When it comes to creating stylish scents, Michael Kors knows a thing or two. He created an eponymous women’s perfume in 2000 and, since then, has created numerous classics including ‘Island Michael Kors’ (which was so successful that he went on to make four special editions) and ‘Very Hollywood Michael Kors’.
The fashion designer is now back with a big, beautifully scented bang with his latest olfactory offering, ‘Glam Ruby’. A modern chypre, it opens with notes of juicy raspberry and fruity apricot that are given a spicy touch with a hint of pepper. At the heart of the perfume lie orange blossom, rose petals, and Indian jasmine sambac, with it drying down to reveal moss crystal, warm cashmere woods, and heady vanilla.
In this exclusive interview with Savoir Flair, Kors reveals his top perfume tips, what fragrance means to him, and why ‘Glam Ruby’ is so special. Read on to find out what he had to say.
What’s your earliest scent memory?
My grandmother’s cookies! But in terms of fragrance, I remember my mother wearing citrus scents like Estée Lauder’s ‘Alliage’, whereas my grandmother was all about the really lush florals, like ‘Joy’.
What are your scent rituals?
I travel all the time, so I like to take candles with me wherever I go to help me feel at home.
How do you think fragrance affects how we feel?
Regardless of the season, where you live, or what your age is, fragrance really is the fastest way for you to express or change your mood. It’s such an easy way to evoke a feeling of glamour or luxury in a heartbeat.
What is fragrance to you – is it a memory? A feeling?
I think it can be both. It can transport you to a different time or place and, at the same, it can change your mood and the way you’re feeling at any given time.
What’s the link between fragrance and fashion? Why is it such an important relationship?
Whether it’s clothing, a handbag, or a fragrance, everything I design is for the same woman. She’s a smart, confident, glamorous woman on the go, and she needs clothes, accessories, and beauty products that can keep up with and enhance her lifestyle. Fragrance is another outlet for her to express her personality and mood.
How does the process of creating a perfume differ from how you design your clothing collections?
A fragrance is a longer process – over a year – whereas a collection comes together from start to finish in nine months. But the design process starts with the same thing for both: a mood that reflects what we want to evoke.
What are your inspirations when it comes to creating a fragrance?
I am thinking about my customer, who she is, how she lives her life, and the moods she has at different times throughout the day or week. ‘Glam Ruby’ was inspired by the unique link between seduction, glamour, and strength. The ruby gemstone is the perfect symbol of powerful femininity – it’s glamorous, multifaceted, mesmerizing.
Are there specific notes and ingredients you’re drawn to, and why?
I love anything that takes me some place tropical, so jasmine is always going to be one of my favorites. The minute I smell it, I feel like I have stepped off a plane somewhere warm. Juicy fruits like apricot and raspberries are also very tempting and bright, which is what pulls you in and helps balance out the deeper notes like moss, cashmere woods, and vanilla bean.
Who is the ‘Glam Ruby’ woman?
The Michael Kors woman is smart, sophisticated, and confident. She knows what she wants, and she appreciates the blend of comfort and luxury. ‘Glam Ruby’ walks that line wonderfully, but also encourages her to be a little bolder and discover a new side of seduction.
Talk us through the journey of how you created this fragrance.
I always start with a mood, an idea of what we want to evoke. For ‘Glam Ruby’, I kept thinking about a scent that helps women channel their inner sexiness and gives them an instant confidence boost. The fragrance needed to be bold and seductive, but also have some softness on the skin for that sense of temptation. The ruby gemstone was the perfect inspiration – it’s seductive and glamorous, but also very strong. Then, with the packaging and the campaign with Edita Vilkevičiūtė, every facet of the process needed to come back to that mood.
To me, the perfect perfume is one that inspires confidence.
What makes ‘Glam Ruby’ so unique?
Most of our fragrances are quite luxurious, but ‘Glam Ruby’ also has a very bold sensuality that sets it apart from the rest. The scent is a mix of sumptuous cashmere woods, moss, and jasmine mixed with fruity notes of raspberry and apricot. It’s a fragrance for a woman who wants to walk into a room and turn heads.
There’s lots of conflicting information out there about how to apply fragrance. What’s your advice?
A touch behind the ears – this way, when someone leans in to give you a kiss on the cheek, they get a hint of it.
What’s the biggest mistake that women make when it comes to fragrance?
Don’t go overboard! It’s about being remembered, not overpowering.
Complete the sentence: To me, the perfect perfume is…
One that inspires confidence.