Rooney Mara on the Power of Perfume

A feminine beauty accentuated by storied scents, nature’s cosmetics, and a loving heart.

Actress Rooney Mara — known as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, among her other roles — has a beauty regimen based on botanicals.

Rosewater is one of her go-to beauty products. Made with only two ingredients, rose petals and water, its uses are many; it can be a perfume, a facial toner, an antioxidant-rich skin protector, an antiseptic, a treatment for sore throat, and the list goes on.

Mara uses lip balms and moisturizers by Olio E Osso, a company founded by a

Rooney Mara

mother who had troublefinding all-natural, non-irritating moisturizers for her infant son’s sensitive skin. She created her own using olive oil, shea oil, beeswax, and grapefruit.

Another favourite of Mara’s is Calm Pure Radiance Oil by True Botanicals, which soothes irritated skin using pomegranate, grape seed, and helichrysum flower.

Her dressing table is a fragrant garden.

“I think scent has great power,” she says. “Certain fragrances can evoke all sorts of memories and feelings.”

Mara is the face of Givenchy’s perfume L’Interdit, which was Audrey Hepburn’s perfume. “It felt very special to be asked to be part of bringing the fragrance back to life,” says Mara, whose appearance and aura are Hepburnesque.

“The fragrance feels quite rooted in something storied — an age-old desire to be bold and to push forward — but it is also quite modern,” she says. “Everything about the Givenchy brand has always felt like that to me.”

Mara has long been known to favour Givenchy designs on the red carpet. “[Givenchy] designs are utterly romantic and feminine but also feel quite modern and edgy,” says Mara. The Givenchy gowns she’s worn have often been lacey and flowing, in light, neutral colours, but with edgy details, such as zippers or geometric cut-outs.

While a woman’s toilette and dress contribute to her beauty, that beauty is rooted in the heart, Mara says, in “being self-possessed and compassionate.”

She oversees the charitable Uweza Foundation, which supports children and families in one of Africa’s largest slums, Kibera, in Nairobi, Kenya. Other causes close to her heart include animal rights and “any organization that gives assistance to refugees.”

Produced by Many Ngom