Wednesday, June 18, 2008

vintage perfume ad of the day: Chanel No. 5

Aside from Coco herself, was there ever a better face for Chanel? Catherine Deneuve, circa 1972, embodied precisely the chemistry of No. 5. The way her eyes radiate heat through an icy exterior compares well to the effect of aldehydes on the perfume's overall tenor, making one thing pop in stark contrast to another. At the time, the quintessential popular image of Deneuve was similarly contradictory, flickering somewhere between the stark raving psychopath of Polanski's "Repulsion" and the refined, erect, and perfectly coiffed call girl of Bunuel's "Belle Du Jour". Beautiful, adult, full of sophisticated opposites in tense relation to each other, Deneuve was like a fever dream Coco might have had before signing off with an emphatic yes to the formula.

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