Angelina Jolie has just signed on with venerable French parfumier Guerlain for a new advertising campaign — her first in a decade — and in the latest issue of Marie Claire the actress/director explains the deep familial connection that led her to the brand.
“It was a brand my mother loved, so I knew it from my childhood,” says Jolie of the affinity that her late mother, Marcheline Bertrand, had for Guerlain. “It spoke to her, as it does to me, of beauty, history, and quality; one of the oldest perfume houses in the world, from France, a country I love and feel connected to.”
Her mother, explains Jolie, “was a very natural woman who never spoiled herself, never wore makeup, and wore modest jewelry, but she always had a few special items for when she wanted to feel like a lady. One of those — and I remember it because it seemed so elegant — was her Guerlain powder. I think all women have those few special things that make them feel feminine.”
Jolie also opens up about balancing her Hollywood career with her humanitarian efforts. “This has been my life for many years; one role feeds the other,” she admits. “It is a joy to be an artist, but it doesn’t mean very much unless that work is somehow useful in some way and contributes to others.”
This symbiosis is evident in her relationship with Guerlain, in that she’s donating her salary from the campaign to her charity, the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation. The foundation’s work, she says is a family affair that “is inspired by our children and their connections to particular countries. We visit the projects together, and it is growing with them. We started 13 years ago in Cambodia, and have since moved to Ethiopia and Namibia, too. It is dedicated to education, health, and the environment. We are gradually expanding, but our focus is still very much on enabling local people to develop their own communities and future, as well as rights for women and children.”
You can read more with Angelina Jolie in the May 2017 issue of Marie Claire.