In Hollywood, Oscar night is one of the biggest events of the year for clothing designers who court nominees and attendees in hopes that a star will select one of their designs to wear on the red carpet. Stars also pay close attention to their hair, make up and accessories, as countless news outlets will be profiling the best and worst looks of the night. So much planning goes into making stars look as glamorous as possible, but what about one of the finishing touches that viewers at home can’t see; what about the actresses’ fragrance choices?
When television hosts ask the stars what they are wearing, the question is always directed towards the clothing, jewelry, purse or shoe selection, but celebrities are almost never asked about perfume. While it is hard to say who is wearing which fragrance, several Oscar nominees and winners, from this year and years past, have their own perfume or endorse a one made by a famous designer, so let’s review which Academy Award darlings may be wearing a scent all their own.
Halle Berry, who won the best actress Academy Award in 2001 for her portrayal of Leticia Musgrove in Monster’s Ball launched her signature perfume, Halle, by Halle Berry, one year ago, and her second scent, Pure Orchid by Halle Berry earlier this year. Halle contains top notes of Sicilian bergamot, fig leaves and pear blossom, middle notes of freesia petals, hibiscus flower and ultramimosa and base notes of sandalwood, driftwood, cashmere musk and amber. The amber and sandalwood make the scent a woody oriental that opens with the sweet notes of pear blossom and the floral components. Pure Orchid contains jungle cactus flower, lemon, blackberry creme, star anise, masdevallia orchid, giant sequoia and patchouli, so it is more of a woody floral scent.
Halle is not the only winner to have her own perfume. In 1987, Cher not only picked up an Oscar in the best actress category for her role in Moonstruck, but she also launched her perfume called Uninhibited. Containing notes of bergamot, orange oil, ylang-ylang, geranium, jasmine, rose sandalwood, vanilla and vetiver, the scent was also available in a matching body lotion. Following a big launch, Uninhibited was available for only two years and although it is no longer produced, you can still find it in limited quantities through various online retailers. Cher was also nominated for a best supporting actress award in 1983 for her contribution to the film Silkwood
One of the actresses with the most Academy Awards nominations and the most perfumes is of course Elizabeth Taylor. She won the best actress Academy Award in 1960 for her role in Butterfield 8 and again in 1966 for her part in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Before winning her first Oscar in 1960, she had received nominations in the best actress category in 1957, 1958 and 1959. Her list of fragrances is also impressive as Elizabeth Taylor has created and marketed Passion, White Diamonds, Forever Elizabeth, Black Pearls, Diamonds & Emeralds, Diamonds & Rubies, Sapphires & Diamonds.
Other Oscar nominated or winning actresses who have lent their name to a perfume or their face to advertising a fragrance include:
- Joan Crawford won best actress in 1945 and received additional nominations in 1947 and 1952 and helped market Estee Lauder Youth Dew.
- Penelope Cruz won the best supporting actress award in 2008 and is nominated in the same category this year. She was also nominated for best actress in 2006 and is the face of several Ralph Lauren fragrances.
- Nicole Kidman was previously the face of Chanel No. 5 and won the best actress award in 2002, and was also nominated in 2001.
- Keira Knightley was nominated for a best actress award in 2005 and provided her face to Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle advertising campaign.
- Queen Latifah was nominated in the best supporting actress category in 2002 and recently launched her own signature fragrance.
- Gwyneth Paltrow helped market Estée Lauder Pure White Linen Light Breeze, Estée Lauder Pleasures, Estée Lauder Pleasures Delights and won the best actress award in 1998.
- Gloria Swanson who was nominated for best actress in 1928, 1930 and 1950 helped Estee Lauder market Youth Dew.
- Uma Thurman was nominated for best supporting actress in 1994 marketed Lancôme’s Miracle.
- Rachel Weisz was the face of Burberry London for Women and won the best supporting actress award in 2005
- Kate Winslet was the face of Lancôme Trésor and picked up the best actress award in 2008 and was nominated for the same award in 1997, 2004 and 2008 and received nominations for best supporting actress in 1995 and 2001.
- Reese Witherspoon won the 2005 award for best actress and developed her fragrance, In Bloom, with Avon.