I always love a good perfume commercial, like Chanel’s Egoiste ad from the early 1990’s and David Lynch’s work for Calvin Klein’s Obsession. Even better are the spoofs of the genre. Kristen Wiig stars in a SNL skit called “Red Flag” that pokes fun at the pretentious, pseudo-seriousness of perfume ads.
In 2009, Francesco Vezzoli asked controversial director Roman Polanski to create a commercial for a fictional perfume called “Greed.” Michelle Williams and Natalie Portman star as two ravishingly beautiful women rolling around the floor, fighting for the bottle. The set is lavishly decorated, heightening the decadent, soft core porn aesthetic that made Polanski famously controversial. The bottle itself has a photo of Vezzoli on it, a gesture that pays homage to Marcel Duchamp who put his self portrait as Rrose Sélavy on an empty Rigaud perfume bottle.
This is but one of many feats by the Italian-born Vezzoli who has featured other Hollywood stars in his films including Sharon Stone, Lady Gaga, Susan Sarandon, and Helen Mirren. Vezzoli’s work explores melodrama, humour, and glamour, gravitating towards famous film directors, authors, fashion designers and pop icons, who star, contribute, or are referenced in his work.