The first perfume launched by the French fashion house back in 1921, Chanel No.5 still remains one of the most iconic scents in fragrance history a century later. Now, to mark that achievement and celebrate its anniversary, Chanel is releasing a new film featuring its new muse, Marion Cotillard.
The French actress was unveiled as the new face of Chanel back in February – the latest in a series of famous names representing the brand, including Jean Shrimpton, Catherine Deneuve, Nicole Kidman and Lily-Rose Depp. Cotillard, who won a BAFTA, Golden Globe and Oscar for her performance as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, was the perfect choice for the Maison today – an embodiment of natural French beauty with that typically Gallic je ne sais quoi.
This is Cotillard’s first campaign for the fragrance, which she describes as ‘more than a perfume. It’s a work of art.’ Indeed, over the last 100 years, Chanel No.5. has arguably become the most famous eau de parfum in the world. Instantly recognisable thanks to its signature blend of rose, vanilla and jasmine, Marilyn Monroe once admitted that it was the only thing she wore to bed, becoming the first in a series of Hollywood greats who helped the scent achieve cult status.
“I would say that N°5 holds the idea of a feminine essence,” explains Cotillard of its appeal in a statement shared by Chanel. “Combined with the major challenge of pleasing yourself before anyone else. But it could just as well be worn by a man! Essentially, when I think of N°5, I think of a soul who is searching for freedom.”
That freedom is one of the themes of the new film, in which Cotillard plays a mysterious woman draped in a black cape, walking across a snow covered bridge in Paris under the light of a full moon. This is set to a soundtrack of Lorde’s Team, covered by Cotillard herself. As she gazes up at the celestial body, we suddenly see her transported to its ethereal golden landscape.
Here, Cotillard meets a man who is waiting for her – dancer Jérémie Bélingard of the Paris Opera Ballet. The two lovers begin a playful yet passionate pas de deux before eventually flying away together in a grand finale. Suddenly, she’s back on the Parisian bridge, but as she turns, she discovers the man from her fantasy stood next to each other, as dream turns to reality.
“The film portrays the connection between two human forces who come together for one dance, the length of a dream, in a very powerful moment,” says the brand of its new creation, which was directed by Swedish filmmaker Johan Rench. As it is finally released to the world this week, this film’s depiction of a powerful moment perfectly captures that same power Chanel No. 5 still retains today.