Lucy Boynton on The Scent of London, Dennis Rodman’s Nails, and Books You Should Read Right Now

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In describing what she’s been up to during quarantine, Lucy Boynton unspools a gorgeous metaphor. Before, you know…back then, Boynton despised an aimless walk. Wandering without purpose was just that: pointless.

Boynton, star of Netflix's The Politician and Bohemian Rhapsody, was someone who kept a destination permanently in mind—always “on some kind of mission,” she says over a Zoom call from London. But quarantining has transformed her into a flâneur in an attempt to savor the slowness and stillness of the world in its current state. Luckily, one of her favorite smells is the fresh funk of grass after a rainfall.

Next on the list of beloved smells: most likely the Eau de Toilette Rose Tangerine, a new scent from Chloé for which Boynton is the face. The scent, like a bouquet of fresh flowers, is the perfect aroma to have in the home, maybe after a long amble around a park. Speaking about the new campaign, Boynton shares perfume application tips and book recommendations, and reveals that old habits die hard: even as she’s slowing down, she’s watching The Last Dance, the documentary on the maniacally mission-oriented Michael Jordan, in her spare time.

What drew you to the Chloé brand?

It's still so surreal to even be answering these questions about it, because Chloé is a brand I have always been aware of and always appeared to me as cool and romantic. I remember seeing those perfume bottles at the airport—I think it's the first perfume bottle I owned. So everything drew me to the brand! And now understanding it better, the history of it and everything it stands for, it's really cool. It's a huge honor to be in any way a part of that world and family.

What's your first scent memory?

It has to be my mum's perfume. That's the first scent I'm very aware of and it's something really personal. I don't remember what it was, which adds to the romance of it. The fragrance was discontinued some years ago so it only really pops up now and then. Because it is such a rare smell, when I do smell it, it takes me back to my childhood and the comfort my mum was.

What smell reminds you of home?

The smell of grass after rain. I grew up in London, so of course, rain is going to come into it in some way. But I just love that fresh smell of either rain in the summer or in autumn when it finally stops raining, if ever, and everything feels new, clean, and dewy.

Getting into your fragrance application. How do you apply?

I spray generally into the air in front of me and then step into it. Then I do spray on one wrist and tap it onto the other. Just behind the ear as well. I've heard that spraying it on the backs of your knees or something is great to have for a good aura of scent. I haven't tried that yet, but I will.

What have you been up to in quarantine?

I haven't gotten into the bread-baking trends everyone seems to have jumped onto. And I think I've realized I'm a terrible cook, so I've taken a step back from that. I've been reading a lot. It's my favorite thing to do. I've been trying to get through as many books as I can. I've been gravitating towards fiction during this time, escapism. I read The Night Circus and it was so beautiful and completely forceful and enchanting. Also, Weather by Jenny Offill. I'm looking more into her work as well because Weather was really beautiful.

Time has obviously slowed down and with going out for walks being the only free thing you can do, we've been making the most of that. That's been a good education in how to slow it down—[I had] not really realized the pace I was living at and moving at before. It's going out and appreciating the parks we have in London. They're just so beautiful. I've been doing a lot of that. And then of course, a lot of Netflix. I'm watching The Last Dance, the Michael Jordan documentary, every Monday. It wasn't something I would usually gravitate to, but it is absolutely brilliant. That's been the highlight of my weeks.

Lucy Boynton's Reads

The Night Circus bookshop.org $14.72 SHOP NOW Weather bookshop.org $22.03 SHOP NOW

Are you a big Michael Jordan fan? Did you grow up in London loving Mike?

I didn't. I don't think basketball was as much of a cultural phenomenon here. And only recently, in the last few years, I started going to basketball games and I love it. We played it in school really briefly, which was my only foray into understanding the sport. It feels like a really accessible sport because you don't need to go into it knowing all the technical rules. That's really inclusive for an audience. Only since watching live games have I really appreciated it. But then I also didn't know very much about the players individually, so this has been a real eye-opening education. I'm now fully invested.

I think the Dennis Rodman episode is my favorite of the series.

Oh my God. Yes. And when it cuts to him now, he's wearing this amazing blue nail varnish. It's so cool. Just the complete ownership of that and of himself. I love it.

Chloé Eau de Toilette Rose Tangerine will be available August 14th at sephora.com. You can watch the campaign teaser video below:

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