excerpt:

“…The Fitzgeralds madly swapped letters that carefully articulated all the particular strains of their charmed lives. And in these letters, they contemplated their tonics: for Zelda, it was beauty and perfume; for Scott, writing and gin (but never at the same time: “My work is done on coffee, coffee, and more coffee, never on alcohol,” he wrote in a letter in 1930).

With Scott in California, Zelda nudged him toward the border for bottles of Babani or Rosine: “either is cheap in Mexico.” When he sent her a bottle of contraband Salut, she proclaimed it “such amazingly adequate, and so sensorily gratifying a perfume that I wanted more of it.”

Zelda once told a newspaper that “having things, objects make a woman happy. The right kind of perfume, the smart pair of shoes. They are great comforts to the feminine soul.”

But in her fiction, perfume is less comfort and soul than it is a signal of social climbing. In her novel, Save Me the Waltz, her characters sit in a porch swing and attempt to delineate the fragrances of the garden … honeysuckle, star jasmine, cut hay… “‘It’s my perfume,’ said Alabama impatiently, ‘and it cost six dollars an ounce.’” In her short story, “Poor Working Girl,” the title character considers “all the refinement to be bought with seventy-five dollars: twenty-five dollar dresses and the ten-dollar perfume.” In another, “The Original Follies Girl,” a character “reeked of a lemony perfume and Bacardi cocktails.”…

excerpt from : A Brief Survey of Famous Authors and Their Favorite Cocktails (and Colognes!)
Timothy Schaffert Considers the Fitzgeralds, Truman Capote, Josephine Baker, and More
VIA DOUBLEDAY BOOKS
By Timothy Schaffert

August 3, 2021

Slurred Lines: Great Cocktail Moments in Famous Literature | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian Magazine

Brandy Alexander

Made with cream and chocolate liqueur, the brandy Alexander is basically an alcoholic milkshake. Photo by Flickr user ImipolexG

“Few cocktails are as maligned as the brandy Alexander, a rich concoction containing cream and chocolate liqueur. The drink is believed to be a Prohibition innovation, made with “enough sugar and cream to mask the foulest of bootleg hooch,” writes Wall Street Journal cocktail columnist Eric Felten. Since then, this “milkshake,” as John Lennon liked to called it, has acquired a reputation of femininity and ostentation. In Ian Fleming’s short story, “Risico” (later adapted into the 1981 film, For Your Eyes Only), the drink is used as a “secret recognition signal” between James Bond and a CIA informant, Aristotle Kristatos. Fleming writes: “The creamy, feminine drink was so much cleverer than the folded newspaper, the flower in the buttonhole, the yellow gloves that were the hoary, slipshod call signs between agents.” The brandy Alexander also figures in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Edward Albee’s nightmare portrait of marital dysfunction. The drink takes George and Martha back to a more innocent time in their relationship, when the latter would order “real ladylike little drinkies” including brandy Alexanders and gimlets. “But the years have brought to Martha a sense of essentials,” says George, “the knowledge that cream is for coffee, lime juice for pies … and alcohol pure and simple … here you are, angel … for the pure and simple. For the mind’s blind eye, the heart’s ease, and the liver’s craw. Down the hatch, all.” 1 ½ oz brandy 1 oz cream 1 oz crème de cacao (brown)…”

from : Slurred Lines: Great Cocktail Moments in Famous Literature | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian Magazine