The Princess and the Perfume


01st February, 2019

We’ve reimagined our favourite fragrance campaigns, starring some of Disney’s iconic leading ladies …

Many of us are reluctant to admit their life-long fascination with Disney princesses (or just “heroines” in some cases). But up until recently, admitting you still want to dress up as Belle or Snow White is usually accompanied with a slightly embarrassed shrug. I on the other hand, have no such shame – and if Stella McCartney can openly declare her love of Disney (she once featured Bambi and his friends as part of a big glossy campaign) then I don’t see why the rest of us have to hide in the closet.

You only need to see the growing popularity of cosplay and boozy Disney sing-a-long events to know a lot of people still hold these characters dear. For one, they tap into nostalgia in a big way – and in recent years the newer princesses are getting more diverse not just in terms of ethnicities (admittedly, there’s still a long way to go) but also in attitude. But while we’re busy coveting their chutzpah and their beauty looks, it’s all the more interesting to wonder what perfumes they would wear. With that in mind we’ve decided to pair up a few of them, reimagined as iconic fragrance adverts. Eat your heart out Kate and Charlize…

Words: Viola Levy Pictures: Grant Osborne

Snow White – Jean Paul Gaultier Classique

Our Snow’s a low-maintenance girl when you think about it – give her a broom, some woodland critters and seven little men to cook for and she’s as happy as larry. To me, her carefree spirit is embodied in M. Gaultier’s Classique - a cheery, sweet and slightly sensual concoction of rum, rose and vanilla orchid.

 

 

Belle (Beauty & The Beast) – Estée Lauder, Modern Muse Le Rouge

This is a sophisticated yet no-nonsense scent that would be perfect for Belle – not least given it has a rose at its heart. Other punchy notes in the mix echo Belle’s wilful character, like pink pepper, patchouli and vetiver – this is definitely not a perfume for the shy and retiring. It’s enough to stop a beast in his tracks at any rate.

 

 

Merida (Brave) – Revlon, Charlie

Revlon’s 1970s campaign for Charlie summed up the spirit of the era, of young girls sporting trousers, strutting boldly around town and basically doing it for themselves (not least buying their own perfume). So it’s easy to see why we paired this with trailblazing, arrow-firing Merida, who bravely turns down the many suitors offered to her to carve her own destiny (Celtic Fire by Union Fragrances would have been another great choice, but sadly there was no jazzy campaign we could draw her in).

 

 

Elsa (Frozen) - Nina Ricci, Ricci Ricci Dancing Ribbon

One of the best things about Elsa is that (*spoiler alert*) a handsome prince doesn’t rescue her at the end of the film – her little sister does. In fact, she doesn’t get any romantic action at all and she’s totally cool with that. Instead, she focuses her attentions on building a badass ice palace, dressing up in a gorgeous sapphire gown and conjuring up an abominable snowman to ward off any intruders. Elsa’s temperamental nature is echoed by Nina Ricci’s tart and slightly spiky bouquet of ginger, raspberry and rhubarb. While her softer side is brought out with an enveloping base of patchouli and sandalwood.

 

 

Mulan - Hermès, Eau de Merveilles

Back in 1998, Mulan marked the beginning of a more plucky, pioneering Disney heroine. She sets out on a quest – not to catch herself a man – but to save her father from certain death in the army by enlisting herself in his place. Disguising herself as a boy, she endures all manner of hideous training exercises, almost giving up before she comes out on top (and saves China – natch.) This dazzling concoction by Hermès is equally impressive, managing to pull off the tricky feat of being a sparkly scent with substance – there’s actually not a single floral note in the mix. With a rich heart of woods and amber, we reckon Mulan would pick this over a delicate rose or pretty peony any day.

 

Part Two of The Princess and the Perfume will be published soon…

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About the author: Viola Levy

Freelance beauty editor Viola Levy has loved perfume since purchasing a treasured bottle of Impulse O2 aged 10 and later wearing Anaïs Anaïs to a friend's 13th birthday party. Formerly contributing beauty editor of Glass Magazine, her blog Scents and the City highlights her favourite fragrances and beloved London haunts.


About the author: Grant Osborne

Grant Osborne is the founder and editor of Basenotes. Grant has two children, and a dependence on tea, haribo and bacon.


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    Comments

      • epapsiou | 1st February 2019 14:59

        didn't know that Grant can sketch.

        Nicely done.

      • cacio | 1st February 2019 22:03

        Very impressive. Indeed, over the past few years there's been a trend in fashion to use cartoons, and especially Disney cartoons, in high end fashion. So that's perfectly in synch with the times.

      • odysseusm | 6th February 2019 13:47

        Fun article, and Grant -- those pictures are fantastic!

      • Redneck Perfumisto | 8th February 2019 09:47

        Awesome! Every one! But Modern Belle is truly cool, and I may be in love!

      • Primrose | 6th March 2019 08:03

        Very cute!

        I thought, though, that Mulan would wear something more Asian, such as Revlon Xia Xiang.