Fragrance references in fiction books or films

Kaern

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Apr 2, 2008
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?
 

foxbins

Somebody made me a mod?
Moderator
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Sep 5, 2013
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.
 

cacio

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Nov 5, 2010
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
 

Marais

Semi-Retired Member
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Nov 2, 2011
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 :)
 

Redneck Perfumisto

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Feb 27, 2008
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.
 

Marais

Semi-Retired Member
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Nov 2, 2011
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.
 

Redneck Perfumisto

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Feb 27, 2008
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! ;)
 

Primrose

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May 22, 2009
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.
 

ErinK

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Apr 6, 2013
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.
 

lpp

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Feb 8, 2010
Hannibal Lecter - '... sometimes you wear L'Air du Temps - but not today' to Clarice in Silence of the Lambs.
 

hednic

Well-known member
Oct 25, 2007
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)
 

Marais

Semi-Retired Member
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Nov 2, 2011
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!
 

iodine

Well-known member
Oct 26, 2010
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
 

tigrushka

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Apr 19, 2003
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).
 

gandhajala

Well-known member
Sep 3, 2010
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'.
 

gtsb

Well-known member
Jan 15, 2011
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.
 

lilacwine

Active member
Dec 23, 2012
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.
 

kbe

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Nov 12, 2006
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.
 

Lyuba

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2013
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...:p
 

Kaern

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Apr 2, 2008
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?
 

sansastark

Active member
Dec 5, 2013
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.
 

Hordak

Well-known member
May 4, 2011
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?"
 

Ken_Russell

Well-known member
Jan 21, 2006
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).
 

DaveStPaul

Well-known member
Oct 22, 2012
In "Megamind" (seriously :laugh:), 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!"
 

Kaern

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Apr 2, 2008
In "Megamind" (seriously :laugh:), 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
 

Jardanel

Well-known member
Jul 3, 2008
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.
 

thinkingmagpie

Active member
Jan 19, 2014
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. :)
 

danieq

Well-known member
Jul 17, 2013
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.
 

rynegne

Well-known member
Jul 25, 2012
Screenshot from American Psycho. Don't know what any of these are aside from YSL Pour Homme.

American%2B15.bmp
 

Xscent

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
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.
 

Bennis

New member
Feb 18, 2014
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."
 

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