I think it was last month that I was riding past the Musée d'Orsay in a taxi cab when I noticed a giant advertising canvas featuring Kate Moss as the face of Parisienne by Yves Saint Laurent on the side of the building facing the Seine river. This month, it's the turn of Chanel No. 5 which is filling the same choice spot, one of the most spectacular showcasings for an advertising billboard you could find in the capital city. It makes the advert feel like it is part of the Parisian landscape and confers it immediate monumentality....
The new Chanel No.5 advertising display in a Parisian perfumery, January 2011.
There are all sorts of rules governing advertising in Paris; the museum is well-known for its 19th century European art collections. Some kind of arangement was apparently struck to have fragrance advertising, in particular, grace its façade by the Seine quay. I think the preemince of the building can only call for an item of luxury to be advertised there, or conversely, a caritative one.
Vogue TV filmed the setting up of the gold lamé, pannelled rendition of the No. 5 which reminds you of Calder and Paco Rabanne all at the same time. There are 1200 sequins which were assembled by hand; the installation covers 260 m2. It will be up until January 28th, 2011.
You can find the new shape replicated in perfumery windows throughout the city and on more ordinary bus stop pannels these days.
Happy 90th, No.5!