Scent of a New Rose

Meet Lily-Rose Depp, the leading lady of Chanel N°5 L’eau.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
Meet Lily-Rose Depp, the leading lady of Chanel N°5 L’eau. 
Chanel No. 5
L’eau, $165 for
50ml and $237
for 100ml
Chanel No. 5 L’eau, $165 for 50ml and $237 for 100ml

She made her front row debut at the Chanel Paris-Salzburg show in April 2015 when she was just 15, and eventually became the brand ambassador for its eyewear line followed by its iconic fragrance.

To be the new face of Chanel N°5 L’eau is a big deal. In the advertising campaign, she plays the personification of paradoxes – shadow and light, question and answer, elegance and extravagance, artist and muse, vulnerable and invincible.

The entire feature is intentionally shot in a “deconstructed” format with punchy snapshots and choppy footage to give you an idea of what goes on in the mind of the N°5 woman. Told through the lens and style of acclaimed music video director Johan Renck, this is the first Chanel N°5 film that is not based on a linear narrative, but rather a snapshot of stories that create a world, a spirit and an identity.

“When I was young, fragrance ads were the most daring. I wanted to recapture that here,” says Johan. “Now, more than ever, flaunting your ‘difference’ is the only way to make an impact. It was the central idea throughout the film. I had my heart even more set on it since I have been known to wear N°5 myself on occasion. To me, this fragrance is very mysterious, sensual and incredibly powerful.” 

The many faces of 
Lily-Rose Depp.
The many faces of Lily-Rose Depp.

Up close and personal with Lily

Many people would be crippled by fear. You seem almost fearless...

“I’m maybe a little less afraid than others... But if you look more closely, I obviously have my personal doubts, like everyone... But even if I’m afraid, because you can imagine that there is tremendous pressure, I don’t see any solution other than to just do it.”

In the N°5 film, you play several roles. Which one is most like you?

“The one where I’m having fun with the mics, where my hair is curly and I’m playing a singer. I no longer have any desire to be a singer in real life, that is why it was so much fun to be a ‘pretend’ one.”

It’s also the scene in which you most resemble your mother...

“Maybe. Yes, my mother is a singer, but it’s not because you see me for five seconds with a microphone that you should get any ideas...

” Your two latest films – La Danseuse (The Dancer) by Stéphanie di Giusto, and Planetarium, by Rebecca Zlotowski – seem like subtle and discreet alternative choices. It’s as if you’re treading slowly and carefully...

“In each case, I loved the script when I read it and the connection I felt with my role. Perhaps you’re right – unconsciously, I’m taking things slowly, step by step. I put so much pressure on myself... nothing falls from heaven, no matter what people might think. So I find it reassuring to start out this way, a little on the fringes.”

What do you think of the finished product of the Chanel film?

“Never in my life did I think I would have a connection with N°5. I’ve grown up with the idea that Chanel is the very top of the crop. To be honest, it’s all very surreal to me.”

How does your world change when you wear perfume?

“It’s a way to feel feminine, but also to have your very own scent: a scent you’ve chosen. N°5 suits me because it’s warm and welcoming... it’s comforting.” 

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