Kim Novak Shopping for Perfume at Dior (1950)

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Here we see Kim Novak circa 1950, impeccably coiffed and dressed (gloves! purse! pearl bracelet!) while she samples perfume at the Christian Dior boutique in Paris. The bottles with the houndstooth-print labels are most likely Miss Dior, in all its original glory. The dark, curvy Baccarat flaçon standing just in front of Ms. Novak may be Diorama. The bottles with the “basket-weave” labels at left might hold Eau de Cologne Fraîche.

Whichever fragrance she’s wearing, she must smell marvelous.

I’m posting this photograph because Ms. Novak’s appearance at last night’s Academy Awards has caused a bit of online commentary, to put things kindly. Please do take a few minutes to read my friend Farran’s post on this subject at The Self-Styled Siren.

Image: Kim Novak testing perfume at the Dior boutique on the Avenue Montaigne, Paris, circa 1950. Collection of Jean-Louis Quémar.

Screen Time: The Smell of Ambition in “American Hustle”

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Mr. TC and I went to see “American Hustle” at the movies last weekend. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. This won’t be a movie review—you can just go read what David Denby wrote in The New Yorker!—but I need to mention a brief but crucial scene that included a telling reference to scent.

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Screen Time: “The Talented Mr. Ripley”

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I went to see “The Talented Mr. Ripley” in the theater when it was released in 1999, and I’ve re-watched it multiple times over the years. I enjoy this movie for many reasons—Italian locations! 1950s fashions! tightly plotted psychological suspense!—and a perfume moment never hurts.

In one scene, Tom Ripley (played by Matt Damon) sits at a portable typewriter to compose a letter that he will then sign as “Dickie Greenleaf,” another major character. (This story includes many themes of doubling and assumed identities; that’s all I’ll say.) Next to the typewriter sits a package from the venerable Florentine apothecary and perfumery Santa Maria Novella.

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Screen Time: The Muppets Take. . .Bergdorf

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My husband and I recently re-watched “The Muppets Take Manhattan” (1984). Neither of us had seen it in years and years, but we both found it as entertaining as we remembered, even if we were watching it through slightly different eyes. I got one of my biggest laughs from the sequence that begins with Kermit the Frog chatting with his friend Jenny, a waitress who’s an aspiring costume designer (such a New York occupation/aspiration!). As a child, I wouldn’t have been too concerned with the actual location of their conversation…

Continue reading “Screen Time: The Muppets Take. . .Bergdorf”