Hoda Kotb Gets Emotional as Iman Remembers Late David Bowie: 'The Only Thing We Have Is Memories'

Iman opens up about honoring her husband, David Bowie, through her new fragrance, five years after his death

hoda and iman on TODAY

Hoda Kotb was brought to tears when Iman opened up about the love she holds for her late husband David Bowie.

During Iman's Wednesday morning appearance on Today, the supermodel got candid about her marriage with the legendary musician.

"You put his cologne on you for years after he passed and I know a lot of women who nuzzle their nose into their departed husband's jackets to feel him. You actually wore his fragrance for a while," Kotb said to Iman during the interview.

The model went on to explain how her husband is the inspiration behind her new fragrance, Love Memoir, and shared a moving message about remembering him that made Kotb emotional.

"It's a tribute to love. What has happened last year is really unique. It's not just the individual but it's the universe. We've all been through it. So what I really wanted to create was a fragrance that had a bit of him, which is the vetiver, and I've only been wearing his fragrance for the past five years," Iman explained.

For more on PEOPLE's cover story with Iman and other top stories, listen below to our daily podcast on PEOPLE Every Day.

"It creates something that was a tribute to love. Eternal love, eternal devotion," she continued. "I think at the end of the day, at the end of our days, the only thing we have if we are lucky is our memories."

Kotb smiled at Iman and started to tear up as she spoke. Then the supermodel and activist said, "Don't cry!" Kotb replied, "It's beautiful."

iman and bowie cover

She added: "That's the thing that we will have and will sustain us after the person passes away."

Then Kotb wiped away her tears and emotionally grabbed Iman's hand. "I'm sorry, I don't even know what's happening!" the Today co-host said as she tried to compose herself.

Iman, a supermodel, activist and CARE global advocate just launched her first perfume, Love Memoir, exclusively available at HSN and hsn.com, as a tribute to her "epic romance" and "everlasting love" with rock legend Bowie who died in 2016 from liver cancer.

Opening up for the first time since his death in this week's PEOPLE cover story, Iman says that crafting the fragrance during the pandemic at the home they shared together in upstate New York, was not only cathartic for her, but helped her find true healing.

Kevin MAzur/Wireimage

"I found by creating this fragrance, remembering David and being in the house, it just somehow eased my grief," she shared. "And I came through it."

Now that he's gone, Iman told PEOPLE, "There are days that are harder than others but the memories are not all sad of why the person isn't here. The memories are now of how great it was."

She added: "Sometimes I have to remind myself that I had 26 years. So I have that to sustain me."

For more from Iman and David's love story, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.

When her daughter, Alexandria "Lexi" Jones, now 21, asked her about ever remarrying, Iman recalled that she said, "I will not."

"I still feel married. Someone a few years ago referred to David as my late husband and I said 'No, he's not my late husband. He's my husband.'"

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