Tag Archives: lucien lelong

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

While perfume lovers and professionals still believe the urban legend according to which a bottle of Caron Narcisse Noir appears on Norma Desmond’s vanity (it doesn’t), no one has ever taken the time to see what’s actually on that table.

Well, I have and I love what I’ve found – three Lucien Lelong bottles!

Right under the round standing mirror on Norma’s left there’s a short bottle with bow-like stopper: it’s Jabot, launched in 1939.

If we move to the left side of the table, there’s a tall balloon bottle containing Balakaïka eau de cologne, launched in 1939.

When Norma stands up, we can see a golden bottle of Orgueil on a small table on the far left. This Jean Carles fragrance was launched in 1946.

I don’t think my passion for Lelong perfumes is a mystery: I’ve written about them many times and I find their bottle designs very distinctive and original. Seeing some of them on such an iconic dressing table really makes sense: it shows us that Norma Desmond is a fragrance lover and supposedly uses more than one fragrance, as shown by the several bottles sitting on the table (I haven’t been able to identify them all).

Now another question pops up: if we assume she is wearing a Lucien Lelong perfume in this famous scene, what perfume is it? Where does the infamous tuberose come from? It could be from Orgueil, which, according to Basenotes, includes tuberose in its heart notes, along with carnation, iris, jasmine, rose, clove and nutmeg.

The Alfred Hitchcock Hour S01E12 (Hangover)

Jayne Mansfield starred in this episode as Marion, a girl the protagonist (advertising man Hadley Purvis) has taken home with him. He doesn’t remember anything about it because he is an alcoholic, so he has to reconstruct the events of the night before.

Mansfield, sporting a short hairstyle, posed for some on-set pictures in a bathroom. There are two intriguing bottles on the marble shelf behind her.

The tall ribbed bottle is Lanvin Eau de Lanvin. The prop masters replaced the original black bakelite stopper with an ordinary one.

The other bottle is by Lucien Lelong. Since the label usually wrapping the bottle neck is missing, we can make an assumption from the stopper: I think it contained Opening Night cologne.

Picture source.

The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961)

There’s a beautiful selection of perfumes on Karen Stone’s vanity. Among them (from left to right):

lubin_nuitdelongchamp_bornunicornA Lubin perfume: judging from the colour of the liquid in the bottle, it was probably Nuit de Longchamp (launched in 1934). Idole had the same bottle, but it was launched in 1962, one year after the release of the film.

magiedelancome_bornunicornLancôme Magie: created in 1949 by Georges Lepieux, it has one of the most beautiful perfume bottles ever designed – a torsade by Georges Delhomme. The same design was used in 2005 for Hypnose.

jeanpatou_joy_bornunicornJean Patou Joy: one of the most famous white florals, it was created by Henri Almeras in 1930. Not coincidentally, this was Vivien Leigh’s signature scent.

lucienlelong_tailspincologne_bornunicornLucien Lelong Tailspin: also known as Passionement, it was created by Jean Carles in 1940. I’m not really sure of this id, though: this tall bottle was used for many Lelong scents, only the caps were different. In this case, the colourful cap was replaced by a glass stopper, so giving a certain identity to the bottle is quite hard.

christiandiorbaccaratmissdior_bornunicorn.jpgThere’s also a stunning Baccarat amphore bottle of Christian Dior Miss Dior, created by Paul Vacher and launched in 1947. As described by Yakimour, this bottle is made of cased crystal white cut to clear and has gilt details.

The bottle next to Miss Dior could be a Penhaligon’s perfume (the grey ribbon screams Blenheim Bouquet, in my opinion), but it’s just a guess.

Screencap and id source.

Yield to the Night (1956)

yieldtothenight_bornunicorn (1)Mary Price Hilton (Diana Dors) works as a sales assistant at a perfume shop. There she meets Jim Lancaster (Michael Craig), the man she’ll desperately fall in love with. When they first meet, he’s looking for a perfume, but asks Mary what perfume she is wearing.

SHALIMAR08010 BASEAThere are several perfumes on the glass counter, among which Shalimar by Guerlain.

yieldtothenight_bornunicorn (4)The spectacular giant chauve souris bottle gets a beautiful shot in the same scene. Now you know where my avatar comes from 😉

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lucienlelong_miniatures_bornunicorn

lucienlelong_gardenia_bornunicornOn the bottom shelf of the counter there’s a set of Lucien Lelong mini bottles (see the ball-shaped stoppers) and what looks like Gardénia by Lucien Lelong. The bottle – designed by René Lalique and called Sea Star – was actually used for other perfumes by Lelong (Lilac, for example), but the white box trimmed in a contrasting colour could confirm it was Gardenia indeed.

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guerlain_vintagemitsouko_bornunicorn

vintage-guerlain-shalimar-eau-de-cologne-splash-1-7-oz-new-rope-sealed-7cc19a1fb031c4c8f019950e9bc5749a (1)Another shot shows a bouchon coeur bottle and a flacon montre by Guerlain. Reading the labels is impossible, so I can’t tell what they contained. The same can be said for the trademark tall bottle by Lucien Lelong, which was used for different perfumes.

Source.