Emma Roberts talks fragrance, Joan Didion and the importance of girlfriends

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  • Emma Roberts is positivity personified, with her energy, charisma and authenticity earning her millions of fans all over the world.

    From her film work to her incredible Belletrist book club, everything she touches turns to gold as a result of her hard work, boldness and determination.

    It is hardly surprising therefore that she was chosen to be the face of BOSS ALIVE, with the powerful Eau de Parfum celebrating the boldness of women everywhere.

    The new BOSS ALIVE Intense scent aims to empower women to approach every day with a spirit of adventure and live life passionately, with Emma Roberts returning to star in the new campaign, bringing her undeniable charisma and aura of positivity to the fore.

    Features Editor Jenny Proudfoot sat down with Emma to find out more about the campaign, and to talk motherhood, books and the importance of girlfriends.

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    What role does fragrance play in your life?

    Fragrance has always played a big role for me. Even since I was a kid, I remember being desperate to have a signature scent when I was older. I always thought that was just so chic – the way that my mom would smell or other friends’ moms. It felt very adult and cool to have a scent. So when I was asked to be the face of BOSS ALIVE, I was so excited because my signature scent had been chosen for me and it was an amazing one. When we first started working together, BOSS ALIVE had notes of vanilla in it – it was just so me and it came in this gorgeous pink bottle. And now with BOSS ALIVE Intense, I have two different scents so I can alternate. This one has raspberry and vetiver and I’ve always loved vetiver notes in perfume. Plus again, it has a gorgeous bottle that I get to look at on my vanity. It says “ALIVE” and it makes me smile every time I look at it – I love that messaging.

    The messaging is all about daring to live intensely and exuding positive energy. How important are those qualities to you?

    Those qualities are so important to me. What I loved about this campaign is that it was not photoshopped – it was very natural. The photographer, Collier, who is one of my favourite photographers, really wanted to capture each of us girls as who we are – feeling confident and having fun, and I just absolutely loved that. Sometimes you see ads and you don’t even recognise the people in them, so I loved that BOSS was allowing us to really bring ourselves to this campaign. And it made me feel confident that they wanted me to look and feel like myself. I just love that messaging and I was really honoured to get to be a part of it, even more so knowing that the campaign was making people feel like themselves and feel confident. I’ve always thought that the prettiest person in the room is not necessary wearing the most expensive outfit or the most make up, it’s the person that is the most confident and lively. So I love that we’re bringing that messaging forward with the BOSS ALIVE campaign.

    What gives you confidence?

    I think what gives me confidence depends on the day and what I’m doing, and I’m sure everyone can relate to that. Sometimes you just wake up and you feel confident in your sweatpants with no make up on, and you’re just having a great day where you’re feeling “on it”. And then other times, you do need a little more of a pick-me-up, so you do a face mask and pull yourself together a bit more. But I think at the end of the day, I feel most confident when I’m around people like my girlfriends, that support each other and make me feel secure. People that bring out the best in you, and you bring out the best in them. There’s nothing better than when I’ve been away for a while and I get home and get to have a girls’ dinner and catch up and there’s just not even a moment of dead air.

    You seem to be surrounded by positivity and support. How important is it that we boost each other up?

    I think it’s so important, especially in the last couple of years where collectively we’ve gone through one of the hardest things in our lifetime. I remember just making sure to go out of my way to check in with certain friends more than normal that were struggling. And I noticed that a lot of my friends were checking in with me more than normal, and it meant a lot. So yes, I think now more than ever, it’s really important to keep checking in with people and make them feel good and special. It’s beyond important.

    How would you say motherhood has changed you?

    Oh my goodness. We could talk all day about that. It’s obviously changed me – motherhood can’t not change you. I think it’s definitely made me slow down and be more grateful for quiet moments. Before, I was just working all the time and going non-stop. Having a child definitely makes you slow down and be more in the moment, which I’m very, very grateful for.

    Can we talk about Belletrist?

    Belletrist is my book club that lives on Instagram. And it all started really from a love of books between two best friends, me and my best friend, Karah. She lived in New York and I lived in LA, and the only thing we love more than reading is getting mail, so we would send each other packages of books in the mail, with postcards. And that was kind of how our friendship evolved over the years of living on opposite coasts. Then Instagram came around and I started posting books that we loved, and I noticed that it was getting a lot of engagement, especially from young women who really wanted recommendations and to have conversations about them. I just felt like there was something there and I wanted to create a community where young women, and men, but mostly women can go and have meaningful conversations, and be introduced to amazing stories. Books are the way in, but it’s not about being the best reader, it’s really about being curious for the story. And it’s grown into something that has so surpassed my wildest expectations. I remember screaming with Karah when we reached 5,000 followers and we’re now at 268k. It just makes me so happy when people tell me they love the book club, and it’s just cool to be able to have conversations outside of acting and be able to share other things with the world.

    What role do books play in your life now?

    I’m literally the person that gets stopped in airport security for having too many books in their bag. I just love my books and I’m very precious about them. I’ll recommend books, I’ll buy people books, but I will not lend anybody my books. I think I’ve lent a couple of books and I haven’t gotten them back or I’ve had to hunt people down for them. So now I’ll happily send someone a fresh copy but I am very protective of my books.

    Do you have a favourite book of all time?

    Oh that’s so hard, and it changes. I change this answer in every interview just because I want to recommend more books to people. So if anyone catches onto the fact that my favourite book always changes, that’s why. But I think a book that I enjoy and that I go back to is Make It Scream, Make It Burn  by Leslie Jamison. There’s a short story in there about reincarnation that I just think is one of the most interesting and beautiful stories, and I recommend it to everyone. So that’s a good one because it’s short stories so you get something different from every chapter. And then I always recommend Joan Didion to people. I think Blue Nights is just one of the most beautiful books of all time. And I read it every couple years and get something different from it every time. So that’s one that I would recommend. Especially if you haven’t read any Joan Didion, Blue Nights is the way in, for sure.

    What is the best beauty advice you’ve ever been given?

    It would probably be from my mom. She always told me less is more. Especially when I was going through my teenage phase of wanting to wear heavy eyeliner and red lipstick, she would be like, “less is more -please take one off”.

    What piece of clothing in your wardrobe holds the most sentimental value?

    I have this light blue Balenciaga bag that was the first designer thing I ever bought with my own money. I bought it because Mary-Kate Olsen had the mint green Balenciaga. I couldn’t find that one so I got light blue instead and I just remember thinking, “wow, I’ll never want another bag again”, which of course wasn’t true. But I do still have it. And it’s stained and beat up, but I just love it so much because it just reminds me of how much I wanted it and how I saved my money to buy it. I just love it.

    What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

    Oh my god, that’s such a good question. I feel like with what I do that it’s a lot of learning as you go and taking time to reflect. When we launched Belletrist and when I started my acting career, there were so many things that I didn’t know then that I know now. But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have done anything differently because I’m glad about the journey that it took me on. Even the things that were super hard taught me a lot and I now have advice to give to other people – watch out for this, don’t do that or don’t listen to someone when they say this. So I try to take time to reflect so that I can do better next time or give other people advice so that they don’t make the same mistakes.

    BOSS ALIVE Intense Eau de Parfum is available in 80ml, 50ml, and new 30ml.

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