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Marilyn Monroe for Chanel N°5

October 21st 2013 / Anna Hunter


Even 51 years after her untimely death, Marilyn Monroe's passion for Chanel is ever present as she becomes the face of its Chanel N°5 autumn campaign, writes Anna Hunter

Both possess a timeless, classic appeal, both remain universally adored and both embody female sensuality and boldness; Marilyn Monroe and Chanel N°5 are a match made in heaven. It’s no secret that they happened to complement each other impeccably well; Marilyn’s confession that the fragrance was all she wore to bed has since become one of her most famous quotes. Now, 51 years after her death, Marilyn’s passion for Chanel N°5 is being revisited thanks to Chanel’s 2012 procurement of an original, previously unreleased interview recording.

On tape Marilyn’s revelation is all the more enchanting - she laughs as she confirms her choice of nocturnal attire in the interview with then Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief, Georges Belmont:

“You know, they ask me questions. Just an example: ‘What do you wear to bed? A pyjama top? The bottoms of the pyjamas? A nightgown?’ So I said, ‘Chanel N°5’, because it’s the truth… and yet, I don’t want to say ‘nude’. But it’s the truth!”

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Her original declaration featured in an article published on August 7, 1952 in her first cover interview with Life magazine, but this charming admission to Belmont in 1960 on the set of George Cukor’s Let’s Make Love makes her sincere love of the perfume all the more captivating.

That a 20th century icon should feel such an affinity for a scent originally conceived in 1921 by Gabrielle Coco with the mission statement of ‘I want a woman’s fragrance that smells like a woman’, seems fitting. Even more apt then, that Chanel has chosen Marilyn as the face of its autumn print and TV advertising campaign. Featuring original photos by Ed Feingersh of Monroe dabbing her beloved fragrance onto her décolleté, the campaign is accompanied by the tagline ‘Forever Marilyn and N°5’. Coco’s creation and Hollywood’s darling look set to infatuate us for years to come.

To hear the recording and view the accompanying film, visit Chanel’s website.

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