Celebrities were drawn by the power of scent Wednesday night on the Fragrance Foundation’s red carpet — and admitted they wanted in on the game.
Kellan Lutz, who returned to the awards for a second year, confessed to being a fragrance junkie. “I was a chemical engineering major in college,” said Lutz, who attended Chapman University in Orange, Calif. “I was trying to create my own cologne when I was 18. I still have that chemistry set in my house — and on my bedside table, I have 135 colognes from childhood that remind me of different parts of my life.” Lutz attributes the switch from chemical engineering to acting “to God’s plan.” Lutz said he’s using those engineering skills in his latest film, “Money,” in which he plays a chemist.
Lutz said he’s never stopped mixing his own fragrances, but would welcome the opportunity to bring one to market. “To be behind one of these huge companies that I’ve grown up loving and wearing, like Dior, Saint Laurent and Cool Water, would be great.”
As for creating his own? “I consider myself a country coastal kind of man,” said Lutz, who was born in North Dakota and also lived in Iowa before moving to California. “So it’s going to be a scent that has my farm-boy roots, and my love for the beach. It’d be a good mix of manly and woodsy.” He even has a name picked out: Kreation.
Champion figure skater Johnny Weir chose an all-white rubber ensemble consisting of a jacket and skirted shorts designed by Malaysia’s Moto Guo, finishing it off with a white Hermès Maxi Box handbag. “I love white, and I usually wear only white in the summer,” said Weir, who also admitted to “usually being half-naked” in the summer. Weir’s favorite fragrance follows the white theme: Tom Ford’s White Suede. He enthusiastically said he’d love to create his own scent. “It would have a really unpronounceable name, and the packaging would be gorgeous, and it would smell like power and sandalwood. And it would be unisex,” he said.
Kendall Jenner, whose next duty for the Estée Lauder brand is to be the face of Modern Muse Le Rouge, took a page from the scent’s tag line — be daring, be an inspiration, noting that daring is part of her personality. The most daring thing she’s ever done? “I jump off very high places. I’ve done bungee jumping, I’ve done this thing where you get lifted up hundreds and hundreds of feet in the air and then they drop you and you go flying in a big swing. I’ve done a lot of weird things.”
“Orange Is the New Black” actress Danielle Brooks — who came to the awards straight from the set of her Netflix show, which began shooting its fourth season Monday — also confessed to wanting to do her own signature scent. “It would be fun,” she said. “I think if I did one, it would have to be a collection of three. It depends on how you feel that day.” Notes? “I love something sweet — maybe smelling like donuts?” she said with a laugh. “But not too supersweet. Maybe a bit of musk with it.”
But amongst all the celebrities on the carpet who aspired to doing a fragrance of their own were two who already have: model Anja Rubik and actress Sophia Bush.
Rubik launched Original by Anja Rubik in Barneys New York and on Net-a-porter earlier this year. “I’d been working on it for four years,” she said. “It was a completely independent project, so I had to learn everything. I worked with a nose, Patricia Choux, who took me under her wing and taught me everything about smelling and creating. I knew it had to have green tea and amber and pink peppercorn, and that was where we started.” Rubik chose not to work with an established beauty brand to retain complete creative control over the project. “It’s really easy to go to a company and say, ‘hey, can you make a fragrance under my name?’ To do it yourself, that’s a big project.”
Now that she’s got one under her belt, she’s anxious to get back in the labs. “The next one is still cooking up here,” she said, pointing to her head. Also on the front burner: the fourth issue of her magazine, 25.
Sophia Bush, who joined beauty entrepreneur Randi Shinder as an equity partner in fledgling firm I Smell Great, began her love affair with fragrance as a child. “I used to mix all of my mom’s perfumes to make my own,” she said. Four fragrances, intended to be layerable, have been released and two more are on the way this fall, she added. “Now I’m actually making my own. We wanted to create a brand for women that was fun and meant to inspire play. We also wanted to give women an affirmation every time they put it on. The response from our customers and my followers has been amazing so far. I’m trying to stay present, but I get so excited about what’s next.” At the moment, the line is sold online at Ismellgreat.com, although Bush mentioned that she and Shinder are in discussions with a large bricks-and-mortar retailer.
Bush will begin shooting the third season of NBC’s “Chicago P.D.,” on which she plays Detective Erin Lindsay, in July, but before that starts, she is off to Africa to work with women’s organizations. “We’re giving financial independence to women in Uganda — I am deeply inspired by them.”