So much Goop, so little time: We talked to Gwyneth Paltrow about being superwoman

Gwyneth Paltrow
Photography: Paltrow by Gregg Deguire/Getty
Gwyneth Paltrow
Photography by Gregg Deguire/Getty

Gwyneth Paltrow is weary. It’s New York Fashion Week Fall 2014, and she’s curled up on a sofa at the Trump SoHo, a fluffy blanket pulled comfortingly over her pencil-skirt-sheathed legs. “I feel like I am so busy right now that I am not even processing what I’m [interested in],” she says when asked what’s exciting her right now. “It’s just one thing to the next.”

There’s a lot going on: She’s just finished filming the action comedy Mortdecai in London, alongside Johnny Depp; is about to partner up with Blo Blow Dry Bar; is in the eye of a firestorm of scrutiny over Vanity Fair’s rumoured “takedown” story that never actually emerged; and is a few weeks from announcing via her lifestyle website, Goop, that she and husband Chris Martin are “consciously uncoupling.”

It’s fitting, then, that the concept behind Ma Vie (from $77, at Hugo Boss boutiques), for which Paltrow is the face, is the celebration of the time-out moments a busy, multi-tasking woman takes for herself during the day. The scent, a green-inflected floral stabilized by warm woods, sends its wearer literal reminders throughout the day to stop and smell the roses—or the Bolivian cactus blossom, in this case. A technology patented by parent company P&G Prestige Beauty encapsulates certain fragrance oils and releases them on contact with warmth and moisture. So the fresh, green top notes that would normally be long gone by 4 p.m. come rushing back if you warm up from running to catch a bus, wash your hands or cool off with a facial spritz. The pink floral freesia, jasmine and rosebud notes at the heart of the scent, and especially its base accord of cedarwood and amber, are larger molecules that remain on the skin longer.

As the new artistic director for Boss Womenswear, Jason Wu’s contribution to the scent was choosing the muted pink colour of the glass bottle—a peony-inspired shade similar to two delicate dresses in the mostly neutral fall collection. “There was a big debate about the shade of pink,” he says. “It couldn’t be too pearly, it couldn’t be too cute, it had to be sophisticated.” Paltrow called dibs on one of those blush dresses after the show, where she commanded paparazzi attention from the front row. “I didn’t have one review without her name in it,” says Wu. “You walk in and that’s the girl you want to look at.”

We do, and we also want to talk about her endlessly—Paltrow attracts as much negative as positive attention, and she knows it. “It makes me sad, because I think if somebody doesn’t know you and they’re talking about you, they’re really talking about themselves,” she says. “You’re just a screen, and they’re throwing up on it.” When the going gets tough, or tiring, Paltrow unwinds by taking a 20-minute soak with Epsom salts, and she does a cathartic “brain dump” every morning, writing down her thoughts and troubles on a piece of paper and burning it. Ever the domestic ideal, she talks about puttering in her California garden, tending her citrus and fig trees and collecting fresh eggs from her chickens. She’s just finished reading Naomi Wolf’s Vagina: A New Biography, but she would like to read more, to have an hour to herself each day to sit and think, read and write. “My idea of luxury is time,” she says. “I think it would benefit all my relationships if I had a little bit more time by myself.” Ultimately, though, she’s not complaining: “I accept every aspect of my life.”