Christina Aguilera recently posted a short video collage on Instagram to commemorate the late Stinky, one of her beloved dogs. In one picture, some perfumes can be seen. We know that the singer loves floral, fruity and gourmand fragrances, and the perfumes here reinforce that. The faceted bottle with the pink label is the first version of La Chasse aux Papillons by L’Artisan Parfumeur, a white floral perfume created by Anne Flipo and launched in 1999. The bottle with the beige cord around the neck is Artemisia by Penhaligon’s, a lovely powdery perfume launched in 2002. I’ve been wearing Artemisia for years and I can totally see why Christina uses it: it’s a romantic perfume with a very peculiar warm milky note, very reassuring and comforting.
Thanks to a larger shot, we know that those are bottles of Malabah, sitting on the glass counter next to Lily of the Valley and a factice bottle of English Fern.
Picking Penhaligon’s perfumes for this show is historically accurate, since Penhaligon’s was established in 1870. Some of the fragrances seen on Selfridge’s counters were launched way after the 1910s, though – Orange Blossom in 1976, Malabah in 2003 and Lavandula in 2004. On the other hand, Lily of the Valley was created in 1907, English Fern in 1910, so they could be actually sold in the Oxford Street department store.
One of the most hilarious scenes of this film is set in a London leather bar, taken by storm by a group of women from Dulais, Wales. Gail (Nia Gwynne) and Gwen (Menna Trussler) ask a rubber man (Nick Blair) how he gets into his latex catsuit. He obviously uses talcum powder, something that Gwen uses too, for a different purpose. She explains she uses lily-of-the-valley powder, such a classic British scent!
Gwen is a working-class lady, so I guess her talcum powder is a traditional product, not too fancy nor expensive. Taylor of London, Bronnley, Marks & Spencer, Morny and Yardley would be excellent choices.
The perfumes I’ve identified are Tocca Bianca (a sparkling scent with bottom notes of musk and sugar), Chloé Chloé (created by Betty Busse and launched in 1975 by Karl Lagerfeld; it’s white floral/woody perfume) and Penhaligon’s Cornubia (a vampy white floral scent created by Nathalie Lawson in 1991).
The make-up items include a MAC 150 blush brush and Studio Fix powder foundation.
There are two NARS lipglosses, too. I’m pretty sure one is Albatross (it has the old packaging), while the other could be Guyane or Vent Salé (with the new packaging).
Penhaligon’s Artemisia talcum powder in Emma Recchi’s bathroom.
On the top shelf, next to the shave brush, there’s a Penhaligon’s bottle. It’s bow-less, so it’s hard to tell what perfume it is. Margaret Thatcher was said to wear Bluebell, but this isn’t it. That peculiar sticker shape makes me think of Blenheim Bouquet, but it’s just a guess. If that was the case, kudos to the prop master for choosing the fragrance created for Winston Churchill’s father and worn by the Prime Minister himself.