Saturday, October 18, 2008


Did anybody (besides me) see the movie “The Banger Sisters”?

It’s one of those flawed-may-have-moments movies with bankable talent (Susan Sarandon, Goldie Hawn, Geoffrey Rush) and a much better than average script, spoiled, unfortunately, by a treacly ending. It didn’t catch on. But here’s the story:

Goldie is Suzette, a blowsy, aging groupie who, when she loses her bartending job at an unnamed Sunset Blvd. Club (hint: it’s the Whisky) realizes that she doesn’t have a cent. She remembers, though, that she has one well-off friend; the other Banger Sister. (“Frank Zappa named us,” she explains.) Vinnie, (Sarandon), who has married a politically ambitious lawyer, now lives in Phoenix, calls herself “Lavinia,” and is horrified when her past, in the form of Suzette, shows up in her palatial yard asking for a loan. But she reconsiders. She finds Suzette in a posh hotel, where she’s imposed herself upon a suicidal writer (Rush).

Vinnie has two spoiled teenaged daughters, a doofus husband, and a stifling life. Pretty soon, her old friend begins to get to her. She begins to realize that she’s really nothing more than a maid, cook and chauffer to her snotty kids. Finally, she and Suzette spend a memorable night hanging out – but the scene that gave me this particular association was when Vinnie, dressing for their night on the town, throws open her closet and looks at all the tasteful clothing inside.

“Everything I have,” she shrieks, “is BEIGE!”

I can’t add much to the reviews of Chanel’s new one, Beige – they’re all over the perfume blogosphere. Sure, it’s a likeable fragrance, a go-to, elegant, would be appropriate anywhere, and is exceedingly well-named.

One of the prominent notes is freesia. Now, I don’t know where all of you live, but here in the South, freesia is a common funeral flower. (Remember Miranda Priestley in “The Devil Wears Prada”? “Is that…..freesia I smell?”) Also a wedding flower, sometimes; the point is that it is a flower with heavy fragrance and sillage and, as if that wasn’t enough, there’s the tropical frangipani in there too, the one Hawaiian leis are often made of. You’d think it would be a challenging scent. It’s not. It’s pleasant. They did it with such taste.

I know that the “Beige” name has to do with the French flag and an older Chanel fragrance. It could well be that the word “beige” does not have the same safe/tasteful connotations that it does in the U.S. Still, I’m also thinking that even I could identify this as a Chanel, without having to look at the label. It’s just that it’s supposed to be part of their niche line, and aren’t those supposed to push the envelope just a little bit?

Sure, it’s a lovely scent. Flowers, hawthorn, honey, what’s not to like?

“Beige” is currently available at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, in 200 ml. bottles (!) only, priced appropriately.


ScentScelf said...

Different strokes for different folks, right? Looks like sometimes, Beige is just...beige.

Have yet to try it myself; hope to before the fall color slips into the grey of winter. (Wouldn't that be Oh So Neutral; sampling Beige in the grey?)

maisqueperfume said...

that was my mom...
everything she had in her closet was either beige or light kaki...
I didn´t review beige but I heard it is really terrific.
I love to wear different shades of beige, because I am blond. I saw Sharon Stone once dressed like that.
Modern, beautiful.
Probably that is beige.
An elegant concept for a modern lady :-)

Abigail said...

You're right - Beige doesn't push the envelope like Les Exclusifs are supposed to...

But I do like Beige an awful lot.

And I love the color beige. My wardrobe isn't full of it but I think it's an elegant color choice.

I wonder if Beige will be a bestseller? Its so easy to like that I imagine it will be.
(Yesterday I tried Coromandel. Now THAT is a fantastic and daring fragrance)