Evan Rachel Wood Says She Smells Like the Earth

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Evan Rachel Wood, a woman who knows her Gucci. Photo: Splash News

Many of us would leap at the chance to roll around with Chris Evans, but Evan Rachel Wood actually gets paid to do it. The two are back at it again in a new ad that features Gucci's Guilty scents — two complementing fragrances made for both sexes. Ahead of Valentine's Day, Wood spoke with the Cut about the beauty secret she learned from Sophia Loren, the weird gloves she wears to get smooth skin, and baby sunscreen.

What is your first scent memory?
Well, the first thing is always your mother, right? I remember my mother's smell and it’s the most comforting, amazing, heavenly thing. The pillows smelled that way, and instantly when my mother was around, it smelled calm. I think that's just science, and it keeps you bonded for life. Scent keeps you connected to people, and it carries on in different ways throughout your life, especially with people that you are in love with.

How would people categorize your natural scent?
I have kind of an earthy scent. I burn a lot of incense and things like that. I love a campy, outdoorsy smell, so I probably smell like that and lavender. I do wear Gucci fragrances a lot. I like to spray them in my bedroom, and it's the only room where the air gets sprayed with my kind of special scent, so if anyone walks in, that's what they immediately smell. It's kind of cool to carry a hint of my bedroom scent throughout the day, and then if anyone follows me into my bedroom later, they then get hit with the full scent.

How would you describe Gucci Guilty?
It feels very cinematic to me, it feels like a movie. It's very warm, but there’s also lilac. I love that there's a hint of wild strawberry, too. It's a twist on familiar things and giving them more of an edge and freedom. That's the idea behind the Gucci woman: someone that's classic and sensual and confident and radiant, but with an authenticity. It's just passionate.

What are the most important products and habits you use to treat your skin?
I have really sensitive skin so anything too harsh or with too many chemicals can make my skin worse. The slightest little thing and I'll get a blemish. I've had acne all my life. I've tried everything. I usually love doing oxygen facials: Bliss has a really helpful one, and Dr. Brandt. You can use it every day for a few minutes: It's a little mask that you put on. I don't know what it really does, I guess it oxygenates your skin.

Sleep is really the most effective thing for your skin, that and just leaving it alone. I also exfoliate every day. I love pumpkin enzyme masks: They're almost like a little peel. I love the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. It's funny because you look like you have little pink polka dots all over your face. I'll wear it in public, I don't care. Otherwise I try to use really gentle cleansers and moisturize with Paw Paw. You can put it all over your face — it's really heavy moisture.

What sunscreen do you recommend for people with very fair complexions?
I use baby sunscreen a lot. It seems to be more gentle. I also love tinted moisturizers as sunscreen. On my days off I try to use as little makeup as possible so my skin can breathe.

What is your best trick for smooth skin?
I have those weird gloves that lather soap and also exfoliate your skin. They're easier to use than brushes. I also rub olive oil all over my skin and let that soak in. I actually think I got that tip from Sophia Loren. Someone asked what her beauty secret was and she said olive oil, so I've been doing it because of her. Every now and then I'll go to the spa — nothing crazy.

You say you have a signature scent. How do people react to it?
I’ve had people ask me to give them articles of clothing so they can have my scent — you know, if you're with someone romantically. I sometimes do the same thing with people. I've asked people to charge a shirt for me, which means: Please wear this shirt for a couple of days and give it back to me so it smells like you when you're gone. I think I do the same thing for people, so I love having a scent that people only associate with me on a sensual level — that's kind of cool.

This interview has been edited and condensed.