It is probably fair to say that writer Ian Fleming didn't like to travel too far for his inspirations. His own life and career, from expelled schoolboy to skiing with pre-war spies in Austria, from masterminding covert operations in the Second World War to globe-trotting foreign correspondent and, eventually, wildly successful author, provided all the background he needed for his novels. So, he liked to stay close to home. Legend has it that Fleming, a keen ornithologist, plucked the name of his famous spy from Birds of the West Indies by James Bond, which was sitting within arm's reach in his study. Once he had the name, when it came to fleshing out the world of Bond, Fleming very much drew upon his own tastes, for he was a man who, like his creation, very much enjoyed the finer things in life.
So, for instance, when Bond appreciates the toiletries Dr No has left him in his room/cell, the cosmetics were taken from Fleming's own bathroom cabinet: "There was everything… Floris Lime bath essence for men and Guerlain bathcubes for women. He crushed a cube into the water and at once the room smelled like an orchid house. The soap was Guerlain’s Sapoceti, Fleurs des Alpes."
And, when it comes to his wardrobe, Bond very much likes silky-smooth Sea Island cotton next to his skin. And who could blame him? We'll come back to that. But where did this peppering of brands in the books come from? It wasn't what we now called "product placement", as deployed in the movies, as no money changed hands for Bond to declare a preference for a soap, a gin, a cigarette, a car or even his underwear: “By the time he had taken a hot shower followed by an ice-cold one and pulled on a fresh pair of Sea Island cotton underpants the bourbon had arrived.”