Angelina Jolie has revealed that her doting children go out of their way to make her feel special. Talking exclusively to HELLO! about the importance of self-care as the new muse of Mon Guerlain's Eau de Parfum Intense, the actress discusses how most women often don't make time for themselves or feel guilty when they do. But she says her six children - Maddox, 18, Pax, 15, Zahara, 14, Shiloh, 13, and Vivienne and Knox, 11 know how to make her feel special and ensure that special days like Mother's Day are celebrated to the fullest.
"On Mother's Day my children make me breakfast and pick me flowers – they treat me like a lady," she revealed. "When I do take time for myself, I rediscover that softness I speak of... I also realise I have more fight and resilience in me than I knew. But at my core I'm soft and vulnerable - it's not my dream just to be strong. I want to be allowed to be soft and I don’t want to be harmed or feel unsupported when I am."
Photographer: Andres Kudacki for Guerlain, Stylist: Alex White for Guerlain, Makeup: Toni G for Guerlain, Hair Stylist: Adam Campbell for Guerlain
HELLO! sat down with the actress and humanitarian while she was in Paris with her godmother, the British actress Jacqueline Bisset. The duo were in town for the launch of Mon Guerlain's Eau de Parfum Intense, which has notes of vanilla as the star ingredient. "It's wonderful to be back in Paris. It reminds me that I don't spend nearly enough time here," she said. "Sometimes we're somewhere in our lives and can't really imagine something different – we don't take ourselves out of a place. But when I'm in Paris, I feel like a different person – and I’m curious about that side of myself. It’s enlightening here."
Angelina's visit to the country is close to her heart – it was where she gave birth to her twins – also coincides with a press preview of the perfume's promotional film, shot by Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki at Angelina's new home in Cambodia.
Mon Guerlain Eau de Parfum Intense, £80 (50ml). Available at Selfridges.
"When I first started working with Guerlain in 2017, we spoke about how perfume commercials often capture a fantasy life – and we wanted to deliver something that was a little heightened but still real. The first Mon Guerlain film was shot at my home in France. For this new perfume, given its strength and our conversations around femininity, freedom and making bold choices, my new home in Cambodia seemed like the natural setting. My [Maddox Jolie-Pitt] Foundation has been based in Cambodia for 17 years and it has been a dream of mine to live in that part of the world. The film is set in the home that I’ve finally built there."
It certainly feels like a new life chapter for the mother of six. Her son Maddox, 18, recently started college in South Korea. Angelina says it has given her a new perspective: "When your children are little you feel more 'mommy'. When they are teenagers you start to remember yourself as a teenager. You see them going to punk clubs and you wonder why you can't go. I'm in this fun moment where I’m rediscovering myself."
Asked about values she teaches her children, Angelina replied: "Kindness – to others and themselves. It's important to be humble – know the freedoms you have and what you've been blessed with and make sure you help others. And always remember your place – we’re all human and very flawed. We're tiny pieces in a much bigger world. "As they grow up, I find my children are strong individuals but still open-minded. I try to lead by example and be kind and gracious, as my mother was – and loving and tolerant. But when there's a fight that needs to be had, get in there. We need to prepare the next generation because there’s so much happening in the world – they’re up against it. I'm working on a programme for children with the BBC. We're counting on our children so we must give them the right knowledge and support."
The new Eau De Parfum Intense is the fourth Mon Guerlain fragrance. "I like them all differently," she said when asked how this scent compares to the others. "I just had them all out in the hotel room and I tried to pick a favourite, but I couldn’t. It’s an embarrassment of riches to have these different versions; you don’t know which to wear for day or at night. The new one does seem stronger, though."
To read the full interview with Angelina Jolie, pick up the latest copy of HELLO!, out on Monday.