Tiffany Case’s Music

While posing as Peter Franks in Diamonds Are Forever, James Bond makes the acquaintance of Tiffany Case for the first time at the Trafalgar Palace.

As Bond neared the end of the corridor he could hear a piano swinging a rather sad tune. At the door of 350 he knew the music came from behind it. He recognized the tune. It was ‘Feuilles Mortes’. He knocked.

“Autumn Leaves” is the translation of that song. Later in the book when he is discussing Tiffany with Felix Leiter, he calls this song. Bond enters the room and is told to lock to the door.

Bond did as he was told and walked across the middle of the room until he was opposite the open bedroom door. As he passed the portable long-player on the writing desk the pianist began on La Ronde.

“The Round” is now playing. Bond sees Tiffany sitting astride a chair (half naked) examining her face in the dressing table mirror.

Miss Case resumed the silent contemplation of her face in the mirror while the pianist played J’attendrai. Then it was the end of the record.

“I Will Wait” was the translation of that song. She tells Bond that if he likes it, to turn the record over and play the other side.

Bond walked over to the gramophone and picked up the record. It was George Feyer with rhythm accompaniment. He looked at the number and memorized it. It was Vox 500. He examined the other side and, skipping La Vie en Rose because it had memories for him, put the needle down at the beginning of Avril an Portugal.

Two songs referenced here, La Vie en Rose translates to Life In Pink (Or Rose-colored glasses). Bond skips over this song, no doubt remembering that night at Royale-Les-Eaux, when after having defeated Le Chiffre, Bond and Vesper go to celebrate at the Roi Galant nightclub, where, as Bond and Vesper sit, that very song is played. Looking back and realizing how Vesper was very soon to betray him, one can see why Bond would not wish to hear that son.

April in Portugal  is the song he instead skips ahead to. To this point, he only knows her as Miss Case. After finding a Pan-American Airways label with “T. Case” on, her inquires what it stands for.

She thought for a moment. “I guess you can find out at the desk,” she said. “It stands for Tiffany.” She walked over to the gramophone and stopped the record in the middle of Je n’en connais pas la fin. She turned round. “But it’s not in the public domain,” she added coldly.

Tiffany stops the record in the middle of “I Do Not Know The End.” and gets down to business. When matters are decided upon and Bond leaves, she turns the music back on.

As Bond walked away down the long corridor to the lift, the girl stood just inside the door and listened until his footsteps had vanished. Then, with brooding eyes, she walked slowly over to the gramophone and switched it on. She picked up the Feyer record and searched for the groove she wanted. She put the record on the machine and found the place with the needle. The tune was Je n’en connais fas la fin.

The record that they’ve been listening to, which Tiffany calls the “Best light record ever made” is this one:



Want to listen to it, and get in the mood while re-reading this post? Or better yet by reading Diamonds are Forever?

Gordon’s Gin

In Casino Royale, when James Bond first orders his famous martini, later to be called The Vesper, he specifies “three measures of Gordon’s.”

Earlier in the book, Bond overhears some people at the bar:

‘Moi, j’adore le “Dry”,’ (Me, I like the “dry”)  a bright-faced girl at the next table said to her companion, too neat in his unseasonable tweeds, who gazed at her with moist brown eyes over the top of an expensive shooting-stick from Hermes, ‘fait avec du Gordon’s, bien entendu.’ (made with gordon’s, of course.)

‘D’accord, Daisy. Mais tu sais, un zeste de citron . . .’
(I agree Daisy. But you know a piece of lemon peel…)

It appears Bond is not the only one who prefers Gordon’s in his dry martini.

In Thunderball, when Felix Leiter is giving his lecture to the barman on bar profits, he notes that One bottle of Gordon’s Gin contains 16 true measures double measures that is, the only ones I drink.

In Risico, when meeting Kristatos, Bond is specific in ordering his drink:

Bond nodded. “A Negroni. With Gordon’s, please.”

The waiter walked back to the bar. “Negroni. Uno. Gordon’s.”

These are the only occasions in the Ian Fleming novels where Gordon’s is mentioned. The context of how the brand is mentioned however, surely indicates that it was a preferred brand of Bond’s.

Gordon’s was first made in 1769 by Alexander Gordon, and according to the brand website, the recipe – a tightly guarded secret – remains the same today.




Hoagy Carmichael

Hoagland Howard Carmichael was an American composer, singer and actor who is referenced in two James Bond novels as a good representation of what agent 007 looks like.

In Casino Royale, it is Vesper Lynd who first makes this connection.

‘He is very good-looking. He reminds me rather of Hoagy Carmichael, but there is something cold and ruthless in his …’

Bond is told of this, and later muses:

As he tied his thin, double-ended, black satin tie, he paused for a moment and examined himself levelly in the mirror. His grey-blue eyes looked calmly back with a hint of ironical inquiry and the short lock of black hair which would never stay in place slowly subsided to form a thick comma above his right eyebrow. With the thin vertical scar down his right cheek the general effect was faintly piratical. Not much of Hoagy Carmichael there, thought Bond, as he filled a flat, light gunmetal box with fifty of the Morland cigarettes with the triple gold band.

In Moonraker, Gala Brand also makes the connection:

Rather like Hoagy Carmichael in a way. That black hair falling down over the right eyebrow. Much the same bones. But there was something a bit cruel in the mouth, and the eyes were cold.

These are the only mentions of Carmichael, but the description of Bond stays pretty consistent throughout the series.


Fleming himself had a drawing of James Bond commissioned for a comic strip artist to use for a series in the Daily Express.



I would quibble slightly with the receding hairline, but this is Fleming’s own interpretation, so we’ll have to accept it.


Morland of Grosvenor Street Cigarettes

One of the things that James Bond is famous for is that he has his own brand of cigarette, one that is specially made for him.

We’re first introduced to this brand in Casino Royale.

He lit his first cigarette, a Balkan and Turkish mixture made for him by Morlands of Grosvenor Street,

We’re given a little more detail a bit later.

he filled a flat, light gunmetal box with fifty of the Morland cigarettes with the triple gold band.

Bond is a prodigious smoker, consuming 60-70 per day.

In Moonraker, when Bond is back in England after his assignment abroad, he’s back on the special brand:

He lit a cigarette, one of the Macedonian blend with the three gold rings round the butt that Morlands of Grosvenor Street made for him, then he settled himself forward in the padded swivel chair and began to read.

In From Russia With Love, Bond has been tossed around in the sky by a batch of turbulence and has a cigarette to recover.

He was pleased to see his hands were dead steady as he took out his lighter and lit one of the Morland cigarettes with the three gold rings.

While following Auric Goldfinger across the continent, Bond feeds his habit:

Bond settled back into second and let the car idle. He reached for the wide gunmetal case of Morland cigarettes on the neighbouring bucket seat, fumbled for one and lit it from the dashboard.

While on a health kick in Thunderball, Bond temporarily stops smoking the Morlands.

Bond had lit up a Duke of Durham, king-size, with filter. The authoritative Consumers Union of America rates this cigarette the one with the smallest tar and nicotine content. Bond had transferred to the brand from the fragrant but powerful Morland Balkan mixture with three gold rings round the paper he had been smoking since his teens.

They’ve been made for him since his teens?

M sends Bond to Japan on an impossible diplomatic mission in You Only Live Twice, and Tiger Tanaka suggests Shinsei cigarettes.

James Bond was running out of his Morland specials. He would soon have to start on the local stuff.

As a test, the Soft Man in The Man With The Golden Gun makes a remark about cigarettes to a brainwashed Bond to see what his state of mind is.

‘Come in. Come in. Take a pew. Cigarette? Not the ones I seem to remember you favour. Just the good old Senior Service.’

Major Townsend had carefully prepared the loaded remark – a reference to Bond’s liking for the Morland specials with the three gold rings. He noted Bond’s apparent lack of comprehension.

In 007 In New York:

James Bond sat back and lit one of his last Morland Specials. By lunchtime it would be king-size Chesterfields.

The three  gold rings could represent the three stripes on the sleeve of Fleming’s (and Bond’s) commander uniform from the RNVR. When Bond is sent abroad, he usually smokes whatever he has left of his Morlands, and thqen switches to a local brand. (In Live and Let Die for example while in America, he was smoking Chesterfield Kings.)

He continues to smoke these cigarettes throughout the novels.

Not surprisingly, these cigarettes were actually made for Ian Fleming, who bought them from Morlands of Grosvenor Street, which was a real business. The store closed not too long after Fleming’s death, leading you to wonder whether he single-handedly kept them in business! The building has also been demolished.

From the collection of Graham Rye
Back of the box.
From Graham Rye – a loose-leaf information leaflet that was inserted into the box on top of the wax paper wrap in which the 50 cigarettes sat inside the box.

The Marthe Richard law

During his evening at Blades with M in Moonraker, James Bond observes the starched collar and cuffs on the uniform of the waitress, whose skirt brushes on his arm, and reminisces for a moment.

He recalled a pre-war establishment in Paris where the girls were dressed with the same exciting severity. Until they turned round and showed their backs.  He smiled to himself.

The Marthe Richards law had changed all that.

What we have here is another Ian Fleming reference to something in his (and Bond’s) lifetime. France – Paris in particular – had been known for its brothels. In 1946, a law was passed banning prostitution and closing all the country’s brothels.

This wasn’t the first time Fleming had made reference to this event. In Casino Royale, in giving the background of Le Chiffre, it is mentioned that the SMERSH paymaster had used union funds to purchase a chain of brothels in January of 1946.

Fate rebuked him with terrifying swiftness.

Barely three months later, on 13 April, there was passed in France Law No. 46685 entitled Loi Tendant à la Fermeture des Maisons de Tolérance et au Renforcement de la Lutte contre le Proxénétisme.

That sentence translated to English is roughly “the draft law to the closure of brothels and strengthening the fight against trafficking in women.” This law was also known as La loi Marthe Richard after its initiator. The law was passed on April 13th, 1946, as Fleming notes. The story is a fairly interesting one, as the New York Times points out:

The Loi Marthe Richard was morally impeccable, but its initiator turned out to be very peccable indeed. Her real name was not Richard, she had no right to public office as she was a British citizen, she did join the Résistance very late in the day, undoubtedly to mask her earlier collaboration, and – best of all – she had herself been a hooker since her teens.

The life of Marthe Richard was a very interesting one, indeed. An early woman airplane pilot, WWI spy, prostitute, widow, politician, her life was made into a movie even before the events of 1946.

As usual, even the tiniest of background references placed in the novels by Fleming can yield fascinating sub-stories which really add context and flavor to the Bond novels.

Citroën Traction Avant

In Casino Royale, we’re not given too much detail about the car driven by James Bond’s adversary, Le Chiffre. Ian Fleming tells us that it is a Citroën. (That’s also brand of car driven by the third Bulgar as he is trying to escape.)

We’re given a subtle clue though, from which we can narrow down the model of the car that Le Chiffre was driving that night.

With a harsh growl and stutter from the exhaust a beetle-browed Citroën shot out of the shadows into the light of the moon, its front wheel drive dry-skidding through the loose pebbles of the forecourt.

And a few pages later:

As the car rocked to the left outside the gate, Bond ruefully longed for the front-wheel drive and low chassis of the Citroën.

Citroën introduced front wheel drive to the mass market during the 1930’s, but the early models were somewhat plagued by being rushed to market. The second generation cars were better, but then production was halted at the onset of World War II.

The Traction Avant series (French for front wheel drive) really took off following the war, and I’m going to guess that Le Chiffre was driving one of these later-model cars. The description above of the car as “beetle-browed” throws me a little bit. I can’t really picture Le Chiffre driving something like this, (more likely the Bulgar mentioned above did so) so we’re going to go with a Big-6 Traction Avant of that time period.

1950 Citroën Big 6 Saloon
1950 Citroën Big 6 Saloon



Page will be updated as we go through the novels.

There are times James Bond drinks brandy, or even a (few) brandy and soda(s) or ginger ale.

For the latter, he seems to drink them when flying, or getting ready to fly. Perhaps the ginger ale is for his stomach?

In Casino Royale, when Bond and Vesper have their first dinner at the inn following Bond’s recovery, they finish their meal with coffee and brandy.

In Moonraker, when playing cards at Blades, large balloon glasses of brandy, along with coffee, are served at the tables. After Bond tries the brandy, M says:

“Comes from one of the Rothschild estates at Cognac. About a hundred years ago one of the family bequeathed us a barrel of it every year in perpetuity. During the war they hid a barrel for us every year and then sent us over the whole lot in 1945. Ever since then we’ve been drinking doubles.

Also, when Bond and Gala Brand are returning from having a cliff face dropped on them, they head off to a local inn where Gala has two, and Bond has three brandy and sodas.

In Thunderball, after his experience on “the rack,” Patricia Fearing sneaks Bond some Brandy as a “stimulant.” Bond drinks two glasses, over ice.

In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, while in character as Sir Hilary Bray, as he is waiting to depart for Switzerland,

Bond had a double brandy and ginger ale and stood aloof from the handful of other privileged passengers in the gracious lounge, trying to feel like a baronet. 

Bond then has another just prior to takeoff.

When Bond has escaped and has gotten back to London, he instructs Mary Goodnight to have May brew him “plenty of black coffee and to pour two jiggers of our best brandy into the pot.”

After the assault on Piz Gloria, Bond finds himself in the hands of the Red Cross, being treated for his injuries, and the Red Cross man “produced a flask of brandy out of his box and offered it to Bond. Bond gratefully took a long swig.”

In You Only Live Twice, on his way to Japan via J.A.L., Bond “ordered the first in a chain of brandies and ginger ales that was to sustain him over the Channel, a leg of the North Sea, the Kattegat , the Arctic Ocean, the Beaufort Sea, the Bering sea, and the North Pacific Ocean…

In Octopussy, the brandy and ginger ale “the drunkard’s drink” is the drink of choice for Major Dexter Smythe, who has them invariably “stiff” – “almost fifty-fifty” beginning at 10:30 am.


Chesterfield Cigarettes

This American brand of cigarette pops up throughout the Bond novels.

In Casino Royale, it is the brand that American agent Felix Leiter is smoking. As they get together for their first drink.

Leiter shook at Chesterfield out of his pack. ‘I’m glad to be working with you on this job,’ he said, looking into his drink

Bond then assesses Leiter.

His grey eyes had a feline slant which was increased by his habit of screwing them up against the smoke of the Chesterfields, which he tapped out of the pack in a chain.

In Live and Let Die, Bond twice is cited as smoking Chesterfield Kings, first at the St Regis while contemplating events that brought him to his present assignment, and then while on the Silver Phantom with Solitaire.

Bond slit open a fresh pack of King Size  Chesterfields with his thumb-nail, as he settled back in his comfortable chair in the warm luxurious room, his mind went back two weeks to the bitter raw day in early January when he had walked out of his Chelsea flat into the dreary half-light of a London fog.

On the train:

He dug in his pocket for his cigarettes and lighter. It was a new pack of Chesterfields and with his right hand he scrabbled at the cellophane wrapper.

Solitaire ends up opening the pack, removing a cigarette and lighting it for him. He tells her she’s going to be busy because he smokes three packs a day.

Interestingly, in Diamonds Are Forever, which takes place largely in America, we’re not told which brand Bond is smoking. He could’ve brought enough of his Morland Specials to make it through the trip, I suppose. Tiffany Case smokes her Parliaments throughout.

In Goldfinger, Bond returns to America, and he is back with his Chesterfields. When he is a guest of Mr Du Pont he starts his day as follows.

He went back into the bedroom, picked up the telephone and ordered himself a delicious, wasteful breakfast, a carton of king-sized Chesterfields and the newspapers.

He holds out the pack of Chesterfields to Jill Masterton when he meets her and she accepts one.

Then, later in the book when Bond is a guest/prisoner of Goldfinger, he enjoys bossing Oddjob around.

Oddjob, I want a lot of food, quickly. And a bottle of bourbon, soda and ice. Also a carton of Chesterfields, king-size, and either my own watch or another one as good as mine. Quick march! Chop-chop!

When Bond learns the details of Goldfinger’s plan, “he reached inside his coat pocket for the Chesterfields and lit one.”

Then, as again a prisoner of Goldfinger, he refuses to talk until his demands are met.

We will have a talk, Goldfinger. And I will tell you certain things. But not until you have taken off these straps and brought me a bottle of bourbon, ice, soda water and a packet of Chesterfields. Then, when you have told me what I wish to know, I will decide what to tell you.

When Bond locates Domino in Nassau during Thunderball, she is buying cigarettes, and actually trying to find one that will convince her to stop smoking. Bond recommends Dukes. He orders them, and she objects:

But Bond had already paid for the carton and for a packet of Chesterfields for himself.

When Bond returns to America in The Spy Who Loved Me, he offers Viv a cigarette after she offers to make him some scrambled eggs.

‘Have one? Senior Service. I suppose it’ll have to be Chesterfields from now on.’ His mouth turned slightly down as he smiled.

In 007 in New York, Bond again has his Chesterfields.

James Bond sat back and lit one of his last Morland Specials. By lunchtime it would be king-size Chesterfields.

Originally produced by the Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company, the brand was sold in 1999 to Philip Morris, and while still being produced, is more popular in Europe these days. During the 1940’s and 50’s Chesterfield was a major sponsor of television programs, and their advertisements were plentiful, many featuring major movie stars and athletes of the day.






Gauloises (Cigarettes)

This brand of cigarettes, found in France, makes a few appearances in the Fleming novels.

In Casino Royale, Le Chiffre lights one up as he gets ready to torture Bond.

In From A View To A Kill, Wing Commander Rattray, Head of Station F (France) “chain-smoked Gauloises and his office stank of them.” Bond moves his chair closer to the window “to keep away from the fog of Gauloises.”

Chapter 23 of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is entitled Gauloises and Garlic. Marc-Ange “reached for a blue packet of Gauloises”.





R.C.A. Building, Rockefeller Centre

This iconic New York location is where James Bond operated one of his first missions, as recalled in Casino Royale.

‘Well, in the last few years I’ve killed two villains. The first was in New York — a Japanese cipher expert cracking our codes on the thirtysixth floor of the RCA building in the Rockefeller centre, where the Japs had their consulate. I took a room on the fortieth floor of the nextdoor skyscraper and I could look across the street into his room and see him working. Then I got a colleague from our organization in New York and a couple of Remington thirty-thirty’s with telescopic sights and silencers. We smuggled them up to my room and sat for days waiting for our chance. He shot at the man a second before me. His job was only to blast a hole through the windows so that I could shoot the Jap through it. They have tough windows at the Rockefeller centre to keep the noise out. It worked very well. As I expected, his bullet got deflected by the glass and went God knows where. But I shot immediately after him, through the hole he had made. I got the Jap in the mouth as he turned to gape at the broken window.’  Bond smoked for a minute.

‘It was a pretty sound job. Nice and clean too. Three hundred yards away. No personal contact.

Here is a look at how the RCA Building looked in the mid-1950’s.