It's a well-established fact that Michelle Pfeiffer inspires an 'I'll have what she's having' reaction in most ordinary mortals. At 62, she has never been more beautiful (stay tuned for more on that!), more compelling, or more laser-focused. With films including Mother!, Maleficent, and The Avengers: Endgame on her resume in recent years, she doesn't exactly have what you'd call a surplus of free time. And yet, sit down with her to discuss a range of topics from clean beauty to coffee detoxing and quarantine hair issues, and she's all practical magic, shot through with an unexpectedly wicked sense of humor.
For Pfeiffer, who launched Henry Rose in 2017, creating a fragrance line that called for 100% ingredient transparency was essential. Compelled to think about the chemicals in her cosmetics by the birth of her children nearly three decades ago, luxury fragrance was always a safety sticking point: Despite her love of transcendent perfumes, none of her signature favorites were classified as non-toxic. In fact, she was surprised to learn, the FDA does not require cosmetics companies to disclose ingredients that fall under the blanket term "fragrance" on product labels—meaning that when you see that word listed on packaging, from perfume to skincare and makeup, it can contain anything from essential oils to preservatives, phthalates, and allergens. The latter, she adds, affects at least 30% of the population—ever had a migraine after sitting next to someone wearing perfume?
Pfeiffer, who shelved her needle-moving fragrance project several times over the course of a decade, finally found her match in a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the Environmental Working Group and Cradle to Cradle. Merging safety, sustainability and 100% ingredient transparency, Henry Rose uses a combination of natural ingredients and safe synthetics with a goal of creating "the safest perfume for the most people possible."
It's the kind of innovation that could permanently change the beauty industry—helped in no small part by the fact that each Henry Rose perfume seamlessly holds its own against beautifully made fine fragrances out there right now. Here, Gucci sits down with Pfeiffer to talk about why you need to know what's in your favorite perfume, as well as her new fragrance, Smyth—a crisp, bright scent spiked with refined notes of tart apple and white woody notes that debuted on henryrose.com this week. What's next? Skincare! Plus, she shares how she approaches everything from coffee detoxing to quarantine blonde.