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April 21 2014

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The Road To Oscar Gold Is Paved In Perfume

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As we reported yesterday, the Oscar nominations are out and five of Hollywood’s leading ladies will vie for the honor of Best Actress in a Leading Role. While Angelina Jolie’s star power and Meryl Streep’s tremendous talent will make them hard to beat on February 22—sorry, Melissa Leo, this just isn’t your year—our money is on either Kate Winslet or Anne Hathaway. Why, you ask? Beauty logic. Based on a pattern we’ve noticed over the past six years, possessing the look, moxie, and general appeal to pull in a fat fragrance contract goes hand in hand with winning on Hollywood’s biggest night, and Winslet and Hathaway already front campaigns for Lancôme’s Trésor and Magnifique, respectively. Below we’ve sniffed out the scent of success, which, barring a few exceptions (Helen Mirren in 2006, due to what we can only assume was ageism; and Marion Cotillard in 2007, who was promptly swooped up by the fashion establishment before she could be lured by the power of perfume), typically begins with Oscar gold.

Nicole Kidman: Best Actress, 2002

After garnering a win for her portrayal of novelist Virginia Woolf in The Hours, Kidman ditched the prosthetic nose and mousy middle part for paparazzi flashbulbs and high glamour, starring in Baz Luhrmann’s cinemercial for Chanel No. 5 two years later.

Charlize Theron: Best Actress, 2003

Almost unrecognizable as Aileen Wuornos, the prostitute turned serial killer who is the subject of Monster, Theron got her blond and her body back to front the campaign for the relaunch of Dior’s J’Adore fragrance in 2004 (and a subsequent, sultry commercial in 2007).

Hilary Swank: Best Actress, 2004

To portray a female boxer in Clint Eastwood’s acclaimed Million Dollar Baby, Swank put on 19 pounds of muscle weight after training six days a week and eating 210 grams of protein a day. Two years later, she was slim, svelte, and posing nude for Guerlain’s Insolence ad campaign.

Reese Witherspoon: Best Actress, 2005

As June Carter Cash in Walk the Line, Reese Witherspoon channeled her country roots to properly immortalize the Virginia-born singer-songwriter. But when it came time to star in Avon’s U Ungaro for Women ad last fall, it was all about Parisian cityscapes and a late-night rendezvous.

Photo: Courtesy of Lancôme

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