What Did Audrey Hepburn Smell Like?

Ever since her first film appearance, many have looked up to Audrey Hepburn as the picture of elegance and sophistication. Her classic style has drawn just as many admirers as her acting work. Anyone looking to emulate Hepburn can pick up pearls and a pair of oversized sunglasses, but they can also nab the perfumes designed specifically for the actor.

Audrey Hepburn wears a red dress and descends the stairs. She holds a red scarf above her head.
Audrey Hepburn | Archive Photos/Getty Images

Audrey Hepburn had a specific sense of style

Though Hepburn rose to stardom in 1953 with her role in Roman Holiday, much of her style still feels timeless. Her simple wardrobe and elegant clothing would still make sense in the modern era. Hepburn was able to curate her style with help from designer Hubert de Givenchy. Before they were stars in their respective fields, they met and connected.

“Givenchy’s clothes are the only ones I feel myself in,” Hepburn said, per the New York Times. “He is more than a designer, he is a creator of personality.”

Givenchy felt that she was a perfect muse not just because of her look but her warm personality.

“She was true, honest. From time to time I’d say, because she was so thin, ‘Wouldn’t it be better if we didn’t show your collarbone?’ And she’d say, ‘No, it doesn’t bother me,’” he told the New York Times. “As Billy Wilder said, ‘What counts in Audrey is her allure.’ And she was kind. When the telephone would ring in the studio, I knew when it was her. I would answer and she’d say, ‘I know you are busy, but I want to send you a big kiss,’ and she’d hang up. That was Audrey.”

The actor wore a scent that was designed specifically for her

Because of their close relationship, Hepburn agreed to be the face of a Givenchy perfume.

“I said to her: ‘I’m creating this perfume called Interdit, and I want it to be your perfume for all the women in the world.’ She immediately understood and she said, ‘You can use my picture,’” he explained. “We didn’t pay a million dollars for Miss Hepburn to be our brand image. All that happened with truth, friendship. We understood each other.”

Givenchy relaunched Interdit in 2018. The scent is floral and woody, with hints of orange blossom, jasmine, and patchouli.

Hepburn also wore another specially-designed scent, Creed Spring Flower. She began wearing it in 1951, but it did not become available to the public until 1996. The fragrance combines hints of peach, jasmine, and musk for a unique scent that aims to evoke classic Hollywood.

Audrey Hepburn likely also smelled like cigarettes

Though she wore these perfumes, Hepburn likely also carried the scent of cigarettes. She smoked heavily, reportedly going through roughly three packs a day. According to Hepburn, she enjoyed the smell of cigarettes because of memories from World War II. 

“Freedom has a special smell to me — the smell of English petrol and English cigarettes,” she said, per the book Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn by Donald Spoto. “When I ran out to welcome the soldiers, I inhaled their petrol as if it were a priceless perfume and I demanded a cigarette, even though it made me choke.”

As Hepburn liked to end her days with two fingers of scotch and a cigarette, these scents likely clung to her just as much as her perfume.

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