949)

This portrait of Ava Gardner was taken in the late 1940s in the bedroom of her Nichols Canyon cottage in Los Angeles. Besides the Degas print on the wall and some framed family photos, what has caught my attention are the perfume bottles on the dresser. I have identified three of them.

One of the first bottles from the left is Lanvin Arpège extrait, with the square bakelite stopper. This fragrance was created by Paul Vacher and Andre Fraysse and launched in 1927.

There’s also a flacon bouchon coeur by Guerlain. It has been used to house several fragrances but this one is likely to be Mitsouko, one of Gardner’s favourite scents. This chypre fruity fragrance was created by Jacques Guerlain and launched in 1919.

On the far right there’s Fleurs de Rocaille by Caron. Housed in a beautiful urn-shaped bottle designed by Félicie Vanpouille, this floral aldehyde fragrance was created by Ernest Daltroff and launched in 1934.

Thanks to Barbara Pfouts for submitting this post.

Kate Moss’ Bathroom (2017)

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I’ve always loved bathrooms and I’ve seen many beautiful ones in my life, but very few of them can equal the poetic atmosphere in Kate Moss’ bathroom in her London house. The bespoke wallpaper with anemone pattern by de Gournay is its strongest point, but charming additions are the vintage crystal chandelier from James Worrall, a Drummonds claw-foot tub and framed black-and-white photographs.

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On the marble washbasin there are several products – two bath oils, one perfume and a skincare item.

The bottles with colourful ribbons are Penhaligon’s bath oils. The one on the left is Victorian Posy, a chypre floral fragrance launched in 1979 and now sadly discontinued; the one on the right is Vanities, another discontinued fragrance.

The white jar is Cosme Decorté AQ Meliority repair cleansing cream.

The bottle with ball-shaped stopper is Balenciaga L’Essence eau de parfum, a green floral fragrance created by Olivier Polge and launched in 2011.

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There are lots of bottles in the mirrored cabinets above the washbasin.

On the top shelf on the left there’s a factice bottle of Prada Infusion d’Iris eau de toilette, created by Daniela Andrier and launched in 2010.

On the middle shelf on the left there’s Fracas by Robert Piguet, created by Germaine Cellier and launched in 1948.

Lalique Songe is shown in a 2005 limited-edition bottle.

The bottle with peach pink ribbon is Penhaligon’s Ellenisia, another discontinued floral fragrance launched in 2005.

On the bottom shelf in the central section there’s Christian Dior Dune, an amber woody fragrance created by Jean-Louis Sieuzac, Nejla Barbir and Dominique Ropion and launched in 1991.

On the same shelf there are a flacon bouchon coeur by Guerlain and two bottles of Chanel No. 5 eau de parfum.

On the middle shelf on the right there are some Etro bottles, possibly Heliotrope eau de cologne (old packaging), and two fragrances by Byredo.

Picture source.

Marianne Faithfull’s Dresser (1995)

Royall Lyme Bay Rhum eau de toilette and Roger & Gallet Jean Marie Farina Extra Vieille eau de cologne can be seen on a busy dresser in Marianne Faithfull’s house, This picture from 1995 was taken by Mark Arbeit.

Thanks to Jane Daly for the Royall Lyme id.

Picture source.

Madonna’s Bathroom (2022)

Madonna recently posted this picture on her Instagram account. Sitting on a bench and posing with a Balenciaga Hourglass bag (covered in scotch tape!), she gave us the opportunity to take a look around her luxurious marble bathroom.

The pump bottle on the bath top is Osea Undaria Algae body oil.

The body wash on the opposite side of the bath is Aveeno Skin Relief.

I am thankful to Madonna for giving us a glimpse of her fragrance shelves. Lots of interesting perfumes there.

Sitting on the top bottom there are three bottles by L’Artisan Parfumeur. Reading the front stickers is impossible, so there’s no way to tell what fragrances they contain.

Behind them there’s Stella McCartney Stella, a deep rose fragrance created by Jacques Cavallier and launched in 2003.

It’s often said that celebrities rarely wear the fragrances they launch. Madonna, like Elizabeth Taylor, is not one of them. A bottle of her Truth or Dare Naked sits on the second shelf. This amber spicy perfume was created by Stephen Nilsen and launched in 2012.

I could have never imagined Madonna to be an Artemisia kind of girl, but it’s nice to see a bottle of the Penhaligon’s milky powdery eau de toilette in her collection.

On the other hand, her love for Tom Ford perfumes is well-known, so seeing four of them on the bottom shelf is not surprising. The first from the left is Soleil Blanc, a coconut/white floral creation by Natalie Gracia-Cetto launched in 2016.

Next is Bitter Peach, an amber vanilla perfume launched in 2020.

There’s also a bottle of Diptyque Oyedo, a citrus eau de toilette created by Akiko Kamei and launched in 2000.

Another unsurprising find is Frederic Malle Carnal Flower, a white floral triumph [1] created by Dominique Ropion and launched in 2005.

The third Tom Ford perfume is Rose Prick, launched in 2020.

The last one is Lost Cherry, a bitter almond/sour cherry blend by Louise Turner launched in 2018.

[1] One of Madonna’s favourite notes is tuberose. For many years her name has been closely connected to Robert Piguet Fracas, the tuberose masterpiece by Germaine Cellier launched in 1948. Fracas appears in her documentary I’m Going to Tell You a Secret and in God Control music video, both directed by Jonas Åkerlund.

Thanks to lunanocta for submitting this post.

Andy Warhol’s Bathroom Cabinet

In 1988, one year after Andy Warhol’s death, his business manager, Fred Hughes, commissioned photographer David Gamble to take pictures of the artist’s New York home. The picture of Warhol’s bathroom cabinet is probably the most famous result of that photoshoot: it was sold for $25,000 at an auction and in 2012 it was displayed at the exhibition Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A print of it is in the collection of The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

No need for me to explain why I have decided to analyse in detail the contents of this cabinet. I have scrutinised fictional and real-life bathroom cabinets and dressing tables for more than 10 years, so I couldn’t miss the opportunity to write about this iconic cabinet.

Before starting, let me say that medicines and several beauty products haven’t been included: I never write about medicines and the aforementioned products, now discontinued, haven’t been identified yet. The description of other products, although identified, is not completed by pictures because I haven’t found any online.

Let’s start with the top shelf.

The aqua green jar is Clinique 7-Day scrub cream: this product is still on the market, but the packaging has been changed (now it’s available in tube form).

The glass bottle with white stopper on the far right is Janet Sartin sun lotion. This brand and their beauty salon in New York still exist.

On the second shelf, starting from the far left, we can see a glass bottle of Guerlain Extrait de Pot-Pourri aux Plantes Marines, a home fragrance.

Seeing a Chanel no. 5 ancillary product (an after-bath spray) is not surprising: Andy Warhol included the iconic bottle of the French perfume in his Ads series.

Next, another Guerlain product – Vétiver talc. Unfortunately I haven’t found a picture of the product in the packaging shown in Warhol’s cabinet, but the pagoda-like bottle is so charming, isn’t it?

The bright yellow bottle contains Fabergé Kiku after-bath cologne, an amber floral fragrance launched in 1967.

The black bottle with white stopper contains Pantene For Men Hair Groom conditioner.

Next, a bottle of Alo Sun Fashion Tan suntan lotion. Again, the product shown above (displayed at the National Museum of American History) doesn’t have the exact packaging as the one in Warhol’s cabinet.

The silver tube contains Framesi Gelly’s color enhancing styling gel. This Italian haircare brand, still on the market, was founded in 1945.

Last, the glass bottle on the far right is another Janet Sartin product.

On the third shelf there’s a small-sized bottle of Vidal Sassoon shampoo.

In the back of the shelf there’s another Janet Sartin product, housed in a white jar.

Another Alo Sun product – the After Tan lotion – sits on the same shelf.

On the fourth shelf there’s a Sally Hansen product: I haven’t found any picture of it online, but the bottle reads that it’s a desensitized skin conditioning lotion.

Next to it there’s a jar of Interface herbal rub scrub. This is another product which I haven’t found any evidence of online. The brand doesn’t exist anymore.

One of the most interesting products is Halston 1-12 shaving foam. The fragrance was launched in 1976 and is still available on the market. Warhol using a Halston beauty product makes so much sense that I would have been surprised if I hadn’t found any in this cabinet.

The jar with blue cap contains Noxzema Antiseptic Skin cleanser pads.

Just under the Noxzema pad jar there’s Clinique Sub-Skin firming cream.

Among the lip products I can see a Lip Smacker Bonne Bell lip balm (cherry or strawberry-scented) and a tube of Vaseline Lip Therapy balm.

On the fifth (bottom) shelf there’s a bottle of Cetaphil lotion.

Next, a bottle of Vitabath Spring Green body wash.

On a jar of Vaseline pure petroleum jelly there’s a bottle of Lubriderm Lubath body wash.

Next, there’s a bottle of Neet cocoa butter lotion hair remover.

Margaret Thatcher’s Vanity

Photographer Herbie Knott took this portrait of Margaret Thatcher: she was at 10 Downing Street during the 1983 General Election campaign.

The gold bottle on the dresser is a pretty exciting object because it’s by Guerlain! This refillable spray canister with basketweave design was first introduced in 1982 for eaux de toilettes. Unfortunately it’s impossible to tell what fragrance it contained, but I think it was Mitsouko, the Guerlain classic which Thatcher was said to be a fan of.

Thanks to alindri for the id.

Romy Schneider’s Dressing Room (1961)

In March 1961 Luchino Visconti directed a French version of the revenge play ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore by the English playwright John Ford. Staged at the Théâtre de Paris, Dommage qu’elle soit une p… starred Romy Schneider as the protagonist Annabella and her fiancé Alain Delon as Giovanni.

In these beautiful backstage pictures by Maurice Jarnoux we can take a look at what beauty products the Austrian actress used. In the shot above she was applying Pan Stik compact foundation by Max Factor.

On her dressing table there were many make-up and skincare products, among which a bottle of baby lotion by the French brand Mustela.

When it comes to the perfumes, the first I’ve noticed is a huge houndstooth bottle by Christian Dior, used for several eaux de toilette and eaux de cologne by the French maison, so it’s impossible to tell what fragrance this specific bottle contained. Furthermore, it’s quite surprising to see a Dior fragrance on her dressing table: the perfumes she usually wore were Chanel No. 5, Guerlain L’Heure Bleue [1] and – as explained by Elena ProkofevaTubereuse by Jean-Francois Laporte.

The second bottle is a French classic – Roger & Gallet Jean Marie Farina eau de cologne, first launched in 1806.

The third perfume sighting is not a bottle but a white box with black details. It’s a coffret set by Chanel, usually containing a selection of four parfum extraits.

[1] Several Guerlain bottles appeared in the famous portraits of Romy Schneider taken by photographer Helga Kneidl in 1973 in Paris.

Picture source.

What’s in Victon’s Bag?

Korean fashion magazine The Star has recently posted What’s In My Bag? interviews with the members of the K-Pop band Victon. All of them showed their favourite beauty products and perfumes.

Let’s start with Se-jun.

In his backpack there’s Le Labo Santal 33, a woody/powdery fragrance created by Frank Voelkl and launched in 2011.

Chan has two perfumes in his Louis Vuitton shoulder bag.

The first is Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme eau de toilette, a warm spicy scent created by Anne Flipo, Pierre Wargnye, Dominique Ropion and Juliette Karagueuzoglou, and launched in 2006.

The second is Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis eau de toilette, a citrus fragrance created by Francis Kurkdjian and launched in 2009.

The band’s leader, Seung-sik, has opted for Byredo Super Cedar, a woody fragrance created by Jerome Epinette and launched in 2016.

Byung-chan doesn’t show any perfumes but a beauty product – Jo Malone Vitamin E lip conditioner.

Han-se stands out by showing a perfume that looks like Byredo (same bottle) but it’s not! He explains he made it himself at a perfume bar in Seoul. When asked what it smells like, he said: “freshly-cut grass”.

Su-bin first shows a skincare product – Byredo Bal d’Afrique hand cream.

Like Chan, he has two perfumes in his Louis Vuitton bag.

One is Le Labo Another 13, an amber woody fragrance created by Nathalie Lorson and launched in 2010.

The other is Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur, a warm spicy perfume created by Maurice Roucel and launched in 2000.

Out of all the perfumes shown by Victon’s members, this is the one I would love to try: Su-bin points out the cedar and cinnamon notes, which I think are very intriguing.

The Supremes (1965)

This beautiful portrait of the Supremes (Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson and Diana Ross) was taken in 1965 by photographer Bruce Davidson, who went into the trio’s dressing room and took pictures of them getting ready for a performance.

Florence was holding a Maybelline eye pencil.

Moving to the centre of the table, we can see a bottle of Revlon Touch & Glow liquid make-up.

Seeing the iconic squared bottle of Chanel eau de cologne on this table filled me with joy. I wonder who wore it – Mary Wilson (the bottle is standing right in front of her) or the others too?

The small bottle next to the Chanel one is Yardley hand cream.

The large jar in front of Diana Ross is Pond’s cold cream, the classic make-up remover that I’ve spotted in films and on real-life dressing table an endless number of times.

Thanks to Kailey for submitting this post and identifying most of the beauty products.

Elsa Peretti’s House in Vogue US (1976)

In 1976 Vogue US featured Elsa Peretti’s New York apartment (the one she had taken over from Halston) on its pages. The photoshoot by Horst P. Horst portrayed the Italian artist in a minimalist space and focused on details too.

In her own words, the apartment had “bare bleached white floors, mirrored walls, lemon trees, banquettes covered in white Haitian cotton, white director’s chairs, and a work table,” which also functioned for dining and making up.

The aforementioned work table can be seen in the picture above: on it there are some pieces of jewellery, beauty items and a massive bottle that would be impossible not to notice.

It’s a factice of the famous teardrop bottle Elsa designed to house the first women’s fragrance by Halston [1]. Created by Bernard Chant and launched in 1975, the perfume would soon become a best seller.

The other two perfume bottles – both Joy by Jean Patou – tell us a lot about Elsa’s tastes. I had no idea she was a fan of “the world’s most expensive perfume”, the unique jasmine and rose fragrance launched in 1930. I can’t tell I’m surprised, though: Joy was perfect for her.

Another item I’ve identified is the Lancôme white tube. I think this contained hand cream, but it could also have been a face moisturizer.

The same table and the same objects are seen from a different point of view in the picture above. Elsa was wearing a wonderful vintage kimono she had bought in San Francisco.

Here she was doing her make-up which, according to the interview, consisted in foundation, Roger & Gallet face powder, blush, brown eye pencil and mascara. The dog posing in the picture was one of her two King Charles spaniels.

Another picture featured the beautiful gold and cobalt blue bottle of Guerlain Coque d’Or. It was created by Jacques Guerlain in 1937 and dedicated to Sergej Pavlovič Djagilev, the Russian impresario who founded the Ballets Russes. For its name Guerlain took inspiration from Le Coq d’or [2], the last opera by Nikolaj Andreevič Rimskij-Korsakov.

[1] The process of designing and making this bottle was accurately shown in the Ryan Murphy tv show Halston.

[2] In French “coque” means “shell”, while “coq” means “rooster”. The two terms are clearly related.