While wandering through the corridors of her hotel, Maggie Cheung – in Irma Vep black latex attire – enters a room where a semi-naked woman (interpreted by Arsinée Khanjian, credited as l’américaine) is talking on the phone. Maggie goes into her bathroom and steals a necklace. On the marble counter there are some beauty products, too. For example, a bottle of Galderma Cetaphil cleanser in the old packaging (blue label and white lettering).
There’s also a box of Clarins Eau Dynamisante, a wonderfully fresh fragrance created by Jacques Courtin-Clarins and launched in 1987. This is the original packaging.
While watching the film, seeing a bottle of Clarins Eau Dynamisante on Allie’s dresser didn’t surprise me at all. I think very few perfumes can capture a certain 1990s vibe as accurately as this perfume. Fresh, citrusy and never overpowering, it was created by Jacques Courtin-Clarins in 1987. It was the epitome of that chic minimal mood with an active twist which was a staple of that decade.
This beautiful portrait by Nan Goldin was taken in 1999 in New York: Joey – a recurring subject in the photos by the American artist – was sitting at Goldin’s dressing table, her image reflected in a large round mirror.
Two are the perfume bottles sitting on the table: the one with the white stopper is Clarins Eau Dynamisante, the sublime citrusy fragrance created by Jacques Courtin-Clarins in 1987; the one with the black stopper is by Diptyque, in the tall splash bottle which contained fragrances like Vinaigre de Toilette. Unfortunately, the label in the photo is blurry, so I don’t know exactly what perfume this was. But the layout allows me to make some guesses. This could be L’Eau (the first Diptyque perfume, launched in 1968 and created by Desmond Knox-Leet) or L’Autre (launched in 1973 and created by Serge Kalouguine), two classic spicy scents by the French brand.