“The Scent a Celebrity Series is my vain attempt at picking perfumes for those who don’t know any better, yes I mean celebrities. Let’s face it, most celebrities are incapable of choosing decent clothing, boyfriends, girlfriends, movies, (insert-celebrity-mistake-here) let alone having the ability to make decisions about something as important as their scent – that’s where I come in. Never fear, my dear schlebs, I will ensure that you are appropriately scented, all you need to do is listen.”
– The Candy Perfume Boy
Like most people on this fine Earth, I love Disney. Yes, I accept that they give one false expectations of love, romance and the presence of talking tea cups, but I’ve found my Prince so all is forgiven. It’s not the Disney Princesses or Princes that interest me though, for it is a simple fact that the pleasant and saccharine things in life aren’t necessarily the most captivating. Instead I have found myself loving the devious, the dastardly and the down right depraved spirits that are the Disney Villains.
For this episode of the Scent a Celebrity Series I am assigning perfumes to four of my all-time favourite Disney villains, ranging from the squid-y sashay of Ursula the Sea Witch to the campy hypnotism of Aladdin’s arch nemesis, Jafar. So read on dear perfume lovers and Disneyphiles, but do proceed with caution, as these villainous perfumes may appear as innocent cartoon follies at first, but deep down they are nothing but trouble.
Ursula the Sea Witch is my all-time favourite Disney villain. She’s a bitch on six legs and she doesn’t give a damn. Pat Carroll, the actress who voiced everyone’s favourite Cecaelia in the 1989 movie ‘The Little Mermaid’, once described her as a “part Shakespearian actress, with all the flair, flamboyance and theatricality, and part used-car salesman with a touch of con artist”  and that pretty much sums her up – Ursula is a charismatic yet corrupt witch that one cannot help but adore.
Our dear Ursula is the most calculating and conniving of villains. But, much like Divine, the drag queen from which she was inspired, Ursula’s also bold and buxom, large and in charge, and entirely bombastic (she did famously say that one shouldn’t underestimate the power of body language). These characteristics and her purple-shaded squid-skin leads one to think of Serge Lutens’ deadly Sarrasins, a slow-moving snake of a jasmine that pulls one in and silently coils itself around one’s heart before striking. Or maybe she’d just wear Schiaparelli’s Shocking? She’s daring enough to do it…
Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent is easily the meanest all of the Disney villains and seeing as she is the ‘Mistress of all Evil’, this is no surprise. No cartoon character has looked or acted crueller and she clearly has anger issues. I mean, who curses someone’s first born just because they don’t get an invite to the royal christening? Nobody invited me to Prince George’s christening, but you don’t see me throwing any curses around – well, at least none of the magical variety, anyway.
So Maleficent is the personification of cold, cruel and unimaginable evil. She hides away in a stone castle, consoled only by her trusty (and evil) little raven, slowly growing more and more unhinged. But there’s a fire to this mistress, an inferno that manifests itself in the green fury of a monstrous dragon. This mix of cold isolation and fiend fire is reminiscent of Fortis by Liquides Imaginaires, a perfume that is as dry as ancient stone and as hot as burning wood. Both Maleficent and Fortis speak of an age-old evil that is not to be meddled with.
Much like Ursula the Sea Withc, Cruella de Vil (she of 101 Dalmatians fame) is utterly fabulous. But where our cephalopod friend is evil in a campy and almost fun way, Ms. de Vil is just plain bonkers. She’s a crazed fashion lover whose adoration of puppy fur would most likely get her into LOTS of trouble with PETA should she be around today. Think of her as a maniacal Anna Wintour and you’re on the right track.
I’ve always said that Serge Lutens’ Tubereuse Criminelle is the Cruella de Vil of the fragrance world, due to the fact that it is mad, bad and dangerous, but it’s not the perfume I have picked to represent this infamous Dalmatian-botherer today. Instead I have picked a perfume that captures the funky essence of animal fur, cigarette ash dropping from the end of a tortoiseshell holder and the unsettling smell of bourbon-soaked breath (let’s face it, she looks like she’s no stranger to a swig or two). That perfume is Absolue Pour le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian, and it’s wonderful.
Jafar wears Dior. I know this because any man that has as finely-tweaked facial hair as Agrabah’s naughtiest Grand Vizier, is going to opt for a designer brand. But Jafar wouldn’t wear anything from Dior’s standard range, gosh no! Can you imagine him strolling in to Debenhams, sceptre in hand and loud-mouth parrot in tow, whilst perusing the counter for a small bottle of Dior Homme? No, no, no! This dude shops in Harrods and he only wears La Collection Privée.
But which of François Demachy’s fabulous private blends would our dear magician wear? Well he needs something that celebrates his middle-eastern vibe and the fact that he really is as camp as tits (he does turn into a big, red, ‘Muscle Mary’ of a genie after all). Oud Ispahan, with its contrast of smoky, leathery oud, and deliciously light and sweet rose water fits the bill perfectly. Sure, this rose oud isn’t particularly malevolent but it is striking and like our man Jafar, it will hypnotise unwilling victims with its strong and calculating gaze.
Join the Discussion!
Who is your favourite Disney villain?
How would you ‘scent’ them?
What scents would you pick for my choices?
Please leave your thoughts in the comments box below!
Image 1 via author-quest.blogspot.com. Image 2 via images6.fanpop.com. Image 3 via disney.wikia.com. Image 4 via empireonline.com. Image 5 via blogs.disney.com.  via wikipedia.com.