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Lily James loves London smell

Lily James loves London smell

Lily James loves the smell of "damp London".

The former 'Downton Abbey' actress - who is dating ex-'Doctor Who' star Matt Smith - is convinced her home city has a distinctive smell when it rains.

Asked her favourite scents, she said: "A wood fire. I also love the smell of damp London."

Lily adores different perfumes and adopts a new scent for every role she plays.

She shared: "Scent is so evocative; I wear a different one for every character I play."

But she has her strongest connection to a fragrance her mother always wears.

Asked her strongest scent connection, she said: "My mom's perfume, First [by Van Cleef & Arpels]. The smell and shape of the bottle are so vivid in my memory."

The 27-year-old beauty is usually happy to share her beauty products with Matt, but is thankful he doesn't want to use her favourite sunscreen.

She said: "Kate Somerville does this amazing sun cream that's shimmery [Body Glow Sunscreen]. I like that because my boyfriend can't use it--usually he just takes my expensive sunscreen and pours it all over his body. 'Hello, not that one!' "

Lily had to don uncomfortable corsets when she played Lady Rose Aldridge in 'Downton Abbey' and quickly learned to remove the restrictive garment when she had a break.

She told Allure: "Loosen up when you're eating, otherwise it's a whole world of pain."

But the 'Cinderella' star is happy to inflict other pain on herself in the sake of beauty.

Sharing her beauty tips, she said: "Pinch and tap your cheeks to rouge them."

And Lily experienced a "revelation" when she was advised to grow her eyebrows.

She said: "My eyebrows used to be one hair thick, and Rufus Norris, the director of the National Theatre in London, told me to grow them out. It was a revelation."