Post by Azar
Hi there, Perfume Pals!
It’s time for spring -cleaning! Well…I’ve actually been at it for over a month now! While rummaging around in the chaos of the perfume storage I discovered mass quantities of back-ups bottles https://australianperfumejunkies.com/2016/02/15/back-up-bottles/. This stash includes a surfeit of vintage Elizabeth Taylor Black Pearls, in various concentrations, totaling approximately 400 ml. At one point I must have been grooving on Black Pearls, but for some reason I forgot all about it. 2016, the 20th anniversary of the Black Pearls fragrance, seems to be a good year to resurrect this old beauty and re-discover –
Elizabeth Taylor Black Pearls 1996
The Power of the Peach (Part I)
When I sat down to write this post I wasn’t surprised that the name of the individual perfumer or team responsible for creating Black Pearls has vanished in the mists of time. I did learn that the fragrance was concocted and distributed by the Elizabeth Arden division of Parfums International, the same company that put together Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds, the fragrance that is, arguably, the best selling celebuscent in the world.
The creation of the Black Pearl fragrance, like most ventures associated with Elizabeth Taylor, has a romantic back-story featuring gifts of precious gems. Elizabeth Taylor was a client of Salvador Assael, the flamboyant New York pearl trader and marketing genius who single handedly transformed what were once considered “junk” pearls grown in the black lipped oyster into precious Tahitian cultured pearls, creating new multimillion dollar pearl farming businesses in the process. It is rumored that Assael was infatuated with Elizabeth Taylor and courted her with a perfect pair of very large Tahitian pearl earrings. It is also said that he claimed to have inspired the creation of the Black Pearl fragrance. In addition to Elizabeth Taylor, Assael’s client list included many other celebrities, politicos, industrialists, their wives and mistresses, including Margaret Thatcher, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Rosalynn Carter and Evelyn Lauder. Several of the women were also recipients of precious black pearl earrings.
NYTimes (If there’s a problem using this photo please get in touch)
Elizabeth Taylor’s Black Pearls perfume seems to have been designed to appeal to a consumer who wanted to associate herself with the 1990s NY celebrity scene and the glamorous excesses of Assael’s clients. I have to admit that it is hard for me to understand how spritzing a cheap fragrance created by a big mass-market firm could create the illusion of exclusivity, wealth and glamour. It may very well be that the power of the press, featuring print ads of the beautiful Elizabeth Taylor and the power of the fragrance itself, rife with luscious peach, amber, lotus and vanilla contributed to a public image of sexy, sensual entitlement.
I’m running out of room here and will have to reserve my actual review and a give-away of the vintage version of Elizabeth Taylor’s Black Pearls perfume for my next post. I do have a couple of questions this week. Can a fragrance make you feel like a celebrity? Do you ever wear a perfume that is over the top sensual or one that gives you a sense of entitlement and privilege?