Since we first learned that Amanda Seyfried was an adorably kooky dog mom, we wanted to know more about Amanda Seyfried. And last week, the Cut got our wish, meeting up with the newly pregnant Seyfried (and her dog Finn), who was in town to promote her gig as the face of Givenchy’s new fragrance Live Irrésistible Délicieuse. Yes, her eyes are as anime-large as everyone reports. Yes, she listens intently and gives such thoughtful answers to interview questions, that she instructs me to “cut her off” at any point. Read on to learn about her love for hot-chocolate smells, why she thinks everybody looks the same in Hollywood, and why she’s been so vocal about mental-health advocacy.
What was your first scent memory?
I’m trying to think of my earliest memories. The one thing I keep coming up with is old wood in a wood house. It’s like that creaky-floorboard smell of wood that’s been swollen and tense throughout the years and the weather. It smelled so good in our house growing up. The house was about a hundred years old. It was very small, but with very tall ceilings. Whenever I smell that, it’s just, “Oh!” It’s such a cozy, beautiful, positive smell for me.
What do you think your farm house smells like?
It’s new to me, so it smells like every candle that I light — there’s always one in each room. I’m crazy about that. There’s this Cinnamon Tree candle by Himalayan. And the Abd el Kader by Cire Trudon in the summertime. I also like pine and cedar scents.
What smells do you tie to emotions?
Hyacinth makes me think of Easter. Looking back, I reminisce about being home when I was little, and feeling safe and young — when things were innocent. When things were pure. My mom’s obsessed with jasmine and lavender. When I smell jasmine, I think of my mom, even though it’s something that is very West Coast. My whole wall in Los Angeles is night-blooming jasmine that lasts for two weeks.
Also, the smell of hot chocolate, like Swiss Miss with the mini-marshmallows is memorable. All these childhood things that you occasionally get have really rich smells. Thank God for that, because it’s an immediate reset or an immediate rush when you smell it.
What did you think when you first smelled Live Irrésistible Délicieuse?
It reminded me of Clinique Happy and how I felt when I put that on because it was the first perfume that I could afford. Everybody was wearing it. It’s just really positive, energetic, and kind of a pick-me-up. I felt feminine and sexy, yet playful because it’s sweet too.
When I was a teenager, there were “old lady” perfumes and youthful ones. The “old lady” perfumes to me now, are very rich, sophisticated, and elegant and there’s an essence of that in this. Very Irresistible has the rose but with that edge, that Givenchy edge that Riccardo Tisci has done so well with. It makes it relatable especially for someone like me who doesn’t necessarily feel very elegant all the time. Outspoken and unfiltered — that is more my vibe. The scent smells like a really sweet latte after a while on my skin. It lives really well on me.
What is your nighttime beauty routine?
It’s the same as my daytime one. Six years ago, I started working with Clé de Peau Beauté, so I get all their products. It works and my skin loves it. I use the foaming wash, lotion, and La Crème.
What do you think of when you think of the word anti-aging?
I just picture a vial of oil. I think of all the avenues people take to look younger, to look like they haven’t aged, not look their age, and to prevent fine lines and wrinkles and sagging skin. It seems like such an ugly thing and I don’t think it’s necessarily an ugly thing. Some of the most beautiful women have lines around their eyes.
There are extreme ways of anti-aging. Face-lifts and Botox are very different, one’s more extreme. I’m 30, going to be 31 in a couple of days, and I don’t want to knock that stuff — to each their own. But I also feel like there’s a look. When you start doing that, you start looking the same as everyone else. Because unfortunately, you’re conforming to something and your face doesn’t move. Everybody’s faces blending into each other and the more surgery you do, with the big lips, skinny nose and tight brow — why would you want to look like everybody else [in Hollywood]?
There are a lot of insecurities with anti-aging and a lot of stigmas. I’m terrified of feeling that. But, I think there’s enough products on the market to prevent that kind of stuff. There are behavioral things you can do, like not smoking or not drinking too much. I think it’s easier than people make it out to be. But also, that’s easy for me to say.
I feel like the phrase should be banned. Everyone is aging, by virtue of living another day. It’s impossible to prevent.
We are all dying. We’re all marching towards death.
It’s also been nice, seeing a lot of older women in beauty campaigns, like Helen Mirren.
Yes, yes! She doesn’t look different. She doesn’t look like everybody else. She looks like Helen Mirren. I’m sure she uses really good products. I’m sure she takes care of herself.
There’s a difference between taking care of yourself and putting yourself through suffering. For example, I think about the suffering to get rid of that line [gestures to forehead]. Even directors of photography have said that they have to light me a certain way so you can’t see my line. Then I see movies that I’m in, and I see that the line’s still there. I’m like, Oh good, they didn’t worry about that. I’m very expressive.
I would love if I could wake up tomorrow with it gone but still move my face. But if I have to suffer for it, I’m going to think about it. Hopefully not, but who knows.
What do you think the connection is between wellness and beauty?
It’s absolutely connected. Being healthy is beautiful. Being healthy in the inside, it emits through. Your skin is your fucking biggest organ. You can see happiness through someone’s skin. You can see someone who is taking care of themselves through their skin. You can see a glow that radiates from within.
I always feel most beautiful when I’ve exercised, had a good meal, exfoliated, and washed my hair. I always feel most beautiful after I feel clean. I always feel beautiful after I’ve plucked my eyebrows.
Do you use one of those crazy magnifying mirrors?
My mom leaves them everywhere, so she doesn’t have to travel with them. There’s one in my closet in L.A., there’s one in the bathroom at the farm, and there’s one in my closet in New York.
I’m a little scared to get one of those mirrors.
Oh yeah, you have to give yourself a limit. You can only take ten minutes.
And maybe only look at certain parts of your face.
Don’t ever look at your chin. That’s what facialists are for.
You talked recently about mental health and medication very candidly in an Allure interview. It would have been very easy for you to brush over the question. Why was it important to you to speak so truthfully about it?
There’s a stigma and taboo and it’s not helping anybody. It didn’t help me when I was a kid. I certainly don’t want my kids to feel like they can’t talk to me.
I’ve suffered massively because I felt alone, crazy, and like I was stuck in this hole. I didn’t understand because I was too fucking young. I took that on for my teenage years. And I had a pretty healthy childhood. I had a great relationship with my sister and my parents, good grades and friends. But I was haunted by my OCD and it would flare up and affect all aspects of my life.
It doesn’t have to be that way. If you have a physical illness or ailment — you go to the doctor. When you’re having crazy fears, obsessive thoughts, weird compulsions, and you don’t understand why and you think you’re broken, it just festers. It’s a horrible thing. It’s really important for young people to hear other people talk about their experiences in a way that sheds light on them. I do have a platform and sometimes things I say, people listen to.
That 14-year-old me couldn’t sleep for an entire summer. But it would have been nice to have someone that was a little older say to me, “What you’re going through is actually all right. You’re going to be okay. You just need to talk to somebody.” Or you need this or that. It breaks my heart. I’m very, very close to that child in me. I’m working on it every day. I’m very, very involved in working on it now, especially because I’m about to be a mother.
It’s really important to talk about stuff like that. I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been because of it. And it’s such a freedom talking about it too. I talked to my mom about what I was experiencing when I was 13 and she’s like, I didn’t know. You didn’t see it because I was hiding it. Our brains are just so complex and there’s so many overwhelming things happening in the world. No wonder kids don’t feel comfortable.
This interview has been condensed and edited.