Zoe Kravitz still wore perfume during the pandemic, even when she was at home


Zoe Kravitz has a great interview with InStyle to promote her contract with YSL – she’s the face of YSL’s latest fragrance launch, Black Opium Extreme Eau de Parfum. I admire women who like and can pull off a heavy scent like that. I’ve always been attracted to very light florals or very “clean linen” kinds of scents. Something like YSL’s Opium is for sophisticated, worldly women. Which is why it makes sense that they got Zoe. She chatted with InStyle about fragrance, the pandemic and more – some highlights:

How her routine has changed in the past year: “I am still figuring out how to wear clothes again. [laughs] During the pandemic, I definitely took a bit more time to mask, steam, and ice my face. Little things like that to get my skin feeling healthy, because I wasn’t able to get facials, but I was still working and wearing a lot of makeup. I remembered how much I love getting ready to go out — doing your makeup, listening to music, drinking a glass of wine — and it was kind of taken away from us. It’s been fun being able to get back into the world and enjoy that process again. It’s such a sweet, personal time, and it’s important that we take those moments to love on ourselves.

Whether she still wore a fragrance at home during lockdown: “I did — not every day, but I just put it on without even thinking in the morning since it’s part of my routine and makes me feel like myself. Fragrance is so important to me in general, not only in terms of my perfumes, but even in the way my house smells and the products I put on my face. I am very sensitive to scents, which are connected to memories. Like when someone smells your sweater when you’re not around, it is just a super personal thing. YSL’s Black Opium is absolutely one of my favorites. I love that it’s not too sweet or too musky with the jasmine and the coffee notes. It’s a beautiful balance of masculine and feminine.

What she learned during the pandemic: “I realized how much my mental health is affected by not being able to do little things that make me feel good. Some things become routine; we put makeup on because we’re supposed to. But doing that can boost your confidence and make you feel like a different person. You get to access and highlight different parts of your personality based on how you’re dressing and what your makeup is like. I think life is really a game of dress-up in a lot of ways. Fashion and beauty are self-expression. It should be playful and fun.

Whether she really has 56 tattoos: “I think tattoos are a beautiful form of adornment, just like makeup or jewelry. It’s funny because I don’t even know how many I have. [laughs] I hardly see them anymore because I am so used to them. There are some I like more than others. I have gotten a few removed, but I plan on getting more tattoos. Once you’re into it, it’s hard to stop.

[From InStyle]

I didn’t wear perfume very often during the pandemic, although I’ve been trying to remember to put some on at least once a week. Honestly though, once I got into the rhythm of lockdown/pandemic stuff, my whole routine became even more simplified – I really was just showering, slapping on some lotion and lip balm and that’s it, no deodorant, no perfume and I was lucky if I even remembered to brush my hair every now and then. Then again, I’m not a “spend an hour to get ready, put on makeup and listen to music” kind of person anyway. I know a lot of women are, though, and Zoe’s right, it is a form of self-care.


Photos courtesy of YSL Beauty and YSL.

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66 Responses to “Zoe Kravitz still wore perfume during the pandemic, even when she was at home”

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  1. Barbie1 says:

    So very pretty. Her thinness has been bothering me for some time. Hoping she is healthy.

    • Bethany says:

      But her mother has always, naturally, been very thin. At least from what I’ve seen for YEARS.

  2. Eve says:

    What a f*cking amazing bone structure.

    • Ella says:

      She’s definitely had some worn done. It’s really sad to see.

      • Eve says:


        I don’t know…I honestly think that’s the result of being the daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        Agree with Eve. Zoe is in the Genetic Lottery Winners club.

        @Lightpurple – I didn’t know her grandmother was Roxie Roker aka Helen Willis. See it now after looking.

    • Lightpurple says:

      Her cheekbones and jawline remind me of her grandmother Roxie Roker.

  3. Robyn says:

    Interesting! I wear perfume each day. It’s part of my morning routine. Is it common to only wear it when you go out?

    • Maria says:

      I can’t speak for others but I know with my mother and others her age it was a thing you only wore on special occasions.
      Not me, life is too short in my opinion! Now she wears it daily like me!

    • Watcher says:

      I reach for perfume at home too, when I need a little pick me up. It’s a mood lifter.

    • Snappyfish says:

      I always wear my perfume & I’m always asked what it is (I rarely tell) it’s something I do for myself. She is so very lovely. I’m not sure why I feel protective of her but I do.

    • Venus says:

      I wear it every day, too. But my mother only wore it when going out in the evening; my sister rarely wears it. I’m more surprised that Zoe bothered to wear makeup all through the pandemic.

    • Eleonor says:

      Same here.
      I have my “job” parfum which is very strong and lasts all day, it’s Jean Paul Gauthier the classic one, the one with the woman shaped body bottle. I don’t know why but for me it’s a real “kicka@!” thing to have on me.
      And I have MY parfum, the one I wear when I don’t work, or when I go out. and I really love it, I think it represent my personality better.

  4. Maria says:

    She is so elegant.
    I love perfume and wear it to bed, and everywhere else. The masks make me feel less guilty, lol. Also if I smell too strong it’s ample excuse for people to stay away which satisfies the hermit in me.

    The original Opium from the 1970’s is a smokey spicey incense bomb. Black Opium is a blend of coffee, vanilla, and flowers. I love both!
    Right now I’ve been leaning into lighter cleaner scents too. though, like Kaiser – I love Meghan’s favorite Jo Malones: Wild Bluebell, and Wood Sage and Sea Salt.
    I knew I loved Meghan when she said she loved fragrance so much that if she forgot to put it on she’d turn around and go right back home to do so, lol.

    • SilverPoodle says:

      I am the same. I feel naked with out perfume. I love pretty much all the Chanel’s, used to have Opium back in the day (pretty strong), loving Gucci Guilty right now. And, I really like JLo’s Live perfume.

      • Maria says:

        I have a huge Chanel scent collection, original Coco is my favorite. I love JLo Live! There are some great celebrity perfumes- I like Britney Spears Fantasy and Midnight Fantasy, Jessica Simpson Fancy, Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker.
        I got attached to the MFK Baccarat Rouge 540 bandwagon recently, haha.

      • L84Tea says:

        I’m currently obsessed with Dior’s Blooming Bouquet. You’d think it would be gross flowery, but it’s actually really light. And in the summer time I love Bobby Brown’s “Beach”.

      • Snappyfish says:

        @Maria I was never a big fan of the standard Chanel’s but at the boutique in NYC I discovered Boy. It’s divine. I have a signiture scent but every now & then I will wear Boy. It’s elegant & sweet & their love story is achingly lovely

      • Maria says:

        Oooh yes! My favorites of the Exclusifs are Gardenia and La Pausa (super beautiful chilly iris)!

      • B says:

        Me too…I love Coco Chanel Madamoiselle for nights/occasions and Kai for the daily, it is SO light and fresh and “smells like like Hawaii,” I often get compliments on it…it’s nice how the little things can be so uplifting ;).

    • superashes says:

      Shout out for wood sage and sea salt!

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      Oh, man- I LOVED Opium- until a couple bad years with asthma. Couldn’t wear anything without it flaring up. I’ve always loved those spice laden perfumes (Opium, Shalimar, Addict) & am going to give it another go now that I’m better.

    • Eleonor says:

      For my job I wear Classic of Jean Paul Gauthier. It’s sooo strong, and lasts all day.

      MY scent is Insolence by Guerlain, it’s strong and delicate, and I feel it’s more closer to who I am.
      Sometimes I wear Idylle by Guerlain, but I have to bee in the right mood.

      • Maria says:

        Oooh I LOVE Insolence, I prefer the EDP just because it has more powdery violet-candy goodness but both are gorgeous!
        (Also I love your typo of “bee” considering it’s Guerlain and their history of the Napoleonic bee bottle/bee activism. 😊)

      • Eleonor says:

        The bee typo was a mistake, but a cute one.
        I prefer the edt because I find it ligher.
        I was so sad when Guerlain changed the bee bottle of Insolence 🙁 I tried the one with the Angelina collaboration, but I didn’t like it. I gifted my mum the bergamotto onem which she loves it 🙂

  5. Rachel Phelpz says:

    Anyone know what lipstick color that is? (In the photo where she’s holding the skinny lipstick tube like a cigarette).

    • HeatherC says:

      I went on the YSL website. The product is The Slim Velvet Radical Matte Lipstick. I’m torn between the shades Radical Chili or Fatal Carmin for the shade. Arm swatches has me thinking Fatal Carmin but on the lips has me leaning Radical Chili.

      • Watcher says:

        Agree that’s the brand/product – but I think it could be shade 302 Brown No Way Back too. Kind of hard to tell but it looks on my computer like she’s wearing a deep mauve shade which doesn’t seem to really align with any of the shade range.

      • Maria says:

        Correcting myself from below (although the shades are similar to what she wears) it *is* the Slim Velvet Radical, my money is on 302 Brown No Way Back as well.

    • Maria says:

      Looks like it might be the YSL Rouge Pur Couture the Slim Matte in Nude Antonym. But Ambiguous Beige and Nu Incongru look similar.

      • HeatherC says:

        I am so bad at picking shades!

      • Maria says:

        LOL I’ve bought so many lipsticks that were basically my own lip shade because either the monitor color was off or the ads were. Or I just had no concept of my natural lip shade. The Temptalia website’s swatches/side-by-side comparisons really help!!

  6. Lila says:

    Perfume at home is the best. No having to parse if the notes are office appropriate or how many sprays works.

  7. L84Tea says:

    I started working from home permanently a few months ago, and I find myself reaching for sprays and perfumes quite often, even thought I am just toiling away on a computer in my home office. One thing I don’t want to fall in the trap of is living in my pajamas and never doing anything nice for myself. So even working from home, I still make a point to put actual clothes on everyday (maybe it’s just yoga pants & a tshirt but still better than pj’s) and spray something nice on, whether an actual perfume or just Bath & Body Works stuff. It really does make me feel better.

  8. Katie says:

    This discussion inspired me to light a candle! I missed getting dolled up to go out myself, but its having a kid that me in well before the pandemic. 🙂

  9. pamspam says:

    “I remembered how much I love getting ready to go out — doing your makeup, listening to music, drinking a glass of wine — and it was kind of taken away from us. It’s been fun being able to get back into the world and enjoy that process again.” I’m so not there yet. I’ve just started being ok with dining at a restaurant if they have outdoor seating. Otherwise, it’s still pretty much just me and my apartment haha.

    • L84Tea says:

      The grocery store and my son’s soccer games are about as exciting as it gets these days for me. I still don’t feel quite ready to go to restaurants or heavy shopping areas. But I also live in Florida with a bunch of idiots whose only concern is “muh freedoms!”

      • Sudie says:

        Hahah! Same for me in Georgia, although we’ve come a long way and elected two fabulous Dem senators, there are still so many who are only concerned with “muh freedoms”. That’s why after being vaccinated, I still wear a mask when at the grocery store, any bit of shopping (which is not much) and a few restaurants outside.

  10. Angie says:

    I work in the beauty industry and when looking at profits/losses for the past 18 months lips lost and fragrance (and skincare) won. Not surprising because I think a lot of people use it as part of their routine.

  11. Lindsey Gregory says:

    For the first few months of the pandemic I was struggling. But even now, I still wear perfume. I like to smell me too. I wear my CLASSIC TO ME SJP Lovely. But also Prada Amber or YSL Libre when the mood strikes.

  12. ME says:

    I bought a new bottle of Gucci perfume righhhhtttt before the pandemic started. It sat on my dresser for a while not being used. Then I started spraying it in my room and closet…it reminded me of the good old days when I left the house lol.

  13. Calypso says:

    I like perfume and makeup but it also consistently blows my mind that we use these unregulated, potentially harmful products on our bodies in large amounts.

    Please, create a regulating authority to protect our safety! It’s dangerous!

    Anyways I use Dior Blooming Bouquet, which is a nice light floral scent, but it doesn’t last long so if there are other suggestions I’d love to hear some!

    • Maria says:

      You might like Versace Bright Crystal, Gucci Envy Me, or Dior Addict Eau Fraîche!

    • L84Tea says:

      I use the same! I love it so much because the scent is so light, but you are 100% correct. The staying power sucks. Once I use up the bottle I will probably not re-buy because of that. But when first applied, yeah it’s awesome.

    • likethedirection says:

      I can’t speak to the makeup industry, but the perfume industry is *incredibly* highly regulated. Perfumers are constantly having to reformulate their creations due to new regulations. Not to mention which, there is no “huge” amount where perfume is concerned, so the only real concern there would be any component that irritates the skin which — again — would be highly regulated. The few perfumes that do contain such ingredients are clearly labeled as not to be sprayed directly onto the skin.

  14. Miranda says:

    I struggle with anxiety and depression, and it’s a little embarrassing to admit this, but during a couple of my worst “episodes”, it’s been severe enough that I didn’t leave the house and couldn’t even bring myself to shower for a couple of weeks. I’m very fortunate to have a close friend who is a hairstylist with his own history of depression, who came over to check on me (and wash/brush out my matted hair). He gave me the great advice to get into the habit of spritzing on some perfume first thing in the morning, because you’ll feel silly if you’re wearing perfume with ratty hair and sloppy pajamas, and it’ll motivate you to make an effort towards your appearance and mood. It may sound simplistic, but it’s actually worked for me. During lockdown, I knew my mental state would be affected, so I kinda took it up a notch and played “supermodels” with my fiancé’s daughter, putting on makeup and our fanciest dresses and using the hall as our “runway”. They’re just little things that made me feel somewhat normal and feminine again.

    • EveV says:

      Thank you for sharing that, it helps me and I’m sure others, not feel alone. I’m glad you seem to be doing better. I try to do the little things that help me too. Things are better these days, and hopefully stays that way for a while, but….

    • Maria says:

      Thank you for that tip. I’ve had times like that too – no shame!

  15. Little Red says:

    Never stopped wearing lipstick for all Zoom meetings and wearing perfume everyday. I own too much of both to stop wearing just because I’m not going out in public.

  16. Seraphina says:

    I recall going out for dinner after being months and home – I recall how good it felt to smell the perfume on me. Yes, I agree with her whole heartedly. Self care and we all need it – how ever we may find it.

  17. Misskitten says:

    I would give my firstborn for that jaw line

  18. tealily says:

    I’m surprised by how many people wear perfume! I like scent, but I really don’t ever wear it. Very, very occasionally if it’s a fancy outing. I think of it as an older generational thing. I’d never wear it to work… too afraid to trigger someone’s asthma or something. I guess I also just never found a scent I like enough to wear all day everyday!

  19. Bella says:

    I love, love perfume, but very light citrus and fruity scents. I have been back to work since May 2020, and get dressed, put makeup on and perfume every day.

  20. jferber says:

    She is clearly the most beautiful woman in the world.

  21. MarcelMarcel says:

    I decided to treat myself to Paulas Choice products this year when we were in lockdown again. (I’m from Sydney). My friend gave me some at Christmas and I’ve realised how much good quality skincare makes me good about myself. I’ve also been wearing perfumes too. I’ve been getting into solid perfumes or roll on ones made essential oils. And better haircare products from SheaMoisture.
    My skincare and haircare routine became more complicated. Although my makeup routine is simpler I still probably spend like a half hour or so in the bathroom. I’m like Zoe and have fun listening to music for a hour while I play around on my face. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. Sometimes I feel like a diva. 🤣

  22. Cait says:

    I always thought she benefited from being light skinned that’s it . Zoe is plain compared to both her parents

  23. MW says:

    I envy those that can wear perfume! Wearing strong scents on my body, (or those near me) sets off my allergies and I end up gasping and sneezing. I love light, crisp and not-too sweet florals but in tiny doses. Maybe one day I can wear it again….

  24. Jenn says:

    I actually wore perfume every day, yeah! I remember I went into full lockdown several days before everyone else in my county in California, actually. I used perfume *kinda* as a way to make sure my nose worked every morning, but I also used perfume to feel “dressed” every day. I loved smelling my own wrist throughout the day and feeling less alone. (Prior to Covid I was always home because of disability… though I definitely understand the type of grief other people, who are used to leaving their homes, felt. Today I am aspiring for “luxe” pajamas, since I’m sick all the time but I want to look super cool when I answer my door.)

    Prior to Covid, I always wore “Not a Perfume” by Juliette Has A Gun to major industry conferences. I can’t wear Glossier You because florals smell bad/powdery on me for some reason, but “Not A Perfume” is cool because there are, supposedly, no allergenic notes. Recommended!

    • BountyHunter says:

      Juliette Has a Gun is my favorite brand! Lady Vengeance is my favorite scent of theirs.

  25. Mina_Esq says:

    I wear perfume every day too. I do roll-on version when I’m just around the house and spray when I am leaving the house. It just helps me feel pulled together. This is a thing, I believe.

  26. Savu says:

    I have my basic jewelry I wear every day – my wedding/engagement rings, my earrings (they never come out), and my Pandora bracelet. Plus the perfume. Even if I never leave my house that day, that’s what I’m wearing. It makes me feel like myself.

    The pandemic has allowed me to not wear makeup every day, but I’m still getting used to my naked face. It’s been an eye-opener about how much twisted nonsense I have in my head about how I look. It’s just a face! And I know I look great! I keep thinking about Future Me, who will know I wasted SO MUCH TIME on my insecurities when I looked awesome.

  27. Lex says:

    Perfume really started to irritate me a few years back so I got rid of most of mine. Sitting in an office with someone wearing perfume is nauseating to me. Dunno why that started happening.. I used to be fine 🙁

    I can deal with small amounts in well ventilated spaces but when someone is doused in a closed space I want to puke and I get a really intense headache.

    I read that perfumes can be an endocrine interrupter? I dont know if that’s true…