The latest installment of Giorgio Armani’s blockbuster fragrance is here: meet Sì Passione. The juice is a little spicier, the bottle a bit flashier, but the face, Cate Blanchett, remains the same (don’t mess with perfection, we say).

On a recent stopover in Sydney to fete the new fragrance, the Oscar-winning actress sat down with ELLE to chat about the scent, plus her excitement around Ocean’s 8

Tell us about Sì Passione…

“It’s yet another extension of the Sì story that probably speaks to Mr Armani’s restlessness, like he’s never content to just make one extraordinary fragrance and he always expands it to several more [laughs]. But just on an appealing aesthetic level, I love the bottle because it also speaks to his long love of Asian aesthetics with the beautiful red lacquer. As far as the scent, it’s an extension of the blackcurrant but what makes it really special is, I think, the pink pepper.”

Do you have a favourite version of Sì?…

“I think it’s probably Intense. I just like the way it develops on me. It’s one of those scents that during the day is really wonderful but it becomes particularly sensual in the evening.”

Armani says that Sì is his tribute to “modern femininity, an irresistible combination of grace, strength and independent spirit”, and that feels even more relevant today than it did five years ago. How does that message resonate with you now?…

“When Mr Armani approached me, of course I was unbelievably flattered and daunted at the fact that he thought that I could embody all these qualities. What an incredible vote of confidence! But I was so excited by just the positive nature of having a perfume called ‘Yes!’ and putting it on every morning as a woman. We’ve been really aware of what we’ve been saying ‘No’ to at the moment and so it really is such a game-changer when you start to say ‘Yes’. Often you need to say “No” to things to work out what you want, but then saying ‘Yes’ is just so full of opportunity.”

You’ve said “No” to social media, which is a bold move these days. Why did you make that choice?…

“I’d like to say it’s because of some sort of higher purpose but I think I’m just cognisant of how much time it would take up and how addictive it is. As an actor, and also as a human being, the idea of worrying about whether people like or dislike you 24/7 would be a death knell for me. As an actress you have to have a healthy lack of consequence, you have to not worry how something is going to be perceived because if you start to overthink, things can become so conscious. I wouldn’t know how to even start to perform—I’d get terrible, daily stage fright. And the other thing is social media is so pervasive that even if you don’t engage, you end up getting the ‘top trending themes’ and ‘content’ anyway without having to deeply participate in it.”

‘Ocean’s 8’ is coming out soon, which I’m looking forward to as it has such a strong female cast. What was that dynamic like on set?…

“It was extraordinary. It was really extraordinary. I’ve had it on stage when you know… a strong female contingent. But I’ve never had that strong female contingent in a film and it was just… heaven. I love them all so much, and they’re just so different in their approach. Their work is so different, but we laughed so much and there was a real camaraderie. It’s one of those things where I can’t wait for it come out, selfishly, so I can go on the press tour with them and reunite with everyone.” [Source]

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