Tag Archives: guerlain

Mr Selfridge S01E03

mrselfridge_s01e03_bornunicorn (4)When Mr Selfridge decides to open a beauty counter in his store, we are treated with lots of eye candy! Perfumes and toiletries start to appear on the counters just before the entrance door.

4711cologne_bornunicornIn the screencap above, some bottles of Mäurer & Wirtz 4711 Original cologne can be seen, along with some round soaps by Roger & Gallet.

rogeretgallet_lavandaroyale_bornunicornI’m not sure about the scents of the white and pink soaps, but they could be discontinued. As a matter of fact, their boxes and packaging could be coming from the 1980s, definitely not from the most recent collections. Contemporary Roger & Gallet soaps are wrapped in tissue paper, as usual, but they only have a round sticker – not a wrapping label.

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Some flacons bouchon coeur by Guerlain can be seen on another counter. Most of them have no label, so it’s impossible to know what perfumes they contained. One thing is certain: their glass stoppers tell us they’re from before 1962, year in which plastic stoppers replaced the glass ones. As for the Mitsouko modern bottle, the pump atomizer is a nice way to give it a vintage feel.

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yardley_englishlavender_vintagead_bornunicornAgnes Towler (Aisling Loftus) meets Henri Leclair (Grégory Fitoussi) in the beauty department. They have a short conversation about perfumes, from which we learn that Agnes is a classic British girl, who loves traditional perfumes like Yardley Lavender. The aromatic fougère, launched in 1919, is another not-historically-accurate choice, but it works.

Mr Selfridge S01E03

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mrselfridge_s01e03_bornunicorn (4)The dressing table of Rose Selfridge (Frances O’Connor) is quite busy. She’s clearly a fan of Guerlain perfumes: two flacons montre [1] can be seen on the shelf in front of the window, but there’s more. She opens a Guerlain box, decorated with people and animals, and takes out a flacon bouchon coeur, the bottle with the heart-shaped stopper designed by Raymond Guerlain in collaboration with Baccarat. It would be easy to assume this is Après l’Ondée, created by Jacques Guerlain in 1906, but it’s not, because that perfume has never had that bottle. It would have been a historically accurate choice (this episode takes place in 1909), but prop masters opted for something different. The flacon bouchon coeur originally contained three perfumes, released between 1912 and 1919.

guerlain_vintagefolarome_bornunicornFol Arôme was created by Jacques Guerlain in 1912. Grace Hummel found a reference of this perfume being sold in 1896, so the 1912 version would be a reworked or relaunched perfume.

guerlain_vintagelheurebleue_bornunicornL’Heure Bleue was created by Jacques Guerlain in 1912. I don’t think this is the perfume seen on Rose’s dressing table because of the blue lettering on the central sticker.

guerlain_vintagemitsouko_bornunicornThe last possibility is Mitsouko, one of the most famous perfumes by the French brand. Another creation by Jacques Guerlain, it was launched in 1919, ten years after the time in which the tv show is set.

My guess is that the perfume seen in this episode is Fol Arôme, because the pale orange decorations on the sticker seem to match.

[1] The flacon montre was first released in 1936. The presence of these bottles in this episode is totally inaccurate, but no one can deny their decorative function.


Phaedra (1962)

voldenuit_vintage_guerlain_bornunicornThere’s a bottle of Guerlain Vol de Nuit on the protagonist’s bathroom shelf. Phaedra (Melina Mercouri), who falls in love with her stepson (Anthony Perkins), is a rich and bored woman, so it’s no wonder she uses this perfume. Vol de Nuit, created by Jacques Guerlain in 1933, is not the ubiquitous Shalimar or Mitsouko, but has a special charm, also related to its source of inspiration – Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s novel with the same name, published in 1931. The aviation theme of the name can be found in the flacon rayonnant, resembling a moving aircraft propeller.

Image source.

Alibi na vodě (1965)

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alibinavode_bornunicorn (1)While the Director (Otomar Krejča) is filming a new documentary, he meets up with the model Zuzana (Ivana Striničová) in a boathouse and gives her Guerlain Chant d’Arômes as a gift. This is one of those rare cases in which the name of the perfume is actually mentioned (Zuzana tries to read its name on the bottle, but the Director corrects her with a good French pronunciation).

guerlain_chantdaromes_bornunicorn(2)This is the Flacon Chant d’Arômes, produced by Pochet du Courval. The chypre perfume contains notes of white flowers (gardenia, jasmine, honeysuckle, ylang-ylang) and is the first solo creation of Jean-Paul Guerlain; launched in 1962, it was addressed to a young audience, in an attempt to bring new energy and a youthful spirit into the brand. According to Monsieur Guerlain, the bottle “was inspired by the design of a Florentine vase. It came with a green velvet ribbon, like the ones young girls used to wear around their necks — a romantic nod to youth and purity.” It seems appropriate that the Director gives Zuzana such a youthful, yet classy, perfume.

The credit of this id goes to the lovely Monika, the mind behind the perfume blog Guerlinadewho posted a screencap of the film on her Instagram account, thus sparking my obsession with it.

Homeland S01E02 (Grace)

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Lynne Reed (Brianna Brown) is a consort of Prince Farid Bin Abbud (Amir Arison) of Saudi Arabia. In this episode, she’s in Washington D.C., interviewing young women for the Prince’s harem. This is just a disguise, because she’s actually a CIA informant. As such, she meets Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) at a spa. In this scene, you can see two beautiful Guerlain Meteorites Voyage compacts.

Screencap source.

La cage aux folles (1978)

lacageauxfolles_bornunicornAlbin Mougeotte (Michel Serrault) is getting ready to become his drag queen self, Zaza Napoli. The dressing table is super-busy: I’d love to identify everything on it, but I’ve come up with a couple of perfumes only.


Y-perfume-ysl_bornunicornThe first sits on the left: it’s Y, one of the first perfumes by Yves Saint Laurent. Created by Jean Amic and launched in 1964, it’s a chypre fruity fragrance opening up with a triumph of aldehydes, honeysuckle, gardenia and peach. It was advertised as the “invisible dress by Yves Saint Laurent”, made “especially for his devilishly aware clientele”. I wonder if Albin was among them.

The second sits on the right: it’s the unmistakable flacon montre of Guerlain colognes. It has the gold screw-cap stopper, which is accurate, since the film was directed in 1978. The central disk on the label is purple, so it’s Jicky.

guerlain_jickycologne_bornunicornIt’s one of the historical scents by Guerlain, created in 1889: according to Fragrantica, it was one of the first perfumes created with addition of synthetic materials. The top notes include rosemary and citrus (lemon, bergamot and mandarin orange); the middle notes include tonka bean, lavender, orris root, basil and jasmine, balanced by the warm base notes of spices, leather, sandalwood, benzoin, amber, Brazilian rosewood and vanilla. This sounds just perfect for Albin’s flamboyant personality.