“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!”
– Marilyn Monroe
Despite Marilyn Monroe’s notable affinity for Chanel’s most iconic perfume, it’s surprising to discover she never appeared in a No. 5 advertisement during her lifetime. It’s refreshing to look back at a time when endorsement deals were far fewer, and, at least in Marilyn’s case, her praise of the perfume appears genuine.
This fall, Chanel will debut a new advertising campaign with Marilyn at its center. Chanel has already posted a nicely edited video on its website, detailing Marilyn’s love affair with its fragrance. Her first mention of the perfume in print was her 1952 Life magazine cover (which helped grow No. 5’s popularity). Chanel discovered a couple more unpublished examples of her ties to the perfume.
Marilyn posed in her bed with a bottle of No. 5 on her nightstand in a 1953 Beverly Hills photo shoot for Modern Screen. Chanel’s most prized finding though, is audio of Marilyn reflecting on No. 5 to Georges Belmont of Marie Claire in a 1960 interview. She mentions how people are always asking her what she wears to bed and laughs when she says, “I say Chanel No. 5, because it’s the truth!”