"What’s important to remember about CHANEL N°5 is how revolutionary this fragrance is," notes the newest male visage of the fragrance - for chicks. "When it was introduced, it broke all the rules." Indeed, perfumer Ernest Beaux, who had created fragrances for the last Russian Czar and was Chanel's first Master Perfumer, made a mold-breaking masterpiece in 1921 with No. 5 and its unusual blend of 80 ingredients. Mademoiselle was convinced 5 was her lucky mystical number & on the fifth day of the fifth month, a flacon of this fateful juice was presented to her - the fifth selection.
To pay proper homage, director Joe Wright was commissioned to capture the allure of No. 5 from a different vantage point: a man's. "Each commercial resembles a short poem," explains Wright, who is known for Pride and Prejudice, Atonement and the upcoming Anna Karenina, as well as two Coco Mademoiselle commercials starring Keira Knightley. For Wright, No. 5 is "a phenomenon that continues to invent and reinvent itself."
Wright shot Pitt in black and white and speaking directly into the camera, inspired by the much-simpler ads from the late 60s and early 70s. "I really admired the simplicity of the Deneuve ads," reveals Wright. "When you have Deneuve or Pitt, why would you need to decorate that?"
Or, for that matter, a fragrance on the level of a No. 5.
“It does not feel like a perfume that is designed to attract a male, yet it does. It is such an iconic perfume. So many perfumes are easy to recognize and associate with a time but you can't do that with N°5."
- Lesley Scott