Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Notorious by Ralph Lauren: new fragrance and commercial

“The roles have made me famous, but my life has made me Notorious,” says Laetitia Casta (does she realise the ambivalence of the term, I wonder!), iconic French model and budding actress who stars as the sultry face of Notorious , the new Ralph Lauren fragrance in a new advertising campaign by Michael Thompson that will debut in September 2008. Renowned director Wong Kar Wai (also responsible for the magnificently gothic commercial of Midnight Poison) exhibits his film-noir side in this black & white short film that takes its inspiration from Golden Hollywood heroines such as Lauren Bacall from "The Big Sleep" and even Faye Dunaway from "The Thomas Crown Affair". But the name "notorious" evokes most strongly the eponymous 1946 psychological thriller by Alfred Hitchcock starring Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant. Then again, the featuring of poison in that film should better have escaped them...the associations with a liquid product could become unfortunate.

Perfumer Olivier Gillotin created Notorious, a sparkling spiced oriental, "of timeless intrigue and boundless desire" as the ad copy claims, to be as provocative and commanding as the woman who wears it.

Notes:Top: Black Currant, Spicy Pink Peppercorn and Italian Bergamot
Middle: Chocolate Cosmos*, White Frost Peonies, Fiery Carnation
Base: Patchouli Musk, Vanilla, Orris

Laeticia, all page-boy hair mysteriously falling over one eye, is wearing -what else?- Ralph Lauren clothes at some of Paris most striking endroits: a cafe beneath the Palais de Tokyo, at the Théâtre des Variétés and on Pont Alexandre III bridge over the Seine. Music score is aptly chosen: Miles Davis' "Maids of Cadiz". We're proud to feature it first. Please enjoy!

And if this has whetted your appetite, here is the "making of" as well:

Notorious will be available in Eau de Parfum spray 75ml/2.5oz.($85), 50ml/1.7oz.($65) and 30ml/1oz ($45), Body Lotion(200ml/6.7oz. for $45), Shower Gel(200ml/6.7oz for $40) and Body Crème(150ml/5.3oz for $70) at ralphlauren.com and major department stores.

*{Chocolate Cosmos, a decadent, chocolate-scented burgundy flower, is said to be used for the first time ever in Notorious, suppossedly evoking floral decadence in the mid-notes}.

Clips originally uploaded by RLTVralphlauren on Youtube.
Pics and info on scent via press release


  1. Interestinging, I smelled the scent and well I did not want to go anywhere near it. Looking at Laeticia I can only think she would have been better for shalimar

  2. I haven't smelled it, so I can't comment. Will see: the claims are very ambitious though and that's usually hard to fulfill.
    Laeticia would be good for Shalimar, I agree! Although still I would have picked a more "mature" persona for Shalimar, thinking, thinking....

  3. This is selling off the shelves-
    More from marketing, I think, than merit.

    Advertising, and the desire to belong, seem to motivate the sales of some of these scents, I think.

    It's not heinous- but it doesn't rock my world...

    Laetitia Casta could sell us dog food !

    This is very popular among 20-30 somethings, from Latina- Asian backgrounds....

  4. Hi dearest I!

    How lovely to see you here again :-) Everything goes all right? How's the new position?

    Thank you for the info, very interesting! I agree that advertising has a way of persuading to part with one's cash(or credit). I for one await testing before anything else.
    I suspect you're right as usual, though ;-)

  5. Anonymous03:22

    Dear Helg:

    Busy as usual (wish there's more time for blogging) but I decided to visit your site. Thanks for the commerical.

    Should I be shocked that this "film" contains no plot halfway through the film? I find the hair-tossing a bit much and basically the film lost me when the wind-blowing scene comes along. (Yes, Laetitia has a great bod...I got that about a decade ago when YSL declared her as his muse.) Better than most commercials but not great.

    (Actually, is this where are coming to? Things are hardly fantastic anymore but people are saying, "Well, but the quality and the effort is there...and it's better than 99% of the things out there." Since when should people settle?)


  6. A,

    so happy and flattered you made time for my venue :-)

    Indeed, great point in fact (as usual, I might say): no particular plot! You know, it strikes me from the info released and the cinematography itself that the focus is the...gowns. And of course the wonderfully feminine curves of Laeticia (YSL knew how to pick them!)
    Still, yes, the way we have become right now, better than most. Long gone are the days of strikingly imaginative and deeply memorable Chanel advertising.... *heavy sigh*

  7. Anonymous16:01

    The name of the scent is really weak. But White Frost Peonies - I'd like to know how they smell...

  8. Lavinia,

    touché!! You're right! Sometimes the notes' names tell their own little story.

  9. Helg, your description of the fragrance Notorious
    "has whetted" my "appetite" until I found
    that the YouTube making of has been removed.

    So the only solution has been to research
    in the pixels almost picture by picture
    if the film presents "no particular plot!" and if
    Laetitia (with two letters "t" but not Laeticia) Casta
    "realizes the ambivalence of the term" of
    what she says, what charm she exudes,
    what emotions the actress gives.

  10. Ain't it a drag when that happens, Nimzo. Thanks for the correction on spelling, I always have difficulty with names as I am writing in a foreign alphabet.(so the sounds don't always correspond to the letters used in my own language).

    The film is good, not particularly engaged and the fragrance is rather nice, actually! Not mysterious or vampy as suggested by the clip, but a feminine, slightly neo-chypre combo. Not bad!

  11. Anonymous06:50

    Notorious by Ralph Lauren: new fragrance and commercial
    The name of the scent is really weak. But White Frost Peonies - I'd like to know how they smell...


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