Month: January 2013

My Back Pages: Perfume in The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh


I started reading Evelyn Waugh’s fiction when I was in high school and Brideshead Revisited had just been re-aired, in all its glory, on public television. One of Waugh’s funniest novels (which is saying something) is The Loved One, a black comedy written after Waugh had traveled to Los Angeles. Short and sharp, it skewers the funeral industry, life in Hollywood, romantic courtship and, in passing, beauty products.


The Art of Perfume Ads: Houbigant Chantilly (1945)

chantilly 1945

This one’s an easy one!

I’ve written two previous posts about advertisements for Houbigant’s Chantilly: an ad from the 1960s that borrowed an angel from a Raphael altarpiece, and and ad from the 1990s that was inspired by an Edward Steichen photograph.

This ad for Chantilly “bath tablets” pays homage to one of the most famous works in Western art history, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.