Natalie Wood

Chapter I


It all started when five-year-old Natasha Nikolaevna Gurdin (née Zacharenko), the daughter of Russian immigrants, first stepped in front of a movie camera in 1943. The film was Happy Land, the director was Irving Pichel, and the rest was history. Hollywood re-christened her Natalie Wood, and she became a beloved child star in classics like Miracle on 34th Street. In 1946, Natalie appeared in the comedy The Bride Wore Boots, playing the daughter of screen legend Barbara Stanwyck. Stanwyck’s signature scent was gardenia—sumptuous, floral, yet distinctively sexy—it was considered the most exotic fragrance in the world.

Barbara sent her young costar a bottle of gardenia perfume as a gift, and when Natalie was old enough to wear it, she adopted gardenia as her signature scent as well. When others complimented her on the fragrance, Natalie remembered Barbara’s generosity and sent them a bottle. The teenage Natalie Wood blossomed into a glamorous starlet, and was nominated for an Oscar at age sixteen for her 1955 role opposite James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. Successfully maneuvering the near-impossible transition from child to adult on screen, Natalie was ready to take Hollywood by storm.
Chapter II


By age twenty-three, Natalie Wood was one of the biggest movie stars in the world. With her iconic performances in Splendor in the Grass and West Side Story in 1961, Natalie had become an acclaimed actress, a breathtaking beauty, and a sophisticated sex symbol all in one. She outgrew the gardenia perfume, and began ordering pure gardenia oil from Egypt, “drenching herself” in it, as a 1963 Life magazine story reported. Those who knew her associated Natalie with the scent of gardenias—her photographer noted that when she walked into a room, “it changed color” due to her charisma and her “delicious” gardenia fragrance.

After her groundbreaking 1969 film Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Natalie married Richard Gregson and gave birth to a daughter, Natasha. Motherhood now took center stage for the actress. Soon she would also have the marriage she always dreamed of, as Natalie divorced Gregson and re-married her first husband and the love of her life, actor Robert Wagner. When daughter Courtney was born, the Wagners settled into domestic life. In the late 1970s, Natalie rekindled her acting career with a Golden Globe-winning performance in From Here to Eternity, among other roles, before her untimely death in 1981.
Chapter III


For Natalie’s daughters, Natasha Gregson Wagner and Courtney Wagner, their mother’s gardenia scent played a key role in keeping her memory alive. “Marcel Proust wrote that pure memory isn’t based on recall, but rather involuntary memory that’s triggered by sensory experiences like smell,” Natasha has observed. “A waft of gardenia could bring me back to private moments with my mom. Her laugh. Her hugs. Her effervescence. Her cozy nightgowns. Her fragrance made me feel close to her.”

Natasha grew up to be a successful actress in her own right, carving out a unique career in independent film and television. After her marriage to actor Barry Watson and the birth of their daughter, Clover, Natasha was ignited by a passion to honor her mother’s legacy and inspire other generations of mothers and daughters.

In 2015, Natasha and Courtney turned their memories into the ultimate tribute with “Natalie” the fragrance, a fresh, contemporary perfume inspired by the natural gardenia scent their mother wore her entire life. Expertly crafted by master perfumer Claude Dir at the house of Mane using a base of pure distilled essential oils and all natural ingredients, “Natalie” introduces new elements like freesia, orange flower, and vanilla into the original gardenia. Just as Natalie passed on Barbara Stanwyck’s gift of gardenia perfume, Natalie’s daughters have given a new generation a fragrance that evokes classic glamour with a modern twist.
Chapter IV


Natalie Wood gave the world more than just her films—her beauty, artistry, talent, and compassion still live on. Today, Natasha and Courtney carry on their mother’s legacy with “Natalie” the fragrance, and by partnering with CoachArt, an organization that teaches art and athletics to chronically ill children. The two most important causes to Natalie were children and the arts: she served as a spokesperson for the National Children’s Day Council, worked to promote child safety, donated a collection of ancient art to UCLA, and established a performing arts endowment for college students. In her honor, a portion of all proceeds from the fragrance will be donated to CoachArt.

Now “Natalie” the fragrance is no longer limited to the body, as we introduce “Natalie” the candle. This richly-scented candle will immerse the senses, transforming any living or working space into a sanctuary of Natalie’s legendary gardenia allure. On October 11, 2016, the new book Natalie Wood: Reflections on a Legendary Life by Manoah Bowman with Natasha Gregson Wagner will accompany the fragrance and the candle as a timeless celebration of Natalie Wood’s memory.