Perfume Muse Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn has been a muse for film directors, couture designers, and makeup artists. She also inspired perfumers, and while Givenchy L’Interdit was created especially for her in 1957, many a fragrance creator mentions the actress and fashion icon with reverence. I can understand it, because there is something about Audrey that I find touching and poignant. It’s not just her elegance or sense of style; it’s also her grace, warmth and a certain fragility. Audrey charms as much as she intrigues me.

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This year, the National Portrait Gallery in London is celebrating Audrey’s legacy with an exhibition showcasing Audrey’s life and career through photos. It spans her childhood in Holland and early years as a dancer in London. It then tracks her rise to fame in Hollywood and concludes with her work as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. Audrey worked with some of the best photographers, including Cecil Barton, Irving Penn, and Richard Avedon, and many of her images can be counted as part of pop culture–think the famous Holly Golightly half turn with a cigarette holder. What’s fascinating about the exhibit is the inclusion of rare images and personal photographs donated by Audrey’s sons, Luca Dotti and Sean Hepburn Ferrer.

Looking at the images of Audrey splashing in the pool with her sons, holding infants in Africa or posing for studio photos, I realized that one of the main reasons she fascinates me is her multifaceted personality. She continues to inspire because her projects and her image evolved over time. I’m rarely curious what perfumes celebrities wear, but I immediately wanted to know about Audrey. Someone as eclectic as she is surely would have an interesting fragrance wardrobe.

There is no shortage of companies claiming that Audrey wore their products. Krigler markets English Promenade 19 as the fragrance Audrey wore during the filming of We Go to Monte Carlo, and adjectives like “timeless” and “natural beauty” are used in excess in the press materials for this musky orange blossom. Creed claims that Spring Flower was her personal scent, while there is no doubt that L’Interdit was indeed tailor-made for Audrey and counted among her favorites.

Flipping through my notes and magazine cuttings with Audrey’s interviews, I discovered several other fragrances she enjoyed. For instance, Acqua di Parma Colonia is mentioned in interviews from the 60s. In photographs of her dressing table I spotted Jean Patou Joy, Balmain Ivoire and Femme Rochas. Anyone who wears such a diverse perfume wardrobe must be a person with wide-ranging tastes, and I had fun scenting Audrey’s film characters in Funny Face, Charade or Two for the Road.

One interesting mention among my clippings was of Guerlain Chamade, a fragrance I secretly ascribed to Audrey. It has a cool, elegant facade, but Chamade is full of surprises and twists. It’s easily one of the most unusual Guerlain classics. Apparently, Audrey wore it as well. While L’Interdit sold today bears little resemblance to the fragrance created for the actress, Chamade is close to its original form. For all its polished charm, Chamade is a dramatic perfume that makes a statement. It is a love story of rose and hyacinth, two notes with different characters, but that are blended so well, their union is harmonious. Wearing it is like being surrounded by an olfactory version of Mozart’s symphony. What can be more perfectly suited for Audrey?

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon is running at the National Portrait Gallery from 2nd July – 18th October. If you’re going to visit London, please don’t miss it.

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94 Comments

  • Karen: Very fun article Victoria! And I can definitely see where Audrey Hepburn would be an inspiration for you – and all of us. Her work as a Goodwill Ambassador is for me so inspiring. At a time when few celebrities did work like that, her grace while doing it still inspires. Makes me want to do good while looking and smelling good!

    And it is always fascinating to read about what perfumes stars – film, stage, literary etc., wore. In today’s age when so many celebrities seem incapable of being who they are without stylists and people picking out their clothing, hairstyles, jewelry and perfumes – the ones who actually did it on their own and chose and bought their clothes, jewelry and perfumes should be our role models! July 8, 2015 at 7:53am Reply

    • spe: I think those older actresses’ every aspect was controlled by their studio. They had eating disorders. Many were drugged up. Yuck. Every sock and glove given hours of thought. It’s all quite sad and pathetic. Thankfully this one redeemed herself, or at least that’s how I think of it.

      Her perfume choices are all over the place, like most of ours. Audrey was one of us. July 8, 2015 at 1:24pm Reply

      • Karen: Hmmmm, I suppose the actresses I was thinking of were Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren, two of my style role models. And while their images were controlled by their studios, I believe they purchased their own clothes and certainly in the case of Taylor, owned their jewelry! Most actresses today on the red carpet are wearing borrowed clothes and jewelry, which was not always the case.

        Eating disorders have affected women for years, so I do agree that many actresses – and others – have struggled with these issues. July 9, 2015 at 4:29am Reply

      • Victoria: I’d say, today the situation is much worse in all those regards than it used to be the past.

        As for redemption, don’t these talented actresses redeem themselves enough by giving us hours of enjoyment when we watch their films? But I agree with you that Audrey Hepburn’s human rights involvement is inspiring. From what I read, she gave herself fully to this, even to the point of damaging her health. July 9, 2015 at 5:30pm Reply

        • Hannah: It’s really frustrating how no one seems to realize this entire attitude is at its core misogynistic. I know a lot of women who say these things are feminists, but I consider their feminism to be Glinda-Feminism.
          You’re picking a few actresses who are exemplary in their eras, choosing their best moments, and saying “this is what a woman should be”. The younger women who are getting started have their worst moments blown up and are characterized as “bad women”. Audrey Hepburn was stylish, unlike women today. Audrey Hepburn had grace, unlike women today. We are just not acceptable as women, it seems!
          The nature of the red carpet is different. Actresses do not wear their own clothes/jewelry. This doesn’t make them idiots who can’t put on their own shoes without supervision. It doesn’t even mean they don’t have a sense of style. Cate Blanchett is probably borrowing everything she wears on the red carpet and she certainly has a stylist.
          I don’t really pay attention to actresses outside of their movies, but there are plenty of stylish women in music. I also see lots of very stylish younger women on instagram (not the “instagram look”, though)–especially the girls from China and Japan.
          Why do women have to be judged like this anyway, though? If a woman isn’t stylish, that is her business.

          Audrey Hepburn’s image is much co-opted and misappropriated so it is interesting to see what she said for herself. July 13, 2015 at 1:14pm Reply

          • Victoria: Nobody here made blanket statements about all actresses today, much less about all modern women. That Hollywood has changed and the nature of business there is constantly evolving is beyond doubt. It does then affect how actors behave themselves and where the accents are placed. I have a few friends who either work in Hollywood or review films, and we talk often on this topic. (That being said, I don’t share the nostalgic view about the “good old days” of retro Hollywood. I just don’t like to indulge in too much nostalgia.) Actresses, then and now, are in the business of creating an image, and so it’s hard to avoid appraising their choices. But ultimately, yes, clothes and looks shouldn’t override everything else. Cate Blanchett has a wonderful style, but the reason I admire here is her acting talent, her ability to capture nuances of emotions in her roles. I admire anyone, famous or not, who has a great sense of style, but I’m interested much more in people’s personalities and what they think.

            Audrey was hardly perfect! She had eating disorders, she was terribly insecure about her looks. I love Audrey for her complexity, and well, her flaws. It’s not just her pretty clothes. The interesting part about the exhibit is how well it captures this multifaceted, unique person. If you want to know what she said for herself, there are many wonderful biographies. The one by her son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer, is well-worth reading. July 13, 2015 at 2:07pm Reply

            • Bregje: So interesting! The first time i ever saw Audrey , i did not know who she was. I was about ten years old and watched a gardening programme on tv. Audrey was already older, probably in her late fifties.I told my mom i wanted to become just as serene and beautiful as the lady that presented that show.
              So it wasn’t about clothes. There was just something about her. Something that came from within that even a ten year old picked up on. July 14, 2015 at 9:13pm Reply

              • Victoria: I also saw one of her films as a child and was smitten instantly. I don’t know if any other actress has had such an effect on me.

                In terms of looks, I always loved Emmanuelle Beart. Unfortunately, she was tempted by plastic surgery, and she hasn’t looked the same since. But I still remember seeing Heart in Winter and wanting to press pause whenever she appeared on screen. July 15, 2015 at 2:08pm Reply

                • Bregje: I agree. I don’t think any other actrice had such an effect on me either. But i can’t describe that effect 😉
                  And emanuelle beart was beautiful! I remember manon des sources most. July 16, 2015 at 7:27pm Reply

                  • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Bregje! If you go to C&A, you can find T -shirts with pictures of Audrey Hepburn. July 17, 2015 at 3:46am Reply

                  • Victoria: I just found a Dior ad from 1997 with Beart as the model. Stunning is an understatement. July 17, 2015 at 11:21am Reply

    • Victoria: True. I was thinking about that too. Which is why all of those women’s magazines and their articles “How to be like Audrey” get it so wrong. It wasn’t just clothes. It was her sense of style. She was also daring with her choices. July 9, 2015 at 5:16pm Reply

      • Karen: Yes, exactly! That sense of style that she – and others – had/have is what cannot be copied. Even if someone is wearing the identical clothes, hair, etc., without the inner sense of who you are, it is simply dressing up in a costume (which can be fun, but it is not making the style your own). July 9, 2015 at 5:55pm Reply

        • Victoria: Like Natalie Portman, for instance. In her Dior ad she even poses in a similar dress and against a similar pink flower backdrop as Audrey did in 1955, but the difference is striking. Audrey’s photograph makes me curious about the women. Natalie’s Dior ad is a beautiful image but somewhat soulless. July 9, 2015 at 5:58pm Reply

          • Karen: Yes! I just took a break and was looking at photos of Catherine Deneauve (from a comment below on Belle du Jour), then noticed that as gorgeous as she was when younger, to my mind she is even more beautiful now (is that possible!!), as was Audrey Hepburn and it is because of who they are/were – not simply what they wore.

            The same is true for another one of my role models (non-film/celebrity) – Freya Stark. In photos of her in her later years, she is just radiant! July 9, 2015 at 6:20pm Reply

            • Victoria: I was just flipping through Freya Stark’s Winter in Arabia. She’s one of my favorite travel writers–daring, intelligent, sensitive and witty. July 13, 2015 at 3:26pm Reply

  • Caroline: Would love to travel back to London and see this exhibit–Hepburn had such charisma. If you haven’t seen her in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, it’s well worth your time. Trying to think of a good perfume for that one–maybe Vent Vert? July 8, 2015 at 8:20am Reply

    • Victoria: It was the first movie I saw with her, and it made me watch every film where she’s featured (the only one I didn’t see twice was Paris When it Sizzles.) July 9, 2015 at 5:18pm Reply

    • Victoria: P.S. I love your idea of Vent Vert. It sounds so perfect. July 9, 2015 at 5:21pm Reply

  • Sandra: You look a lot like her Victoria July 8, 2015 at 9:05am Reply

    • Aurora: I think so too, especially that certain ‘ballerina’ look and poise so winsome. July 8, 2015 at 1:53pm Reply

      • Alicia: I certainly agree. July 8, 2015 at 5:38pm Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you very much, ladies! 🙂 You couldn’t flatter an Audrey fan more. July 9, 2015 at 5:36pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, I wish! 🙂 July 9, 2015 at 5:18pm Reply

    • Karen: Will add my agreement! But, even without the similar physical appearance that you do have – what comes through is your poise and graciousness (combined with a sense of fun and humor), characteristics that we associate with Audrey. July 9, 2015 at 5:58pm Reply

      • Victoria: Thank you for your generosity and for being such a terrific group of readers. I feel very lucky to meet all of you. July 11, 2015 at 5:33pm Reply

  • yomi: Lovely article as always, victoria. Yes indeed I am also sometimes inspired by personalities on screen. It really was a nice read. Thank you July 8, 2015 at 10:31am Reply

    • Victoria: The choices are so curious! July 9, 2015 at 5:18pm Reply

  • Celeste Church: Can you still get English Promenade 19? That sounds beautiful, Orange blossom and musk. Would love to smell it. And like you, I can see her wearing Chamade….such a beautiful perfume! Of all the ones you mentioned, Balmain’s Ivoire seems most “Audrey-like” to me. I love it, especially when I wear the vintage and the new together. I have a job interview today, and think I’ll wear a discreet drop or two of Ivoire. Lovely scent, and lovely article, Victoria. July 8, 2015 at 10:31am Reply

    • SallyM: Yes, you can still get it as EDP in 50ml and 100ml – its $220/$320 respectively from Krigler, so pretty expensive. There are a couple on eBay at the moment. Fragrantica lists the ingredients as including orange blossom, fresh grapefruit, sweet white musk, oriental neroli and ylang-ylang.and musk, so I’m not sure if its the same – probably been tweaked since the original of 1919! July 9, 2015 at 1:51pm Reply

      • Victoria: My guess is that it’s not the same perfume Audrey wore, no matter what they say. Can’t have the same formula today, especially in light of all the regulations. July 9, 2015 at 5:49pm Reply

    • Victoria: They’ve relaunched it, so yes, it’s available.

      A drop of Ivoire wouldn’t be obvious to anyone, but it could just be that important confidence booster. Great choice and good luck with your interview! July 9, 2015 at 5:19pm Reply

  • Karen 5.0: Thank you for this article, Victoria. Audrey Hepburn has long inspired me, too! Just the other day, I re-watched Funny Face, one among many of her films that I own on DVD – they are comfort films to me. And I loved L’Interdit. I’m eager to try Chamade and hope to get to London to see the exhibition. July 8, 2015 at 10:45am Reply

    • Victoria: I love watching them when I feel under the weather. Charade is my current favorite, but I rotate them. At one point, I was obsessed with Love in the Afternoon, the poor cast of Gary Cooper notwithstanding. July 9, 2015 at 5:21pm Reply

  • limegreen: What a delightful read, there’s really something timeless about her! My sentimental favorite is Roman Holiday, what scent would she wear? Something grand as a princess, or rebellious and adventurous for her day out incognito, or romantic for the sweet chemistry with Gregory Peck?
    Thank you so much, Victoria, for a refreshing look at a true classic, maybe the exhibition will come to the states. Love your reconstructing her perfume wardrobe! 🙂 July 8, 2015 at 11:24am Reply

    • Victoria: Roman Holiday is a tough one, because the character is so multifaceted. The fragrance that came to mind was Guerlain Chant d’Aromes or Patou Caline. Both have their quirks, but they’re elegant and grand.

      London’s cultural scene makes me envious. Same goes for NYC. Brussels has plenty, but not nearly as much as those two cities. July 9, 2015 at 5:24pm Reply

  • SYLVIA: I love Audrey Hepburn and every single movie I ever saw her in. I never thought of her in terms of what fragrances she wore but now that
    I have learned about a few from you wonderful
    love-letter-article I do intend to sniff them and
    add to my own collection. Thank you so much
    for revealing names, for me it is valuable information. Thanks again! July 8, 2015 at 12:28pm Reply

    • Victoria: My pleasure! Very happy to meet other Audrey fans. 🙂 July 9, 2015 at 5:25pm Reply

  • Jillie: I agree with Sandra – I think there is something about you, Victoria, that is very Audreyesque! Like her, you were also a ballerina, and she was an intelligent, talented and compassionate person.

    She certainly is an inspiration in so many important ways, but I like being frivolous and reading about her perfumes. We knew she had good taste, and her love of Chamade proves this! July 8, 2015 at 1:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Jillie. I’m flattered by such a nice comparison.

      I’m not surprised she loved perfume and had so many different favorites. July 9, 2015 at 5:26pm Reply

  • Aurora: This lovely, lovely post is also timely: I have been meaning to go since I heard the (very good) review on the radio program Front Row.
    Charade in particular is one of her films I adore,, so romantic the story, the clothes, the actors, the setting, the song! too. Thank you for managing to find and reveal so much about her choice of perfumes, I only knew about l’Interdit, as you note so sadly diminished (sigh, I have a small amount of the real stuff I keep for reference) but fortunately there are all these others. July 8, 2015 at 2:29pm Reply

    • Victoria: My mom watches Charade before her every visit to Paris. I also can watch it again and again.

      The exhibit contains so much! It’s been long overdue. July 9, 2015 at 5:31pm Reply

  • brenda: Though my husband and I are now retired, back in the 1970’s we had careers in television. At some point, we purchase a Breakfast at Tiffany’s movie poster for a commercial we were shooting. Eventually, it found its way out of our stock, was nicely framed and has hung in our daughters room since she was a teenager. She has just purchased her first home – and it will look even better hanging in her hallway. Yes, the elegance…the poise…it’s all there…all the time…with Audrey! July 8, 2015 at 4:25pm Reply

    • Victoria: What a wonderful gift, Brenda! Congratulations to your daughter on her new home. I’m sure the poster will grace it perfectly. July 9, 2015 at 5:32pm Reply

  • Neva: I always enjoy the way you intertwine perfume with real life stories. There is always something instructive and inspirational in your articles. I am not a particular fan of Audrey Hepburn, but I love the age she lived and performed in and it’s certainly interesting to know which perfume she used. Now I want to try all of them in their original formulations of course. I have a miniature of Balmain’s Ivoire and a small bottle of Femme de Rochas. I used to have a mini of Chamade in the seventies. It was the only Guerlain I knew back then and I liked it very much. I remember it as a powdery flowery scent. I didn’t know it is still on the market. I think I’ll go and look for a sample 🙂 July 8, 2015 at 4:26pm Reply

    • Victoria: Your tastes aren’t far from Audrey’s then. 🙂 Chamade is worth trying regardless of who wore it. It’s one of the best perfumes out there, and its new re-reformulation is done so competently.

      Thank you! 🙂 July 9, 2015 at 5:35pm Reply

  • Alicia: I bought some years ago a bottle of L’Interdit because of her, but it disappointed me. Chamade is perfect for Audrey as it was for Catherine Deneuve, as different as they were. I like to see Ivoire among her perfumes. I wonder if she ever tried Miss Dior or Scherrer #1, such elegant fragrances. Acqua di Parma Colonia doesn’t surprise me since it was very popular among several celebrities of the time, among them Cary Grant. But if I were to choose one for Audrey it would be indeed Chamade. July 8, 2015 at 6:04pm Reply

    • Victoria: L’Interdit grew on me, but Spring Flower was disappointing. That’s how I learned there is no point in copying someone else’s perfumes. I bet it smelled amazing on Audrey. July 9, 2015 at 5:38pm Reply

  • ariane: Thank you for this lovely article,I also think there is something audreyesque about you!!
    I read somewhere that she really liked Le De as well,do you know it? July 9, 2015 at 4:16am Reply

    • Victoria: I heard about Le De too, but I wasn’t able to find corroboration in print.

      Very happy that you enjoyed the piece. July 9, 2015 at 5:40pm Reply

  • angeldiva: Hi,
    I have poured over several biographies of the actress. She was so very brave in her work, as a young girl with the Dutch resistance during the war.
    She was also so malnourished, that when the war ended , and American soldiers passed out chocolate bars, she became ill from trying to digest the chocolate. It was also believed that the thin arms that many girls had as a result of the lack of nutrition during the war resulted in a thin arm beauty ideal. Even in the UK – there was a shortage of protein that made the print models with thin arms popular. I don’t have thin arms, and learning about this was a revelation to me.
    For all of her amazing beauty and bone structure, did you know that she was acutely self conscious about the way her face was photographed? She would veto many images because she felt her face was too square looking.
    There are also some amusing stories written about people going to her home for dinner. This international beauty and ballet dancer, was, apparently not a very gifted cook!
    I was acquainted with an actor who knew her during her years as a Goodwill Ambassador. The poloroids of them together blew my mind. She was a photogenic force of nature.
    I was so saddened by her death, that I had a colonoscopy test after she died. My goodness, colon cancer can be one of the quickest cancers to end one’s life. Sharon Osbourne was so lucky to get an early diagnosis, and treatment. July 9, 2015 at 6:20am Reply

    • angeldiva: ps,
      Forgot to say how much I enjoyed reading about the perfumes she wore. She was a Taurus , like my late mother. My mother could wear some very big, earthy perfumes, well.
      This morning I had a rare hunger to wear a tuberose scent. So, I reached into my L’Artisan Sampler, and put on Nuit De Tubereuse.
      Wow, this is so strong, and beautiful! July 9, 2015 at 6:31am Reply

      • Victoria: Now I’d love to know which perfumes did your mother wear? July 9, 2015 at 5:44pm Reply

        • angeldiva: Chanel- #5
          Shocking- Schiaparelli July 9, 2015 at 5:56pm Reply

          • Victoria: Dramatic for sure, especially Shocking. July 9, 2015 at 6:01pm Reply

      • Karen: I thought of you today, as I was in DC at the National Gallery of Art and saw a biography on Schiaparelli! Did not buy it, (spent my daily allowance on some other goodies), but if you recommend it will look for it again next time. July 9, 2015 at 6:02pm Reply

        • angeldiva: Hi Karen,
          I’m so short on friends and family IRL that this comment really made my day!
          I think the biography would be fantastic! But, I’m a woman who CHEWS through biographies! lol
          Elsa Schiaparelli was friends with Salvador Dali who was a great influence on her, and collaborated with her.
          I haven’t read the book, and don’t know if you are asking for my perfume recommend. I think every woman should smell Shocking! The vintage is a FORTUNE on ebay. I bought samples on ebay of the reformulated, and decanted them into a spray bottle. It’s still a heady, heavy hitter, albeit a wee bit stale smelling.

          Ok – I’m really sharing here! I was studying images of Schiaparelli dresses online. The lobster dress, the skeletal outline spine dress, then an amazing black drape dress.
          So, I came across a sale for a garment called a Cosabella Tube. It’s a stretch viscous/cashmere material that can be used many ways. You can see a video on Utube. So, I’m looking at the Schiaparelli drape dress, and I buy 10 Cosabella Tubes! Five in black- five in Persimmon.
          So, I just kept experimenting with these black tubes of fabric, when , I’m proud to say I did wind up with a creation that was an homage to that Schiaparelli dress, and I wore it to the Grammys! July 9, 2015 at 6:35pm Reply

          • Karen: Angeldiva I ALWAYS am reminded of you whenever I see any mention of Schiaparelli! Actually watched some highlights of the 2015 Fall Haute Coulture show from the new Schiaparelli house and it fed my inspiration to begin weaving again. There were some brushed wool/maybe mohair blend skirts that were gorgeous.

            And your Cosabella creation must have been terrific! How fun that you created an homage! July 10, 2015 at 7:42am Reply

            • angeldiva: Hi Doll,
              Check out the Cosabella Tube vid on Utube! I actually used two adjacent tubes off each shoulder- creating a front and back V-neck, then tied bun wraps around the torso where the ends draped down. Oh! these tubes are amazing! The material clings, and doesn’t move when layered.
              The most comfortable ensemble- ever!
              Wow! You weave? I think that’s so amazing! I have watched the Schiaparelli show, too. I really liked it. I wish there were more avante garde designers like her, today. I miss the really out there fashions from the 80’s, too! Like the parachute jump suits with the huge belts, and strappy heals! Gigantic sunglasses, tons of real gold and the,”Outta My Way,” attitude!!! July 10, 2015 at 11:44am Reply

              • Karen: Those tubes look awesome! And yes, I am getting back in to weaving after a long (22 year!!!) break. Excited about starting up again, but need to do work on what will be my studio. Goal is to get the space done in the next few weeks – or at least to a workable state- then begin weaving.

                In looking at the Fall couture shows on-line, there were a lot of beautiful things, but there aren’t many taking risks. July 11, 2015 at 2:28pm Reply

                • angeldiva: Best Of Luck!
                  With the studio! Go to your weaving destiny! I agree- not a lot of risky stylie these days.
                  In fact I’m going to return some boring linen capris to Kohls!
                  The Cosabella Tubes are AWESOME! The video shows the versatility of one. My Grammy Creation was Five! You can buy them (I think) on the cosabella website. But, I got mine at a discounter for $23.US each!!! July 11, 2015 at 3:21pm Reply

    • Victoria: This is funny, because one of her sons recently published a cookbook with her recipes. I looked at it online, but mostly I was drawn to the photos of Audrey. July 9, 2015 at 5:44pm Reply

      • angeldiva: Oh! That is funny! Maybe these are recipes that she had a private chef cook. Or maybe later in her life she became a better cook.
        The particular incidence I read about was where her guest referred to the fish Audrey Hepburn served as, “A Sea Beast!” – and was afraid to sit down at the table! July 9, 2015 at 5:52pm Reply

        • Victoria: This made me laugh out loud!

          The book does feature mostly very simple dishes, come to think of it. 🙂 I will ask my mom, because I just saw that she purchased it. Mom is a big Audrey fan too. July 9, 2015 at 5:56pm Reply

          • angeldiva: It could have been Peter Ustinov… July 9, 2015 at 5:59pm Reply

            • Victoria: Ha! A well-known crank (but with a terrific dry sense of humor). July 9, 2015 at 6:01pm Reply

              • angeldiva: Yes, I’m fairly sure the Bon Mot was written by Peter Ustinov. I’ve read so much about Audrey Hepburn it’s hard to remember each source.
                I was just thinking about her performance in “A Nun’s Story.” As a catholic girl I thought the story hinged on her profound physical beauty, and why did she become a nun?
                Audrey Hepburn truly located the mysterious angst that a nun can experience. I’ve known many nun’s , and have been privileged to personally know several Jesuit priests. As well as many parish priests. I don’t know how I would have gotten through my years of caregiving for my father- post stroke- if not for these priests.
                I share this to illustrate my opinion on how rarely films depict accurate catholic experiences. I think “The Shoes Of The Fisherman,” earns a place of respect for me as well.
                I thought that the end of the movie (The Nuns Story) where she is defrocking her habit , and dress, and passing through the series of exit doors had profound symbolism.
                A truly historic performance from a catholic perspective… July 9, 2015 at 6:19pm Reply

                • Victoria: It was such a powerful performance! July 13, 2015 at 3:25pm Reply

      • Aisha: Yes. “Audrey at Home” is in my Amazon “shopping cart.” I just want the book for the photos. 🙂 July 11, 2015 at 8:52am Reply

        • Victoria: Please let me know how you like it! July 13, 2015 at 3:32pm Reply

  • AndreaR: Lovely article, Victoria. Time to watch Charade and How to Steal a Million again. Givenchy was the dress designer for both. As a matter of fact, Givenchy did Vogue dress patterns for How to Steal a Million and my elegant mother-in-law made herself one of the suits Audrey wore. July 9, 2015 at 9:32am Reply

    • AndreaR: Not a Vogue pattern, but McCalls #8336. July 9, 2015 at 10:04am Reply

    • Victoria: I admire anyone who could do that! I’m trying to put together a Ukrainian embroidered shirt, and I basically need guidance at every step. July 9, 2015 at 5:45pm Reply

      • AndreaR: Hope you’ll share a photo when you finish your embroidered shirt 🙂 July 11, 2015 at 10:37am Reply

        • Victoria: I sure will do! But I bet it will take a long time. 🙂 July 11, 2015 at 5:36pm Reply

    • Karen: Wow! You inspired me and I looked up old Givenchy patterns – your mother-in-law must have been an excellent seamstress. July 9, 2015 at 6:03pm Reply

  • The Scented Salon: Does anyone know which perfume she was holding in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the one in her mailbox? There have been several suggestions. July 9, 2015 at 1:31pm Reply

    • Victoria: One theory is that it’s a Jean Patou Makila. Another is that it’s L’Interdit. In the book it was 4711, but judging by the liberal way in which she sprays it, my guess it’s just colored water. July 9, 2015 at 5:47pm Reply

  • orsetta: great article again – thank you, Victoria! 🙂

    I think you put it very well when you described Audrey as a multi-faceted personality. she definitely did not let herself be limited to the role of just a very pretty and charming actress. she was beauty AND brains and apparently did a lot of good thing as the UNICEF ambassador.

    i’ve never had a chance to try vintage L’Interdit; i know only the recent version in the pale mauve box and, while it’s quite a good perfume, it’s nothing earth-shattering…
    Chamade, however, it’s another story and i think that a lot of older Guerlains would be great for her.

    Chamade also made me think of Catherine Deneuve and of how i notice now perfumes in movies – something already mentioned in earlier posts.
    last week I watched again ‘Belle de Jour’ – it’s always great to see Deneuve in those marvellous YSL clothes but she also has great collection of Guerlains in her bathroom… 😉 July 9, 2015 at 3:18pm Reply

    • Victoria: Audrey tends to be remembered for some of her main looks–little black dress, Givenchy, etc., but she had such a quirky sense of style. I enjoy all of her looks, and reading about her life only made me appreciate her more.

      Belle de Jour is another one of those films that inspired my fashion choice. I visited a YSL exhibit two years ago with my husband, and looking around he said, “those coats look like something I’ve seen you wear.” Suffice to say, mine aren’t YSL, but I like that 60s look very much. 🙂 July 9, 2015 at 5:54pm Reply

  • Laura Hoy: I love that you describe Audrey with ‘her grace, warmth and a certain fragility’, it is perfectly her and she shows a strength in that fragility.
    I had the pleasure of visiting the National Portrait Gallery last week and seeing the photos, a gorgeous nurturing afternoon, I’d highly recommend if you have the chance.
    Very curious to try Guerlain Chamade now…roses and hyacinths… July 10, 2015 at 2:52pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, happy to hear that you enjoyed it. My friends who saw it also thought it was amazing. July 11, 2015 at 5:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: Chamade is one of the best perfumes out there, so I definitely recommend trying it. July 13, 2015 at 3:33pm Reply

  • Aisha: I can see that there are many Audrey fans who read your blogs. 🙂 My favorite movie of hers is actually “My Fair Lady.” I know her singing voice was dubbed over, but that’s not why I love that movie so much. I love it because she brought so much charm and grace to her Eliza Doolittle character — even before the character’s transformation. I was simply mesmerized when I saw the movie as a young girl.

    Loved your post. Thank you. 🙂 July 11, 2015 at 9:04am Reply

    • Victoria: Same here! I also loved the movie for Audrey’s magical touch. Her transformation scene is the one I can watch again and again. July 11, 2015 at 5:35pm Reply

    • Victoria: P.S. Yes, I also don’t care that her singing was dubbed. She was just so wonderful in that role. July 13, 2015 at 3:34pm Reply

  • Jeanne: Although I always read your blog, I’m too scared to comment and show how unknowledgeable I am about perfume-even though I love to wear it!

    But I did want to chip in with my favorite Audrey movie, How To Steal A Million. It also stars Peter O’Toole. It’s funny, and Audrey and Peter have wonderful chemistry. I’ve probably watched it 20 times! July 11, 2015 at 5:08pm Reply

    • Victoria: Please don’t be held back by such worries. Perfume is a topic about which one never stops learning, and this is what makes it so fascinating.

      I love How to Steal a Million, and I completely agree with you on the chemistry between the characters. My favorite part is when Audrey meets Peter in a sexy black dress with a lace veil. July 11, 2015 at 5:40pm Reply

      • Jeanne: All of her clothes are so beautiful in the movie. I love the black lace veil too, especially as she wears it with gorgeous glittery eyeshadow! July 11, 2015 at 6:02pm Reply

        • Victoria: I recall it was shimmery and blue! Another unexpected look that worked perfectly. July 12, 2015 at 3:13am Reply

  • Raisa: I’ve got a question unconnected to Audrey (as I perceive her not to be a woman who wears Diorella): would you buy a 50ml used bottle of Diorella from 1992 for ca 20 USD? July 12, 2015 at 1:05pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh yes! It’s a good deal. July 13, 2015 at 3:35pm Reply

  • Canadianpetite: I’ve quietly admired Audrey but once people found out, my Audrey memorabilia has grown. My most favourite tidbit about her is that we share the same birthday. I’m curious to learn more about her and what better way than to sniff her perfume choices. Thanks for the article! July 13, 2015 at 11:07pm Reply

    • Victoria: We have a couple of relatives with the same birthday, so it’s easy to remember the date. 🙂 July 14, 2015 at 8:47am Reply

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