Just Because: Colgate Rapid Transit Soap

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I’m sorry I’m not posting as regularly as usual right now. I just started a new job last week, so I’ve been a little busier than usual, and technology hasn’t developed far enough for me to blog on the subway!

In the meantime, here’s a wonderful vintage soap advertisement for your viewing pleasure. I wish Colgate would bring back this product for all of us tired-and-dirty commuters.

Image via National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

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Just Because: Jean Paul Gaultier Perfume Advertisement (1993)

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Every Friday, Now Smell This hosts a “community project.” For today’s group post, everyone is wearing and naming the a “down the rabbit hole” scent—the fragrance that turned her/him into a perfume obsessive.

Mine? The original Jean Paul Gaultier perfume, now called Classique. It was launched in 1993, and I wore it regularly in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It’s not a niche fragrance, nor the creation of an independent perfumer, no—but thanks to this fragrance in its female-torso bottle, I started thinking about fragrance in a deeper and more detailed way. I realized that rose and vanilla were (and are!) two of my favorite notes to wear. I learned the difference between an Eau de Toilette and an Eau de Parfum, and I noticed the differences between these two formulations of Gaultier’s fragrance. I admired the bottle and learned that it was inspired by an earlier, iconic example: Schiaparelli’s Shocking (created in 1937). Personal taste, terminology, history, visual identity; all aspects of fragrance that I still ponder and research.

If you’re a NST reader, please do add your own gateway perfume to the community post today!

Bergdorf Goodman (and Matisse): Vintage Advertisement, 1964

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I’ve had this vintage magazine advertisement saved for a while. It’s a Bergdorf Goodman promotion for an “autumn afternoon dress” by Townley, available in Bergdorf’s “Country & Casual Shop” for $110. The illustrator showed his elegant female figure (wearing not only the Townley frock, but also heels, hat, gloves, and earrings) enjoying several works of art…

Continue reading “Bergdorf Goodman (and Matisse): Vintage Advertisement, 1964”

Just Because: Milo Violets Cigarettes, Vintage Advertisement

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I’ve never smoked, and I don’t intend to start. But… if I’d been around in 1918, when this advertisement was published, I might have been tempted to try Milo Violets.

These cigarettes were “delicately scented,” with “gold tips,” perfect “for the woman of discernment.” And they apparently not only smelled lovely and enhanced a woman’s personal style, but also encouraged an enthusiasm for modern art, judging by that painting hanging behind the two women.

Quick Reads: Houbigant, Mucha, and La Rose France

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I came across this beautiful advertisement from 1909, in which Houbigant used an illustration by Alfonse Mucha to promote a fragrance named La Rose France, and wondered how it came to be. Then I found this post on a blog devoted to Houbigant’s perfumes and perfume bottles, which answered all my questions and then some. Do give it a read!

(To re-read my own take on a present-day Anna Sui perfume ad that pays homage to Mucha, see here.)

Image: H-Prints.