Natalie Portman has been in Australia for much of the last 18 months filming Thor: Love and Thunder (out in 2022) and spending time in the great outdoors with her husband, dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, and their two children. She’s also been busy filming the campaign for the newly retooled Miss Dior eau de parfum scent and bottle design. Since its inception in 1947, Miss Dior has been the iconic fragrance of the Dior Maison and one of its bestsellers. Since 2011, the Academy Award-winning actress has been the face of the rosy Miss Dior scent, named after Catherine Dior, Christian’s sister and a French Resistance fighter during World War II. Portman’s femininity, confidence, love, energy and free-spiritedness have been hallmarks of the fragrance and its ad campaigns over the last 10 years.
We talked with Portman about new beginnings, returning to nature and how her relationship with scent and beauty has evolved over the years.
What are you looking forward to after a tough year?
“I think we spent so much time virtually living that I’d love us all to get off our devices and appreciate the beauty of the real world around us.”
What do you do to reconnect with nature?
“I love going on walks in the mountains or on the beach. Working in Australia has been such a blessing because there is such insanely beautiful and diverse nature here.”
How do you help protect nature in your own life?
“Nature is such a blessing to our lives and, unfortunately, under such threat from the way we live. My decision to not eat animal products is part of my commitment to living in a way that’s consistent with my desire to be part of helping nature.”
What was your first impression of the new Eau de Parfum?
“It’s so fresh and floral. It’s light at first, and then becomes more exuberant. It feels like a little cocoon smell.”
What message does the scent convey?
“It conveys happiness and confidence, and that’s what it is all about.”
How would you describe the new bottle design?
“It stays in the same spirit as the previous ones but even more precious, more elegant and couture. The bow is stunning, with incredible work on colors and technique from the Faure ateliers. You can see the savoir-faire that comes with this hand-tied bow. There’s more respect to the environment thanks to the reduction of glass.”
Does this fragrance remind you of anything in particular, a specific moment or memory?
“When I visited Grasse in the South of France with [perfumer] François Demachy, we witnessed the harvesting of the Grasse Rose, which is used to make Miss Dior, and it was a magical experience that helped me understand the art of what goes into making a perfume.”
As an actress, how has your character evolved through the years in each Miss Dior campaign?
“I feel so lucky to have had the character evolve over the years as I do. She looks for love and finds it, and then continues to find ways to seek and express her joy, her passion and her pleasure.”
You’ve been the face of Miss Dior since 2011, one of the most iconic scents of the House. What has this experience been like for you?
“It’s been such a lucky experience. Dior really feels like a family and is a beautiful cooperation of hundreds of artists working together. The level of expertise and tradition is something I am so lucky to have gotten to witness and celebrate.”
Who is the Miss Dior woman to you?
“I think the Miss Dior woman is someone who is seeking beauty, love and her own truth in the world. All of the most romantic ideals. I think there’s a spirit of Catherine Dior, which was to put herself at great risk to do the right and noble thing, that is embodied in this perfume her brother originally created for her.”
What role does perfume play in your everyday life, and do you have a special way of applying it?
“I love scent and it feels central to our emotion. I love to spray my Miss Dior and walk through it, like my mother taught me, which has the sensual experience too of feeling like it’s a light rain of the most beautiful scent. Also, then it’s not too strong and ends up lightly in your hair, which most people will smell most!”
What is your relationship to perfume and how did it come to be?
“I got my first perfume bottle as a gift from Jean Reno when we finished filming Léon: The Professional when I was 12, and I remember feeling really grown up. Perfume felt like a sign of womanhood to me.”
Has working as an actress changed the way you’ve thought about beauty over time?
“I think because I always had to be made up for work, it never felt special or luxurious to me—it always felt like work. And so, in my own life, it wasn’t as fun as I see it is for my friends. Now, after having kids, I’m starting to appreciate it and get more excited by it again.”
What’s your current beauty routine?
“I use sunscreen every day, and usually use some light concealer (Dior Forever Skin Correct), mascara and Rouge Dior lipstick (a nude shade or 999 according to my look and how I feel). At the end of the day, I always wash my face and moisturize before bed.”
Photos Courtesy of Parfums Christian Dior