Leighton Meester is curled up on a plush velvet sofa in Vera Wang’s Park Avenue apartment. Sporting a black Vera Wang corset top, skinny jeans and Roger Vivier heels, the actress and face of Wang’s new fruity-floral fragrance, Lovestruck Eau de Parfum, $80, is clearly feeling at ease. There’s a bohemian quality to Meester’s manner that seems far away from Blair Waldorf, the Upper East Side princess she plays on the CW show Gossip Girl. And that’s perhaps what compelled her to be a modern-day Juliet waiting for her leather-clad Romeo in the Lovestruck campaign. Of the pink guava and tuberose scent, she says, “It’s very fun, romantic and a little quirky—a lot like me.” A self-described “floral girl,” Meester, 25, has long loved scent, stemming from walks through her father’s gardenia-filled garden in Florida. “Scent is the most important sense as far as memories and feelings,” she says. “I love smelling good, but I don’t like being overpowered. I like it to evoke a feeling—to feel, in this case, very sexy.”
The campaign is the latest in a string of projects Meester has on the go. She starred with Gwyneth Paltrow in the drama Country Strong and is paired with Hugh Laurie in the romantic comedy The Oranges. Next June she will star in the comedy I Hate You, Dad alongside Adam Sandler.
Though her fashion sense has been influenced by her chic Gossip Girl character (she cites designers Louis Vuitton and Missoni as faves), her beauty icons include Julianne Moore and Cate Blanchett—women known as much for their acting chops as their looks. Off-camera, Meester favours a natural approach to beauty: “I feel the more you get used to your face without makeup, the more you accept it for what it is.”