One-On-One

Face-to-Face With A ‘90s Supermodel

Helena Christensen tells us what makes her feel sexy, and the importance of scent in her life.

By: Laurel Pantin
Photography: Alec Kugler

No shade towards today’s supers, but there’s something about the ‘90s supermodels that feels a little extra electric. There’s magic there, and we can’t hide the fact that we’re obsessed with them (just see here, here, here, here, and here). So when we had the chance to meet Helena Christensen for the launch of the fragrance line Strangelove at Bergdorf Goodman—for which she serves as Creative Director alongside Elizabeth Gaynes—we jumped at the chance to get a little of that *magic* for ourselves. Oh, and as an added bonus, Brooke Shields just happened to be Helena’s guest, and was game for a few pics, too.

 

On why they chose Bergdorf Goodman:

“Bergdorf Goodman is amazing. For us it's a complete dream come true—I see Bergdorf's as being a fairytale department store in some ways. And their perfume department is really special and has the most magnificent scents. We are very proud to be represented amongst them all.

 

Why a supermodel would go into fragrance:

“The line is very small. It's Elizabeth [Gaynes] and I, she founded it, and I jumped on board right away. As soon as I smelled the first few samples that she was working on I knew that this was something I had never ever smelled before. I am a HUGE lover of scents—the memories scents bring back, how I feel inside when I smell something, where it takes me to. When I smelled the first sample, this particular scent that she brought back from a trip to Borneo, a very pure resin from the Alderwood tree which is an oud, I was like, ‘Okay just count me in.’”

 

How to create a one of a kind scent:

“That was maybe five years ago. It took us about four, five years to create the first scent which is ‘Dead Of Night.’ It's been a long process but it's also been sort of a labor of love in the sense that I wouldn't commit to anything like this if it didn't feel right in my tummy. It's been a great learning process. We sit down with a perfumer Christophe Laudamiel and go through hundreds of scents, hundreds of notes to try and find the right combination. That's why it took so long with the first scent. The second one, ‘Melt My Heart,’ which we are also launching today was a little bit of a quicker process because we sort of had the whole system down. We're working on a third one now!”

 

What happens when a supermodel wears an aphrodisiac (because naturally, ‘Dead of Night’ is one):

“It's been really interesting to experience people's reactions to it. It doesn't matter where I am, walking down the street, getting into a car, a cab or just being with friends, you will always be asked 'What are you wearing? What is the scent?' And I was like, ‘This is really cool!’ It's great when it's a product that you have worked on since the beginning, since birth sort of, all the way through and carrying it literally into Bergdorf's now. And in my line of business where you are the face, or the body, or the ambassador or spokesperson for lots of different products—when it’s actually a product that you created from scratch, and that you developed, and that you evolved with—it’s a whole different feeling.”

What makes Helena Christensen feel sexy:

“A glass of wine [laughs]! Besides the scent, a glass of wine, some blush—and a nice big cozy cashmere sweater.”

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