Tag Archives: featured

Self-Portrait Reflection in the Window of the Guerlain Boutique (1930)

This self portrait was taken by the American photographer Lee Miller around 1930 in Paris. The surface reflecting her image was the window of the Guerlain boutique.

The two bottles are flacons bouchon coeur, designed by Raymond Guerlain in the early 1910s to house three fragrances in their extrait version (L’Heure Bleue, Mitsouko and Fol Arôme). The front labels are not readable, so it’s impossible to know exactly what perfumes they contained. We can make some assumptions, though: all the three fragrances I’ve mentioned above are good candidates, because they were released well before the 1930s (L’Heure Bleue and Fol Arôme in 1912, Mitsouko in 1919). One may also include Shalimar as a possible candidate: launched in 1925 in the famous flacon chauve souris, somehow it was available in the flacon bouchon coeur, too, although it’s an anomaly, as beautifully explained by Dimitri Dimitriadis.

Another question that arises is about the location of the shop. Where was this picture taken? The French perfume house was founded in 1828 and had its first shop at 42, rue de Rivoli in Paris. In 1840 the flagship store was opened at 15, rue de la Paix. When Miller took this picture, the flagship store was at  68, Champs-Elysées, the same location it has today. That is where the beautiful picture above was taken and that is where Miller’s picture was taken as well.

Miller took other pictures outside the Guerlain store, and from them we can see the location was indeed the Champs-Elysées (see the characteristic arched windows).

Special mention to the shot Exploding Hand, which shows the scratches left by thousands of rings, worn by Guerlain customers, on the glass entrance door.

Picture source and source.

Thanks to my friend Rocco for sharing this photo with me.

This Is Paris (2020)

Paris is getting ready to meet former classmates from the Utah boarding school she attended as a teenager [1].

She’s holding a NARS compact, probably containing the All Day Luminous powder foundation or another pressed powder product.

[1] I never write personal comments on the films I post about, but this time I feel I have to. This is Paris is a documentary by Alexandra Dean which throws some light on what is behind the glamour and fame of the American heiress. Her experience at Provo Canyon boarding school and the trauma that she’s still dealing is not easy to witness, but I think Paris was brave to standing up and share painful memories as an attempt to deal with them. She has also joined the Breaking Code Silence movement to raise awareness about the damages caused by the Troubled Teen industry.

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.

Mùi đu đủ xanh (1993)

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Mui (Tran Nu Yên-Khê) started working as a maid when she was 10. Now she’s 20 and her life is about to change: she’s fallen in love with the man she works for, a pianist she’s known since she was a child. This man is still engaged, though. One day, Mui finds a red lipstick on the man’s bed, an object which makes her discover the power of seduction.

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The sleek tortoiseshell black case contains Shiseido perfecting lipstick. The packaging is typical of the late 1980s/early 1990s: for example, it appears in the advertising campaign of the Eclat Futur 1991 collection.

This choice is not accurate from a historical point of view: Shiseido lipsticks had a very different packaging in the years in which this part of the film is set (the 1960s).

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In any case, it’s a lovely make-up moment. The bright red shade that Mui wears has a metallic sheen which beautifully matches her silk blouse.

Night Bloom (2020)

Night Bloom [1] is the latest creature of the talented filmmaker and actress Coco Baudelle, a short film that has been selected by several festivals around the world, including the 2020 Venice Shorts. In a bit more than 5 minutes, we are taken into a dreamy world of white roses drenched in rain, echoes from Jennifer’s Body by Karyn Kusama, satin ribbons and a seemingly endless sleep, all accented by wonderful piano scores. Lucky for us, some scenes feature beauty products, which I’ve listed as follows.

The tall bottle with black cap on the right side of the shot is Chanel Hydra Beauty essence mist.

The plastic bottle with pink cap in the beauty case is Glossier Milky Oil make-up remover.

From the left to the right: the jar contains Aquaphor healing ointment

The Chanel white tube is Hydra Beauty mask

The tall pink bottle is Glossier exfoliating solution

The white brush with nylon tufts is by Mason Pearson

The lipstick in the floral case behind the nail polish bottle is by Gucci

Last, there’s Chanel Joues Contraste blush.

The nail polish seen in the previous shot is Chanel Le Vernis velvet nail colour in Ultime.

[1] You can watch Night Bloom on Instagram.

Ratched S01E01 (Pilot)

The outfit of the Hollywood star Barbara Stanwyck on the cover of Picturegoer Film Weekly magazine [1] serves as source of inspiration for Mildred Ratched. When it comes to perfumes, though, the nurse has got her own taste.

The large splash bottle on the left is Platino / Platinum / Platine by Dana, a fragrance launched in 1934.

The tall fluted bottle with black stopper is Moment Suprême eau de cologne by Jean Patou, The eau de parfum version was launched in 1929.

[1] This is the issue published on June 14th, 1941.