Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The scent of luxury in the Sixties

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                                Donna Allegra Caracciolo di Castagneto

The latest issue of Elle Decor (November 2012) is titled “The Luxury Issue” and tries to define the term luxury and its relevance today. As Robert Couturier says in the article,  luxury can be expensive but being expensive does not make something luxurious and I can add that luxury sometimes has nothing to do with money and affluence.

                   Contessa Selvaggia Barbara Borromeo d’Adda
                          Donna Selvaggia Barbara Borromeo d’Adda

One of the luxuries of life is perfume, being the fragrance of a rose in a garden or the scent in a bottle. In parallel to the hippy movement of the 60’s with its message of freedom,  High fashion in the same years created the luxe prêt-à-porter and a new trend in perfumes ...   Eau Sauvage from Dior was born,  at the same time discreet but persistent and it started a trend of masculine perfumes used by women and a new series of “eaux frâiches” used by both sexes, Paco Rabanne, Cacharel, Courrèges, Emilio Pucci, Capucci and many others will follow.

In the Sixties pants in Italy were  not used much but they became suddenly fashionable and evenings one were launched  in Rome by fashion designer Princess Irene Galitzine and called Pigiama Palazzo …a pijama certainly not to sleep in but to wear to the best parties.

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                      Beautiful Irene Galitzine wearing one of her creations.

                      Baronessa Fiona Thyssen Bornemisza
                                   Baronessa Fiona Thyssen Bornemisza 

                                             Ira von Furstenberg

Aristocrats became fashion models, and at times models married aristocrats, timeless story.
As many other things, material or not, perfume is luxury and I am sure that some of these fragrances were gently put behind the ears or on the wrists (the only allowed places to use a drop of perfume back then) of these iconic beauties.

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                               Joy, named the most expensive perfume in the world.

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Just for fun, how luxury brands advertisement was made fifty years ago, an era without Internet, when television was not owned by millions (billions?).
Back then representation of fashion and luxury belonged only to printed magazines and  it was often a modest fashion, meaning no nudes, no scandals, no models with angry faces, but a simple message of elegance and luxury like the one below. 

Chanel N.5 is the world’s most popular fragrance and here it is presented in a printed ad from the Sixties by a timeless beauty.

A drop of perfume? Affordable luxury! but also an immediate remembrance of the past if you open a bottle that you have not used for long time, my favorite fragrance for  many years was:

                           eau de rochas rochas edt 440 ml
and if today I could smell Eau de Rochas I am sure many memories of my youth will become vivid, popping out of the bottle unexpectedly.

Have you ever experienced that Proustian moment with perfumes?

©2012 Brillante Interiors writes about new trends, timeless decor, iconic pieces, design ideas, or at times just musing about "a certain Italian way of doing things".

If you need help to enjoy your home more, please send me an email.  It will be an investment in happiness at home, a well designed house is always a good part of a great life and a beautiful room will make you happy every time you walk in!

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