Pay close attention to Willow Smith’s Instagram; you’ll see she has a penchant for the mystic, ethereal themes. Goddess tributes are scattered throughout her Instagram page, she has a cosmic tattoo on her upper arm, and most recently, she joined the Mugler family in 2021 as the face of the brand’s iconic Alien Goddess fragrance.
Returning for round two, Willow serves as the face of the next edition of Alien Goddess Intense, which continues the tale of divine femininity through a new concoction of heavenly notes.
Willow describes herself as an “acquired taste” but acknowledges that Alien Goddess Intense is anything but that. “I think upfront it’s a pretty soothing and pretty beautiful smell,” she says over Zoom.
Just as specific scents can represent memories and places, Willow says Alien Goddess Intense evokes images of nature for her. The singer is drawn to notes with earthy and flowery undertones. “I love the floral vibe of it. It just gives me magical garden feels.” The enchanted garden she describes is shaped by the center notes of jasmine grandiflorum and jasmine tea. As the perfume settles, a burst of coconut and Bergamot gives a hint of vibrancy before warm musky notes of vanilla, benzoin, and cashmere seal the deal.
Ahead, Willow talks about continuing the story of Alien Goddess Intense, her evolving definition of femininity, and staying positive through it all.
As someone who has always been interested in otherworldly themes, what does alien mean to you?
Alien, to me, means out of this world, out of the box of what society has told you is reality. I think alien means transcendent and different and just unique.
What do you make of the word goddess?
Goddess, to me, is the pinnacle of everything. Goddess is the embodiment of mother nature, the universe, and everything we know and love. When I think of a goddess, my mom is one of them. I think about women as goddesses, not in how they look, but in their worlds, how they make me feel, and just the kind of service they do for the world.
Was she your introduction to fragrances?
As a kid, my mom was always super into oils, candles, etc. And so she gave me her love for scents. She just had a bunch of different essential oils and would always mix them and do a whole bunch of different, cool stuff.
Since you’re the face of this new version of Alien Goddess, how did these notes resonate with you differently than the first time?
I love how strong but also feminine the scent is. I think Alien Goddess as a whole is just about redefining femininity and kind of shining light on the divine feminine. And I believe that Mugler finds new and inspiring ways to do that each time around.
Both fragrances are centered around “mystical femininity.” How does scent bring out your femininity?
I think that when you’re wearing a scent that you identify with and connect with, it makes you feel more confident. In every way, you’re embodying the energy you want to represent. You’ve got the clothes expressing how you want to be seen, and then you’ve got your makeup and scent. And I think this scent is a beautiful cherry on top of it all. When I wear it, I feel like a woman who is connected with the earth, connected with living beings, and I’m in that magical garden. It transports me right there.
At 21, how has your definition of femininity evolved as you’ve grown older?
Femininity evolves for me by understanding that femininity isn’t just one thing. There are a lot of different kinds of women and many different ways that they find their freedom, and all of those different ways are beautiful and considered divine feminine in my book.
With your tour underway, what city would you say got Alien Goddess Intense encapsulates best?
Oh, wow. I think of Singapore because there’s a lot of beautiful architecture and nature included in the architecture and magical gardens.
Which one of your songs would be the soundtrack to this scent?
Probably “Like a Bird,” most likely.
Your last album was titled, Lately, I Feel Everything. What are you feeling these days?
I am just trying to stay positive and work on myself as much as possible. The most exciting part about this chapter in my life is that every day I’m given opportunities to choose a higher way of thinking and being. I am choosing to reach higher and to bring myself to an increased state of acceptance and compassion. Life keeps on testing me and keeps on giving me opportunities. Well, I wouldn’t call it a test. I would say opportunities to reach for that better version of myself.
What is your summer skincare secret or your summer beauty secret?
My summer beauty secret is to drink a shit ton of water. Just drink so much water—drink a gallon a day. I did that for two or three weeks, and it was fire.
That’s so much peeing, though.
I know a lot of peeing. But it’s very, very good for you.
Nerisha is the beauty commerce editor at ELLE.com, covering all things beauty (and fashion and music). She has a penchant for sneakers and nude lip glosses, and spends way too much time re-watching 90s sitcoms.