In an age when the phrase “style icon” is used to describe virtually any actress or model who hires a professional stylist and receives loans of designer gowns for red-carpet events, it can be hard to remember that there was a time when true, one-of-a-kind stars like Josephine Baker captured the public imagination.
But, to the point: Am I the last person to learn that Josephine Baker’s favorite perfume was Lanvin’s Arpège?
I don’t remember what exactly I was searching for, but I came across this interesting piece of fragrance trivia…and something even better.
I may be reading too much into the holiday-season windows of this Vince boutique on Madison Avenue when I say that they immediately remind me of Minimalist artist Dan Flavin’s series Monument for V. Tatlin (1969-70).
Flavin’s sculptures in this series were made entirely from prefabricated fluorescent lighting tubes.
The series was a (semi-humorous) homage to Vladimir Tatlin’s design for an impossibly high and complex tower that would serve as a monument to the Communist International organization (1919-20). Some of Flavin’s neon arrangements referred to the shapes of that never-built monument, and others were simply abstract shapes.
Were Vince’s visual merchandising experts aware of Flavin’s work and its implications about art and history? Were they trying to suggest an abstract menorah? Or did they just want to come up with a window display that was illuminated and modern (and not too expensive to execute)? Your guess is as good as mine. I’ve never even been inside a Vince shop.
Images: Vince photo by Tinsel Creation; Dan Flavin photos/works courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art and Phillips.
Frédéric Malle Editions de Parfums is one of my favorite fragrance houses. I own and love several fragrances from the collection, yet I’ve never splashed out on one of Editions de Parfums’ fragranced candles in their signature red containers—partly because they’re so costly, partly because I just wouldn’t be able to choose a scent.
As the Editions de Parfums website tells us, “Christmas is a family atmosphere: particular colors—mostly red & green, and a scent made of pine, amber, cinnamon and a touch of cotton candy. A few years ago, Dominique Ropion made an olfactory sketch of this unique December scent. Frederic Malle and him decided to ‘polish’ it to make it even more comfortable, diffusive, and to make it perform in a scented candle.”
Joyeux Noël is a limited edition. It sells for $95 (!) through the Editions de Parfums website and Frédéric Malle Editions de Parfums boutiques.
My latest post on Now Smell This is a review of Cardamom Rose and Toboacco Cognac from House of Cherry Bomb Perfumes. You can read it here.
Wishing all my American friends a very happy Thanksgiving Day, full of good company and good cheer.
(My mother gave me this book when I was ten years old, knowing my love for Little Women. Maybe I’ll re-read it this weekend!)