Chances are you know Michelle Pfeiffer from her long list of iconic roles (perhaps Scarface rings a bell?). Her newest movie, French Exit, was released earlier this year, but these days she’s just as busy offscreen. The actor launched her fragrance brand, Henry Rose, a few months before the pandemic hit, and hasn’t slowed down since.
With Henry Rose—named after her daughter Claudia Rose and her son John Henry—Pfeiffer hoped to fill a major market void: clean fine fragrance. Like many parents, she became aware of what was in her products when her kids were young. “I started looking at the ingredients and the safety of those ingredients and my frustration as a consumer was I couldn’t find products that performed and that were also safe,” she tells Glamour. “And then decades went by and I finally said, ‘The technology is there and the consumer is there. The demand is there. So why is this not happening?’” Since then, the market caught up to demand, and she was able to replace her entire routine with “cleaner” counterparts—except when it came to fragrance. In response, she created a sophisticated, gender-neutral line of perfume and body products she could feel good about.
The brand is largely inspired by Pfeiffer’s scent memories, particularly the newest launch, Flora Carnivora. She says the fragrance, which is the brand’s first floral and took nearly three years to formulate, was inspired by a specific childhood memory of sneaking into her elderly neighbors’ back garden, and being enraptured by the smell of the flowers. “It sort of reminds me of a movie,” she says. “They were this elderly couple, I actually had never even laid eyes on them, but I’m sure they were peeking out at me wondering what this bare-legged, barefoot, stringy blonde-haired girl was doing in their flower garden.”
“One day I got up the nerve to steal a bunch, and I ran back to my house and threw them in a Tupperware and used something to mash them,” she continues. “And that was my first foray into perfumery. Smelling flora carnivores brings me back to that time.”
In honor of the launch, we caught up with Pfeiffer to chat her love of fragrance, her beauty essentials, and the women who inspire her. Read on for the latest round of Glamour‘s Big Beauty Questions.
Gamour: What’s one beauty rule you swear by?
Michelle Pfeiffer: That there are no rules. Beauty is such a personal thing to everyone. Depending on what your facial features are, what kind of skin you have, what kind of hair you have, not everything works for everyone. That also applies to fragrance; it’s such a personal thing. I think the rule would be try not to pay attention to trends.
What about a beauty rule you think is B.S.?
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