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One look at Natasha Gregson Wagner and you'll recognize immediately that there's something familiar about her cheekbones, her big brown eyes, even her chin-length bob. She so closely resembles her mother, the late actress and Hollywood icon Natalie Wood, it's almost jarring at first.

Wagner, who was only 11 years old at the time of her mother's death, has since sought out various paths of feeling connected to Wood. She followed in her mother's footsteps, pursuing a career as an actress, and just this spring, she launched a fragrance inspired by—and named after—her mother. That entrée into the fragrance world has also led to a spot as co-chair at this year's Fragrance Foundation Awards, where Wagner was also a presenter.

Tell me about the fragrance—what first inspired you to create it?

"My mom loved gardenias, so whenever I smell them, I always think of my mom. I wanted to create something with that in mind. I also love the smell of orange blossoms, and I live next to an orange orchard, so what inspired me was blending her signature scent with mine. It's certainly a combination. I think my influence is more of the crisper, citrusy [notes], and my mom was more into the floral scent. Gardenia can be kind of heavy, so I wanted to make it modern and crisp and appealing to a younger audience as well as an older audience."

What has the response to the scent been like for you so far?

"It's very interesting. I knew that my mom was loved, but since launching this fragrance, it's become clear how much. I had no idea that she had touched so many lives, that so many people had been named Natalie after her. And people are really loving the fragrance because it's fresh and clean and not heavy. It's a nice, happy smell."

What does it mean to you to be involved in the Fragrance Foundation Awards as a co-chair?

"I'm incredibly honored that they asked me to co-chair the awards, and I'm excited to meet everybody. I've been an actress in my past life, so I know what it's like to stand on stage. So it'll be fun to be able to utilize that muscle a little bit."

Do you think you'll continue to stay involved in the fragrance industry?

"I really enjoyed the process of making this fragrance, and I'm going to create another one related to the movie Gypsy that she did—that'll be a deeper, more sultry fragrance. Maybe like a winter or evening fragrance."

Are there any other beauty rituals you remember your mother having?

"I remember watching her put her fragrance on a lot—she would use a lot of it. And I remember watching her put her makeup on. I remember her always washing her makeup off at night and brushing her teeth."

There's obviously a lot of resemblance between you and your mother, and it's something I'm sure people bring up often. What is that like for you?

"You know, when I was a little girl people would always say how much I looked like my mom. I got used to it at a very early age. It's interesting: With my daughter, who's four, I see the resemblance so much of her with my mom and me when I was little, so it's a nice feeling. Any way that I can feel connected to my mom is a wonderful feeling to me. I'm touched that people find it interesting that I resemble her. All my life, way before I even did this fragrance, people would come up to me and say, 'You remind me so much of this actress named Natalie Wood.' So it's something that I'm proud of and I'm happy if it makes somebody else feel happy. I'm happy to be that conduit."

Is there anything you remember about your mother that most people might be surprised to learn?

"I remember my mom as being very strict and kind of fierce. She was definitely the ruler of our house. And I  think people would be surprised to hear that because she's often remembered as being a tender-hearted soul. But she was very much a woman with a lot of strength and she was willful. She was the one that would dole out the punishments."

You're also working on a book about your mother—what can you tell me about that?

"It'll be launching in the fall, on October 11. I'm helping the author with it. It's a coffee table book with never-before-seen photographs as well as some iconic ones people have seen. There are some essays. I wrote a piece, Robert Redford wrote the afterward, and there's also a piece in there my mom had written in the '60s that has never been published, so there's some really interesting stuff about her and incredibly beautiful photos of her. There really has never been a coffee table book on her." 

What is it like for you to see your mother's legacy enduring and that fans still seem so powerfully connected to her? Do you think that era of Hollywood has a popularity that's transcended generations?

"It does seem like she has a universal appeal: Each generation somehow finds their way back to that generation of Hollywood, whether it's because they become a lover of film or fall for a particular actress or a look from that time, but that time period seems to stand the test of time and it's ironic that my mom was such a big part of that time period. She was in five movies that have become classics, and was nominated for three Oscars before she was 25 years old, so she had a lot of traction, I guess. It's really nice for me to try and introduce her to generations that don't know her or that may be interested in her. That's been very joyful to me."

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Ecrit par Misty 
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