Perfume commercials can be beautiful and so pleasing to watch. Since Christmas is less than one month away, perfume ads are aired more than usual on TV because fragrances are considered a perfect Christmas gift.
I don’t know about you, but I usually choose a fragrance instinctively. It has to be love at first smell. But sometimes, if I like a commercial I hope I’ll like the perfume as well. That’s what happened with Gucci Guilty. I loved the decadent and dreamy atmosphere of the commercial so much that luckily I loved the scent, too.
These are some beautiful perfume commercials. I’m sure you don’t know all of them and I’m also sure you love some as much as I do.
Coco by Chanel – In this advertising film, titled “L’Esprit de Chanel” and directed by Jean-Paul Goude, Vanessa Paradis is a whistling, charming bird carefully watched by a cat. This is one of my favorite perfume commercials and probably it’s not as famous as it should be. We all know that Chanel likes to make it big. The cage was not a scale model, but a huge one that really made Paradis look like a bird. (Year: 1991)
Dior Addict – Openly inspired by the 1956 iconic film “Et Dieu… creá la Femme” directed by Roger Vadim, the commercial features Daphne Groeneveld as a modern Brigitte Bardot. Directed by Jonas Åkerlund, this ad almost makes me miss summer. The song, “I Love You, Ono” by Stereo Total puts me in a good mood. Everything about this commercial is lovely. (Year: 2012)
Égoïste by Chanel – This brilliant ad shows women shouting with anger and despair at a man that never shows himself. They’re angry and heartbroken and the only reaction of the égoïste, which means selfish, is that he puts a bottle of his perfume on the balustrade, as if to say “that’s who I am”. This beautiful commercial directed by Jean-Paul Goude made me discover the gorgeous piece “Dance of the Knights” from “Romeo and Juliet”, written by Sergei Prokofiev. (Year: 1990)
Gucci by Gucci. Directed by David Lynch and starring Freja Beha Erichsen, Natasha Poly and Raquel Zimmerman, I love this commercial. Maybe it’s the song, “Heart of Glass” by Blondie, or the luxurious location, or the gowns of the models, but everything seems infused with the warmth of the scent. (Year: 2007)
Dior Homme – This ad, directed by Romain Gavras, features Robert Pattinson and Camille Rowe as a beautiful, sexy, carefree, a bit (fake) rebel couple who enjoys life at the sound of “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin, one of the greatest rock songs ever. My inner teenager loves this commercial. Pattison looks like a bit dark, handsome, rebel Prince Charming. I was sold after the first view! (Year: 2013)
Loulou by Cacharel – I don’t know anything about this commercial but I like it very much. The fragrance, considered by many inebriating, seductive and mysterious, was inspired by actress Louise Brooks, so maybe the model/actress of the ad was supposed to remind of her. The way she says “oui, c’est moi” is charming. The beautiful music is “The Pavane”, Op. 50 by Gabriel Fauré. (Year: 1987/1988. The video says 1988 but the fragrance was launched in 1987)
L’Homme by Yves Saint Laurent – Directed by Colin Tilley and filmed in Santiago del Chile, this ad features New Zealand model and actor Vinnie Woolston and Australian model Catherine McNeil. He plays a musician and she plays a… stalker. She sees him in a hotel and while he’s away she enters his room, looks among his stuff and then she’s completely fascinated by his fragrance. But we all know that perfume commercials can be pure sci-fi (like many rom-coms!). He’s beautiful, the song “Blouson Noir” by French duo AaRon is catchy, the cinematography is great. It’s an ad that does its job. (Year: 2016)
Le Male by Jean Paul Gaultier – Directed by Jean Baptiste Mondino, this commercial has a kind of melancholic atmosphere. The music is “Casta Diva”, the cantabile of the cavatina (I know, these terms can sound tricky) from “Norma” by Vincenzo Bellini and I love the irony of this choice, considering that casta means chaste and the diva is the man (model Robert Perovich) who leaves the woman (model Michelle Buswell) alone, with the scent of him still on the pillow, after a night of passion. The theme of the sailor is recurring in Gautier’s commercial but I think this ad is the best one. (Year: 2009)
Chanel N°5 – We all know the French house made lots of beautiful commercials for its signature fragrance and choosing a favorite one is almost impossible. But I’ve always had a thing for “Le loup”, directed by Luc Besson and starring Estella Warren as a modern Red Riding Hood. The fairy soundtrack of “Edward Scissorhands” is the cherry on the cake. I saw this commercial for the first time when I was at the cinema and I immediately loved it. (Year: 1998)
The One by Dolce & Gabbana – there was a time when D&G used to make beautiful commercials and this one, titled “Streets of Dream”, is directed by nothing less than Martin Scorsese. Scarlett Johansson and Matthew McConaughey flirt to the sound of “Il Cielo in una Stanza”, one of the most beautiful Italian love songs. I love when he says “I like your dress” and she replies “it likes you back”. Is there anything more melting than an unfinished love? (Year: 2013)
Bleu de Chanel – Another beautiful commercial by Chanel and another great film by Martin Scorsese. Starring French actor Gaspard Ulliel, this is one of my favorite perfume commercials, ever. The cinematography, the song “She Said Yeah” by The Rolling Stones, the final scene when he walks away with attitude, the slogan. Perfect. (Year: 2010)
Sometimes I think I should have become a nose, because I love perfumes and their communicative and evocative power and I am fascinated by the intricacy of the sense of smell.
If you are fascinated by fragrances, too, you may like the posts I wrote about perfume, its history and some curiosities (part 1 here and part 2 here) and some quotes about the beauty and power of scents.