Friday, February 8, 2008

A perfume for Sirens

It is perhaps in tune with upcoming Valentine's day and therefore despite the fact that Perfume Shrine doesn't usually go the fluff celebrity way, we couldn't disregard this opportunity to discuss someone who has been in the public eye lately and has a taste for perfume as well.
Yes, Carla Bruni has married French president Nicolas Sarkozy; and who would have thought it too probable?
But love or infatuation has its ways and one cannot argue with the heart. In the case of Bruni, it is not the first time and one might argue it won't be the last. But let's not be a Cassandra like The Independent posed to be for the happy couple and wish them the best of luck and that they have fun; people in love or lust deserve as much.

I admit that Carla's musical odyssey had never entered my consiousness and she had remained the quintessential supermodel-breaker-of-famous-hearts in my mind. An Elizabeth Taylor of serial tabloid romances. Where to begin? Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Kevin Costner, Donald Trump, Vincent Perez, Laurent Fabius, the Enthoven father and son... But who can blame her? She has made it clear and brava for her candour:
"I'm monogamous from time to time, but I prefer polygamy and polyandry."
Who can blame her? Her choice, her right, her decision.

When I read in the above article that
"Even when I was having my hair and make-up done backstage at a fashion show, I would sneak in a copy of Dostoevsky and read it inside a copy of Elle or Vogue"
I had to pause though.:Why reveal this now, when such a practice necessitated covering it up when posing for the designers' clothes and fragrances? Are politicos over her to sound a certain way?

Heir to one of the wealthiest families of northern Italy, thanks to their tyres business, the Bruni Tedeschis ~by the way, the second surname could denote a German streak in the family~ and with a sister, Valeria,who is an acclaimed actress, Carla Bruni has been implicated in perfume both in her role of ambassador of image for designers' fare and through her personal choices.

Famously she has been the public face of Ysatis, the soaring chyprish floriental by Givenchy, a fragrance that sings a beautiful motet in unison like a small choir. I recall it being advertised with a memorable rhyming line in its Greek campaign which unfortunately cannot be translated to comparable effect; suffice to say that it invoced that once you smelled the woman wearing it you would seek her out...

Her own perfume choices range from the sophisticated, divine Vol de Nuit extrait de parfum by Guerlain as her signature to the more prosaic Versus by Versace.
One would think that her quote below is reflecting the feeling that Vol de Nuit in particular evokes in the psyche of its wearer:
"Desire is not very precise in my case, so I never choose. The one thing all the men I've loved have in common is a strong feminine side. I find feminine men very virile and macho men very fragile. Machismo is a defence mechanism."

The mysterious Guerlain could therefore be an eminent choice for the siren who seduces men possessing a feminine side, as she herself revels in the androgynous facets under the more traditionally femme guiles of this amazing, dual-faced fragrance.

Could that be her femme fatale secret and not the great bum to accompany the Terminator smile and the Dostoevsky intellect? One would love to suppose so...

Pic of Bruni from, Ysatis and Vol de Nuit ads from parfumdepub.


  1. Anonymous14:41

    well I never thought I would have a single thing in common with Carla Bruni! (I do love my bottle of VdN parfum.) Thank you for this bit of fun, E. Not moving in the same circles as she I am happy to say good luck to her as she won't be after any partner I have but I suspect its her new husband who will need the luck!

  2. You're very welcome.

    I know, N, I know! I love VdN in extrait (and edt) as well! And yet nothing would predispose me to frivolity.
    Good luck to them, however; I wish them every happiness.

  3. Anonymous19:53

    Ditto to everything donanicola said. I also have a deep love for VdN extrait, and that may be one of the few things I have in common with Ms Bruni. (Like you, Helg, I also enjoy the EdT of VdN.) My personal style is a lot closer to, say, the photo of Suzy Parker in your previous post. Well, it is in my dreams, at least, LOL. Have a great weekend, Helg. Looking forward to your next post.

  4. Ah, pfffff... Carla. Had a great time with her once, in my days as a journalist. I really liked her. I'm more reserved than you are on wishes for the happiness of the newlyweds. I actively loathe the groom, which comes, I guess, from living in France. I'd almost hope she made him suffer, except that the repercussions of a hyperactive, hypermacho, caddish and Dubya-loving president being unhappy would be bad for the country.
    She has better taste in perfume than in men, anyway, and she's certainly a smart, cultured, funny lady.

  5. Dear P,

    your personal style is too divine for words then (dreams do count!)

    Great weekend to you too dear and we will have some very revealing and some fun posts next week :-)

  6. Dear D,

    I agree that having a great physique shouldn't be grounds for people to be harsh with Carla: she gave me the same impression when vacationing here (although I hadn't had your privilege of interviewing her, bien sur).

    Have to note that presidents who get playful in the sack are usually not so wont to be "playful" with world affairs; which case would be preferable, especially given the Dubya tendencies (and the xenophobic flair too).

  7. Do you have an interview where Carla sais that she actually uses this fragrance? Id it really her signature scent? I wonder when did she choose it and how. And if she is really loyal to it all the time.

  8. De Merv,

    nothing available online I'm afraid.

    It was in an airplane magazine some time ago in an article devoted to perfumes.
    I suppose she must use many more (who doesn't nowadays), but that much I know and it stuck.


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