Charming Sir Charles Litton (David Niven) is spending the winter months at a posh hotel in Cortina. When such an elegant character opens his bathroom cabinet, something good is about to happen – a perfect shot of men’s colognes!
First from the left, Yardley Eau de Cologne for Men.
A massive bottle of Victor Acqua di Selva takes centre stage.
The third and last one is another vintage Italian product – Napoleon Sir Robert toilet water by Morris.
On the top shelf there are a Chanel box and an eau de cologne bottle. The front label is impossible to read, but maybe it’s Pour Monsieur.
When it comes to the box, it’s likely to contain No. 5 or another women’s fragrance, because the box of Pour Monsieur was white with black lettering (but no black edges) or grey with white lettering.
While Cecile (Jean Seberg) is applying sunscreen on Elsa’s shoulders, Raymond (David Niven) is reading a magazine with an interesting back cover.
A few instants later the magazine is fully visible: it’s Elle.
The back cover advertises a very popular French perfume – Soir de Paris by Bourjois. Created by Ernest Beaux (Chanel No. 5’s “dad”), it was originally launched in 1928 on the American market as Evening in Paris. Thanks to the huge success it had in the U.S., it was finally launched in Europe with a French name. The blue bottle with silver accents was designed by the painter Jean Helleu.
I wonder if Monsieur Poirot (Peter Ustinov) noticed the massive Guerlain flacon montre sitting on a shelf in Linnet Ridgeway’s bathroom, while inspecting the heiress’ cabin on the Karnak steamer. Too bad the front sticker was scratched out: we will never know what cologne she used.
Using a flacon montre here is not 100% accurate: if we assume the novel is set before 1937 (year in which it was published), the choice is not accurate because this bottle was introduced on the same year. In any case, this is another example of “partial inconsistency:” this bottle was not available at the time in which the story was set, but it was at the time in which the film was shot.