Skip to main content

Lionel Richie, Cher on Creating Their Scents

For this year’s virtual Awards, the Fragrance Foundation corralled an all-star lineup of presenters, each of whom has recently entered the fragrance category. Here, their thoughts on their adopted industry.

The days of celebs putting their name on a scent and waiting for the royalties to roll in are long gone. Today, most are intimately involved in the process, working along perfumers to channel their olfactive memories into a tangible product that represents their essence and will resonate with consumers. Here, WWD Beauty Inc asked four recent entrants into the category about their experience in venturing into a new métier.

“I did not really know what to expect until Théo Spilka from Firmenich brought me to my first Fragrance Foundation Awards two years ago. I was asked by a journalist on the red carpet what fragrance I wore and I responded, “I haven’t found that perfect scent…because I haven’t created it yet.”

I said it spontaneously, but I realized that we were really going to do it…and soon. I was filled more than ever, with the passion to create my first men’s and women’s fragrances with perfumer Dora Baghriche. I learned about the materials, the exotic places they are responsibly sourced from, and the families of the farmers who benefit from every bottle that’s sold. I learned how, like music, the notes are composed and a beautiful, timeless memory brings all the emotions together. I learned what a beautiful place the perfume world really is. I plan to be in it for a long time…” — Lionel Richie

Related Galleries


You May Also Like

“I learned that I wore everyone’s last nerve in my effort to get the scent just right. I’m really picky. The team and Théo Spilka — who were wonderful — would fly in with a working version and I would wear it for a few days and then decide, ‘I do not want to wear this anymore’ and they had to go back and work on it some more. I would not put my name on something that I didn’t love. In the end, it was worth it.” — Cher


“My first journey to the Amazon was a personal trip. I felt compelled to go so I simply went on my own. It was the most challenging trip I have ever been on. Spiritually, physically, mentally, it was a trip of expansion.

On this trip is where I first encountered breu, a resin used by the Yawanawa tribe freely throughout the day as a homeopathic antimicrobial and mosquito repellent but also during their most special ceremonies. What drew me to breu is the scent of the smoke it emitted; it is rich, earthy and intoxicating. It has become the epicenter of Costa Brazil.

Breu is perfect, in its rawness, this naturally occurring sap of the earth. The smell brings me right back to the center of the forest and to this feeling of being so small in the clutches of Mother Nature.” — Francisco Costa


“The process was detailed, long, fun and thought-provoking.

In our minds and hearts, we had been creating the memories and thoughts for many years, and they were the sparks for the soul of the collection. Throughout the creation process, I was able to revisit all of the emotions connected to our travels and then captured them in each of the fragrances. I learned how many facets there are to a memory and by working with the different amazing teams we could turn emotions into scents, packaging, and the brand itself…and it was super exciting and fun to create as a family.” — Delfina Blaquier and Nacho Figueras