This week, “Soul Surfer” the biopic of Bethany Hamilton opens in theaters nationwide starring AnnaSophia Robb (pictured above), Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, & Carrie Underwood. Hamilton was a competitive surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack. She made an amazing recovery and a subsequent comeback as a surfing champion.
In 2005 Revelations perfumes released two fragrances fronted by Hamilton and targeted at teens– Stoked for girls and Wired for boys. Proceeds benefited the charity World Vision.
Not only was it Niki Taylor’s brithday on Saturday, but she is currently starring on the new Celebrity Apprentice. So this week we have decide to make her 2005 fragrance Begin by Niki Taylor the Scent of the Week. Notes include lemonzest, mandarins, bergamot, oranges and grapefruit.
Today we celebrate the reigning Queen of Celebrity Fragrance, Elizabeth Taylor, on the occasion of her 79th birthday by making Violet Eyes our Scent of the Week. Released by Elizabeth Arden in May 2011, the perfume was inspired by Taylor’s iconic violet eyes. It’s tag line is “It begins with a look.” The bottle is a frosted mauve glass version of Taylor’s iconic Whit Diamonds, the #1 bestselling celebrity fragrance.
Gift Set with White Diamonds
Top Note: Lush White Peach bursts onto the scene, causes a stir and leaves you wanting more.
Mid Notes: Jasmine Flower and Purple Rose
Dry Down: Violet Peony, Cedar Wood and Warm Amber.
A 1.7 oz fl. bottle is priced at $52
In Tayor’s own words, “ It was a great joy to create Violet Eyes with a bouquet of fragrance notes that I adore, carefully fine-tuning every aspect of it. Everything, down to the last detail, comes from my heart and my soul. I send this fragrance into the world with love…”
We send our love out to Liz, who is currently in the hospital. Get well soon!
It is only appropriate that the inaugural FAME STINKS “Scent of the Week” is Lillian Russell, since it is arguably the first major celebrity fragrance. (Kate Claxton, from the Woodworth Company in 1874 seems to be the first. I will post that after doing a bit more research.)
Released in 1894 by Richard Hudnut, the perfume shown above was the namesake of Lillian Russell (Dec. 4, 1861 – June 6, 1922). Born as Helen Louise Leonard in Iowa, she was raised in Chicago. At 18 she moved to New York City and found success in vaudeville and later in the operettas of Gilbert & Sullivan. For many years, Russell was the foremost singer of operettas in America. In fact, when Alexander Graham Bell introduced long distance telephone service on May 8, 1890, Russell’s voice was the first carried over the line.
A year later, in 1895, Seely Manufacturing Company also released a Lillian Russell perfume. Bottle and 1895 ad pictured above.
Mysteries: Lightner Perfumes also supposedly released a Lillian Russell fragrance in 1910. Other sources cite Russell as launching her own perfume in 1985 as well. I will assume that the picture below, which I found at Worth Point from an eBay sale several years ago, is a different version of the Hudnut bottle…
Yet another version of the Hudnut bottle is below, courtesy of the Craig & Helen Farnsworth Collection. (Many thanks to the Farnsworth’s and to Cleopatra’s Boudoir for their invaluable assistance to me in this process. There is so little information out there — and often conflicting info — about early fragrances that every little bit helps.)
If you have any additional information or corrections, I would love to hear from you.
Here is a photo of Lillian Russell.