There are several perfumes on a table in the bedroom of Joe’s mother.
Among them, a bottle of Estee Lauder White Linen, created by Sophia Grojsman and launched in 1978.
The vintage glass bottle missing the spray nozzle is a Nina Ricci perfume. Impossible to say what it contains, since the same bottle was used for several fragrances.
There are two Nina Ricci perfumes on a dressing table: L’Air du Temps and Fleur de Fleurs. The first, launched in 1948, was created by Francis Fabron; the second, launched in 1982, was created by Betty Busse.
Next to them, on the left, there’s a bottle of Guerlain Chamade, a 1969 creation by Jean-Paul Guerlain.
This is one of the most famous scenes from the Jonathan Demme film – the first time in which Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) and Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) meet. His reaction to her presence is eerie: there’s a thick perspex surface separating the two characters, but he is able to detect, through the holes in the perspex, what she smells like. He smells “Evyan skin cream”; he also realizes she sometimes wears Nina Ricci L’air du temps, “but not today”.
Let’s focus on the first product for a moment: the script spells it “Evyan”, not “Evian”, so Thomas Harris (the author of the Hannibal saga) was referring to a perfumed body lotion, not to a French mineral water-based product. By “Evyan” I believe he was referring to the American brand’s most famous perfume, White Shoulders. Originally launched in 1945, it is a triumph of white flowers: it includes notes of gardenia, jasmine, lily of the valley, orange flower and tuberose. Since he mentions L’air du temps soon after, I think it’s natural for him to talk about two perfumes, not about a (probably scentless) face moisturizer and a perfume.
The second reference is pretty clear: Clarice sometimes wears the iconic perfume by Nina Ricci, created by Francis Fabron and released in 1948, a symbol of innocence (see the beautiful doves on the stopper). Among its middle notes, we can find jasmine and gardenia, so can we assume Clarice loves white floral perfumes?