The No.5 Man!
Catherine Deneuve, Nicole Kidman, Audrey Tatou, and now Brad Pitt is the face of Chanel No.5. In a radical move, Chanel recently announced the hunky Mr Pitt as their iconic fragrance’s new brand ambassador—having a man be the face of a woman’s fragrance is an industry first. The
black-and-white advert, which has the blogosphere in a blaze, stars Brad reciting a philosophical
monologue to the camera. has owned and run a particular jasmine field in Grasse. As part of Chanel’s mission to ensure the jasmine supply for No.5 stays intact, Joseph works in partnership with Chanel to produce flowers exclusively for the brand. But what makes the jasmine from Grasse so special? Its unique scent, says Joseph. Jasmine from the fertile soil of Grasse is sweeter and softer than its contemporaries elsewhere. As Joseph puts it, “If you change the jasmine in the formula, you change No.5!” pickers are expertly plucking and filling their baskets with the white bloom, a task that must be completed before it gets too warm to preserve the delicate flower. Once done, Monsieur Mul will have the flowers weighed, before having them sent to a nearby factory for processing. This is where the multifarious and scientific processes of perfume extraction begin. In the factory, the jasmine is placed in a giant metal cauldron, one layer at a
time, along with a solvent. After eight hours, the fragrance has been extracted from the flowers, and is now in the form of waxy substance called Concrete. This Concrete is further treated to create the jasmine perfume, or Absolute, which is then sent to Paris to be used in the Chanel No.5 formula...not just the most successful, but also the most seductive formula in the world.
Jacques Polge, Creator of Chanel Perfumes (middle) and Joseph Mul (right), during the jasmine-weighing process
Left: the jasmine is placed in a giant metal cauldron, layer by layer. Above: eight hours later, the fragrance has been extracted from the flowers