Coco Before Chanel and the exquisite Chanel’s celebrity perfume ads

Happy Friday all! Tonight is time for our monthly girls movie night and the movie we’ll be watching is Coco Before Chanel (Coco avant Chanel) starring the lovely Audrey Tautou as the famed clothing designer. I’ve been wanting to see this movie for a while.

As a woman who loves fashion, I’m naturally intrigued by the woman behind one of the most famous label in haute couture… and how she got that nickname “Coco.” Directed by Anne Fontaine, the movie depicts the rise of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel from a humble beginning to the heights of the fashion world.

The real Coco Chanel

The reviews aren’t exactly stellar, but I’m hopeful I’d still enjoy this movie for three reasons: The beautiful and charismatic Audrey Tautou (who bears a striking resemblance to the real Coco), the always watchable Alessandro Nivola as Englishman Arthur Capel whom Coco fell for, and the clothes of course! I could never afford anything from The House of Chanel, but it certainly is fun just to watch ’em. The label is famous for their luxurious quilted bags, lady-like LBD (little black dress) and that iconic double C logo that’s instantly recognizable all over the world.

Unsurprisingly, costume designer Catherine Leterrier was nominated for an Oscar for her work in this movie. Oh, there’s also the music by award-winning Alexandre Desplat (whose gorgeous score for The King’s Speech was up for an Oscar a few weeks ago).

Well, as an Advertising major, I always appreciate beautifully-photographed fashion adverts and Chanel is one of the fashion labels who often feature film actress, mostly French, on their perfume ads. From Catherine Deneuve in the 70s to the current perfume model Keira Knightley, they always look exquisite. Ravishing and sexy, but never vulgar. Mainly the perfume featured are Coco’s first ever perfume line Chanel No. 5 (apparently the number five is pretty significant in her life). I remember when I was in high school, one of my aunts bought me a mini 1.5 ml bottle of the pure Parfum in that classy cream box with black trim and I thought it was the coolest thing. Even Marilyn Monroe was a die-hard fan, as she’s been quoted as saying,

“What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel No. 5, of course.”

So as a tribute to the movie and a bit of indulgence on the designer side of me, here are some of my favorite Chanel perfume ads:

(Click the image to see the larger version)

Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley Keira Knightley
Nicole Kidman Nicole Kidman
Audrey Tautou Audrey Tautou
Carole Bouquet Vanessa Paradis
Catherine Deneuve Catherine Deneuve
Carole Bouquet

Btw, the stunning French actress Carole Bouquet also happens to be one of my favorite Bond girls 🙂

What do you think of the movie and/or these ads? Do you have a particular favorite of a celebrity advert?

27 thoughts on “Coco Before Chanel and the exquisite Chanel’s celebrity perfume ads

  1. My better half is a Fashion Design Graduate, I always make fun of her saying she has a degree in sewing! She loves that. NOT

    Anyway she really wants to see this. She has been on at me for ages about it. I may have to give in soon as she is a good girl and puts up with me and my geeky ways.

    I look forward to your thoughts Ruth.

    The favourite ad for me, from a blokes point of view, is the last one. Hubba Hubba!! Ding Dong!!

    Anyway thats enough of me lowering the tone of your otherwise so classy post


    1. Oh, good for your missus. No Custard, it’s NOT a degree in sewing, you silly bloke you 🙂

      I’ll probably review it in my weekend roundup post on Monday, I hope one day you’ll see it, Custard. But not BEFORE you see Sense & Sensibility.

      Ha..ha.. yes my fave is the Carole Bouquet one, too. I just added a link to my top five Bond girl post as she’s one of my fave Bond girls as well.

  2. I really enjoyed the movie! Audrey tatou was excellent and the clothes were cool and i enjoyed the story! I think my favorite ad was the Nicole kidman one.

  3. I didn’t know you studied advertising! Awesome! I do love the Chanel ads. Also the little films they always make (by Baz Luhrmann, Sofia Coppola etc).
    The film is well worth watching for the costumes! But I found it a little boring. Pity!

    1. Yeah, I have a degree in it actually, with a minor in graphic design. It’s a tough industry to break in, advertising, especially since I’m an immigrant here, lots of cultural thing I didn’t get not growing up in the country.

      Yeah, the Baz Luhrmann’s Chanel commercial is beautiful but overly indulgent for my taste, it was just… too much. Rodrigo Santoro was gorgeous though 😀

      Oh, some of the Dior ads are pretty, too. I always wonder why Marion Cottilard was never asked to be a Chanel spokesperson but I guess because she’s already signed with Dior.

    1. Ha..ha.. well, let it be said that I WAS thinking of you when I was looking for those Keira photos. I forgot to mention that I was inspired to blog about these ads when I saw her ad spread in the In Style mag, I thought she looked stunning… I wish I could have that hair!

  4. I also recommend Coco and Igor with Anna Mouglalis and Mads Mikkelsen (sorry for the probable spelling mistakes on those names.

    But Coco Before Chanel is a good biopic, and I love how an American like Nivola can speak French and I wanna see him make movies all over the world.

    1. Oh, I like Mads… I’ll check that one out too, thanks Paolo.

      I love Alessandro!! He’s so versatile but supremely under-appreciated. Have you seen Junebug? He’s awesome in that… he sings, too! He’s also great in Mansfield Park as that charming cad Henry Crawford and in Laurel Canyon which you’ve surely have seen. Oh, he’s also in Face/Off as Castor Troy’s brother.

  5. Ted S.

    Carole Bouquet is definitely my favorite Bong girl too but boy she can’t act at all. She looks stunning in that ad though. When was that, it must’ve been years ago right? I think she’s in her 50’s or 60’s now.

  6. Is it me, or are Keria’s ads more…ummm, provocative than the others. Not that i’m complaining or anything:) (although in the hat pic her arm looks…weird)

    I never had much interest in the Coco movie. Although, there have been a few movies that have surprised me. Marie Antonite is the best example for me. While it didn’t amaze me, i liked it far more than i thought i would. Depending on your review, i may try to stream it on netflix

    1. No, it’s not you, hers is the most provocative but that’s just the sign of the times as everything is more sexed up these days. At least it’s still tastefully done unlike a lot of other adverts out there.

      I may not be doing a weekend roundup this week, but I might review it at a later date.

  7. You already know that my favourite Chanel add is the one with Nicole Kidman directed by Baz Luhrmann 🙂
    I didn’t watch the film, because you know I’m not into Audrey, but I wonder whether the film tells anything about Coco’s collaboration with Nazis. It’s the thing people often forget, and they shouldn’t.

    1. Dezzy, the movie doesn’t go into much detail about her after she’s become the famed clothing designer. It mostly focused on her early life up until that point.

  8. Me and the Mrs always make fun of those Chanel ads seems but the production values on them are second to none. I like Audrey Tatou but I’m not really into Fashion so I won’t go out of my way to see Coco before Chanel.

    1. It’s actually not much about the fashion itself, it’s more about her early life and how she became the couturier she’s known today. It’s fascinating how from such a humble beginning and hard life she ended up building such a successful empire. I think it’s worth seeing even if you’re not into fashion.

  9. I hope you will like the Coco avant Chanel movie, i did! The commercial looks beautiful, but the perfume inserted in them looks very badly Photoshoped, even in the more recent ones…that’s weird!

    1. Hi Diana, I enjoyed the movie though not exactly wowed by it. It’s not as deep/compelling as I would have liked it but still interesting to see. I LOVE Alesandro Nivola in it though 🙂

  10. Pingback: My entry to the Five Senses Blogathon |

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