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Fergie’s Fifth Fragrance: A Journey of Awareness

Fergie's fifth fragrance launch provides an opportunity to reflect on family, philanthropy and why life's a party.

It’s clear that Stacy Ann Ferguson — also known as best-selling recording artist Fergie — is quite passionate about philanthropy.

During a recent interview at the Hotel on Rivington in Manhattan, she leaned forward in her seat as she described why Avon’s commitment to breast cancer awareness resonates so deeply with her.

“With anything, I feel that the more blessings you receive, the more you want to pay it forward, put it back out into the world, because it’s all just serendipitous, what goes around,” said Ferguson, clad in fuchsia Victoria Beckham and her own Fergie footwear. “Cancer is a particularly personal one for me — both my parents are cancer survivors. My dad survived stage four cancer twice — he had chemo, radiation, two surgeries, the whole nine. We make little dates of his checkups now. And we’re due for one, which is probably why I’m getting emotional,” she said, tearing up. “He comes down and we go to a checkup and then we go to lunch. It’s basically what #BeABreastFriend [an Avon-sponsored hashtag] is about. It’s about checking in and making it more of a social event.”

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On a happier note, she’s made it clear that she’s having a blast in the beauty world. “Hair and makeup can be the biggest party of all,” said Ferguson. “That’s where you have the most fun.”

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And when she was offered the chance to jump into the beauty business, she did so with both feet. “This all started when Avon came to a creative girl and asked her if she wanted to do her own fragrance,” said Ferguson, who is releasing her fifth fragrance, Outspoken Party, with the beauty company. “As you know, creativity doesn’t just stop at one thing, music or songwriting or creating videos for products and looks for each song. It expands into everything, so when they came to me, it was a dream come true. I’m a lucky bee-yotch.”

Ferguson noted that the Outspoken concept started off with being fearless — “saying what you mean, owning what you mean and what you say,” she said. “It’s about being fearless about expressing yourself.”

The overarching look is “very rock-‘n’-roll boudoir,” said Ferguson. “It’s like being in my closet.” (Which is no small thing: the entertainer’s sartorial space is said to exceed two large bedrooms originally intended for guests.)

After Outspoken’s 2010 launch, the franchise evolved to include Outspoken Intense, launched in 2011, which Ferguson said was inspired by being fearless in front of a crowd (“they gave me a spotlight and some fog on the box,” she said). Viva by Fergie followed in 2012.

Next came Outspoken Fresh, launched earlier this year, which is “be fearless in life,” said Ferguson. “I’d just had my baby [son Axl Jack Duhamel], and I was writing fresh new music — I wanted people to go new places, try new things, so I gave it a tropical resort kind of feel. And the latest, Outspoken Party, is about celebrating life. For me, life is celebrating a party — whether it be at the after party when the confetti blows off, or trying on Halloween costumes with my son in his room, and we’re putting on music and having a costume dance party.”

And what would a party be without a little wine? Ferguson has that covered too, with Ferguson Crest Wines, run by her father, Jon Patrick Ferguson.

“Axl was just there, and he was walking around as we were cutting the grapes, carrying a bunch of them and just popping them into his mouth,” Ferguson said with a smile. “It’s such a beautiful memory.”

Ferguson also includes notes in her fragrances that harken back to her childhood.

“In my scents, we use a lot of the fruits that my dad grew when I was growing up,” said Ferguson, who was raised in Hacienda Heights, Calif. “He was always growing organic, and all of the fruits have a distinct memory for me. The strawberries were juicier than the ones at the market. He grew boysenberries and raspberries next to each other. So the bursting in my mouth, which I distinctly remember from pulling fruit off the vine as a child…”

Ferguson talks about juggling footwear, wine and her day job, not to mention an album which will be released early next year. “My husband [actor Josh Duhamel] makes fun of me when I’m using color-coded iCal — he says, ‘are you playing schedule Tetris again?’ It keeps everything organized. It’s a balancing act.”

While no other product categories are imminent, Ferguson doesn’t rule them out.

“I’ve learned in life to never say never, to manifest an abundance of blessings, because that’s what we all deserve,” she said. “It’s true, having an attitude of gratitude — thank you, Oprah and Deepak Chopra. And now, I’m getting really cliché, but I honestly do believe it’s true. Right now, I am deep into the baking of this pie called an album, and it’s in the oven. It’s been in the oven, and it is getting ready to come out and be served to the masses all across the world.” The album is set for a January launch, she noted. “I wanted it to come at the end of this year, but it needed to be right,” she said. “A good chef knows that it has to be right, and the writing just kept getting better, and the ideas were just getting more detailed. I got to remember how much I love to write and explore ideas and thoughts, and remembered how much it’s therapy for me. Remembering how much I love to sing and emote and harmonize. Right now I’m trying to eliminate and consolidate — I’ve got a lot of songs, more than I ever thought I’d do. When the creative juices are flowing, I keep drinking the juice.”