Girls at a Woolworth’s Perfume Counter, 1947

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This photograph was taken in 1947 by Stanley Kubrick, when he was a staff photographer for LOOK magazine in New York. LOOK no longer exists, nor does Woolworth’s. I wonder where these two girls are today, and whether they still wear perfumes, and if so, which ones.

Collections of the Museum of the City of New York, X2011.4.10254.152E

Elsewhere on the Internet: My “Listicle” About Celebrity Perfumes

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For the past two years, I’ve been writing uncredited profiles of famous people in history and culture for the Biography website. Hey, a girl’s got to pay the bills. And more recently, I’ve been authoring articles (really more like “listicles”) on specific topics, with a byline.

Here’s my latest piece, a summary of important moments in celebrity perfumes. Enjoy!

The Art of Perfume Advertising: Princess Isabelle (1980s) and Monet

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This is such a perfectly summery perfume advertisement that I had to post it. I don’t know anything about Princesse Isabelle, or about this fragrance, other than that it seems to be a romantic floral eau de toilette.

What I do know is that Princesse Isabelle selected a painting by Claude Monet for this ad…

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It’s Monet’s Jeune fille à l’ombrelle tournée vers la gauche (Essai de figure en plein air), dated 1886, now in the collections of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris (see here for more information).

It’s such an apt choice of image. This is just how a perfume should make its wearer feel in the spring or summer: an impression of flickering light, a cool spot of shade, a crisp white dress, with no extraneous detail or narrative to distract from the sheer sensory pleasure of that moment.

 

Diana Vreeland’s Dressing Table (1975)

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Vogue just announced that a collection of fragrances inspired by the legendary Diana Vreeland will be launched in Paris this fall; for  more information, see here.

In honor of this news, I’m posting this photograph of Vreeland’s dressing table in her New York apartment. It was photographed for a feature in Architectural Digest’s September/October 1975 issue. I can’t identify any of the perfume bottles in this photo; if you have sharper eyes than I do, please leave a comment with your observations!

You can read one of my earlier posts about Vreeland and perfume here. The more I learn about her, the more I realize how much she loved fragrance.

Art, Music, Perfume: Rasputina’s “Cabin Fever” Album Cover

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I didn’t know anything about the band Rasputina until I walked into one of their live shows, thanks to my husband, who had bought tickets, guessing (correctly) that I would enjoy it. Rasputina’s musical style is often described as “gothic cello-rock,” and it’s certainly a love-or-hate thing. For me, it was love at first note.

I just wanted to share this image, the cover of Rasputina’s 2002 album Cabin Fever. Rasputina’s frontwoman, Melora Creager, creates much of the artwork for the band’s visual materials. She seems to have collaborated with photographer and multi-media artist Ryan Obermeyer for this cover.

Do you see what I see?

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