First came Coco Chanel. Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Hutton, Nicole Kidman and others have since followed as the beautiful faces of Chanel N°5. 91 years later, Chanel is marking a first in the world of women’s fragrance with the introduction as Brad Pitt as the face of N°5, just as N°5 marked a first in 1921 with its radical and intoxicating mix of 80 ingredients.
I distinctly remember my first bottle of Chanel N°5. I was in junior high and volunteering at my old elementary school. I would head over there after school and help the librarian, Ms. Harriet, cataloging books, organizing them, etc. This one instance, she pulls me to the side and hands me a beautiful, classy perfume bottle. Sure, I grew up in the low-income part of Orange County, but even I knew what Chanel N°5 was. I was in total awe when it was handed to me and I couldn’t believe that a little girl from Minnie St. had a Chanel N°5 bottle in her hands. It became my most prized possession from that day on because to me, that bottle was more than just a bottle.
Every time that I looked at it, I was filled with hope. For me, that classic little perfume bottle meant that someone had thought about me, saw me as more than just a girl who was “stuck” in Santa Ana and was able to see past my exterior.
As much as I opened it and absorbed the smell as though it could transport me somewhere else, I seldom used it. I wanted to have that feeling of specialness and never go away so I never let the bottle finish. NEVER. Almost two decades later I still have the bottle (see below). It sits in my cabinet as a reminder that I can push forward, make something of myself and shower myself in Chanel N°5 if I want to.
I can’t make this stuff up. That little bottle pictured above means a lot to me.
So back to this Brad Pitt thing. I’m happy that Brad Pitt is endorsing the perfume and really taking his role seriously. His first big assignment was a group of commercials, directed by Joe Wright (pictured below).
Wright was commissioned to direct several commercial films for N°5, which capture the memories, thoughts and dreams of a man being seduced by a fragrance.
“Each resembles a short poem,” the 40-year-old director says.
“It was a real treat that I will never forget,” says Wright. “My favorite moment was the wide shot getting closer and closer and ending up on Brad. He’s a beautiful human being and a proper actor who knows how to deliver lines. It’s always lovely when you meet someone who you admire and they exceed your expectations.”
So what do you think? Do you think he accomplished his goal in this commercial? And can his face seduce you into buying/supporting Chanel N°5? I personally would have bought it regardless, but I am enticed to buy it even more because someone who actually cares about the brand and the product is putting their name and reputation out there to support it. I also like that “they” aren’t trying to cover up Brad Pitt’s wrinkles. It further proves that they are trying to be transparent in their relationship with one another.
The film debuts on national television on October 21. The print campaign shot by Steven Klein debuts in November magazine issues.