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  1. #1

    Default Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    In DBC Pierres book Lights out in Wonderland (set in the culinary world) the main character carries a bottle of Jicky with him , which he drinks from occasionally.

    In Bone in the Throat by Anthony Bourdain, the main mobster lathers himself with Bijan For Men before going out.

    Any others?

    Or fragrances mentioned or spotted in films?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    In the third episode of Season 3 Sherlock, (on PBS), a plot point hinges on the fact that two women wear the same perfume. This leads Sherlock to name the wrong woman in one of his deductions, based on the perfume he smells. Alas, it is a fictional perfume.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Cited already a few times in threads:
    Belle de jour: the character played by Deneuve drops and crashes a clock bottle of Mitsouko. Bad things follow.
    Sunset boulevard: there's a bottle of narcisse noir
    Black narcissus: an old english movie. the title comes from the name of a perfume that a maharadjah (or similar) douses on his handkerchief and is caught by some nuns and a local poor girl. Again, bad things follow. (The perfume is fictional, but the name clearly recalls, again, narcisse noir)

    cacio

  4. #4

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    In the film Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (1991) the female protagonist Michèle (Juliette Binoche) mentions that she never liked Bandit.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    In David Hare's 2011 spy thriller, 'Page 8', Bill Nighy's character catches a whiff of fragrance on a female friend and purrs 'Mmmm, Bel-Ami?', to which she nods. That struck me as a little odd: both for the fact that he recognised it (let's face it, there aren't many frag-spotters amongst us), and because she was wearing a scent not usually considered unisex. Hence why I have remembered it for 3 years

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Quote Originally Posted by Marais View Post
    In David Hare's 2011 spy thriller, 'Page 8', Bill Nighy's character catches a whiff of fragrance on a female friend and purrs 'Mmmm, Bel-Ami?', to which she nods. That struck me as a little odd: both for the fact that he recognised it (let's face it, there aren't many frag-spotters amongst us), and because she was wearing a scent not usually considered unisex. Hence why I have remembered it for 3 years
    Extremely interesting choice!

    My initial guess would either be that he loved the fragrance name, and used it just for that, or that he realized it would make the woman more suspicious or intriguing, for her choice of a "man's" perfume.
    * * * *

  7. #7

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Extremely interesting choice!

    My initial guess would either be that he loved the fragrance name, and used it just for that, or that he realized it would make the woman more suspicious or intriguing, for her choice of a "man's" perfume.
    Bill Nighy played a long-serving MI5 officer, so I suppose he might be expected to be particularly observant. I can't remember much about the female character, I don't think she had a prominent part (oooh missus etc). I suspect it was a blunder TBH.

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    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Quote Originally Posted by Marais View Post
    Bill Nighy played a long-serving MI5 officer, so I suppose he might be expected to be particularly observant. I can't remember much about the female character, I don't think she had a prominent part (oooh missus etc). I suspect it was a blunder TBH.
    Blunder sounds about right! Either that or some editor said "Forget <whatever>! Has to be easy French. Where's that alphabetical list of fragrances? Bel-Ami! Done!"

    Or maybe somebody was named Bellamy, and it was an inside joke!
    * * * *

  9. #9

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    I think in the Bond film of the 2006 "Casino Royale," Vesper Lynd, played by Eva Green is wearing Melograno by Santa Maria Novella. James Bond, played by Daniel Craig, identifies it on her when he appraises her in spy-fashion.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    In Michael Chabon's novel Wonder Boys, Cristalle makes appearances throughout the novel as the chosen fragrance of several characters. One wonders who in Chabon's real life wore/wears Cristalle - the reader gets the impression the author has an intimate personal connection with the perfume.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Hannibal Lecter - '... sometimes you wear L'Air du Temps - but not today' to Clarice in Silence of the Lambs.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    In Barbara Block's novel Scent of Murder, a character who is a potential suspect, gives a case breaking clue to investigators when he applies too much Aramis.

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  13. #13

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    In Barbara Block's novel Scent of Murder, a character who is a potential suspect, gives a case breaking clue to investigators when he applies too much Aramis.

    (3956)
    Glad to see justice was done!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Quote Originally Posted by marais View Post
    glad to see justice was done!
    lol!!!
    * * * *

  15. #15

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    In an Italian novel- not a great one anyway!- one of the characters, a pianist, makes references to a French perfume named after a Chopin composition- Nocturnes de Caron, I guess.
    I used to wear it when I was 10 or 11.... LOL
    "Your fragrance with a fume of iodine" L. Cohen

  16. #16

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films


    for swap/sale:





  17. #17

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    In The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Mathieu Amalric shaves Max von Sydow and dabs him with Serge Lutens Fleurs d'Oranger.

    In Bull Durham Susan Sarandon has a bottle of Shalimar on her vanity table.

    In The Iron Lady there was some Geo F. Trumper stuff in the bathroom cabinet (can't remember which scent, the earlier "perfume in films and tv" thread seems to have disappeared).
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  18. #18

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Sous le Vent gets a mention towards the beginning of Pynchon's novel Gravity's Rainbow.
    Jicky appears in the film l'Apollonide. I'd post a screen shot but the scene is a little *ahem*, 'risqué'.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Quote Originally Posted by gandhajala View Post
    I'd post a screen shot but the scene is a little *ahem*, 'risqué'.
    *goes directly to google image search*

  20. #20

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    In Masaki Kobayashi's 1962 film The Inheritance (quite a cynical and somewhat brutal film) Guerlain's Vol de nuit plays a prominent role in one scene, if you have Hulu you can check it out around the 1:05 mark I think.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    I don't know if anyone has already mentioned this, but there's quite a few perfume references to perfume in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Col. Slade (Al Pacino) meeting woman outside hearing from movie Scent of a Woman (1992)

    Last step.
    I can always count on you, Charlie.
    Colonel!
    I'm Christine Downes, Colonel Slade.
    I teach political science.
    I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you speaking your mind.
    Why, thank you. Are you married?
    I...
    Went to an artillery school at Fort Sill with a Mickey Downes.
    Thought he might've snagged you.
    No, I'm afraid not.
    Colonel Slade was on Lyndon Johnson's staff, Miss Downes.
    Were you? Fascinating.
    We should get together, talk politics sometime.

    (Col. Slade smells Mrs. Downes perfume)
    Fleurs de Rocaille.
    Yes.
    "Flowers from a brook. "
    That's right.
    Well, Miss Downes, I'll know where to find you.
    Charlie.
    Bye, Miss Downes.
    Bye.
    You don't have to tell me, Charlie.
    5'7",
    auburn hair,
    beautiful brown eyes.
    Last edited by kbe; 9th February 2014 at 06:01 PM.
    Our job is to live joyfully in this world of sorrows--Joseph Campbell

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    David sachet's portrayal of Poirot has always been a favorite of mine. I was pleasantly surprised when during one episode he mentions purchasing a cologne from Geo. F. Trumper. The actual name of the scent is not revealed.

    http://www.poirot.us/suchet.php

    Then there is the wonderful Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle:
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Quote Originally Posted by Marais View Post
    In David Hare's 2011 spy thriller, 'Page 8', Bill Nighy's character catches a whiff of fragrance on a female friend and purrs 'Mmmm, Bel-Ami?', to which she nods. That struck me as a little odd: both for the fact that he recognised it (let's face it, there aren't many frag-spotters amongst us), and because she was wearing a scent not usually considered unisex. Hence why I have remembered it for 3 years
    Love this topic. Have to think though about what I can say))

    Bel Ami...I could wear it! I think I was wearing much more weird ones...

  25. #25

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Good one.
    Quote Originally Posted by lpp View Post
    Hannibal Lecter - '... sometimes you wear L'Air du Temps - but not today' to Clarice in Silence of the Lambs.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Some interesting replies -- cheers everyone

    In American Psycho, Patrick Bateman mentions a couple of men's fragrances that he or his friends are wearing -- can't remember them though -- would have been 80's powerhouses -- I think Paco Rabanne was one?

  27. #27

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Reese Witherspoon spritzes on some Clinique Happy in Legally Blonde.
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  28. #28

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    In the TV series American Horror Story: Asylum, the devil-possessed nun asks for Tabu as her fragrance of choice, and in Orange is the New Black (the Netflix original series), one of the characters knew that her friend's mother has been visiting because she smelled Shalimar on the friend.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    In the german movie "A Woman In Flames", Eva, the female protagonist, mentions her lovers perfumes, which are all female fragrances.

    "Ma Griffe, Fath, Cinnabar, Chamade, Mitsouko. They're women's perfumes all together?"

  30. #30

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    In "Pariah" (1985) one of the more obscure and less-bestselling novels by Pascal Bruckner, the main character, who is simultaneously also the narrator, recounts that as soon as he boarded an Air France plane, he sensed that the stewardess "smelled pleasantly of Chanel" (without however more specifically mentioning which Chanel fragrance this was).

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    In "Megamind" (seriously ), the main character is caught by his friendly sidekick getting ready for a date.

    "I just have to run a few errands."
    "You don't 'run errands'. What's going on here?"
    "What?"
    "Wait a minute!" sniffs "Are you wearing Jean Paul Gaultier's Pour Homme?!?"
    "Uh, no! It's just my natural musk!"

  32. #32

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveStPaul View Post
    In "Megamind" (seriously ), the main character is caught by his friendly sidekick getting ready for a date.

    "I just have to run a few errands."
    "You don't 'run errands'. What's going on here?"
    "What?"
    "Wait a minute!" sniffs "Are you wearing Jean Paul Gaultier's Pour Homme?!?"
    "Uh, no! It's just my natural musk!"
    Will Ferrell?? Ha Ha

    Nice one

  33. #33

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    I started a thread on the male frags board re the current bestseller "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt. Not a single response, it sank like a stone.

    Anyway, the fiancee of the main character in this book is cited several times as wearing Chanel 19, which seems to suit her very well.

  34. #34

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    I've just finished reading "The Perfume Collector" by Kathleen Tessaro. She used Madam Zed as a character in the novel (she was a real perfumer and did indeed create Lanvin's My Sin). There are several other fictional perfumes in the book. I enjoyed reading it.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Downton Abbey had a reference to perfume being spilled and the room smelling like that of a tart as a result, but I wasn't able to catch the name of the perfume mentioned.
    I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

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  36. #36

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Screenshot from American Psycho. Don't know what any of these are aside from YSL Pour Homme.


  37. #37

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Quote Originally Posted by rynegne View Post
    Screenshot from American Psycho. Don't know what any of these are aside from YSL Pour Homme.

    The second bottle from the left with the pimples is a bottle that contained one of the Eaux de Caron.

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Quote Originally Posted by thinkingmagpie View Post
    I've just finished reading "The Perfume Collector" by Kathleen Tessaro. She used Madam Zed as a character in the novel (she was a real perfumer and did indeed create Lanvin's My Sin). There are several other fictional perfumes in the book. I enjoyed reading it.
    I enjoyed reading this one as well.
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  39. #39

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Mr Selfridge, a few Guerlain montre bottles on Mrs Selfridges dressing table. For spilt second in the opening sequence a shot of Guerlain bottles on the fragrance counter.
    We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting. ~Kahlil Gibran

  40. #40

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    In the third episode of season 1 of Breaking Bad, Hank references Drakkar Noir while searching inside Krazy8 & Emilio's Car.

    "It's a car that jumps up and down. What the hell, you people used to be conquistadors for Christ sake. Smells like a Drakkar Noir factory in here."

  41. #41

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Old Spice tends to be quite often mentioned, among other films:

    in "Home Alone" (the first installment of the series, when Kevin-played by Macauley Culkin erroneously dabs himself with his
    dad's Old Spice before he makes his iconic grimace in front of the mirror)

    in "Arizona Dream" directed by Emir Kusturica, up to the point that Old Spice is even mentioned in a song composed by Goran Bregovic and interpreted (actually, far more recited, since it's more a monologue than a tune) by Johnny Depp

    in "Mon oncle d'Amerique" by Alain Resnais, the character interpreted by Gerard Depardieu is, paradoxically, both a an autodidactic social climber and an old fashioned, very traditionalistic man who shaves with a straight razor and uses the Old Spice aftershave splash

    finally, a more humorous reference in the more contemporary sitcom "Mike and Molly"- when Molly Flynn and her sister Victoria remember their late father, they remark that he owned such immense quantities of Old Spice (which apparently he didn't enjoy so much) that he even "used it to light up the barbecue"

  42. #42
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    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    At the very end of Casino Royale, where he is in the boat, there is a bottle of Acqua di Parma in his toiletry bag though I don't know which. In Spring Breakers, James Franco sprays himself with 2 bottles at once during the " look at my sh*t." Sequence.

  43. #43

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Quote Originally Posted by gandhajala View Post
    Sous le Vent gets a mention towards the beginning of Pynchon's novel Gravity's Rainbow.
    Makes me happy to see this one get a reference on Basenotes!

  44. #44

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    Makes me happy to see this one get a reference on Basenotes!
    The book or the fragrance ? Hehe.

  45. #45

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Quote Originally Posted by gandhajala View Post
    The book or the fragrance ? Hehe.
    Both, but more the book

  46. #46

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    i remember that JAR Bolt of Lightning were mention in one of the episode of Hannibal TV Series.

  47. #47

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    I was watching NCIS recently and there was this exchange:

    Late one cold afternoon, Ellie Bishop is taking batting practice when a man approaches from the parking lot. It's her supervisor from the NSA, Jeremy Marlens. Bishop doesn't even need to turn around.
    "If you're trying to be stealth," she says while still swinging at balls, "A less pungent cologne would have been a smarter choice."
    "Nobody wears cologne anymore, Bishop, it's 'body spray'. Mountain Musk, I think."
    "Well, it's pretty bold."
    "I'll accept bold. I'm also irritated. Why haven't you returned my messages?"
    Also remember hearing a few fragrance references in The Mentalist...

  48. #48

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Am reading 'What it Was' by George Pelecanos and one of the characters mentions regularly getting a bottle of 'Hai Karate' at Christmas.

  49. #49

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Kouros in Polanski's Carnage.


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  50. #50

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    In "Adoptes" (2010), an obscure made for television French film I just watched, one character talked fondly about her late father, who used "a very good scent", none other than... Habit Rouge.

  51. #51

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    In 'Are you being served?' (classic British sitcom) Mrs. Slocombe is boasting about her home-made perfume. She says she accidentally dropped some on her pussy and the local tomcats were trying to get through her catflap all night.


  52. #52

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Quote Originally Posted by Marais View Post
    ........ dropped some on her pussy and the local tomcats were trying to get through her catflap all night.
    Ha! Nice one

    Sophisticated humour -- you can't beat it

  53. #53

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaern View Post
    Ha! Nice one

    Sophisticated humour -- you can't beat it
    It appears to have been a 1980's unisex panty-dropper, called 'Adam & Eve'. It made you irresistible to the opposite sex - with hilarious consequences

  54. #54

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Just watched Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) on German TV. There is a scenario in the bathroom where Spencer Tracy is wet shaving, while he and Katharine Hepburn are having a discussion. He reaches three times for his shaving paraphernalia in a shelf. Every time there are displayed two bottles of Miss Dior in houndstooth design, and one with a bow around its neck.

  55. #55

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Quote Originally Posted by jarroditshallbe View Post
    At the very end of Casino Royale, where he is in the boat, there is a bottle of Acqua di Parma in his toiletry bag though I don't know which. In Spring Breakers, James Franco sprays himself with 2 bottles at once during the " look at my sh*t." Sequence.
    Re: the James Franco scene described above. That was a great few minutes of spoken word/rap - totally on point and mesmerizing. Loved the movie, an underrated gem from last year.

  56. #56

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    The iconic houndstooth bottle of Miss Dior also appears, among many other films, in "Martha" (1974), an arthouse film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

    A further reference to another classic fragrance I recently noticed: in the made for television film "State crime" (2013) it is suggested that non-fictional French politician Robert Boulin (1920-1979) allegedly used vintage Hermes Bel Ami, judging by a brief scene depicting his bathroom.

  57. #57

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    In Queneau's Zazie dans le metro the uncle reeks of Barbouze de chez Fior
    "Your fragrance with a fume of iodine" L. Cohen

  58. #58

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    Quote Originally Posted by tigrushka View Post

    In Bull Durham Susan Sarandon has a bottle of Shalimar on her vanity table.
    I was looking for perfume the last time I watched that movie and missed it, but I assumed that Annie would smell wonderful!

  59. #59

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    In French film 'Brodeuses' (2004) Mme. Mélikian has bottles of Vol de Nuit and Eau de Cologne impériale by Guerlain.
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  60. #60

    Default Re: Fragrance references in fiction books or films

    In French film "Un éléphant ça trompe énormément" (1976) Jean Rochefort has a huge bottle of Monsieur de Givenchy.
    by the time you can afford good speakers, you can't hear the difference

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