The Perfume Embodiments of Mae West (oh, and Kim Kardashian)

Mae West refused to take ocean voyages — didn’t people remember what happened to the Titanic, she reportedly retorted when it was even suggested to her.

There was only one thing she feared even more fiercely — flying.

So when producers wanted her to travel to Paris for costume fittings in preparation for “Every Day’s a Holiday she said a firm no. But they had a problem — the designer was in Paris. How to fit dresses to a woman who refused to travel to the dressmaker’s shop?

They did the reasonable thing — they created an entire dress form/mannequin of Mae and shipped it over. I love how in her biography, West revels in this.

"When the dress form arrived in Paris, the dressmakers there said, in French, ‘oo-la-la!’ and so on. ‘This is impossible.’ Then hey looked at the measurements, which exactly matched the form. They couldn't believe their eyes."

Mae as a rule didn’t give endorsements to products — but she was pleased when Schiaparelli later introduced a perfume called "Shocking" — and the shape of the bottle curiously resembled the figure of a certain blonde bombshell. Thus, her voluptuous figure gained another facet of fame. 

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I don’t think the fragrance is produced anymore, but if you are curious, you can snag a vintage bottle on eBay.

Also — as the Kardashians show — what worked for classic Hollywood icons still works today.

People were outraged — they accused Kim of copying Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Classique 1993 fragrance — but for what its worth, I think Mae would be ok with a riff off her even earlier creation.

People were outraged — they accused Kim of copying Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Classique 1993 fragrance — but for what its worth, I think Mae would be ok with a riff off her even earlier creation.