Monday 31 October 2016


Jim Caruso is best known among the Broadway theatre fraternity for hosting the famous Cast Party at Birdland, which he also brings annually to Brasserie Zédel in London, but his list of other credits is long. Actor, singer, dancer, he even co-starred with Kathie Lee Gifford in Personal Assistant … and survived! As one of Liza Minnelli’s long standing friends he performed with her on Broadway in 2009, but what would we learn about his own scented secrets during “Stephan’s Six”?

What is the first smell that you can remember?
Like it was yesterday, I remember my mother tucking me into my bed before going to a cocktail party. She was a rustle of purple silk, hairspray, and a spritz of Jean Patou's Joy behind each ear. I thought she was the most glamorous woman in the world, and just maybe, she was.

What was the first perfume you remember your mum or dad wearing?
For a time, my dad wore English Leather, which was a hyper-masculine scent, with lots of cedar and musk involved. The top of the bottle was an enormous chunk of wood ... all that was missing was a tool belt. [The advertising words are incredible!]

What was the perfume of your twenties?
I’m sorry to tell you that I walked around absolutely bathed in Grey Flannel. The designer Geoffrey Beene made sure millions of us cavorted about smelling like bathroom potpourri, and I’m not sure we should forgive him.

What was your biggest perfume mistake?
In 1987 I made the mistake of rubbing a magazine sample of Passion onto my wrist. I spent the rest of the decade scrubbing those wrists raw trying to lose the heavy, thick scent. It was like being slapped with an orchard of gardenia trees. Elizabeth Taylor made sure you got your money’s worth with that one.

You can only choose one perfume?
One of my all-time favourites is Miel de Bois by Serge Lutens. But where is it? It’s impossible to find in the US, although I read that it’s still in existence. [It's available from the Serge Lutens website] It’s warm, sweet and woody ... but then, aren’t we all?

What perfume should I try?
After his tragic English Leather habit, my dad finally redeemed himself with a bottle of the famous 4711. [The picture shows the original owner, Mülhens, but it is now owned by Mäurer & Wirtz] Nowadays, you can find it for a pittance in any drug store, but to my nose, it still smells clean, fresh and modern.

You can find out more about Cast Party by visiting the website at or for more information on Jim Caruso please visit

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