Do you remember this scene from Sunset Boulevard?
Actually, it was dialogue and not perfume that wasn’t necessary but it reminds me of the state of perfume today. Walk into any perfume store or department and what do you see? Faces, faces, FACES!!! Penelope Cruz, Cate Blanchett, Julia Roberts and, of course, Charlize Theron for J’Adore! Well… I don’t mind Charlize that much because that video with Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Marlene Dietrick is genius! But you have to wonder… is this the perfume department or a movie theatre?
Where do we NOT see faces? Hermès. Guerlain. And, of course, most of the niche brands. I was told that Hermès makes a point of not using a “face” for their perfume to underline the fact that the Hermès woman or man can be ANY woman or man. Very smart!
I can imagine that the perfume companies probably negotiate the “face” long before they create the perfume. The juice only has to smell decent. The face will sell the perfume. When I was trying Sì, a woman at the counter told me flat out… “I knew I had to have it when I saw the face of Cate Blanchett!” Right.
And so, I am skeptical when I see the face of a big name on a billboard bigger than I am tall. I figure that’s where most of the money is going… not the research and definitely not the materials. Such is life.
However on a positive note, I read that Chanel has come out with three new “extraits”… 1932, Beige and Jersey and I wonder just how wonderful they are. And, Thierry Wasser has restored some of the classic Guerlains, notably Mitsouko and Chamade. Can you imagine? And so I start to dream about the perfumes again and I forget about the faces. They’re temporary… like Norma Desmond.
I’ve been away with some family matters but I’ll be back more often. Enjoy!