…AND THE WINNER IS, ~ White Diamonds By Elizabeth Taylor

elizabeth taylor logo

Tomorrow night is the 85th Annual Academy Awards.  

I would like to present for your consideration. 


Yul Brynner ripped open the envelope paused with a half smile looked up and out across the audience in the packed Santa Monica Civic Auditorium to find her eyes.


“And the winner is…..”

The scandal would have ruined any other actress’s career. Only a few years before Ingrid Bergman had been vilified and exiled to Italy for leaving her husband and daughter to marry Roberto Rossellini and other lesser stars had fallen from the heavens of Hollywood for much less.

Yet she is still here, dressed in Dior, sitting back in her chair not expecting anything, waiting to hear if she is going home with Oscar.

She was the little girl with the grown-up face who had won the hearts of America when she dressed as a jockey and won the Grand National at twelve years old, the teenage girl who found her place in the sun when she steamed up the screen with the hottest kiss ever filmed and uttered the line that would define her for many.

“Tell mamma, tell mamma all….”

She had taken West Texas on at twenty two and tamed a rebel in the bargain. She revisited F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Paris, went mad in the midst of the American Civil War. But when she was that cat Maggie on a hot tin roof all hell broke loose.

Suddenly a few summers before this Oscar night the most beautiful widow in the world had stolen Tammy’s husband. This sealed her image as a modern day Cleopatra and in so doing convincing a failing studio that she was the only woman who could save them by barging down the Nile in style. But first she had a debt to pay. Metro said she had to play a prostitute before they would release her to play a queen. She hated the role and swore she would sleep walk through it. She took no direction from her director and had her crooner husband inserted into the film. The first few days of shooting where a nightmare but something happened to change it all. Her innate professionalism took over and her forth Oscar nomination was the result.

The housewives of America where horrified and fascinated all in the same breath by her performance on screen and off, she was the home wrecker they loved to hate and envied for her beauty. After playing the Park Avenue call girl she was off to London to make history as the woman who nearly brought down the Roman Empire. It didn’t start out so well and in a month she had to be carried on set for her costume test ill with the flu. Within hours she was fighting for her life when the flu morphed into a deadly form of pneumonia. A London newspaper announced her death at the very moment she came back from the edge at the urging of Mike Todd.

“Go back baby. You have more to do. I’ll be waiting for you when it is time.”

The tracheotomy scar at the base of her neck would be her badge of survival, one of many.

The world suddenly realized what a loss her death would be too their collective dreams. They had almost lost that beautiful little girl, the girl who had everything they needed to remind them that there was still magic to be found in flickering images on a silvery screen.

“And the winner is, Elizabeth Taylor….Butterfield-8”


The Santa Monica Civic Center exploded in jubilation. They and the world had forgiven her.

“I lost that Oscar to a tracheotomy” Shirley MacLaine whispered as she joined in the applause.

When Elizabeth still weak from her ordeal in London reached the podium she was visibly moved.

“I don’t really know how to express my gratitude for this and for everything.  I guess all I can do is say thank you, thank you with all my heart.”

All was right with the universe; everything was back in place in the heavens. Our National Velvet had won the prize and come home to us. All that was left for Elizabeth Taylor to do now was to fly off to Rome to meet her new Mark Antony.

 Loris Loddi, Elizabeth Taylor, and others., in scene from CLEOPATRA, 1963


White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor is one of the most popular perfumes on the market. It has been a huge seller for over twenty years and a winner of the Fifi award (the Oscars of the fragrance industry). It has eclipsed Taylor’s first perfume Passion and outlived the many flankers of rubies, sapphires and emeralds.

It is in my view the best of her line. This Floral Aldehyde is sure to be viewed by the younger audience as an old lady scent. That would be a mistake. White Diamonds is really a nod to a classic and classy approach to perfume. It smells vintage, rich, elegant and glamorous. This perfume is a star and she is at ease in her skin as a stunning beauty with a great sense of humor. And she owes a lot to Chanel No.5 in her make-up. In fact you might agree that White Diamonds is a Hollywood star playing the role of No.5.

When the lights come up on set the star walks on with a glorious blast of fizzy and fabulous aldehydes that flash a stunning set of gems made up of bergamot, Neroli, orange and lily. This opening is a glittering  Bulgari necklace that accentuated the lush fullness of her décolletage.

Then she gets down to the business she excels at, drama! Her violets flash purple lights and she throws out petals of roses and laughing narcissus. She smiles with wisps of ylang-ylang and sensuous jasmine.  Then all is banished by the queen, Egyptian tuberose. How can you resist her?

At the end of the shoot just before the assistant director calls a wrap. She settles into her director’s chair with a relaxing cocktail of fuzzy comfy oak moss, patchouli, musk, creamy sandalwood and warming relaxing amber.

Like all great stars White Diamonds has longevity. (It is long lasting in more ways than one. The bottle I have is from 1991 and smells wonderful.) She lasts for hours and hours, eight to ten hours tops and that is fabulous. She remains young on the skin like a dusting of Max Factor powder that stays smooth and creamy well into the night. Her projection is professional and no need for a body microphone. She lets you know she is in the room and all eyes are on her.

White Diamonds like Elizabeth Taylor is unforgettable.



“There is no deodorant like success” Elizabeth Taylor


  1. What, no thanks to everyone on the picture, her agent, the academy….? 🙂 Amazing! This was great, thanks Lanier!

    • I think she was shocked and overwhelmed because she truly didn’t think she would win. I am happy you liked it. ….and to everyone on the picture, Thank you!

  2. I have an aunt who wears White Diamonds. It smells great on her. I’ve never worn it though. Recently I went to the a show and asked some woman what she had on and she said “White Diamonds” and I was shocked. It smelled a bit different on her but still wonderful. It’s one of the few celebrity scents that I think really deserves some love.

    • For a very inexpensive perfume it really is quite lovely. I can’t say the same for Rubies and Diamonds. That rubs me the wrong way. Elizabeth paved the way for the celebriscent boom and did quite well for herself. She was actually involved in the creation of her perfumes.

  3. I am a little bit sort of step-by-step kind of person. I mean, i tend to see one facet at a time and stick to the one I think is the more attractive. So I have always thought of Elizabeth Taylor as a tragic muse like some of the characters she portraited on the screen, and somehow it is that what I call Beauty.Two other words: Grace – Danger. And the Oscar goes to … nice text.

    • Jose! How nice to see you! Funny I don’t think of her as tragic at all but rather as a funny, kind down to earth lady with a great sense of humor and an even greater laugh who just happened to be a movie star! LOL.

  4. Wonderful, wonderful! This review actually brought me to tears! To quote its subject, “Thank you, thank you with all of my heart.”

    • Oh Parfumieren you made my day very special with your heart felt note. Thank YOU!

  5. Spellbinding, Lanier. 🙂 I wore White Diamonds in 1991, too. I had a small egg shape bottle of parfum with the rhinestone bow on top. It was a heady scent, and I loved it.

    • Lillybelle what I wouldn’t give to get my hands on a bottle like that! Thanks so much for stopping by for the show.

  6. Butterfield 8 was amazing movie as was John O’Hara’s book. I think Elizabeth was at her zenith as was White Diamonds.

  7. SOB, Where’s my tissue box?! I’ll return soon. For the love of Liz, another tear jerker?! Golly. T. (Where are my cucumber slices?!)

  8. (ps) Butterfield 8 is the reason I own 99 vintage slips. T.

    • I just adore you Theadora! I came home from the Chinese New Years Parade to find you here and you made my evening perfect.

  9. Lanier – this was a review at least as beautiful as La Liz herself. And I’m in total agreement – both about her (an inspiration if there ever were) and with White Diamonds – She wrote the case book on celebrity perfumes, and no one before or since has ever done them better. Thank you – with all my ❤!

    • You are so welcome! Yes Elizabeth set the bar high for celebrity fragrances. What a woman!

  10. I can’t believe the podium hides 3/4’s of her body!

    This was a beautiful review, Lanier– worthy of your Elizabeth. She would have loved every carefully chosen word. The way you built the drama and tension of the moment – wonderful.

    PS – Shirley Maclaine can suck it. 😉

    • Lol! Shirley finally got her oscar for Terms of Endearment. Thanks so much!!

  11. What a wonderfully gripping account of that ceremony – and the maelstrom that was Taylor’s life at that time – at all times, really.

    And as for “White Diamonds is a Hollywood star playing the role of No.5”.

    Well you have caught me quite off guard what with all my own ruminations on the matter of all things No. 5 I had quite forgotten about all the perfumes that sought to stand in her shadows… just as so many actresses stand in Elizabeth’s, but never ever fill them.

    Thank you once again Mr Lanier for moving us the way only the movies can.

    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  12. Wouldn’t she have been proud of Anne Hathaway dripping with diamonds! (Loved the jewels, the dress was a little severe, but maybe that was the point – boy, did those diamonds sparkle!!!)

    • Well…. Diamonds Are Forever. Anne Looked radiant…Elizabeth would have been proud indeed.

  13. Elizabeth Taylor was the leader of the pack in a film which was full of outstanding women who walked all over those two wusses! She wore her deodorant so well!

    Thank you for the exciting memories Lanier! Do you know I have never had a whiff of White Diamonds? Will do asap!

    • Yes Betty Field, Mildred Dunnock, (whom I ran into in Central Park when I was 17 and I was dazzled!) and Dina Merrill all great actresses in Butterfield-8…the women did rule over the wusses in that movie! I hope the current formula stands up to my 20 year old bottle for you.

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