My Ideal Celebrity Perfume

Today we have a guest contribution from Jillie. You’ve probably chatted with Jillie in the comment section both here and other perfume blogs. When I asked Jillie how she fell in love with scents, she replied, “I think I was born a perfumista!  I toddled around smelling flowers and shrubs in the garden before I was two, and progressed to climbing up onto relatives’ dressing-tables to douse myself in their perfume.  As soon as I got pocket money, I would save to buy cheap scent at Woolworth’s and ended up with a shoe box full of my precious possessions, which I would take out each day and sniff.” As they say, the rest is history.  

What perfume would Vivien Leigh have worn?  Clark Gable once said that when he first met her at the house of David Selznick, the producer of Gone with the Wind, he noticed that she smelled of violets. I ran through my mental list of favorite violet perfumes and decided that it surely must have been Balenciaga’s Le Dix. A delicate violet wrapped in a veil of amber and vanilla, it would have complemented Leigh’s ethereal beauty. I shattered my own illusion when I discovered that Le Dix was created eight years after Gone with the Wind was filmed, but I still like to think that it would have been the perfect fragrance for Miss Leigh.  And you never know, she might have discovered and worn it later in preference to her well documented favorite, Jean Patou Joy.

vivien-leigh3

Le Dix epitomizes glamour for me, as do the stars of old Hollywood, like Leigh.  Let me confess right now that I am an old-fashioned girl. I love vintage perfumes for their richness and complexity, much like I love classical cinema for its glamour and style. A celebrity scent for me is one that is worn by an actress who is amazingly striking, although not necessarily beautiful, talented and charismatic. Her perfume is an extension of her personality and a perfect fit.  And if you choose to wear the same fragrance yourself, you should feel glamorous too. More than anything, wearing scents is a way for me to fantasize and dream.

The concept of celebrity scent these days is very different from mine. Any famous person (be they a “reality” star or a footballer) can and does have a perfume marketed under their name. Actresses front fragrance publicity campaigns even if they have professed in the past to not actually liking or wearing perfume.  Generic scents are rolled out under the name of whichever celebrity the branding agencies feel will appeal to the public.  Where is the glamour?  Does the perfume they advertise even suit them?

When I look at a photo of Audrey Hepburn, L’Interdit immediately springs to mind, because legend has it that Givenchy created it especially for her. It also helps that its ladylike veil of soft flowers is a wonderful match for Hepburn, one of the most refined women of her day.  If I were to assign her another perfume, I would pick Guerlain’s Chant d’Arômes. Just like the beloved star of Roman Holiday, it blends sparkle with sophistication.

The screen goddess turned princess Grace Kelly also had a perfume created for her. Creed was commissioned by her future husband, Prince Rainier, to compose a fragrance for their wedding, and Fleurissimo was born.  Its bouquet of iris and jasmine is as exquisite as the rose point lace of her famous wedding gown. I would also pick a Guerlain for Kelly, but this time my choice would be the lush Mitsouko. The perfume might seem a little aloof and distant at first—an icy blonde, but if you look at it closer, you will discover how seductive and alluring it truly is. There is no denying that Kelly has a voluptuous side to her personality.

I could play the game of assigning perfumes to movie stars for hours, and sometimes I catch myself mentally scenting an actor or actress as I watch my favorite films. What would I pick for Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice? Would I put Marilyn Monroe in anything other than Chanel No 5? Do you want to join me?  Which fragrance would you choose for your favorite screen idol?

Image: Vivien Leigh.

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126 Comments

  • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Jillie! how nice to meet you as a writer on bdj!
    Of course I will join you, it’s fun. I always admired Sophia Loren, so generous, earthy and yet sophisticated, and so talented. I see her in Carnal Flower, or Nahéma.
    My other choice is Gérard Philippe. Elegant, beautiful, with a wonderful voice. His light, radiant tenor was captivating; I had a disc with him as Le Cid. He was the right person for Pour Monsieur de Chanel, or Equipage, Hermès. September 20, 2013 at 7:24am Reply

    • Jillie: Why thank you, Miss Cornelia! Sophia is still all of those things. I think you are spot on with choosing Nahema for her as I remember Sophia the perfume from the 80s – this was inspired by her (I don’t know if she had any input), and it was a gorgeous rose.

      I looked Gerard Philippe up – he was a handsome chap, wasn’t he? September 20, 2013 at 9:23am Reply

      • Phyllis Iervello: This is such a fun post! I’ve been thinking of what perfume would be for Lauren Bacall and have come up with Chanel No. 19. Also, today is Sofia Loren’s 79th birthday and she still looks sultry! September 20, 2013 at 10:56am Reply

        • Jillie: Lovely choice for Lauren, Phyllis! Cool and ever so slightly masculine like her, but with a beautiful feminine iris and rose heart.

          Happy birthday Sophia! What a happy coincidence. She does looks wonderful. I wonder what her secret is? She once said that she owed her figure to pasta; maybe that’s the trick. More pasta please! September 20, 2013 at 11:17am Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: Ha! Spaghetti tonight! September 20, 2013 at 11:36am Reply

        • Austenfan: Chanel 19 would suit her really well. Because of the review in the Guide I have always linked Bacall with Aromatics Elixir. Another bold scent. September 20, 2013 at 1:11pm Reply

    • Bela: Gérard Philipe died when I was eleven years old on my mother’s birthday. I remember coming home from school and finding her in tears. He was her favourite actor and she was distraught. I thought a member of our family had died. I’ve seen many of his films, but I regret never having the chance to see him perform on stage. September 20, 2013 at 6:50pm Reply

      • Jillie: My mum felt the same about Clark Gable and Ronald Colman. September 22, 2013 at 4:04am Reply

  • Anne of Green Gables: Hello Jillie, this is a really exciting post! You already mentioned two of my favourite idols – Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelley. I’m wearing SL Un Lys today and it reminds me of Olivia Hussey in Romeo and Juliet. I couldn’t believe that she was a human; to me she looked like an angel. My other favourite idol is Ingrid Bergman. She wasn’t just beautiful – she also had this intellectual feel. Which perfume do you think would suit her for her role in Casablanca? September 20, 2013 at 7:42am Reply

    • Jillie: I’m glad you think so, Anne! Olivia Hussey was very beautiful, and so perfect as Shakespeare’s Juliet. A lily scent would suit her very well indeed; I am suddenly thinking of Anais Anais, which has a light and pure lily top note, but is underscored with a mystical incense hinting at otherworldliness.

      What do you think of Cuir de Russie for Ingrid? Almost masculine, certainly aristocratic and its leather is rich but not overpowering. Intriguing and subtly glamorous. September 20, 2013 at 9:33am Reply

      • Caroline: I imagine Bergman’s Ilsa wearing Vent Vert as an antidote to the Moroccan heat & general air of desperation. September 20, 2013 at 10:08am Reply

        • Jillie: That’s a good one, Caroline! And of course it would be the original Vent Vert, all piercing green, like an oasis in the desert. September 20, 2013 at 10:41am Reply

        • Anne of Green Gables: It’s a great choice, Caroline! September 22, 2013 at 4:31pm Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: It’s been a while since I smelled Cuir de Russie but from what I remember, I think it suits her character very well. I should take a trip to Chanel boutique soon to smell it again! September 22, 2013 at 4:27pm Reply

  • Bea: Hi Jillie – what an exciting post! Can’t wait to read all the answers.

    One of my favourite scents for the winter is Midnight Poison from Dior. The celebrity that I think it would suit best is Dita von Teese. Her elegant and mature old Hollywood style and dramatic look need a heavy and spicy scent to compliment it. I still havent tried her own scents yet – have no idea if they are similar to Midnight Poison. September 20, 2013 at 8:48am Reply

    • Jillie: Thank you Bea – the answers are the most exciting bit!

      I don’t know Midnight Poison very well, but whenever I see Dita I always think she should wear Agent Provocateur (maybe it’s the underwear connection!). I am guessing that this might not be far off from MP as they both share a lot of patchouli. She’s definitely old-style glamorous and I hope her own range reflects that. It will be interesting to try them. September 20, 2013 at 9:54am Reply

  • Portia: Welcome Jillie,
    I LOVE this game. I would like to scent some of the actors used in Mass Market ads in Indie.
    How about Keira Knightly in A Midsummer Days Dream by Olympic Orchids?
    Vanessa Paradise in Milano Cafe by La Via del Profumo?
    Natalie Portman in Pear + Olive by Slumberhouse?
    Jude Law in Bull’s Blood by Imaginary Authors?
    Eric Bana in Accident by Smell Bent?
    I could go on for HOURS!!
    Thank you,
    Portia xx September 20, 2013 at 9:17am Reply

    • Zazie: Hi Portia! Your vanessa-Milano Caffè pairing is brilliant!!!!
      Would have never thought of it but your choice just fits like a T! September 20, 2013 at 9:47am Reply

      • Portia: Thanks Zazie. I have a super big smile from your comment. When I wrote those together I was mentally buffing my nails at my own genius, he he he.
        Portia xx September 20, 2013 at 8:17pm Reply

    • Jillie: G’Day, Portia! I know ….. in fact, we could probably carry on for weeks ……

      I’m not familiar with every perfume you have mentioned, but I love the names; these alone make me smile.

      I suppose Indies can’t afford to be fronted by ‘slebs. Shame. Alan Cumming was involved with I Hate Perfume (he is obviously a perfumista, and has magnificent taste, not to mention talent), but I truly can’t think of anyone else. Time for a change. September 20, 2013 at 10:06am Reply

      • Portia: Heya Jillie,
        I am having some perfumistas over for brunch tomorrow and I’m going to add this as a game. Putting 10 famous people in a table and ask everyone to give each of them a fragrance. I think it will be a nice ice breaker.
        Portia xx September 20, 2013 at 8:19pm Reply

        • Jillie: I wish I was there!!!!!!! September 21, 2013 at 3:00am Reply

  • Zazie: Welcome Jillie, loved your post!
    Like you, I was an early bird perfumista, and have a penchant for classic fragrances and old hollywood movies.
    My glamourous lady pick would be Katharine Hepbrun: Vol de nuit comes to mind. But honestly, I also picture her in a very voluptuos modern fragrance: Songes.

    I’d also stray slightly off-topic and play the game with my poker of favorite living actresses:
    Nastassja kinski – Guerlain’s attrape coeur;
    Sharon Stone – PDN’s New York;
    Julie Delpy – Mouchoir de monsieur;
    Jane Fonda – Opium and Fracas (not at the same time). Now try stopping her! 😉 September 20, 2013 at 9:30am Reply

    • Jillie: Hi, Zazie, and it’s great to play the game with actresses that are still with us!

      Songes is an interesting choice for Katharine- full of white flowers but kept from being too tropically extravagant with its woody base. Yes, I can smell her in that, and I would like to think that Sisley’s Eau du Soir would have been a good match as well – lovely woody green chypre to complement her androgenous side, and the florals for her ditzy feminine side.

      I am sure that if there is one person who could pull off layering Fracas with Opium it would be Jane! September 20, 2013 at 10:26am Reply

  • D: Actually, a lot of perfume companies claim to have created or been the favorite perfume of Grace Kelly. (Same with Monroe and Audrey Hepburn). Either these woman were fume heads before their time, or a bunch of perfume companies have identified deceased actresses whose estates are unlikely to sue perfume companies for misusing their names.

    Ironically today, many actresses do not wear perfumes to events, because they borrow clothes and the designers prefer them to not wear fragrances which might get on the frocks.
    By the way I suspect Ms. Leigh was wearing some sort of British fragrance, some c ompany like Penhligans or Yardleys which are so good at soliflores. September 20, 2013 at 10:02am Reply

    • Jillie: You are absolutely right, D, it’s a jolly good wheeze to claim your perfume was worn by/made for a famous person, especially if they aren’t here to deny it! And it is amusing that the “exclusively created for …” scents end up being sold to the Great Public after all.

      You mean that a red carpet occasion isn’t as fragrant as I thought it would be??!! Oh, what a pity!

      Perhaps Vivien would also have liked one of Grossmith’s perfumes – British, but also exotic. September 20, 2013 at 10:37am Reply

    • annemariec: Yardley’s April Violets could have been the one. I know it well – it was my mother’s signature – but it is very chaste. I like to think of Vivien in something with a bit more warmth and character. Apres l’Ondee? September 21, 2013 at 12:25am Reply

      • Jillie: Yes, Annemariec, I think that Vivien would definitely wear something a little more complex. But who knows? She might have enjoyed a simple soliflore from time to time. September 22, 2013 at 4:07am Reply

  • solmarea: I read Penélope Cruz wears L’Artisan’s Merchant Loup, but I always imagine how she might be perfumed in her early Spanish films. Feral spicyness, earthy Taurean sensuality.

    Also Monica Vitti. Anna Karina. What might they wear? September 20, 2013 at 10:33am Reply

    • Jillie: You know, Solmarea, I think there must be something of the tomboy about Penelope, despite her sexy appearance – I would have thought that Mechant Loup (love that name!) would have been too masculine for her. You are right, she should wear a spicy, hot fragrance, or something skanky like Bal a Versailles.

      Monica Vitti – surely Femme (vintage), with its voluptuous, molten peachiness, and because the bottle echoes her curves! Anna Karina? I am ashamed to say I don’t know her, so will have to do some research! September 20, 2013 at 10:54am Reply

    • Michaela: Monica Vitti – Calandre, Anna Karina Sable Goutal or Rive Gauche YSL. They are both intelectual beauties. Vivien Leigh is my all time favorite actress and the most beautiful woman ( she shares first place with Sophia Loren). Vivien is a white floral to me. Gardenia-something. Sophia – she could wear absolutely anything, because he is perfect. The perfume needs her, not the other way round. But, I love to picture her wearing Cerruti 1881 pour femme, the perfect company! September 21, 2013 at 12:50pm Reply

      • Michaela: Edit – * she, not he! 🙂 September 21, 2013 at 12:54pm Reply

      • Jillie: Yes, great to pick an Italian brand! September 22, 2013 at 4:07am Reply

  • Annikky: A fun post, Jillie, thank you!

    I am still recovering from smelling Si, which is of course fronted by one of my favourite actresses of all time, Cate Blanchett. It’s all just so wrong. I want Cate to smell bold, almost rebellious but still refined – of Bandit, perhaps. And as Galadriel, I think she could wear Iris Silver Mist.

    I know Marilyn is most associated with No 5, but Fracas seems a better fit to me – although stereotypical, maybe. I always love it when people defy expectations and I’m sure Marilyn was a complex person. It would have been so sexy to smell an unexpected masculine on her, something like Guerlain Vetiver: the austerity of vetiver next to all this creamy voluptuousness.

    Conversely, I believe many classic male movie stars would have pulled off feminines beautifully. I’m thinking Gary Grant and Chanel No 22 and Steve McQueen in anything iris (Cuir de Russie for a more conventional take). September 20, 2013 at 11:12am Reply

    • Jillie: And thanks to you, too, Annikky. Yes, I’ve read that Si is disappointing, especially given that they have the unique Cate fronting it. Iris Silver Mist would be a great pairing for Galadriel, and I reckon Cate would be a leather lover.

      I bet that Marilyn probably had a whole load of perfumes other than No 5 in her arsenal, that’s just the one that popped into her head when being interviewed; I like your idea of her wearing something unexpectedly masculine. Vetiver would be a great choice.

      Cary Grant was quite a fragrance fan, and I believe he wore Creed; he also was involved with Faberge – the perfume company – and I think he would have smelled good in “feminine” ‘fumes; they would complement his suave, debonair persona. I think anything iris would have gone with McQueen’s eyes! But I wonder if you would have had a struggle to get him to wear a “sissy” smell! September 20, 2013 at 1:23pm Reply

  • george: Vivien Leigh’s talent to me was her wide vocabulary of looks and emotions, sometimes deployed as deliberately artificial and sometimes as natural; I think she would have needed a very large dressing table with a lot of bottles on it, and she would have probably worn them all sometime between getting up and going to bed. Dare I say the screen idols I like are those who have a touch of the perfumista about them? September 20, 2013 at 11:14am Reply

    • Jillie: Absolutely, George! I can just see that dressing table and Vivien hardly even stopping to look at the bottle she picks up before spraying lavishly. Are you saying that perfumistas are wildly obsessive and spontaneous? That would probably be correct! September 20, 2013 at 1:30pm Reply

  • Natalia: Great post and fun game, thank you! 🙂

    Well, I’ve got lots of idols, especially from the glamour era, but let’s take these three for now.

    Bette Davis. I see her in something rich and lascious, yet very feminine and fragile underneath this voluptious exterior. I think Caron’s Bellogia would be an adequate choice.

    Katherine Hepburn. Someone who absolutely refused to live by the rules set up by someone else. For this lady, I envision an array of gentleman’s gragrances. Or perhaps Cuir de Russie or Tabac Blond. But that’s as soft as she would go.

    Jane Birkin. Although not exactly from the glamour era, nontheless, she always stands out in her roles. She does have her own perfume line which I think siuts her perfrectly. But if we to expand the possibilities, I would dress her up in chypres. They are lake her – there is some real passion behind their calm, aloof surface. They would have to be modern chypres, of course, anything from Chanel 19 to 31 Rue Cambon. September 20, 2013 at 11:17am Reply

    • Jillie: You’re very welcome, Natalia. Oh, I think you describe Bette perfectly; that’s such a perceptive description and it would be lovely to think of her wearing Bellodgia in heaven. Apparently she liked Givenchy’s Le De, which is quite violetty (that could have been a good one for Vivien!). A chat show host here in the UK recently said that when he interviewed her that he could smell gardenia – I wonder what that could have been?

      Brilliant choices for Katharine, and I like your suggestions for Jane, although I always think she should wear a Gauloise-based scent! September 20, 2013 at 1:37pm Reply

  • carole: I think Monica Vitti could have worn Sharif-a noble perfume for her noble elegant beauty.

    And I always admire Olivia de Havilland. She’s made some really good films, especially Gone with the Wind. I would choose Ivoire for her-quiet beauty and the strength of high tensile steel.
    Sincerely,

    Carole September 20, 2013 at 11:54am Reply

    • nikki: Monica Vitti is gorgeous, I haven’t thought of her in a while. Such a wonderful face, like a statue in its perfect proportions. I would have her use Elie Saab Le Parfum Intense or maybe another honey like perfume like Une Fleur de Cassie. Something warm and sensual.

      Catherine Deneuve is Scherrer or Lumiere Noire.

      Princess Grace is Private Collection by EL
      or Caleche. September 20, 2013 at 12:14pm Reply

    • Jillie: Carole, Olivia is one of my husband’s favourite actresses too. I bet she was a calming influence on what was probably quite a turbulent set for Gone with the Wind! Ivoire is a lovely choice – vintage of course!

      Sharif? I don’t know that one, so will have to investigate. September 21, 2013 at 2:00am Reply

      • carole: Sharif is a noble scent. The best review of it is on Perfume Journal’s website. It’s awesome-smokey and leathery. It’s just magic! September 23, 2013 at 9:35am Reply

        • Jillie: Carole, thank you for introducing me to another perfume blog and a new fragrance. Sharif sounds wonderful, especially the last clouds of almond. And now I am beginning to think that this would be a great match in smell, name and inspiration (the “noble man”) for Omar Sharif! September 23, 2013 at 10:41am Reply

  • Hannah: Sometimes the question of “Which celebrity scent would you like to see?” comes up and I’ve said Courtney Love. The replies are usually very try-hard insults but she wears Fracas. I just looked to see if she’s mentioned anything else, and in April she said “I’m also really into perfume, clearly. I’m a Fracas girl—when I was growing up, I only wore that, and I don’t change it up very regularly. Well…I do cheat on Fracas. I have almost every Kilian perfume that he’s made. And a lot of Amouage fragrances, which are several hundred bucks a bottle. Sometimes I do these ones: Homage and Gold by Amouage. I feel like you would wear them if you won an Academy Award. Gold is a really heavy perfume, but you kind of feel like the Queen of England when you wear it—it’s a huge smell. Then, I have my Kilian: Back to Black, which has tobacco, cherry; it’s very rock and roll. There is also Straight to Heaven, which is really beautiful. And then here’s Love & Tears, which is actually one of my favorites, not just because of the title; it’s so sexy. I’m a huge perfume collector.”
    I’ve also mentioned Bill Kaulitz and that invokes even more uncreative scoffery but he’s mentioned that he wears Hermes fragrances (never mentioned any specific one, though).

    My favorite actress is Nicole Kidman but I honestly can’t think of what she might wear. Probably some kind of sparkling floral but I’m a big flower hater so I have absolutely no idea. September 20, 2013 at 12:14pm Reply

    • E.Lime: I’ve read that Kidman sometimes wears Tea Rose! I thought that was fascinating, because she seems so upper-crusty to me and that is such a bargain-store powerhouse. September 20, 2013 at 1:19pm Reply

    • Jillie: Wow, Hannah! Courtney Love is some perfumista! And how great that she adores and appreciates Amouage Gold – I’ve only just been introduced to this, and it is very classy and reminiscent of my old favourites (created by the same perfumer), Caleche and Madame Rochas; Courtney has a very good nose for the classics.

      I read somewhere that Nicole used to make up her own blend, using vanilla and musk (I don’t know which brands though). So she probably isn’t a great flower lover! September 20, 2013 at 1:44pm Reply

      • annemariec: Celebs who sign up with fragrance houses must get sick of the fragrance they have to promote (No 5, in Nicole’s case). I assume they are not allowed to wear anything else fro the period of their contract, and that must get pretty tiring. So I kinda hope that Nicole doesn’t bother with perfume much any more; she strikes me as the type who could easily do without it.

        Gwyneth Paltrow, on the other hand, after a long contract with Lauder, is now telling us how good Boss Femme is, day and night. September 21, 2013 at 2:55am Reply

        • Jillie: Yep. September 21, 2013 at 3:02am Reply

      • Hannah: Courtney has always known about fashion whether she was wearing it or not (in the famous video of Courtney and Madonna at the VMAs, Courtney asks her who made her shoes and she very curtly replies “Gucci” as if she thinks Courtney’s head will spin at the mention of it and then Courtney is like “oh I tried on those Gucci hiphuggers, have you tried them” lol) and she’s always known about feminine ideals whether she followed them or not. She said that she got a small trust fund from one of her foster families when she was in her late teens and she would spend it on expensive perfume (I suppose Fracas). It also annoys me when people are like “what would it smell like? Heroin, cigarettes, and craziness??” What would my perfume smell like? Hummus and social awkwardness? No, it would smell like incense ashes, cardamom, pepper, coffee, and woods (a lot of them). September 21, 2013 at 12:28pm Reply

        • Jillie: Your perfume ideal sounds rather lovely! September 22, 2013 at 4:09am Reply

        • Victoria: She is such a character I’m not surprised that she loves all of these grand perfumes. She is probably my favorite perfume loving celebrity. September 22, 2013 at 7:25am Reply

        • george: I love that video. Esp the bit where she goes (something like) “sorry guys, I hope I didn’t bum you out?; were you walking about astrophysics of something?”

          The one thing I can say for definite about a Courtney love perfume is that it would come in a heart-shaped box. September 22, 2013 at 8:17am Reply

    • solanace: Thank’s for sharing this interesting Courtney Love bit, Hannah!
      I’d perfume Nicole with Guerlain Chamade. September 20, 2013 at 3:02pm Reply

  • Domestic Goblin: I appreciate that Bertie Wooster is a fictional character, but the fragrance I would choose for him is Penhaligon’s Sartorial. September 20, 2013 at 12:50pm Reply

    • Jillie: DG – that’s an absolutely spiffing suggestion. September 20, 2013 at 1:45pm Reply

    • 2046: ha! love it! September 20, 2013 at 2:32pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Oh yes! And Monty Bodkin? And Jeeves? And Aunt Dahlia? to name a few of these marvellous characters. September 20, 2013 at 3:16pm Reply

  • E.Lime: I would garb Idris Elba in L’air de Rien… and only L’air de Rien.
    My favorite actress has long been Lily Tomlin, and I think she would smell fantastic in the slightly offbeat but cozy Champaca.
    David Byrne would wear Comme Des Garcon 2; I’d put Steve Martin in Santal Majascule; and Angela Lansbury could indulge her dotty side in the wonderfully campy Miss Dior Le Parfum (though I’ve heard she favors Samsara). September 20, 2013 at 1:28pm Reply

    • 2046: i love idris elba, and l’air de rien seems perfect for him! September 20, 2013 at 2:34pm Reply

      • E.Lime: I’m glad you agree! I know some people find it too rank, but I get much more of the joss sticks aspect, and there’s something so sexy about smoky incense smells to me. And Idris Elba, obviously. September 21, 2013 at 11:04am Reply

    • Jillie: Great suggestions, E.Lime. You’re a great Idris Elba fan!

      Certainly think that Lily would like Champaca, especially as I would think that she is a niche kinda-gal. September 21, 2013 at 2:05am Reply

  • Thai: Not an answer, but I am so curious as to which perfume you guys would pair with Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity and Lauren Bacall in The Big Sleep. Stanwyck… oh the wig, the way she paints her lips, the ankle cuff. There is something so grotesque there, yet it still oozes sexuality, mystery and refinement. And Bacall, the way she speaks and her piercing glance always steal my heart. September 20, 2013 at 2:02pm Reply

    • Thai: Oh and I love your post Jillie, as well as your cat avatar 😉 September 20, 2013 at 2:03pm Reply

      • Jillie: Thank you so much, Thai. The kittie is Leonard Theodore.

        Phyllis has suggested Chanel No 19 for Lauren – an excellent choice for the cool lady. I would like her to wear a chypre, and although Aromatics Elixir divides opinion, I think she would pull it off well as its green top notes mellow into deep rose and patchouli; a “don’t mess with me” beginning, softening into warm rose bolstered with the strength of patchouli. Much like Lauren’s personality.

        Barbara is unique. I think a blockbuster would suit her, something that almost has everything but the kitchen sink thrown in! Also a perfume that conjures up makeup notes … perhaps the original Vivienne Westwood? Nothing soft or delicate for her! September 21, 2013 at 2:19am Reply

        • Jillie: Oh – I’ve just seen that Austenfan also likes AE for Lauren – great minds definitely do think alike! September 21, 2013 at 2:39am Reply

          • Thai: AE would be perfect indeed! September 21, 2013 at 7:35am Reply

          • Austenfan: Well I do, but only because Luca Turin thought of it first. He compared the quiet confidence that AE exudes with Lauren Bacall’s performance in The Big Sleep. September 23, 2013 at 4:19am Reply

            • Jillie: It seems that Lauren is most definitely meant to wear AE then! September 23, 2013 at 10:45am Reply

  • Yvonne: I absolutely love this topic and after growing up as an “unusual” youth by American standards listening to big band music, Sinatra as well as French/Italian favorites, classical, spanish ballads, etc. What can i say, I’m a romantic. However the cinema in all it’s eras is my absolute favorite and to marry the visual, olfactory and audial senses, it is quite a delight. I can imagine Marlene Dietrich wearing Fracas (or as Victoria has observed before in Tom Ford’s Shanghai Lily/SL La Fille de Berlin) Angelina Jolie (who tries to follow in the steps of Audrey Hepburn, my favorite)-J’Adore, Jackie O in her pillbox hats and Chanel jackets wearing Cristalle, Bridgette Bardot’s sexy kitten in Violet Blonde, Marion Cotillard’s spicy Frenchwoman in Samsara (my favorite Guerlain), Audrey Tatou sweet and delicate just like Audrey H (must be the name)in Après L’Ondee, Audrey Hepburn in Annick Goutal Neroli (as her son Luca remembers her in elegant powder and orange blossoms, not Givenchy’s L’Interdit per Vanity Fair) and I lastly I can see Emma Stone growing into Prada Infusion d’Iris. Along with film (my favorites being To Catch a Thief, Funny Face and Cinema Paradiso among so many more!), I’m falling in love with perfume and slowly growing my own collection of treasures! I’m so excited! September 20, 2013 at 2:27pm Reply

    • Jillie: Hello Yvonne, fellow perfume, music and film lover! It is exciting, isn’t it, the world of amazing smells?!

      I love all your suggestions. Samsara would be good on Marion – it’s one of my favourites too, so perhaps I am biased! Angela Jolie is so beautiful, and it is obvious that she is beautiful on the inside too with all her charitable works; a suitable successor for Audrey, and the sexy jasmine in J’Adore would complement her sultry looks. Apres L’Ondee, all delicate violet, would be perfect for the tiny but determined Audrey Tautou.

      Good luck with your ever expanding wardrobe of scents. September 21, 2013 at 2:33am Reply

    • Isis: What about Chanel Antaeus for Marlene Dietrich, in honour of het gender-bending looks? September 21, 2013 at 2:36pm Reply

      • Jillie: Wonderful! September 22, 2013 at 4:10am Reply

    • Anne of Green Gables: I also love Cinema Paradiso. It’s one of these films that makes my heart ache but in a wonderful way. Ennio Morricone’s music was also heart-achingly beautiful. September 22, 2013 at 4:59pm Reply

  • Chloe And The Rex: I love Eddie Izzard (Comedian/Actor). He is famous for not only being a comedian; but, outing himself as a transvestite. He says he has complete clothing rights, women can wear whatever they want, so why can’t he? I love it! He sometimes wears a complete face of makeup with feminine clothes, shoes and nails. And sometimes he dresses completely as a man w/a bare face and sometimes mixes the two. I think the perfect fragrance for him would be the original Must de Cartier which was really two fragrances — a darker more animalistic perfume and the eau de toilette which was very light, sweet, somewhat floral with just a hint of burnt sugar. He could wear just the EDT, Just the Parfum or combine the two in any ratio. 🙂 September 20, 2013 at 2:57pm Reply

    • Austenfan: I haven’t got a clue what perfume to scent him with but I so agree with Izzard. Why can women wear skirts and trousers and (western) men only trousers. Plus Izzard is funny! September 20, 2013 at 4:55pm Reply

      • Annikky: Agree and agree. September 20, 2013 at 5:00pm Reply

    • Jillie: I love Eddie too, Chloe. He is simply brilliant and so intelligent and funny. Also a man who truly has a feminine side. Must is a perfect choice for him, especially the combination of the two versions – he would smell good as well as look good! September 21, 2013 at 2:37am Reply

  • solanace: This is so much fun, Jillie!
    I´d have Eric Bana in Arabie. September 20, 2013 at 3:06pm Reply

    • Jillie: Thank you, Solanace, and …. Wow! Lovely thought! September 21, 2013 at 2:40am Reply

  • fleurdelys: Fun! I’d put some Fracas on Lana Turner. One of my favorite stars of old movies is Barbara Stanwyck, and I think Bandit would suit her perfectly. September 20, 2013 at 3:44pm Reply

    • Jillie: Thanks, Fleur. Barbara in Bandit! Yes, of course! I have a picture in my head of her dressed in black leather wielding a whip – can’t remember for the life of me what film that was from(or maybe it was the tv series The Big Valley?) – but that would be great. September 21, 2013 at 2:51am Reply

  • Isis: What a great thought experiment! And what a great game to play, scenting actresses as they appear on screen. I will be watching a re-run of masterchef australia in a few minutes, I now find myself wondering what George, Gary and Matt wear (probably Eau de Baguette, Eau de Bacon and a few spritzes too many of Eau de Butter).
    Does anyonehave the perfect perfume-suggestion for Anna Magnani? I love Anna Magnani, to me she is beauty but also strength and character, a grown-up woman rather then a pretty girl. I can, weirdly, only think of scents I have actually not smelled, fragrances I read about and really want to sample but haven’t yet. FM Fleurs de Cassie? Une Rose? Musc Ravageur? Seville a L’Aube? Sarrasins? PMG Cuir Fétiche? September 20, 2013 at 4:00pm Reply

    • Hannah: I didn’t know who Anna Magnani is but I looked her up. I find the old Italian actresses much more interesting to look at than the old Hollywood and French actresses. I’m going to look up her work. September 20, 2013 at 4:16pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Yes, Italian diva’s are interesting. Also Silvana Mangano (Riso amaro!) (Death in Venice!). But there are also intriguing French actresses, like Michelle Morgan.
        And I would perfume Kim Novak with the new Ivoire. So fresh, elegant and youthful (I smelled it yesterday, thank you for the review, Victoria!).

        How about Romy Schneider? September 20, 2013 at 5:20pm Reply

        • Tomate Farcie: Romy Schneider- Chanel 22
          Monica Belluci -Vero Profumo Rubj
          Charlotte Rampling – Ormonde Jayne Woman
          Emmanuelle Beart – SL Chergui

          Thanks everyone, this is so much fun! September 20, 2013 at 7:04pm Reply

          • Jillie: Great suggestions, Tomato! September 22, 2013 at 4:12am Reply

    • Jillie: It’s a good game, Isis! I am chuckling about the foodie fragrances and they do exist – there was a hamburger chain that released a scent a few years back that was supposed to smell like burgers – yuk! Can’t imagine it sold well except as a novelty gift.

      You’ve got a great imagination, and I sometimes think that the way we think a perfume should smell from reading the reviews and ingredients is actually a lot better than the reality.

      Anna Magnani was wonderful, all woman. I imagine she would wear something powerful – I am also thinking spicy – maybe Opium? September 21, 2013 at 2:59am Reply

      • Isis: Thank you Jillie! Yes, I think Opium could work really well. I think Anna Magnani would needs something with a dark side, something a bit animalic. I’ve just finally found a sample of Cuir de Russie, I think that would be great on her too. And really, a burger scent??? How hilarious. If there is actually an Eau de Butter out there I am interested, I’m sure it would be good for layering… September 21, 2013 at 2:10pm Reply

        • Jillie: Eau de Butter layered with a nice fruity fragrance …. mmmmm. September 22, 2013 at 4:14am Reply

  • nozknoz: Great post, Jillie!

    I love Le Dix and agree it’s a true star’s scent. Coincidentally, I was wearing SL Bois de Violette today – it would also be a great match for her beauty.

    There was a photo in Vanity Fair of Marilyn Monroe reading and there was the classic shagreen box of Caron Nuit de Noel on the shelf behind her! The scent doesn’t seem like a match, but perhaps she loved the elegant presentation or was longing for a more refined image. September 20, 2013 at 11:12pm Reply

    • Jillie: Why thank you, Nozknoz! She was probably presented with hundreds of bottles and maybe didn’t even smell half of them. But it would be nice to think that she actually did really like Nuit de Noel, and I reckon that this would be very good on her. September 21, 2013 at 3:06am Reply

  • RuthF: Hi Jillie! I was just thinking about you a couple of days ago when I was looking through my box of samples. This is a such a great topic to think about and I love reading the answers. I recently discovered Zelda and I’ve been trying to think of who this would suit; I’m going to vote for the leading lady in ‘The Artist’, I love this movie and she is such a beautiful character. 🙂 September 20, 2013 at 11:52pm Reply

    • Jillie: Hiya, Ruth! It really is good fun reading everyone’s comments and to remember some of the old greats. I haven’t yet tried Zelda, but it sounds absolutely wonderful – apparently it’s magnolia and created in the style of a beautiful vintage perfume – absolutely perfect for the leading lady in The Artist, and many of the classic silent movie stars. I can’t wait to smell it for myself. September 21, 2013 at 3:55am Reply

  • Rita Sanyal: This artical sure brings back old memories my Grandfather was smittn by miss Leigh I associate her with Shalimar by Guerlain sexy, passionate, yet super elegant September 21, 2013 at 3:10am Reply

    • Jillie: Hello, Rita. Your grandfather certainly wasn’t alone in his admiration of this beautiful actress. I think that Shalimar would have been an excellent choice for her. She was perfect as Scarlett O’Hara, and I remember also her great performance as a minxy, feline Cleopatra – Shalimar would have suited her in that role very well indeed. September 21, 2013 at 4:00am Reply

  • Isis: Ooooh what shall we give Freddy Mercury? I am thinking SL Fleurs d’Oranger. No, better yet: Tubereuse Criminelle? Or maybe Hermès Bel Ami? I think he needs something bold, big and a little bit sweaty. September 21, 2013 at 2:17pm Reply

    • Austenfan: Piguet Fracas? As a performer he was quite over the top, and I can’t think of any other perfume that would match that. September 21, 2013 at 3:59pm Reply

      • Isis: Yes! Briljant! September 21, 2013 at 4:08pm Reply

    • Jillie: You know, Isis, I reckon he could have carried off the current version of Femme – ripe peach voluptuousness and the scent of cumin to represent the sweat! September 22, 2013 at 4:17am Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: There are still some unperfumed stars from the past….. Cyd Charisse (dancing with Gene Kelly)..
    I think a real American perfume for her, Youth Dew, and for him something spicy..Opium Homme.
    Mia Farrow? Idylle.
    Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire? five o’clock au Gingembre.
    Sharon Tate: Parure.
    Lesley Caron… not very beautiful (in my opinion, she resembled a dog , her face I mean) but a beautiful dancer. Paris edp. or Aimez-Moi. September 21, 2013 at 3:40pm Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: And Liza Minelli! Fifth Avenue? September 21, 2013 at 3:43pm Reply

      • Jillie: Lesley Caron would have been a very sweet dog, though – maybe a pixieish Chihuahua? And this could spark off a whole new blog item – which dogs look like which film stars!! September 22, 2013 at 4:22am Reply

  • Elia: I think I’d put Daniel Day Lewis in New York by Parfums de Nicolai.
    Dignified smooth, a versatile green with an undercurrent of the animalic which can be either feel like a velvet touch or scaly serpentine. September 21, 2013 at 3:48pm Reply

    • Jillie: This is going to seem dreadful, but I can imagine Daniel not wearing any fragrance at all – unless it is what he thinks the character he is playing would put on; he is such a chameleon and he becomes totally immersed in his part, both on and off set. I can quite imagine that he probably didn’t even bath while filming The Last of the Mohicans! September 22, 2013 at 9:11am Reply

      • george: Yes, he is very method. However, he does- apparently- love carpentry. So maybe Chene or Tam Dao for his personal life? September 22, 2013 at 9:47am Reply

        • Jillie: And mending shoes …… September 22, 2013 at 9:54am Reply

      • Elia: It’s probable. 🙂
        But with fantasy and all, I imagine New York a good chameleon scent.
        I like the pick of Chene though September 23, 2013 at 4:58am Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: How could we forget one of the most beautiful of all beauties—- Ava Gardner!
    for her: Narcisse Noir. September 21, 2013 at 4:43pm Reply

    • Jillie: Now I am positive that I have read many times that she was most definitely a Fracas woman! Which would have suited her very well. But then so would Narcisse Noir. September 22, 2013 at 4:23am Reply

  • patriciaC: I just found an old bottle of L’Interdit in an antique store the other day and wow it’s pretty. Now i’ll have to get a sample of Guerlain’s Chant d’Arômes like you suggested. I would have given up my throne for Gregory Peck a thousand times over in roman holiday. What do you think he would have worn? Vintage Tuscany? September 22, 2013 at 8:26am Reply

    • Jillie: So glad you like L’Interdit, Patricia, it is very pretty indeed! Hope you like Chant d’Aromes too, which by coincidence I am wearing today.

      I am sure that Gregory would wear Eau Sauvage – a classic that a gentleman would wear because its lovely lemony opening is fresh, clean and inoffensive; it dries down to a soft floral wood that speaks of intelligence and reliability! September 22, 2013 at 9:25am Reply

      • patriciaC: I will look for Eau Sauvage, yes he was a gentleman and itelligent as well. September 22, 2013 at 10:01am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: I wish I could smell Eau Sauvage on Gregory Peck! It would be a perfect match. September 22, 2013 at 4:42pm Reply

  • Mel: Before Tilda Swinton collaborated on the design of Like This, she wore Penhaligon’s Bluebell which she started wearing when she was 13. September 22, 2013 at 1:05pm Reply

    • Jillie: Mel, Bluebell seems to be almost a contrary choice for Tilda, as it seems so simple and I think she is very complicated and unconventional – but perhaps that’s why she liked it; it is also quite astringent to my nose and I can’t imagine she would favour anything that was sweet and girlie. September 23, 2013 at 2:39am Reply

      • Mel: I know! But she grew up in Scotland and received it as a gift at 13, her first perfume, and after that it became sentimental for her. September 26, 2013 at 11:21pm Reply

  • patriciaC: What about keanu reeves-i am so surprised no big company hasn’t snagged him to promote their most sexy fragrance. I would buy toilet water he was selling-and i mean real toilet water as long as his pic was on the bottle. teehee! September 22, 2013 at 6:07pm Reply

    • Jillie: You never know, Patricia, he might yet front a fragrance … but let’s hope it is better than toilet water! September 23, 2013 at 2:45am Reply

  • patriciaC: Yes we can hope, but i have tested some of those celeb-ucents and well some really aren’t much better in my opinion. I’m not going to even touch lady gaga’s bottle. September 23, 2013 at 6:09pm Reply

  • Maureen: I wonder what Doris Day & Rock Hudson would have worn? In their movies they were all girl next door makes good and wolf in sheep’s clothing, but I bet they were much mor e interesting than that. I’d put Doris in Miss Dior, and Rock in something unexpected, like Mitsouko. September 24, 2013 at 3:12pm Reply

    • Jillie: I just love your suggestions, Maureen – Rock in Mitsouko would be perfect, and Doris always looked trendy, so I think she would have rather liked Miss Dior when she was being formal. At home with her animals and dressed in her jeans I can imagine her wearing Happy – what do you think? September 25, 2013 at 2:06am Reply

  • Ann: I’ve been away from my beloved perfume blogs for a while dealing with a family member’s illness, but this topic was so much fun! Can’t resist. Just want to add my silver screen favorites: Myrna Loy (My Sin) and Rosalind Russell (Shalimar)… Oh and can’t leave out the funniest of them all Mae West (the obvious candidate is Shocking, but I think she’s more of a Joy gal). September 25, 2013 at 1:50pm Reply

    • Jillie: Sorry to hear about your troubles, Ann, and I am glad that the blog cheered you up. Yes, Myrna and Rosalind were great and I love your choice for them. I have a sneaky feeling that Rosalind might have enjoyed the original Poison, as its huge personality would match hers. Mae was certainly different and Shocking would have been a good one for her, especially the name! Can’t help feeling that she would have also liked Vivienne Westwood’s Boudoir ….. Hope things improve for you soon. September 26, 2013 at 6:28am Reply

  • angeldiva: “Only in my dreams…” Robert Mitchum wearing nothing but AMBRE SULTAN , and a smile!
    P. December 19, 2014 at 12:20am Reply

    • jillie: Sweet dreams, Angeldiva! December 19, 2014 at 1:56am Reply

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