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Back to Black, chronicling the complicated life of once-in-a-generation talent Amy Winehouse, is released in UK cinemas today.

Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, the biopic delves into the singer-songwriter's journey to fame, covering the beginning of her musical career as a North London jazz artist, her stratospheric rise and her struggles with addiction.

Marisa Abela in black halter dress at Back to Black premiere© Getty
The actress looked elegant in Fendi at the film's premiere

No doubt a daunting prospect for rising star Marisa Abela, known for previous roles in Barbie, COBRA and Rogue Agent, who was tasked with playing the revered British icon.

But how exactly did she get into the spirit of Amy? Many Hollywood stars favour dogged method acting to get them ready for a part, but Marisa's technique was actually a little offbeat.

Beauty obsessives can fully appreciate that an evocative scent possesses the power to transport. And in a recent appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show, the 27-year-old revealed that she uses perfume to get into character, including for Back to Black.

"I like to use perfumes because they're a sensory thing that make me feel," the actress explained. "I know my smell and my detergent and my perfume, so when I'm playing someone else I like to use a different smell. I had an 'Amy perfume' and then I'd get home and wash it off. It changes the way that other people interact with you too."

MORE: The 10 most luxurious perfumes to gift

READ: Can a perfume make you fall in love?

Marisa Abela in black halter dress at Back to Black premiere© Getty
Marisa recently revealed that she uses scent to get into character

The scent in question? A blend of strong oud and Thierry Mugler's Alien. Housed in a mysterious, amethyst-inspired bottle, the perfume has managed to cultivate a loyal fanbase and establish itself as a bona fide icon since its 2005 release. 

Instantly recognisable, Alien has been tweaked and tinkered with on multiple occasions, including the new, splashier Hypersense version (lovely for a balmy, summer evening), but seemingly nothing will compare to the original when it comes to inducing major noughties nostalgia.