The Beauty of Scent, Scrutinized for Pleasure

Friday, March 16, 2012

Five Fragrances for Five Classic Film Characters: a Group Blog

Ah, it's list time again! In other words, here comes my unnatural jubilation for strange associations and randomness transformed into logic. This time, myself and the rest of my blogging group (Persolaise, Olfactoria and Fragrant Moments) will be focusing on one of my favorite topics: Classic film characters. You should probably know that my idea of a classic does include the likes of Pink Flamingos as well as The Blue Angel.


John Barrymore as Larry Renault in Dinner at Eight wearing Caron Pour Un Homme

[photo credit: movieactors.com]

Barrymore's tragic turn as Larry Renault in the 1933 film Dinner at Eight demonstrates what was so appealing about the oft-brooding actor: a beautiful sadness cuts his outwardly flawless masculinity and colors every move he makes. This makes Caron's Pour Un Homme perfect for him. By most accounts it is an exemplary fougere that, not surprisingly, many women have grown fond of wearing over time, probably because of the whiff of powderiness it graciously gives off. Once most of the top and middle notes have worn off, what remains is mild, sweet incense. Pour Un Homme is a classic that is still relevant and quite attractive; just like Mr. Barrymore.

Marlene Dietrich as Lola in The Blue Angel, wearing Le Labo Patchouli 24

[photo credit: IMDB.com]

Ah, Lola, the stunning seductress played by Marlene Dietrich in 1930's The Blue Angel. Who isn't obsessed with this woman, a burlesque performer with the world at her feet, with or without spats? The perfect scent for Lola is Le Labo's Patchouli 24, with its strong tobacco note, smoky birch tar and burnt vanilla. It has no gender, but what it does have is earthy sex appeal, and lots of it. It is a fragrance worthy of a beautiful woman in a tuxedo and top hat with a cigar.

Christopher Lee as Grigori Rasputin in Rasputin: The Mad Monk wearing Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan


[photo: telegraph.co.uk]

Rasputin: The Mad Monk is one of my favorite Hammer films, not for its historical accuracy (ahem), but for the passionate and nearly perfect performance that Christopher Lee gave as Grigori Rasputin. It's what he was born to do. The fiercely intelligent, scary, hard-partying Rasputin needs a fragrance that will hold up to his exploits and desires, and Serge Lutens' Ambre Sultan is the only perfume that stepped up for the job. Ambre Sultan is a powerful herbal oriental scent with a thick coat of fur, perfectly suited to be the fragrant companion to one of the most interesting and fearsome con-men of all time.

Catherine Deneuve as Carole in Repulsion wearing Serge Lutens Datura Noir


[photo credit: johnmyersart.tumblr.com]

Roman Polanski's 1965 film Repusion shows the beautiful Catherine Deneuve on a downward spiral as she falls into the clutches of extreme paranoia and other assorted mental afflictions. Somehow, her beauty remains intact, even when she doesn't mean it to be so. Her beauty has cursed her, and the curse is slowly poisoning her mind. What is beautiful and also poisonous? Why, the Datura flower, of course. Sweet, ethereal and slightly bitter.

Mink Stole as Connie Marble in Pink Flamingos wearing Issey Miyake Le Feu d'Issey


[photo credit: feastoffun.com] 

John Waters' 1972 film Pink Flamingos is the source of the magnetic pull that brought my husband and I together. And then I became one half of The Filthiest People Alive, and my husband, the other half (Raymond Marble). Connie is full of hatred for most living things, but especially Divine and wildlife. "Horrid little birds!" The sadly discontinued Le Feu d'Issey is like a blood orange and a habanero pepper were the subjects for some strange gene mutation experiments. The perfume screams much in the same way Connie Marble does: with fire and juiced-up passion.

For more fabulous lists, head on over to:
Persolaise
Olfactoria's Travels
Fragrant Moments

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for a wonderful list.

    I love the idea of Ambre Sultan being the smell of Rasputin!

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  2. What an intriguing list!
    Must see Pink Flamingos...

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    1. Thanks Birgit! I must warn you, Pink Flamingos is not for the faint of heart. There are a lot of shocking moments. :)

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  3. Awesome, I'm wearing the same scent as Rasuptin. Is that a good thing? hahaha
    I am a huge fan of lists - this was great!

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    1. YES IT IS A GOOD THING! I have my Ambre Sultan nearby too. :)

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  4. I am a big fan of Ambre Sultan ...my mind is boggling.Angie Cox

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    1. Hi Angie! Is your mind boggling in a good or bad way? Or is it just a general boggling born of confusion? :)

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  5. Oh my goodness, I can't believe you have that Rasputin film on your list! It's been a long time since I've seen it, but I do recall that you're quite right: Christopher Lee gave a toe-curling performance. And you've got him perfectly pegged with Ambre Sultan. ;)

    You've got some great pairings going on here, Carrie.

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    1. Hi Suzanne! I'm a Hammer freak. I have almost every film they ever made, I used to be a crazy collector (until I collected just about everything there is to collect). The other Hammer alum I was going to put in the list was Peter Cushing in Cash On Demand- that's a pretty obscure film. It's SO good, though. British bank heist, everything boiling under the surface, and it's Christmas. Brilliant!

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