A friend once confided to me that he and his boyfriend started their foreplay by aping that enigmatic Chanel No. 5 commercial from 1995, with a vampish Carole Bouquet reprising Rita Hayworth’s famous love-hate monologue in Gilda. Indeed, with their mix of camp, mystery, and gallic elegance, those vintage Chanel ads—now YouTube favorites—have left an indelible mark on a whole generation. True to their slogan, they really made us “share the fantasy.”
The last decade, however, has ushered in a new era of mainstream mega-celebrity endorsement, depriving those earlier ads of their special magic. Really, who wanted to follow Audrey Tautou on that trip to Istanbul? Even Karl Lagerfeld himself has lambasted the short movie.
Now the fantasy is likely to be shared again, with today’s stunning news that Brad Pitt is the new face of Chanel No. 5. This bold, unexpected move—a man as ambassador of the world’s most legendary women’s perfume—will surely turn the fragrance business upside down. Reached by Hint today, a Chanel spokeswoman nonetheless said she had no further information about the shoot or the director. So you see, the foreplay has already started.