Cher is passionate about emojis.
Asked about them, her voice lights up.
“I started out with emojis because I’m dyslexic.…I also think, and this is what I think is the genius of emoji, is emoji are like hieroglyphs,” Cher said.
“With one picture you can express more because you can see the expression, or when I’m saying something about the person who will remain nameless and I want to say something that is not nice but in a way that I can explain it, I’ll just throw those peanuts — and it’s like you know that what I’m saying is, ‘He’s nuts,'” Cher said.
She’s similarly excited by the prospect of talking about fragrance, her latest project, and the reason she agreed to be interviewed. She doesn’t think you’re ready for the day without a spritz of scent, and used to borrow her mother’s perfumes when she was a kid.
“That didn’t last too long,” Cher joked.
This fall, the pop icon will debut her first scent since she launched now discontinued Uninhibited in 1987. It’s called Eau de Couture by Cher, and she’s been working on it for four years with Firmenich with perfumer Clément Gavarry.
She’s not yet clear on which emojis would describe it, she said, but she will indeed be posting about it. “I’m going to tweet about it, I tweet about everything,” Cher said.
It’s a spicy, vanilla oriental fragrance with notes of bergamot, neroli, jasmine and vetiver.
“I like vanilla, it’s just a girl thing I think,” Cher said. “But I also very much like something that’s spicy. I was talking with Steve [Mormoris, her fragrance partner] right now, and he was saying, ‘I don’t know how you got to have black-and-white notes,’ and I didn’t know what I was doing, so that’s how that came about.
“It’s very touchy-feely. It makes you want to hold onto yourself,” she added.
“We’ve come a long, long way since I first put out a perfume so I really do believe this is genderless,” Cher said. “I [made] it for people who love perfume or people who want to smell good, people who feel that it’s part of who they are. I imagine there are people, I know there are people, who don’t want to have anything on them and I cannot even go to that place.”
To launch her latest creation she’s paired up with Scent Beauty, the recently launched fragrance company from Bernd Beetz and Mormoris. The duo created the celebrity fragrance boom of the early Aughts at Coty, but are taking a more targeted approach with their new business, singling out organizations or people who are able to foster a sense of community.
That’s certainly something Cher has, with nearly 3.7 million followers on Twitter and a devoted fan base that’s been through several farewell tours.
She met Mormoris through a mutual friend, Sean Patterson of Sam Worldwide, and things clicked. “They’re a new company with people who are very experienced running it. They have a social network plan. I will be doing interviews and I will be talking about it, but they have a plan. They also have a great idea about doing multiple scents,” Cher said.
Mormoris called Cher “a legendary artist who has excelled in so many sectors in life from music to film to philanthropy.” Cher will be able to weave the fragrance into her everyday, he noted. “We believe in addressing the new sensibility of the consumer, and Cher’s scent is a true homage to gender inclusivity,” Mormoris said.
“We believe that through Cher, through her work in theater, her work in music, her work in philanthropic organizations, [she] will find a way in embedding [the fragrance into everyday situations],” he continued.
She already seems to have that part down. She wore it on stage performing at the Met Gala, she said. She also wore it recently for an appearance on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon,” and a member of the cast of “The Cher Show” came up to her to ask what it was.
“This girl came running up to me and said, ‘OK fine, we’re embarrassed but what are you wearing,” Cher said. “I was so thrilled, I can’t even tell you. I was jumping up and down.”
For Cher, the fragrance launch comes at a busy time — and at a time when she’s firmly part of the zeitgeist once again. She’s on tour again, “The Cher Show” is on Broadway — she’s planning to gift the $80 fragrance to the cast, she said — and she’s got other projects in the works that she’s contractually not allowed to talk about.
Retiring does not seem to be on the agenda. Asked if she’s just going to work until she can’t, she said, “That’s what I think is going to happen,” and added that things would be different if she weren’t still able to do such a good job.
“I don’t know how long the tour’s going to last, but I’m still doing a good job. I would never want to not be able to give people the feeling…it wouldn’t be right, and it wouldn’t be enjoyable for me, and it would be terrible for people,” Cher said. “Right now, I’m still good.”
She recalled a television special she once filmed with Elton John and Bette Midler. “We were playing ourselves as old people in the old performer’s home,” she said. “I did another thing with Elton, and Elton said, ‘Wouldn’t it be hysterical if we were doing this in 30 years?’ And I think we’re doing this, and it’s more than 30 years. Someone said, ‘Shouldn’t you retire?’ and I said, ‘Shouldn’t you ask Mick Jagger that?'”
For now, Cher’s still making the decisions that lead to fun, she said.
“I’m not sure what I’m going to do from one second to another second. It’s like, one moment I wasn’t going to be in ‘Mamma Mia,’ and then the next moment I was in ‘Mamma Mia.’ It was a surprise, it came out of nowhere,” Cher said.
When she was mulling over doing the Abba cover album, she briefly asked for an opinion before moving ahead with the project. “I just said to somebody, ‘Do you think it’d be a good idea to do an Abba album? Do you think people would like it or hate it? How do you think that would go?'” she said.
“Then, I didn’t listen to anybody, which is kind of my modus operandi, and I just thought it would be fun.”
Also fun: The idea of Cher taking a more serious role with the people in charge of emojis. Her most used are the kiss emoji; the birthday cake emoji, which is for when she’s excited, or the dancing ghost, also for when she’s excited, she said. Lately, she’s been using the skull and crossbones more, she said, which is mostly reserved for “he who shall remain nameless.”
“I wish to god someone would make some new ones. Get it on, do something more exciting,” Cher said. “I could go there and help them.”