Yara Shahidi Is All Grown Up — Meet The New Face Of Jean Paul Gaultier’s “Divine” Fragrance

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Yara Shahidi Is All Grown Up — Meet The New Face Of Jean Paul Gaultier’s “Divine” Fragrance

The alignment between actress, activist and Harvard graduate, Yara Shahidi and Jean Paul Gaultier is a natural one. Its newest fragrance, Gaultier Divine, is a celebration of divinity of womanhood and the right for every woman to feel beautiful, unique and proud of her differences. There’s no better representation of those values. 

“This idea of the divine feminine really just being synonymous with authenticity and being grounded in who you are,” the Grown-ish actress tells ESSENCE. “And so this was less about pushing this idea of this is how divine femininity is manifested, but really in selecting people that embody what it is to embrace your different identities, to embrace that you are different, to embrace that you’re unique in a particular way.”

The fragrance story enters a new chapter of bold femininity for Shahidi, who since a teen, has always shown wisdom, charisma and maturity of someone more than twice her age. It’s one of the reasons we fangirl for her.

Yara Shahidi Is All Grown Up — Meet The New Face Of Jean Paul Gaultier’s “Divine” Fragrance

As she describes it, Gaultier Divine is “beach-side, floral, and refreshing.” At the intersection of  floral and gourmand, there’s a hint of saltiness that brings a sense of grandeur with fleur de lys that peaks through — all thanks to the brainchild of perfumer Quentin Bisch. In addition to being vegan, cruelty-free, and made from 90% natural origin ingredients, the new scent is perfectly layered. The combination of white flowers merge to bring out a delicious creamy sweetness that lingers after you’ve left the room, in the best possible way. Simply put, it truly is divine divine.

The fragrance launch is the perfect way to celebrate Shahidi’s personal new year, who turns 24 on February 10th. Dubbing 24 her “trust your gut” era, along with this, she’s looking forward to the magic of new beginnings. “During 23, I tried to intentionally test my boundaries of, okay, what are things that I’ve held onto just from a protective place, and what are things that actually embody who I am? And it was nice to constantly just step outside of myself for a second and be open to new experiences,” she shares.

She continues, “I feel like that was really necessary. But I also think in the same hand, I needed that year to then say, okay, this is about finding the equilibrium because I also, in those experiences realized so much of how I move isn’t arbitrary, and it does come from this place of honoring who I am and honoring how I move. And so now I think, yeah, it is about finding that balance of continuing to try new things, but never feeling bad about my basic instinct and what that’s telling me to do.”

There’s no better time for the child star turned grown woman to embark on her next chapter and trust her gut on what’s next. Season 6 of Grown-ish will be the final season of the popular Black-ish spinoff — marking not just an ending to the series, but the end of Zoey Johnson, a character we all came to know, love and see grow up nearly 10 years ago when the show premiered on September 24, 2014. At the time of our interview, Shahidi was about to walk into filming the last episode. “It’s crazy to say,” she shares. “I sit in such gratitude to have such a good six years of storytelling with that.”

Yara Shahidi Is All Grown Up — Meet The New Face Of Jean Paul Gaultier’s “Divine” Fragrance

As for what’s next, the future is still yet to be determined. “I think this has been the first year for me where it feels like everything’s on the table in a really exciting way. I’ve been so scheduled because of school and because of being on a TV show, I kind of knew the movements my year would have before we even started. Whereas this is the first time where I’m walking like, oh, you’re saying I could do anything right now?” One thing is for certain however, she wants to add “podcaster” to her already incredible list of accolades.

“I’ve always been very passionate as a podcast listener, and as somebody that listened to 100,000 minutes of NPR one year, I’m really excited to enter the podcast space myself,” she reveals.

She’s set the stage for her next move (no pun intended) — already adding TED Talk speaker to her recent list of accomplishments. In the released talk, “Let Curiosity Lead,” Shahidi spoke about the power of creativity and how to harness it. 

“As much as I was talking about curiosity. I think the act of thinking about it and being like, well, I know one’s been a big deal in my life, but how would I say it’s manifested? What examples would I give in terms of how it showed up? I think it was a really fun time to realize in my life all the things that were truly connected to curiosity and how it’s been such a motivator for me.”

Gaultier Divine is currently available online and will be in stores on February 1.

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