Lana Del Rey was recently interviewed by Vanity Fair about the beauty-blogger phenomenon, her Gucci perfume campaign and what her biggest form of self-care is.
Here is a snippet from the interview:
Vanity Fair: The title of your new album brings to mind a certain classic vision of America. What was your headspace like for this record?
Lana Del Rey: It was weird how that actual title came to me. I was riffing over a couple of chords that Jack [Antonoff] was playing for the title track, which ended up being called “Norman Fucking Rockwell.” It was kind of an exclamation mark: so this is the American dream, right now. This is where we’re at—Norman fucking Rockwell. We’re going to go to Mars, and [Donald] Trump is president, all right. Me and Jack, we just joke around constantly about all the random headlines we might see that week, so it’s a slight cultural reference. But it’s not a cynical thing, really. To me, it’s hopeful, to see everything as a little bit funnier. The chaos of the culture is interesting, and I’m hopeful that there’s room for there to be some movement and excitement within it.
There’s a line in “Video Games” about “[putting] his favorite perfume on”—a reminder that scent is as much a public performance as a private gesture. Do you have a relationship to it?
I love fragrance. I was always hesitant about being a crossover person, like a singer-slash-whatever. But if I had had less reservations, I [might have created] my own fragrance before I became the face of one. I didn’t want to do it in a big way—just for my own fans to enjoy. But I really do like fragrance. Being in L.A., you can tell the change of seasons depending on what flowers you can smell in the air. And I like the pink pepper and the peach [in Gucci Guilty]—very light, but a little spicy, which I think makes it easier to wear every day. In that way, it kind of reminds me of something I would have liked when I was a little bit younger. When I was in middle school, me and [my] cousins would go down to Bath & Body Works and get an apple perfume, with one note, or a vanilla roller. It was thrilling. I still like a one-note perfume. Even if I’m putting on a Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion, I like the smell of a little coconut. Or a rosewater spray.
Was there chemistry between you and Jared Leto, as subjects in this strange fantasy world in the Gucci campaign?
We work pretty differently. He’s been acting for so long that it’s very easy for him to just come in and off the set, but I like to hang out with the crew and Alessandro and see if they were shooting an ostrich [laughs]. So no, I didn’t get to pretend that I was with my old crush from My So-Called Life—although I did have one moment where we were supposed to be slow-dancing in the laundromat. I freaked out because I forgot how to do that for some reason. He was really nice and taught me how to dance again, so that was our most couple-ish moment.
The old-school hair salon appears in so many classic movie scenes. Did it bring up certain associations for you?
I spent years putting my hair into wet sets, so I’ve sat under those giant hoods myself. I’m sure I loved them at one point, but I just hate them now! I’d put my hair into rollers, dry them into curls, and then brush them out, so it was like a big Texas triangle. I would do that like every four days, if I was playing shows or for little appearances. Now I put it into braids and hope for the best!