Movie tie-in products are not new, though Ben Hur perfume pre-dated the 1925 motion picture by at least two decades. May McAvoy and Carmel Myers, the romantic lead and the vamp, respectively, each took a turn extolling the perfume’s virtues.
Carmel Myers’ famous white wig was selected to raise eyebrows, though it is perhaps less shocking to modern viewers used to wigs on revelers.
May McAvoy also felt that Ben Hur perfume was just the thing.
As you can see in the ad, May McAvoy is shown driving a chariot. According to McAvoy, she was too petite for the task and her wrists were actually dislocated while trying to control the horses. Yipes! And the worst of it? The scene was cut from the finished film.
Cleopatra’s Boudoir describes the perfume as sweet and musky, a rose scent with ylang-ylang and tonka. It was produced by Jergens and was an inexpensive scent widely available at major chain stores.
Have you smelled Ben Hur perfume? What was it like? Do let me know if you have any experience with this scent.
You can look up lots of swell clippings like these at the Media History Digital Library.
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