Tuesday, May 5, 2009

She Spoke about Perfume in a Very Unconventional Way

The Chanel commercial we have been waiting and commenting on previously is finally here, the magic enfolding aboard the Orient Express en route to Istanbul. Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, starring French actress Audrey Tautou and mole model Travis Davenport on the soundtrack of Billie Holiday's "Im a fool to want you".
Please be sure to check out the official link of Chanel as well as it presents the back-story and the details on the making of as well as commentary by Taurou and Jeunet.

According to the director Jean-Pierre Jeunet:
"I've always loved night trains and their magic: its the perfect opportunity to create an encounter in suspended time. I really liked the idea of a woman meeting a man. They both think about each other, but continue on with their own lives, left with the regret that they didn't make contact with the other person. I love to play with destiny and coincidences... I knew that the story would revolve around the mesmerizing effect of the scent in the womans wake. We had to give voice to the intangible."

Excellently done and we will return with another Chanel post with commentary very soon!! In the meantime, you can read more on Chanel on Perfume Shrine following this link.

Clip originally uploaded by ROPtv on Youtube


  1. Wow! Thanks for posting this E... its sooo full of whimsy!
    A lovely ad that tips its hat to romantic tradition, but still keeps it all in the here-and-now :)

  2. Love it! I just want to step into it.

  3. D,

    γειά σου! You're very welcome! I so agree with you, you said it perfectly.

  4. Jen,

    isn't it very well made? I felt like I was watching them from another "couquette".

  5. Beautifully done, tasteful, not overly-sentimental. The colors are deeply saturated, like Chanel No.5.

  6. Anonymous19:48

    The film is very well made, yes.
    Pretty normal when you know the price.
    To be honnest i was expecting more emotion, more tension, more intensity...
    Audrey is really cute. But the guy is wrong. Too nice i think. No charisma. No sensuality.

    I like the story and the train trip. But... God it's boring !

    I miss baz luhrmann… :-(

  7. Wow, this is so beautiful. Fullof density, atmosphere, nearly has a haptic feel (the fabrics, skin, hair, light and water). I love the scenery, the music, the scent, of course. Jeunet is a great one. Thank you, E.

  8. Scott,

    I am so delighted to see that you made a very perceptive aesthetic comment: the saturation of both colour and scent! So absolutely true!!
    I find that Jeunet has a predeliction for this sort of palette in all his work, doesn't he? Even in the cooler toned Amelie with those blue-tinged greens it was apparent too. I feel he also understands it's becoming to his protagonist who looks very sensual in such lighting.

  9. Anon,

    those films cost the earth, that's expected. The previous one made the record so it set a standard for that kind of extravagance.

    I find that the one with Tautou is less fairy-like and less "American glamour movie" (as well as Prince and the Pauper) than the one with Kidman. There is a deliberate sense to place it into the French and European plane I feel. It's a personal impression, so perhaps I am wrong and there is no such deliberate effort...don't know.

    I think the male model tries to act vulnerable actually; this is part of the concept, isn't it. Which he does, with his puppy eyes, I guess, although I would have prefered an actual actor of big calibre myself (hmmm, who could it be? any ideas?)

  10. N,

    I agree with you, there is a lot of tactile sensuality and you're welcome on the clip: like I had said when commenting on the preview images, I was certainly going to post it when it was officially out.

  11. Rappleyea02:45

    Wonderful clip! I am a huge Jeunet/Tautou fan. The color saturation in this is very similar to what he did in A Very Long Engagement. A great movie if you haven't seen it.

    Thanks for bringing this to us.


  12. Anonymous08:28

    Thanks for your answer pshrine.
    I think it's great for every country outside France.
    I'm a french woman living in Paris. For us Tautou/Jeunet is not a dreaming team.
    French market is not the most important for Chanel.
    All the "foreign" reactions are so good that their choice must be the good one.
    Whatever ! Hope they'll stay n°1 with N°5.

  13. Donna,

    you're welcome, I couldn't resist.

    Yes, I have seen Fiançailles, it's very close in film photography style, I agree!!

  14. Anon,

    that's an interesting point you bring there, thanks!

    I know Tautou is not considered the French's role-model, perhaps due to her big international appeal (and American movies), but I hadn't thought of it that way about Jeunet...

    The thing is since No.5 is still very popular in France (and here in the South Med as well), I think the marketing is always directed at maintaining the myth around the world with a sharp focus on sales in the US, if reading that New York has declared May 5 as "Chanel N˚5 Day" is as telling as I think it is! They have put up signs with Ave No.5 for Fifth Avenue in NYC; if you Google it you will come up with photos.

    So, my take? They're opting for a French-European approach (ie. a little exotic, a little traditional) in what is essentially an American focused campaign sales-wise. Do I make sense?

    Personally the best ads I have admired from Chanel for NO.5 were the Little Red Riding Hood ones by Besson with Estella Warren. That was pure fantasy and creativity (and I don't even like Besson or Warren that much)! Also the Goude (Coco birdcage) and Ridley ones.

  15. very nice! thanks for posting the clip, E!

    and i thought the ending shot of the interlocking C's made of tiles was very classy :)


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