Earlier this year, the famed French actress was appointed as the brand ambassador of Chanel’s most emblematic perfume, N°5 and plays the protagonist of their latest campaign film. “Returning to a French actress meant returning to a subconscious image of French femininity dear to the spirit of the House,” says Thomas du Pré de Saint Maur, Chanel’s Head of Global Creative Resources Fragrance and Beauty.
Written and directed by Johan Renck, the film is set in Paris during wintertime. Dubbed ‘the city of lights’, the French capital exudes its magical allure, seeing white canvases of silky snow embellished with festive, glistening gold lights.
The film commences with a scene in which the woman is walking on the bridge above the frosty Seine and pauses to contemplate the full moon. The power of her dreams propels her onto her imaginary, ethereal double who immediately starts dancing passionately with a man portrayed by Jérémie Bélingard. The two spin and turn on the glittered, rugged surface of the moon, as well as sliding down slopes and climbing up sand dunes. Towards the end, the appearance of Jérémie in the real world vividly conveys a message that anything can happen if you believe in your dreams.
"Wearing a fragrance is a very intimate gesture. A fragrance reveals something about the identity of the person who wears it. We enter, paradoxically, into the depth of a person’s soul. N°5 doesn’t have the same scent from one person’s skin to another, and yet it is still recognizable. It’s fascinating. It is a fragrance whose composition is so particular, so subtle, that it becomes different and unique on every woman."
“When I think of N°5, I think of a soul who is searching for freedom,” Marion confides. It could be said that the fragrance is an "olfactory double" of Gabrielle Chanel who simply took the freedom to fabricate her own perfume since perfumers at that time were not able to produce her desired scent. Marion too, is an epitome of such freedom. She heartily brings her one-of-a-kind vision to each film which wins her the title of being the first French woman to bring home an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in French.
"N°5 was the first fragrance created by a female couturier. And it sparked an olfactory revolution", she continues. "Its creation tells the fate of an avant-garde woman who was ahead of her time. Gabrielle Chanel successfully created an olfactory revolution. She established herself in the world of perfumery, during a time when women had to fight just to exist, in a world run by men. That is something that deeply touches me."
Marion also recalled the very first fragrance she wore. “My first woman’s” fragrance was given to me by my maternal grandmother and it instantly conjured up a world of elegance that filled me with dreams,” she says. “Becoming a friend of Chanel House felt like a reunion,” adds the French actress, “it has accompanied me during some very pivotal and important moments in my career.”