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Natasha Gregson Wagner on Her Iconic Mother, Natalie Wood: 'I Will Always Remember Her Smell'

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Natalie Wood’s daughter Natasha Gregson Wagner is opening up about the private side of the beloved mother she lost in a tragic boating accident. Subscribe now for the exclusive untold story, only in PEOPLE.

Thirty-five years after her mother died, it’s her mother’s lingering scent of gardenia that she remembers. “My mother always wore Jungle Gardenia,” says Natalie Wood’s daughter Natasha Gregson Wagner, who has created a new fragrance in honor of her late mother.

“After Barbara Stanwyck gifted my mother a bottle of Jungle Gardenia while filming The Bride Wore Boots, she wore the fragrance the rest of her life, gifting it to friends and family whenever they complimented her,” says Natasha, 45, the daughter of Wood and her second husband, Richard Gregson. “My sister [Courtney Wagner] and I always knew when our mom was home because we could smell her.”

Natalie Wood with daughter Natasha Gregson Wagner
Everett

Natasha, who is mom to daughter Clover, 3, and two stepsons with her husband, Barry Watson, shares intimate memories of her movie-star mom in this week’s issue of PEOPLE. “I want not just for my daughter but also for generations to come, to know my mom’s legacy and her work and her beauty,” she says, “and what she was like as a mom.”

For much more of Natalie Wood’s untold story, including an interview with Robert Wagner and never-before-seen family photos, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE

Natalie Wood on the cover of this week’s PEOPLE magazine

At their home in Beverly Hills, the star could make jeans and a caftan look glamorous.

“She definitely was not a minimalist,” says Natasha with a laugh. “And she was not afraid of a curling iron.”

Now, she hopes to introduce a new generation to the mom she adored, beginning with a fresh take on her classic perfume.

“My younger sister [Courtney] and I have always spoken about her smell,” says Natasha. “It was something that was so comforting and nurturing for us. So we thought, why not create a fragrance with a modern twist? One that was a tribute to her.”