Tag Archives: halston perfume

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.

Halston E03 (The Sweet Smell of Success)

One of the most interesting scenes of the episode sees Halston (Ewan McGregor) and Elsa Peretti (Rebecca Dayan) going to Bergdorf Goodman to check how the newly-launched fragrance is doing. The sales assistant explains that it’s sold out.

There’s a huge bottle on the counter, but the prop masters have done something weird here: they put the glass stopper of the original Halston perfume on a bottle of Halston Couture, a fragrance launched in 1988 (two years before the designer’s death). The original bottle was all made of glass, while the other had accents of silver, stopper included.

This scene is not all about Halston, though: if we look behind Elsa and Halston, we can see a couple of factice flacons bouchon coeur by Guerlain. It’s impossible to know what fragrance they contain. Maybe Mitsouko?

When Halston and Elsa leave the room, we can see on a glass table a factice bottle of Guerlain Chamade, created by Jean-Paul Guerlain and launched in 1969.

Next to Chamade there’s a flacon montre of Shalimar eau de cologne, a trademark prop in many Ryan Murphy shows. The gold stopper is historically accurate because it was used between 1972 and 1979.

Halston E03 (The Sweet Smell of Success)

This episode tells the story behind the creation of Halston, the fragrance the American designer launched in 1974: it became an immediate hit and is still recognized as one of the scented symbols of that decade.

Even if I never write about myself and rarely comment on what I post, I’ve decided to explain what I’ve appreciated in it and what I consider a personal affront.

The episode describes well the designing process of the organic drop-shaped bottle by Elsa Peretti, the original Halstonette: born in Florence, she worked as a model first, but soon became a close collaborator of Halston and later a designer for Tiffany and Co.

The story behind this bottle is accurately presented: it’s true that the manufacturers were not able to fill the curved bottles with the machinery they used and it’s true that Halston paid $50,000 from his own pocket to create an adapter which made the filling operation possible.

The commercial accurately reproduces the advertising campaign with which the perfume was launched.

What has filled me with disappointment and rage is the creative process. When Halston meets for the first time the perfumer who will create his perfume, I literally jumped on my chair. Seriously??? Adèle who??? Poor Vera Farmiga, giving voice to the biggest mistake of the episode.

At least they got something right: the nose who created Halston really worked for IFF. He was the Head Perfumer of the American multinational.

Yes, “he”, because there was no Adèle but Bernard Chant, who gave us fragrances like Cabochard (in 1959), Aramis (in 1966), Clinique Aromatics Elixir (in 1971), Lauren by Ralph Lauren (in 1978) and Estée Lauder hits like Cinnabar (in 1978) and Beautiful (in 1985). In the picture above, he was portrayed by Louie Psihoyos while testing perfumes on human skin.

I understand the reasons behind the narration for TV and I get that Adèle is a reassuring mother-like figure for the troubled designer, but such a gross historical inaccuracy is insulting for the memory of the perfumer, for the designer and for those who were involved in the creation of the perfume.

I’ve covered recent and less recent TV shows by Ryan Murphy and I’ve often praised the impeccable work in recreating the past, but this is too much. What a huge disappointment!

Soapdish (1991)

The black and white jar on Lori’s dressing table is the perfumed pressed body powder by Paloma Picasso. Now discontinued, this product was part of the line launched with the perfume in 1984.

On the other side of the table there’s a white bottle of Halston Classic perfume, created by Bernard Chant and launched in 1975. This all-white version was never available on the market, but Elsa Peretti designed it in pendant form, so I guess this was a bigger, decorative version of it.

Glow S03E04 (Say Yes)

fabergeaquanetsuperhold_bornunicorn

There’s a can of Aquanet unscented super-hold hairspray on Bobby’s dressing table. The silver-ish bottle on its left reminds me of Halston perfume, which would be really appropriate, since Bobby has just done a beautiful performance in drag as Liza Minnelli, one of the most famous Halstonettes.

Sons of Anarchy S03E13 (To Be, Act 1)

sonsofanarchy_s04e13_bornunicorn (3) halstonperfume_bornunicorn

There’s a bottle of Halston cologne on Tara’s dresser. This is a hugely successful perfume, first launched in 1975: it’s a woody fragrance whose most prominent notes are oakmoss, incense and amber; it symbolized (and still does) the most glamourous and glitziest side of that decade.