Believe Media director Bruno Aveillan tells the historically epic tale behind Guerlain’s best-selling Shalimar fragrance with “La Légende de Shalimar.”
In just under 6 minutes, Aveillan tells the 17th century love story of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and his wife, Mumtaz Mahal; the story that first inspired Jacques Guerlain to create his iconic Shalimar perfume in 1925. According to legend, Shah Jahan, devastated by his wife’s passing, built the Taj Mahal in memory of his her and their undying love.
Shot on location in India and accompanied by Hans Zimmer’s sweeping violin score, Aveillan evokes the journey of the devoted emperor traveling to his beloved, played by Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova. Close-ups of Vodianova’s ethereal beauty as she waits in the lavish palace are mixed with aerial shots of pure majesty: elephants and horses; untouched landscapes, and ornate architecture creating hillside mosaics. Aveillan’s retelling ends with a vision of Vodianova standing alone on a small flat-bottomed boat, as the domed palace slowly springs from the still waters and its wonder emerges before our eyes.
With a blend of innate artistry and meticulous attention to detail, Bruno Aveillan conjures the legend with superbly arresting images. His work is at once vivid, bold, and graceful; a refined aesthetic enlisted by luxury brands such as Cartier, Louis Vuitton, and Swarovski, who call upon Aveillan to unveil their exquisite products with global campaigns befit for the big screen.