What Kind Of Perfume Did Marilyn Monroe Wear: Expert Tell You

Marilyn Monroe's iconic allure was defined by her beloved perfume. Discover the fragrance notes and the journey behind her signature scent. [summary-of-content]

The Iconic Scent that Defined Marilyn Monroe’s Allure

Marylin Monroe became synonymous with White Shoulders, a flowery floral scent with notes of jasmine and rose. This fragrance, released in 1940, perfectly encapsulated her alluring yet innocent persona. White Shoulders enhanced Marilyn’s infamous sex symbol image by adding notes of sophistication and elegance.

The fragrance quickly became inextricably linked with Marilyn and she wore it in numerous photoshoots and films, including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Marilyn relied on White Shoulders to create her signature feminine yet playful scent, stating that it made her feel like a real woman.
More comprehensive information and care guidelines can be read here.

marylin monroe, red lips, a woman laying down in the dark with her eyes closed
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Unveiling the Fragrance Notes of Marilyn Monroe’s Beloved Perfume

White Shoulders consisted of fragrance notes that exemplified Marilyn Monroe’s enigmatic charm and beauty. The fragrance featured top notes of bergamot and lemon that gave it a fresh, citrusy opening. The heart notes were comprised primarily of jasmine and rose, which lent the scent its floral, feminine character. The base notes consisted of sandalwood, vetiver and amber that added warmth and sensuality.

In more detail:

  • Top notes: Bergamot, lemon

  • Heart notes:

• Jasmine – This is the dominant note that shaped the quintessential bouquet of White Shoulders. The jasmine absolute gave the perfume its lush, heady aroma.

• Rose – The rose note balanced the jasmine and added a romantic, sweet facet to the complex fragrance.

  • Base notes:

• Sandalwood – This warm, woody note grounded White Shoulders and accentuated its alluring, long-lasting character.

• Vetiver – The vetiver base notes added an earthy, tenacious character to the perfume’s undertones.

• Amber – The amber note made the scent enveloping and sensual.

Together, these notes created an alluring yet graceful olfactory profile that became emblematic of Marilyn Monroe’s inimitable charm and persona.

marylin monroe, red lips, woman in gray blazer with white scarf
Photo by DIEGO SÁNCHEZ / Unsplash

The Journey Behind Marilyn Monroe’s Signature Scent

The story behind Marilyn Monroe’s signature scent of White Shoulders is in many ways reflective of her own journey to fame. The perfume was first launched in 1940 by the cosmetics giant Elizabeth Arden. However, it was only after Marilyn Monroe was photographed wearing the perfume in the 1950s that it really took off.

Marilyn famously received a gift set of Elizabeth Arden beauty products when she first signed with the studio 20th Century Fox in the early 1950s. This likely included a bottle of White Shoulders perfume. Marilyn, who had a keen interest in fragrances due to her difficult upbringing, quickly took a liking to the floral scent.

Marilyn soon began wearing White Shoulders regularly, both for photoshoots and on film sets. This included iconic movies like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire, cementing the association between the perfume and Marilyn’s alter ego.

Like Marilyn, White Shoulders was a relative unknown until it became linked with her glamorous yet down-to-earth persona. This catapulted both the perfume and Marilyn to new heights of fame during the 1950s.
Elizabeth Arden capitalized on Marilyn’s endorsement by creating collectible gift sets branded with Marilyn’s name and likeness.

However, Marilyn herself did not financially benefit from the partnership. This reflects the larger story of Marilyn being exploited by the studio system during the early years of her career.

In the end, White Shoulders perfectly complemented Marilyn Monroe’s alluring yet girlish image. Marilyn helped transform an ordinary perfume into a cultural icon, while the fragrance in turn reinforced Marilyn’s status as a timeless Hollywood legend.

marylin monroe, red lips, woman standing on snow covered field
Photo by Jovaughn Stephens / Unsplash

Exploring the Timeless Appeal of Marilyn Monroe’s Perfume

White Shoulders perfume has remained iconic for over 70 years due to a combination of its associations with Marilyn Monroe’s timeless allure and the fragrance’s own classic, feminine charms.

First, White Shoulders has maintained its appeal because of its inextricable link with Marilyn Monroe’s celebrity image. Marilyn popularised the fragrance and made it synonymous with her glamorous yet innocent persona. This association continues to make the perfume desirable, as Marilyn herself remains an enduring cultural symbol of Hollywood beauty.

Second, the floral fragrance composition of White Shoulders features notes like jasmine and rose that are considered classically feminine. These notes have remained appealing to many women over time due to their familiarity and association with femininity.

Third, the perfume is rated as having high “sillage,” meaning it has strong lasting power and trail. This “scent wake” allows the wearer to make a bold but elegant impression, which remains a timeless goal for many perfume consumers.

Fourth,White Shoulders’ packaging – an iconic Art Deco bottle – has also remained relatively unchanged since the perfume’s launch. This continuity in branding, combined with the perfume’s age, contributes to its retro chic appeal among contemporary perfume consumers.

In summary, White Shoulders perfume endures because of a unique combination of factors:

-Its association with the eternal allure of Marilyn Monroe

  • Its classic floral notes that exemplify enduring concepts of femininity

  • Its sillage and ability to help the wearer make an impression

-The continuity of its Art Deco bottle design

Together, these elements have allowed White Shoulders to remain alluring to new consumers while retaining the vagaries of nostalgia that arise from its status as a beloved vintage perfume.

marylin monroe, red lips, woman wearing blue denim jacket and white hat
Photo by Logan Fisher / Unsplash

More Helpful Guide

Frequently Asked Question

What was Marilyn Monroe’s real name?

Marilyn Monroe’s real name was Norma Jeane Mortenson.

How old was Marilyn Monroe when she died?

Marilyn Monroe was 36 years old when she died.

Did Marilyn Monroe have any children?

Marilyn Monroe did not have any children.

Who was Marilyn Monroe’s third husband?

Marilyn Monroe’s third husband was Arthur Miller.

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