Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Garbo's Perfume

She was amazing, puzzling, provocative...

Always seductively perfumed.

Garbo once said: "Movies! We weren't making movies, but perfumes."

Growing up in Sweden Greta Gustafsson loved playing in the snow and experimenting with cosmetics and perfumes. She was very close to her father, who died when she was fourteen. Forced to go to work, the teenaged Greta had jobs that included sweeping up at a barber shop, selling scented soaps, and selling cigars and cigarettes. She remained close to her family all of her life.

For most of her life she had no pets, liked a spotless home, ate simple food, and although she gave generous gifts and collected art, Garbo was always very careful with money.

She had a small collection of *Lucien Lelong perfumes, but these may have been gifts, as she was one of his fashion clients. Her dressing table was loaded with perfume bottles, inluding scents from Balmain and Guerlain.

Both L'Heure Bleue and Vent Vert have been listed as her favorite scents, so we know she liked romantic florals--but she probably had a dozen favorites.

Garbo was shy and reticent. She would withdraw, feeling she was misunderstood. While her fans overwhelmed her, there were always people constantly criticising her, who just had to write that she wasn't very talented, or she was crazy. She knew people felt they had to make negative remarks about her, saying they simply did not like her.

They hated her voice, her accent, and some made ratty remarks about her sexuality. She was an open, honest person who learned the hard way not to talk. She started to feel she was not wording things right, and blamed herself.

I think Greta and Bob would have gotten along very well--They would have shared a lot.

Garbo often traveled to County Donegal in Ireland to walk the remote areas surrounding Glenveigh Castle. Dylan removes himself to a place with a very similar romantic yet isolated feel--the Scottish Highlands.

Vent Vert
Headnotes of herbs and gardenia
heart of rose, jasmine, lily of the valley
in a base of vanilla and sandalwood

L'Heure Bleue

Headnotes of herbs and bergamot
heart of rose, carnation, violet
in an iris vanilla base

both are fresh floral evening scents.

*(I wrote about Lucien Lelong on August 14, 2007)