Tag Archives: vivien leigh

Vivien Leigh’s Dressing Room (1960)

I’ve already written about Vivien Leigh touring the U.S. in 1960. The English actress starred in the play Duel of Angels by Christopher Fry alongside her partner Jack Merivale.

The picture above is a bit blurry, but there’s one object that clearly stands out.

It’s a Guerlain flacon lyre containing perfumed talc. Too bad it’s impossible to read the front label, so we will never know what the talc was scented like.

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.

Vivien Leigh’s Dressing Table (1960)

vivienleigh1960_bornunicorn.jpgThe Canadian actor Jack Merivale took this picture in 1960. He was performing as Armand in the play Duel of Angels by Christopher Fry, along with Vivien Leigh. They were at the Huntington Hartford Hotel in Pasadena during the American tour of the play. They had been partners since 1958: Merivale stayed by Vivien Leigh’s side until her death, in 1967, and supported her during the difficult last years of her life.

The picture above is very interesting. In 1960 Leigh and her second husband Lawrence Olivier divorced, but the actress still kept his pictures on her dressing table. Beauty-wise, there are three perfume bottles worth talking about.

guerlaingoutteflacon_bornunicornOn the left, right next to the Olivier picture in the silver photoframe, there’s a Guerlain flacon goutte. First introduced in 1923, it was used for over 30 different fragrances, so there’s no way to tell exactly which one was sitting on Leigh’s table.

dioramphorabottle_bornunicornBeside the flower vase there’s a Dior amphore, designed by Fernand Guéry-Colas in 1947 for Miss Dior. Later, it was used for other Dior scents, like Diorissimo, Diorling, Diorama and Diorella. Again, there’s no way to know which perfume was on Vivien’s table.

jeanpatoujoy_bornunicornLast but not least, the perfume we can identify without any doubt: Joy by Jean Patou, the actress’ signature scent [1], first given to her as a gift by Olivier.

[1] Elena Prokofieva wrote an interesting article about the perfumes Leigh used.

Picture source.