The Iconic Return: Chanel No. 5
Chanel No. 5. There is nothing quite as iconic. It is impossible to think of the designer without thinking of this scent, and for the first time in Chanel history a man will be representing the most famous perfume. And which man would represent the most famous perfume in the world, the most famous man in the world of course- the one and only, Brad Pitt.
Chanel No. 5 was the first perfume created by Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel. At the time of creation, traditionally, fragrance worn by women had adhered to two basic categories: ‘Respectable woman’ and the ‘Sexually provocative’, with each category being reflected in the particular notes used in the scent. Chanel felt this was not enough of a selection and aimed to create a scent that would epitomize the boyish, modern flapper that would speak to the liberated spirit of the 1920s.
By the 1950s the perfume was so established that another iconic figure was spearheading the campaign, Marilyn Monroe. The glamour of the 1950s perfectly resounded in No.5 as did the poster girl, Monroe’s unsolicited endorsement of the fragrance provided invaluable publicity and when asked what she wore to bed, the movie star provocatively responded: “five drops of Chanel No. 5.”
After its supersonic rise to perfumery stardom the fragrance ran this risk of becoming almost too popular, the adds that ran with on the billboards for Chanel consisted of the two following lines: ”Every woman alice wants Chanel No.5″ and “Every woman alive loves Chanel No.5″ and it became true everyone had to get their hands on the fragrance it was no longer ‘special’.
A re-branding is what was needed and during the 1990s Chanel famously spent more advertising Chanel No.5 than was spent for the promotion of any other fragrance brand with Carole Bouquet being the face of the fragrance during this decade. In 2003 another landmark in beauty and advertising was achieved and the success rested on muse Nicole Kidman and film director Baz Lurman, who envisaged a whole new concept ‘No.5 The Film’.
The current face of the brand is thoroughly suited to the brand being a natural French beauty, Audrey Tatou but now we enter a whole new era, the Brad Pitt era, and it appears Chanel will always keep us guessing and always keep us wanting more.