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SJP’s Perfume 
RULES

The Divorce star speaks to The Violet Files about her new fragrance and her scent mandates.

Written By JACK SUNNUCKS

SARAH JESSICA PARKER AND CHRIS NOTH IN SEX IN THE CITY / GETTY IMAGES

Sarah Jessica Parker is busy. The generation-defining actress is back on screen this week with a new HBO show, Divorce, which will likely do for newly-dating fifty-somethings what Sex and the City did for single women in their thirties. She has also launched a line of little black dresses with Bloomingdale’s, expanded her eponymous shoe line, been engaged to open a new literary division at Crown Publishing, raised money for the NYC Ballet (she sits on the board of directors), and launched her second fragrance—the intriguing, slightly masculine Stash.

On the eve of her LA fragrance reveal, The Violet Files caught up with the multitasking actress to discuss all things scent—the aromas she loves most, how she applies them (with abandon), and what her latest character smells like. Read on to catch the scent... 

FRAGRANCE
RULES

WITH SARAH JESSICA PARKER

PARKER AND THOMAS HADEN CHURCH IN DIVORCE / PHOTOGRAPHY BY MACALL B. POLAY / HBO

MONOGAMY IS KING

I like [having an extensive fragrance wardrobe] theoretically, and if people do that I think it’s nice. It works for a very organized person. But I am really monogamous: I am all in, and the time of year doesn’t matter. The minute we started getting samples of Stash, which was just before summer, I had my own little stash of Stash—which is why I named it that, because I wanted it to feel like contraband. Verboten, something that should be illegal!

MORE IS MORE

As I’ve said before, the most indulgent, the most excessive I am is with fragrance. I’m not profligate, I don’t throw money around, I turn the water off when I’m brushing my teeth, I turn the lights off behind me, I don’t buy a lot of clothes or bags. But with fragrance, I’m without discipline at all. I go through a huge amount of fragrance. But I like it deep within the pores and the fabrics of my clothes. So you pull out a parka from winter and smell fragrance. I like that very much. My children will walk in and say, “Oh, mama, that smell.”

LEAVE YOUR MARK

When we’re creating a fragrance, part of the process is to spray it on cotton and see what it smells like. Part of Stash’s appeal was about the idea (thinking as a woman, because that’s all I am) of being in a romantic relationship and smelling the other person’s sweater and it’s their scent.

EMBRACE YOUR MASCULINE SIDE

Despite Lovely’s [the first fragrance Parker created] politeness and its unabashedly female self, I typically wear much more male fragrances, which is how Stash smells. I just like the warmth and sense of skin that men’s fragrances allow. I’ve always loved Comme des Garçons Incense Avignon! It’s fantastic.

GET INTO CHARACTER

I wore fragrance as Frances [her character on Divorce]; I don’t know how to not wear fragrance. It was kind of complicated to extract me from that fictional world. So I started wearing this really great Santa Maria Novella fragrance, Opoponax. Everyone really loved it. And I finally had Stash by the time we shot the poster, and Thomas Haden Church came in and hugged me, and was like, “What are you wearing? That’s not your fragrance.” And I was like, “This is the new thing.” He goes, “Ugh, I don’t know.” Then when I saw him the next time he said, “I love it.”


But I think I’m going to go back for Season Two and wear the Santa Maria Novella. It’s weird not to—I can’t wear Stash as Frances!

BEAUTY MUST-HAVE

I always have Laura Mercier’s Caviar eye stick in Jungle. And I’ll often have some lip something, but I don’t wear lipstick apart from today because I had to do talk shows, and apparently it’s required. But in my life I don’t even own lipstick; I just wear gloss.

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