Nicole Kidman replaced by Audrey Tautou as the face of Chanel No. 5

40 year-old pregnant actress Nicole Kidman will no longer be representing the iconic rich old ladies’ fragrance Chanel No. 5. She’s been replaced by cutesy French actress Audrey Tautou, 29, who played the wide-eyed childlike role in Amelie:

[Nicole Kidman] has been replaced as the face of Chanel No.5 by French beauty Audrey Tatou…

It is not known exactly how much the lucrative deal was worth, but sources say it is at least £4.3 million.

Kidman has been associated with the fragrance since 2004, when she appeared in a $60million advertisement directed by fellow Australian and Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann.

Meanwhile things are smelling Rosy for 29-year-old Tatou who will be reunited with Amelie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet calling the shots for the advertisment campaign.

[From The Daily Mail]

We had some Chanel No. 5 in the house at one point that my husband probably inherited from an ex and I remember smelling it and wondering what the big deal was. It didn’t appeal to me and I certainly wouldn’t use it. I wore Angel at the time, (which is incidentally now repped by Naomi Watts) but it’s become way too popular and you don’t want to smell like everyone else.

Wikipedia notes that Coco Chanel created her signature fragrance in 1921 with the intent to make it smell nasty and artificial. That’s not exactly how they phrase it, but that’s what I got out of it:

“I want to give women an artificial perfume,” said Chanel. “Yes, I really do mean artificial, like a dress, something that has been made. I don’t want any rose or lily of the valley, I want a perfume that is a composition.” [1] No. 5 is famous for being the first perfume to heavily rely on synthetic floral aldehydes as a top note. Before synthetics, perfume either had to be applied heavily or frequently so that the fragrance would last.

Chanel applied the French aesthetic theory that “ugly” placed next to “beautiful”[citation needed], by contrast, makes the beautiful object appear more so. In this era almost all perfumes were floral and “pretty” – designed to enhance a woman’s beauty with more beauty. Instead of the scent of flowers, Coco wanted a perfume that “reflects my personality, something abstract and unique”. She believed that a perfume should serve to spotlight a woman’s natural beauty using contrast – i.e. the artificial perfume would make the woman’s natural beauty more evident.[citation needed]

[From Wikipedia]

So somehow an expensive perfume that was purposely made to smell artificial using the less scientifically advanced chemicals available 85 years ago is still selling well.

Losing out on an $8.5 million contract has got to hurt. I wonder if Kidman knew that she was about to replaced or if it came as a surprise to her. She’s pregnant so it doesn’t seem quite fair that she would be canned at this point.

Audrey Tautou used to annoy me, because she’s such a sweet little pixie that I used to think it was a put on. She genuinely seems like a decent person though. She hasn’t become half as successful as she should have after Amelie, and only had one big Hollywood film, The Da Vinci Code, since. Maybe this Chanel campaign will help bring her more name recognition and International success.

Audrey Tautou is shown on 2/28/08 at Paris Fashion Week, thanks to WENN.

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40 Responses to “Nicole Kidman replaced by Audrey Tautou as the face of Chanel No. 5”

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  1. Bellatrix says:

    The Chanel household is used to change of face for their perfumes. It’s a part of their publicity strategy. They do so for each fragrance (just like Keira Knightley became their youngest perfume face for Coco Mademoiselle last Autumn).
    So Nicole Kidman was most probably more than aware she was about to be replaced…
    Tautou is about to play Coco Chanel herself in her upcoming movie (Coco Avant Chanel by Anne Fontaine). This choice is no surprise at all!

    Also, Tautou might not have made many Hollywood movies but overall her carreer has been very exciting and big since Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain.
    She has been named one of France’s best paid artists in 2007 (she gets over 1 million € per movie) and has starred in major productions such as A Very Long Engagement (Un Long Dimanche de Fiançailles) of Jeunet.

    Also, about Audrey’s “pixie” feature : she seems to be genuinely like that. Cute, kind, smart and precious. She’s been Mathieu Chedid’s (also called “M”) compagnon these last few years and he is among France’s funniest and most poetic songwriters and musiciens for the past decade. He worked on Vanessa Paradis’ last album too.

  2. geronimo says:

    Wow. Perfect face and personality for Chanel. Chic, stylish, gamine.

    Bellatrix, thanks for that info re Coco Avant Chanel, didn’t know that, will look out for it.

  3. Enonymouse says:

    I really like her and I was impressed with her performance in the movie Dirty Pretty Things.

  4. breederina says:

    I am neither particularly rich nor old but I’ve always loved No. 5 and wear it on occasion. Maybe because like Patou’s Joy I remember the scent from childhood.
    Audrey Tautou is a perfect choice for this.

  5. Cindy Kennedy says:

    Audrey Tatou is much prettier than Nicole Kidman, anyway. Nicole is very fake and plastic looking.

  6. Amy says:

    Actually Audrey is one of France’s best paid and most successful actresses. Just because you haven’t seen her in many movies released in America doesn’t mean she hasn’t been working. A quick check on imdb will tell you otherwise. She’s also stated in interviews she’s not interested in going down the Hollywood route. She’ll only do a Hollywood big budget film if the work really appeals to her. Not all actresses are after “international acclaim”.

  7. Mairead says:

    I quite like Chanel No5, but it’s very much a winter evening perfume for me. It should be interesting to see what the Tatou campaign will be like, as the Kidman ad with her prancing on the rooftop was beyond daft.

    There is a Tatou film I want to see on DVD, it’s advertised on the La Vie en Rose DVD – she basically plays a gold digger who is “conned” into sleeping with a pauper, who in turn turns into a gigolo to get back at her. I love French comedies, so this one should be a giggle :D

    I know Angel is a similarly iconic scent, but unfortunately I think it’s foul. I tried some on once – I had to walk through the streets of Dublin with my arm held out perpendicular to my body and my mate on the other side of the street shouting “NO, you stay over there!” :lol:

  8. jessiee says:

    Chanel No. 5 is an absolute classic scent. I wore it for years…only gave it up because I was ready for a change. But it’s an old standby, ready at a moment’s notice, that makes any woman feel classy, elegant, and sexy. CB — try it on sometime, and let it mellow with your body chemistry. You might be surprised.

  9. Bellatrix says:

    Mairead : that movie actually is “Hors de Prix” by Pierre Salvadori. The English title is “Priceless”.
    It’s a funny, simple comedy. I enjoyed watching it (but it’s not some high level intellectual movie).

    As for geronimo : there is already an IMDB page for the Coco Avant Chanel movie but it’s rather empty. It is based on a book by Edmonde Charles-Roux which is translated in English (Chanel and Her World) if you’re interested and/or a big Chanel fan as I am…

  10. headache says:

    Nicole was replaced because the target population Chanel is appealing to has no interest in either her personally or her look. Nicole really was stunning back in the day and she has completely lost that. She hasn’t looked good since Moulin Rouge if you ask me.

    Nothing at all to do with being preggers.

  11. geronimo says:

    Thanks Bellatrix. I am a Chanel fan, both the perfume and the woman.

  12. Celebitchy says:

    I was searching all over for that Chanel No. 5 so I could smell it again before I wrote this, but I was going on memory as it’s since disappeared. You know, I was likely biased against it because I knew my husband’s live-in ex left it and thought “Oh, that’s how she smelled. bitch.” :P

    Thanks Bellatrix for letting me know about Audrey’s career in France. I didn’t mean her career had stalled or anything, just that she hadn’t done a lot of Hollywood films and that I’d like to see her in more of them.

  13. mamalicious says:

    I heard once that part of the appeal of Chanel No. 5 is that it was made to give a hint of a whiff of used bank notes (suggesting old money).
    I love Tautou. She’s perfect for playing Coco Chanel. Duh.

  14. shannon says:

    Looking young and hot is the in thing for being a actor and actress,and many feel it is worth it for the careers to have some type of surgery or get botox injections in order to look young and compete past certain ages, even if it means looking “plastic” what ever that means. Nicole still looks attractive, Channel most likely wanted some one younger to promote the perfume.

  15. shannon says:

    What is wrong with nicole’s personality?

  16. Kevin says:

    Does Audrey have a stache? or is that just the shadow from her large schnoz?
    Shannon, it isnt whats wrong with Nicole’s personality its does she have a personality. I believe she enjoyed her contract with channel so she could get free perfume to try to cover the lingering stench Tommy Girl left on her.

  17. Jody says:

    Chanel only has one ‘n’.
    I actually was getting a pedicure once, and the very cute girl doing my nails was wearing a “Channel” shirt, it made me laugh.

    I loved Tautou in Amelie– she is so coy and charming. It’s only fitting that a lovely French actress would be the face of a lovely prolific French company.

    I don’t understand why one must be down on Nicole Kidman? I think she seems like a genuinely beautiful woman, from the inside out.

  18. chamalla says:

    I love Chanel 5. I agree with Mairead about evening/Winter, though. It is kind of heavy and intense for summer or day wear. I’ll usually make a bottle last for years, which is prolly sacrilege.

    Angel smells like fermented beaver piss on me and, best I can tell, a lot of other women who try to wear it. It smells fantastic on a handful of women, the rest need an honest friend and a shower.

    I think Audrey is lovely, and a perfect spokesface for Chanel. They do rotate starlets pretty frequently, who did Nicole replace? I remember being saddened at the time, but I can’t remember the actress who got the boot…

    I think Nic would still be stunning if she’d leave the extreme facial treatments alone. I’d guess it’s really scary to be a middle aged actress in Hollywood, though, so I can see where she might feel like she has to do all of those things to stay competitive. I’m glad my livelihood doesn’t depend on how perky my tits are, that’s for sure. :wink:

  19. Bellatrix says:

    For the Chanel n°5 lovers, here is a French website which has the main ads made for this fragrance throughout the years :

    As for chamalla wondering who Kidman replaced herself : it was the French actress Carole Bouquet although Estella Warren featured in a single ad campaign for the perfume between these two famous ladies.

  20. gg says:

    Audrey Tatou was brilliant in Amelie! Will also be a brilliant Coco. I don’t mean to sound biased, but I’ve always thought in the back of my mind that only French women should represent the House of Chanel. Probably has something to do with those old Catherine Deneuve ads.

  21. velvet elvis says:

    Sorry but Chanel No. 5 smells like old lady

  22. Cindy Kennedy says:

    Nicole Kidman has no personality!

    There is nothing personable or warm about her. She is like this wax doll or something. I’ve seen her in interviews, she is cold and stuck up.

  23. E. DuBois says:

    Sorry, everytime I see Audrey Tatou, I think of Amelie – and everytime I think of Amelie, I think of the racist crap the director was pulling – airbrushing the coloured folks out of the shots! It’s a shame, but sometimes, the French suck.

  24. sara says:

    I have seen interviews with nicole were she is very sociable, laughing, joking and smiling she was the opposite of cold and stuck up.

  25. MM says:

    Nicole Kidman is one of the most beautiful women of the world.

    She is a class act.
    While so many of the actresses today act trashy and are not natural beauties, it’s nice to remember there are still a few real beautiful women.

  26. headache says:

    MM, tell me you aren’t implying that Nicole is a natural beauty??

    Maybe in comparison to Barbie perhaps. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  27. Hotnerd says:

    I do agree with MM. I am quite fond of Nicole Kidman and thought she was perfect for the Chanel ads. She does have that timeless look, and I will forever remember the rooftop ad when I think of No. 5.

  28. OoooLaLa says:

    Audrey is a great choice to replace Kidman. She looks more fresh and modern, which is how they’re trying to market No.5. Never really liked Kidman anyway.

  29. truthie says:

    I can’t imagine what one must look like themselves if they find Kidman attractive. Is it her drooping top eyelids or her high to the sky forehead? Gene Tierney was a beauty not Kidman

  30. josh says:

    I doubt any of you who are putting Kidman down.have the talent or beauty she has. even tho she does not look like she use to before .. hell!! who does.. you are not gonna look like you do right now 5 or 10 years from now.So go grab your bag of corn chips and ur diet coke before you go work out and try to stay looking good !!! and take a picture of urself and compare it down the road…… Gene Tierney was a beauty … but beauty fades……. so move on u haters,,,,,,,,,, and live and love ……….. josh …… NICOLE ROCKS………….. EVERYBODY is beautiful in thier own way .. so PEACE OUT…..

  31. Annie says:

    I never understood using Nicole for this campaign. I think Audrey is better because of her fresh classic French look.

    I don’t think Audrey represents youth, but she does represent class and a French look.

    Nicole is way over rated.

  32. snappyfish says:

    Gabrielle Chanel once said that a woman has to be two things “Fun and Fabulous”.

    This is a perfect choice for the face of Chanel. French and lovely.

    well done.

  33. Sasha says:

    Because when I think of French perfume, I immediately associate it with a stiff, bland, shrill ice queen from Australia.

  34. ChaChaHeels says:

    Well, the “Ice Queen” imagery goes with Chanel No. 5, and it has since it’s creation.

    What Chanel meant by “artificial” was that she did not want to create yet another floral perfume that everyone else had made in the past; she didn’t want to create a typical spicey blend, or a typical citrus blend of perfume, aromas comprised mostly of things we find in nature, around us. She was among the first to use a synthetic aldehyde essence as well as natural perfume essences to create perfume. Chanel No. 5 is a classic for many reasons, that one in particular. The natural perfume essences are still in the perfume, they’re it’s base: they include the May rose from Grasse, and jasmine, among other floral essences that are less pronounced. It would be very much like Jean Patou’s Joy without that aldehyde additive.

    The amount of the synthetic is what makes Chanel No. 5 unique, too: there’s a story (not sure if it’s a myth) that too much was added–more than was intended–and the effect created a scent “with a chill” on the palate. Like “pink snow”. It’s not accidental that so many women consider it to be a “winter” perfume. It has a luxurious richness about it in terms of fragrance, you feel you’d like something lighter for warmer weather.

    It’s one of my favourites, has been since I was a child. I’ve never associated it with rich old women, I can’t understand how it would be.

  35. journey says:

    has anyone else heard anything about the modern versions of many of the old perfumes not smelling like they used to? something about their cheapening the ingredients that go into them? chanel was one of the classic perfumes they were talking about.

    also celebitchy, that old bottle of perfume that belonged to the ex-girlfriend may have deteriorated. perfume doesn’t last forever, and since we know that she had to be a skank, maybe her skankiness oozed into the bottle and ruined it. making it spoil like a rotting peach.

  36. Wif says:

    Thanks for mentioning that quote from Chanel snappyfish. I am fun and fabulous. If that image was conveyed more than the “lots of money, superglam” thing, I may be more inclined to shell out the money for their stuff.

  37. marnie says:

    To all of you who have said Nicole is fake and has no personaility – you are SO wrong. Living in Sydney and having had gone to the high school across the road from Nicole and having a relative who lived down the street from where she grew up, I saw alot of her and she was and is a refreshing warm and friendly person, who believe me has plenty of personality. There is no way you would say she had no personality if you met her. She has heaps of spark. She isn’t fake, she will tell you just what she thinks and you can get a good argument from her. When she is home in Sydney she isn’t done ‘up’ like an actress, her hair is a mess, she has no make up and she is a natural beauty. In saying natural I am not saying she hasn’t had any ‘work’ done I’m saying she doesn’t care how she looks when she steps outside her house, not when she is home in Sydney. And she is very beautiful and one classy act and she KNOWS when to be ‘poised’ and when to be ‘relaxed’. The only thing that matters to her right now is her and Keith’s baby. And thank you to all that have said nice things about her, because she truly is a lovely person.

  38. lisa says:

    Living in Sydney and knowing people who have worked with Kidman, the story is always the same. She is not attracttive physically or otherwise, A nasty girl who is not so bright or talented. Just pushy and pushed by her famiy. haha! I think she should keep up the botox it suits her! And this pregnancy is creepy. I notice her lips are still full of botox which is not to be used when pregnant!??? We will see!

  39. Red says:

    “Chanel applied the French aesthetic theory that “ugly” placed next to “beautiful”[citation needed], by contrast, makes the beautiful object appear more so.”

    Well they sure held true to that philosophy…putting Audrey Tautou next to anything from Chanel will make it beautiful!

  40. Cool article. Very interesting.