Model slash photographer slash magazine creative director slash humanitarian, Helena Christensen likes to juggle many roles, and here’s another one: perfumer. Last year she launched her first fragrance, Dead of Night — a rich, vanilla fragrance — and this fall she launched her second, Melt My Heart. It was at Melt My Heart’s launch that the Cut caught up with Christensen. There she explained how she finally discovered a yoga studio that wasn’t “annoying,” why forcing yourself to diet is a crapshoot, and how she would absolutely love to become a mermaid.
How I start my day: I get up at 6:52 exactly, that’s when it [my alarm] rings. Then I have eight minutes to get out of my trance-like sleep and check the weather for the day. Then I wake up my son. For the next 45 minutes I make porridge, I let the dog outside, I get my kid ready for school, and then send him off. Then it can go either way. If I have to go to work, I’ll shower and go to work. If I work from home, which I often do, I’ll cozy up in bed with the puppy for a little bit and start doing emails. I’ll move to the kitchen and make coffee and breakfast, and then I might be on the computer for a few hours, editing photos, and at the same time I tidy up the house.
How I like to sweat: I’ve been going to the same old boxing gym for many, many years. It’s super dirty and authentic. I also started yoga earlier this year because I finally found a yoga place that doesn’t annoy me. And then I walk everywhere — that’s what’s so great about New York.
What wellness means to me: I think of a spa somewhere. It’s about feeling in tune and in balance with yourself. It also means being healthy — physically exercising, but not to the point where it feels exaggerated. To me, it’s never been about forcing anything upon yourself. You see it everywhere — people dieting and then going straight back to their old ways, or working out like crazy and not looking any better for it — it’s really cool to get to know how your system actually works.
How wellness has changed for me: It hasn’t! It still means the same for me. If I could just be in an ocean all day long — if I could be a mermaid, that would be the ultimate wellness situation for me.
My wellness advice is: Get a lot of sleep. If I don’t get a lot of sleep, in the morning it’s almost like everything looks off, and I feel off, and I’m irritable, and I’m depressed, and I’m horrible to be around. Drinking water is also good, even though I don’t drink enough.
[Brooke Shields, who is sitting at the table chimes in]: Be young! I highly recommend to get a good dose of that.
[Christensen continues]: And also love and laugh.
The interview has been edited and condensed.