As the face of Dolce & Gabbana’s The Only One Eau de Parfum Intense, actress Emilia Clarke embodies the beauty and elegance of the brand. A hugely successful actress thanks to her leading role in the hit series Game of Thrones, Clarke’s confidence and elegance as well as her English Rose looks have led her to be perfectly in line with the DNA of the Dolce&Gabbana fashion house and in particular the new The Only One Eau de Parfum Intense fragrance which recently debuted. The scent by Dolce & Gabbana Beauty celebrates head-turning glamour and captures the essence of mesmerising allure and irresistible sensuality. In this exclusive interview Emilia Clarke discusses what this perfume means to her and herself as a woman today.
You’ve been working with Dolce&Gabbana for three years now. How has your relationship with the brand evolved?
It’s evolved really beautifully. I’ve got to understand the Italian mindset more and more and it’s wonderful.
What is your most memorable moment with Dolce&Gabbana?
Oh my goodness, it definitely has to be that second advert that we shot where I got to sing ‘Quando, Quando, Quando’ in a traditional Italian trattoria. All the locals were there, and it was amazing. It was just the most incredible authentic Italian experience.
Tell us about the new fragrance, The Only One Eau de Parfum Intense – what does it smell like?
This scent is an intricate combination of intense and solar sensuality. It’s got orange blossom, so it’s still got that zesty vibe, and it’s got neroli and then vanilla. It’s a really sensual fragrance and it’s lovely. It has a kind of musky, seductive quality to it, which is really nice.
How do you think the new fragrance differs from The Only One and The Only One 2?
This one’s got a lot more vanilla in it, so it’s more intense – whereas with the other ones, the top notes really sing. This one kind of cloaks you a bit more, like beautiful cashmere enveloping you in a warm and sunny aura.
How would you describe the woman who wears it in three words?
Sensual, fierce and self-assured.
Where on your body do you wear fragrance?
I’m quite liberal when I put on perfume – people smell me from far away because I just generally like smelling nice. In the morning, I’ll spritz my décolletage and add just a couple of spritzes to my hair, because if you’ve got longer hair, it wafts in a really great
way. If I go out in the evening, I always put a little behind my ears because when people lean in to give you a little kiss, they get the smell.
What does intense femininity mean to you?
Nowadays, it can mean anything you want it to mean, which is the beauty of it. I think when we talk about things being feminine, it isn’t exclusive to a specific binary gender anymore – I think it is something that is warm. Femininity has strength and it has stature, but it has warmth and an ability to kind of envelop you and make you feel cared for. That can be self-care or care for someone else. I think a big feminine skill and difference is that sort of softness, but now the joy is that we get to look at femininity being simultaneously both soft and powerful and strong. And I think it’s that combination that makes femininity feminine, as opposed to masculine, which is strong and powerful but doesn’t have any of the softness or lightness.
What memories do you have of shooting the fragrance campaign in Rome with Matteo Garrone?
It was in the oldest trattoria in Rome and I was up on the balcony. For me, Rome is one of the best cities in Italy – it’s so beautiful. Everyone was incredible. Everybody was so Italian – and it was just electric. You instantly got enveloped in this kind of history of effusive, loud, beautiful spirits and everyone was just having a ball. Matteo was so great, he was getting all of these really cool shots. I remember having these big boards with Italian words on them just in case I forgot. It was amazing.
How does wearing Dolce&Gabbana fragrances make you feel?
It makes you feel like you’re taking care of yourself. It’s like when you put on a new piece of jewellery or makeup or a dress – you put on the fragrance and it’s like another accessory. I think there is something wonderful about watching someone walk away and leave a little hint of their fragrance behind.
What’s your goal for 2020?
Trying to sort out my work-life balance would be really good. I’ve realised since leaving Game of Thrones that actually having some time to yourself, to be with your friends and family, is just as important as your career. So I’m going to try and nail that.
What would your dream project be, either inside or outside your industry?
I get to do a dream job this year, I am treading the boards on the West End stage. I’m getting to do a play I’ve been desperate to do for so long, so I’m really excited about doing that this year.
Of the many things you do as part of your job, which one makes you most excited?
I think it’s getting to meet and collaborate with geniuses in their fields. Authors, costume designers, hairstylists, make-up artists, writers, directors and producers. I get to meet some utterly fascinating and completely brilliant people in my job every single day, and I’m very, very lucky.
What is the biggest ‘pinch-me moment’ of your career to date?
There have been so many! Honestly, one of the most beautiful moments was last year at the Emmys. We walked out as the Game of Thrones cast and everyone stood up and gave us a standing ovation. When you’re on film, you don’t get that kind of cathartic response from the audience – you might get someone saying “I watched your show, I like it”. But when you’ve got your peers giving you that – and we stood there as a cast, not as a singular person nominated, we stood there as all of us – and having that whole room of people I admire and respect and love and spent my whole life looking up to, giving us that response was absolutely extraordinary. I thought I would just burst into tears.
Who are your female mentors, personally and professionally?
Emma Thompson – I just love her so, so much. She’s someone who I really look up to. She is incredibly beautiful and true to herself. And, honestly, I know this sounds really weird because she’s my peer, but one of the women who I love and respect most out of my friendship group of actors is Miss Rose Leslie. We talk about work a lot and we help each other out with how to navigate being a woman in the industry. So between her and Emma Thompson, it’s a beautiful mix.
What does a perfect day off look like for you these days?
A perfect day off is spent with friends. Often, I sit down for breakfast with friends and then suddenly it is 5pm and we realize we have been sitting and talking for hours! The perfect, day would have to be going to the Everyman Cinema to watch a movie, then to the pub. And then for dinner at one of my favourite restaurants. At the moment, my favourite restaurant is Bright in Hackney, London. It’s unreal – so good.
What are the daily rituals you try to keep in your day, no matter where you are and what you are doing?
I cleanse and moisturise, no matter where I am – plane or not, morning and night. I meditate – I find that very, very important – and I read. Those three things I can with complete honesty say I do every single day.
How has fame changed your beauty routine and your approach to your appearance?
I always cared about my skin because I have really dry skin. I think most people who care about their skin do so because they’ve had issues – so they’ve been forced to. So that was something I always did anyway. Because I’m in this industry, I get to work with really fabulous hair and make-up people and I steal tips from them all the time, so my routine has changed because of that. I get the insider scoop! But fame has also given me the chance to be able to follow fashion at a level I never dreamed of, so I get and I care about fashion and I love it. Being able to covet a piece from the likes of Dolce&Gabbana, and then actually being able to own it and wear it and mix it with my own style is just…I love it! It’s changed simply in an ‘I can afford to do this’ kind of way.
Have you got one beauty tip that you will never forget?
A spritz of fragrance goes a long way when it comes to giving you confidence.
What are your beauty secrets?
Genuinely, the first thing I always say is drink loads of water, eat your greens, and get as much sleep as you possibly can.
What role does fragrance play in your routine?
I put it on every morning. My assistant the other day was like “I walked into the lobby, I could smell Boss but I couldn’t see Boss.” Like people know how I smell and I love that. I love when someone’s like “I smelled you on the tube!”
You always look so fresh and happy – what’s your secret?
Trying to be in the moment – really trying to be in the moment. Sometimes I’m lying when you see me fresh and happy! Sometimes I’m sad or angry or tired or sick, but I try at every turn to just observe and to stop thinking about myself and to start thinking about other people. And that has positive benefits in life because thinking about other people makes you feel better about yourself, and also it keeps you in the moment. So if you really concentrate on those photographers and you’re really aware of someone taking your photo and you’re in that moment, you’re going to give it life. Whereas if you’re just like ‘Omg, I feel awful, I feel so bad – me, me, me – I feel really bad,’ you’re going to come across as really closed off. And you never know who you’re going to meet – you might meet someone really interesting. You might meet someone super-boring, but if you do then it’s an anecdote!
What is your best feel-good move?
When I wake up, no matter what time it is – even 3am – I put on some crazy music and dance. It’s almost like meditating because you are listening to your body, feeling alive and being in the moment. Good music gets me going, even if I’ve been filming for eighteen hours. I put on a good song and suddenly I find my energy again.
Do you have a mantra that you live by?
I think this one can apply to everything: ‘Don’t take it too seriously, and when in doubt, laugh it out!’
Looking back, what advice would you give your younger self?
It’s not as bad as you think.
Fashion by Rebecca Corbin Murray at The Wall Group, Makeup by Lynsey Alexander at Streeters, Hair by Earl Simms at Caren Agency, Manicure by Rebecca Jade Wilson at The Wall Group