So the authorities of Teleport City asked me to write about twelve books that I love. It turns out that not only am I terrible at listing favorites, I am kind of terrible at following directions. I started with twelve … Continue reading Harrowing Books of Varying Reputability
The gimlet is one of the great, unsung heroes of the cocktail world. Simple, refreshing, easy to make — and favored by everyone from British sailors to private eye Philip Marlowe, It was during the great mid-century cocktail revival that young … Continue reading Gimlets with Fleming and Marlowe
David Lynch’s tale of an aspiring actress becomes a surreal nightmare, a puzzle box of a film about the dark side of Hollywood played out against the sunny Los Angeles landscape. When I wrote about L.A. Confidential, I confessed that … Continue reading Mulholland Drive
“His two battered suitcases came and he unpacked leisurely and then ordered from Room Service a bottle of the Taittinger Blanc de Blancs that he had made his traditional drink at Royale. When the bottle, in its frosted silver bucket, came, he drank a quarter of it rather fast and then went into the bathroom and had an ice-cold shower and washed his hair with Pinaud Elixir, that prince among shampoos, to get the dust of the roads out of it.” — James Bond checks in, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
I reckon I’ve made the joke often enough about Pinaud Elixir, that prince among shampoos, that I should probably write a little about it beyond its role as my go-to joke whenever I mention James Bond. Pinaud is a venerable men’s grooming company, having been established — if you believe the label — in 1810 by French perfumer Edouard Pinaud. But since Pinaud himself wasn’t born until sometime around that year, one assumes a bit of poetic license is being taken by the brand. Still, it’s been around for a long time. Pinaud opened his first shop in Paris in 1830, and in 1833 his “lilac vegetal” product became so popular with the Emperor Napoleon that the ruler had Pinaud appointed “Royal Parfumer,” and the company’s Lilac Vegetal after-shave became the official facial pick-me-up of the Hungarian cavalry. Never mind that Napoleon had died in 1821, and that Napoleon III, while alive at the time, wasn’t in France and didn’t have much of anything to do with Hungary’s cavalrymen. But what can you do? Let truth get in the way of a good story?