Apples are grown around the world in thousands of varieties, so it is not surprising that they are an undying symbol in mythology, fairy tales, and popular culture. Putting aside the more contemporary connections to John Lennon and Macintosh computers, the apple plays a pivotal role in the story of Adam and Eve, the trials of Hercules, and the fairy tale of Snow White. These associations take physical shape in a variety of perfume bottles based on the apple.
In the case of Lolita Lempicka’s First Fragrance, the connection between Eve and the Tree of Knowledge takes on a more romantic association, as the designer explains, “I drew on my distant memories to recreate this intense moment when a girl is waiting to become a woman.”1
The designer places the apple within the confines of a gilded cage which seems to represent the bittersweet prison of love. Or perhaps it is not a cage, but rather a gazebo, the place in which first love took hold. Perfume bottle and presentation design often leave a great amount of room for interpretation, as a way to entice the customer to try the scent. The fairy tale and romantic interpretations of this perfume presentation allude to its ethereal scent of liquorice, florals, cherry and vanilla with iris and musk undertones.
In contrast to the hopelessly romantic Parfums Lolita Lempicka, Hypnotic Poison by Christian Dior employs the more sinister connotations of the apple. Perhaps the apple represents the temptation offered by the snake, or maybe it is an enchanted apple with an evil potion inside. The red sculpted plastic is evocative of the gift offered by the Queen disguised as an old witch in Snow White. The burgundy beads might even allude to drops of blood, as one would find in the original Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Referred to as “Dior’s legendary forbidden fruit” by the company, this perfume is meant for a daring woman who might set out to unseat the evil Queen and rule in her stead.2
On a very different note, enjoy more “fruits” of the designer’s labor. Caron’s “Coup de Fouet” (meaning “Lash of the Whip”) perfume bottle is in the shape of pear, with round indentations all over the body. “Le Coup de Fouet” is a French farcical play written by Maurice Hennequin and George Duval, performed in English in London in 1901. Perhaps the pear plays a part in the drama? I would love to hear from anyone who is familiar with this perfume or the play!
And finally, for all the snowed-in, stir-crazy folks on the East coast, a little slice of hope for summer.
1 According to Lolita Lempicka at www.parfumslolitalempicka.com.
2 See www.beauty.dior.com.