Lemar Khan (Jason A. Rodriguez), a former member of the House of Abundance, Ferocity, Evangelista and Wintour, is now the father of the House of Khan and he’s ready to challenge his former mother, Elekra Evangelista.
On his dressing table we can see a bottle of Thayers rose petal and witch hazel alcohol-free toner and a bright red nail polish by Sally Hansen.
There’s also a pump bottle of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula moisturizing hand wash.
In 1994 Pray Tell (Billy Porter) works as sales assistant in the cosmetic department at Macy’s.
A factice bottle of Christian Dior Dolce Vita is displayed. This is an accurate choice because the woody fragrance, created by Pierre Bourdon and Maurice Roger, was launched exactly in 1994.
On the right side of the counter there’s also a bottle of Bijan by Bijan, a white floral eau de toilette created by Peter Bohm and launched in 1986.
Pray Tell is spraying Chanel No. 5 on customers and advertises the iconic product as a perfume that can “reawaken that passion.”
He’s spraying the eau de parfum, the 1986 version by Jacques Polges of the original fragrance created by Ernest Beaux in 1921.
There’s a jar of Pond’s dry skin cream on Jazmine Wintour’s dressing table.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate this screenshot: Elektra Wintour (Dominique Jackson) is gracing us with a rare smile and gives us the chance to get a closer look at her vanity.
The small bottle on it is one of the greatest perfumes of the 1980s, Givenchy Ysatis, an “opulent fragrance that smells like luxury” . Created by Dominique Ropion and launched in 1984, it’s simply perfect for a fierce and unapologetic character like Elektra.
 As reported on Fragrantica. I can’t think of a better description.
One of the most intense and emotional moments in a VERY intense and emotional episode was the conversation between Candy (Angelica Ross) and her mother (Patrice Johnson Chevannes). In particular, a memory from the past is brought up: as a young boy, Candy wore her mother’s perfume, a symbol of the “silent pact” she thought was between them. Despite her assumptions and hopes, though, Candy got rejected by her family for being a transgender woman and this felt like an unbearable betrayal.
This scene reminds me of another emotional moment from Paris is Burning (1990) by Jennie Livingstone: Pepper LaBeija, mother of the House of LaBeija, explains how her parents found out she dressed as a girl. Her mother found a fur coat in her closet and realised it was hers from the perfume on it, Tuvaché Jungle Gardenia. The gendered notion of perfume – now almost completely gone, thank God – could really give away a lot about oneself, sometimes with horrible consequences.
The perfume worn by Vivica and Candy is another strong symbol: Revlon Charlie was launched in 1973 and marked the beginning of a new era in perfumery. It was a fresh chypre fragrance, arguably one of the first feminist fragrances: as Barbara Herman explains in her book Scent & Subversion, “it was marketed to American women during an era when feminist consciousness was at its pop-culture height.” No wonder that Candy saw that specific perfume, worn by the most important woman in her life, as a “gate to femininity”.
The advertising campaign of Charlie was about independence, gorgeousness and sexiness: as the slogan said, it was a “gorgeous, sexy-young fragrance”, embodied by statuesque model/actress Shelley Hack wearing trousers.
Angel (Indya Moore) starts her modeling career as face of the Wet ‘n Wild spring 1990 collection. Her pictures are on the shop display and on products too! Even if the brand launched in 1979, the items seen in this episode are from current collections, not from the 1990s. From left to right there are:
Silk Finish lipsticks
Glassy Gloss lip gels
Megalast nail polishes
Two types of eyeshadow palette – the classic 8-pan palette and the Coloricon 6-pan ones from the Spring 2015 collection.
Last, Coloricon single eyeshadows.
Angel (Indya Moore) finally scores a modeling job for the Wet ‘n Wild spring 1990 campaign. While she’s having her make-up done on set, we can see L’Oreal Elnett Satin strong-hold hairspray in front of her.
There’s a flacon montre of Guerlain Shalimar cologne in the dressing room of the club where Candy works as pole dancer.
It’s clear Ryan Murphy, Pose’s showrunner, is a fan of the Guerlain perfume: you may remember it was mentioned in American Horror Story: Hotel (it was Ramona Royale’s signature scent) and in American Horror Story: Roanoke (it was used by Lee Harris).
The most important ball of the year is about to start and Elektra (Dominique Jackson) retouches Blanca’s make-up by using Maybelline Great Lash mascara.