Hailed as the biggest fragrance launch for the brand in 14 years, Carolina Herrera’s brand new fragrance Good Girl, hits the Middle East this month. The bold scent celebrates the duality of the modern woman, a mix of femininity and fearlessness. This concept is embodied not only in the scent - tuberose and jasmine florals contrasted with notes of tonka bean - but in the glossy, killer heel-shaped bottle.
The print campaign was shot by Mario Testino and the fragrance’s face, Karlie Kloss, stars in a short film set against the Manhattan skyline. It's a fitting partnership as the first big runway show that she opened was at age 15 for Carolina Herrera. "The fragrance took six years to develop, so it's pretty extraordinary, and I get to be a part of it at the end, embodying this woman, this spirit, and that's a huge honour," she says.
The setting for the fragrance reveal? An Upper East Side mansion just off Fifth Avenue in New York - and Bazaar was right there, getting the lowdown. All in the name of research, of course! We spent the day hanging out with Karlie and Carolina Herrera de Baez, who is celebrating her 20th anniversary as creative director of the House of Herrera Fragrances. Read our exclusive interviews with the stylish duo.
What are your early memories of fragrance?
"Fragrance is so powerful. Still to this day, I'll smell something that reminds me of my grandmother's perfume and it triggers so many memories. One of my first big purchases was a fragrance, having saved up my baby-sitting money. Growing up in the Midwest, I didn't have a ton of fancy handbags, shoes or gowns, but I did have fragrance. It's the invisible accessory, as Mrs Herrera says. It's something that taps into that inner confidence and changes how you feel. It's one of the best things you can invest in. I'm always changing clothes, like a chameleon, but the one thing that I wear everyday is my fragrance."
What does the tagline "It's so good to be bad" mean to you?
"I've been thinking about this and I don't think I have enough of a naughty side! I believe that the spirit and attitude of this duality is really true to who Mrs Herrera is. She's this elegant, graceful woman, who is such a tastemaker, but the more you get to know her, you see she has a naughty side. Also, she partied it up at Studio 54. I love those images of her, this beautiful, regal woman in the midst of those epic moments. There was a special time back in the '70s when women had this empowerment and even today, I think it's something that women of all ages can identify with. I certainly identify with it. It's this idea of being a good girl, being hardworking, passionate, playing by the rules, but also letting loose."
In addition to the print campaign, Karlie appears in a short film for the fragrance. Image: courtesy of Carolina Herrera
You were at Taylor Swift's epic July 4th party this summer. How does your girl gang relate to the idea of female empowerment?
"I really try to surround myself with people who are like-minded. I grew up in a house of all women - my three sisters and my mum - and then my poor dad. I'm very much surrounded by women who share the same kind of values, drive and passion for what they do, and I feel really lucky because I've found something I love at an early age. I started working at 15 and a lot of my friends also started their careers young. There's a confidence that comes from that. Also, I find it a really admirable trait when people are hardworking and I surround myself with those friends."
CAROLINA HERRERA DE BAEZ
Which notes in the fragrance do you associate with femininity or strength?
"I think there’s nothing more feminine than white flowers, and jasmine and tuberose. Then I love the fact that we paired that with the darker notes of the tonka bean, which is the opposite of the lightness of the flowers. There might even be a touch of masculinity with the roasted tonka bean, which is mostly an ingredient associated with men’s fragrances. Even in men’s fragrances nowadays there’s always the other side of the coin. We use a lot of florals in men’s as well. So it's a balancing act."
The ingredients of the perfume. Image: courtesy of Carolina Herrera
Tell us about your first memory of scent?
"Funnily enough, this fragrance [Good Girl] has my two first sensory memory triggers. I remember tuberose and jasmine from our garden in Caracas, Venezuela, when I was growing up. My mother would mix the oils of these in her hands and put the scent on her body. When I smell those scents, I’m immediately transported back to that time."
Why did you choose Karlie Kloss as the face of Good Girl?
"Karlie has been working with Herrera for ten years as a model. She's the perfect good girl because she juggles so many things. She’s a model, she’s had a steady relationship for a long time, she travels, she works, she cooks. And she’s got that look in her eye. She’s not an open book. There’s something very important about having a little mystery and not revealing everything at once. She’s a beauty and I think she’s perfect for this fragrance."
Karlie Kloss for Carolina Herrera. Image: courtesy of Carolina Herrera
Why do you think it will appeal to women in the Middle East?
"I think Middle Eastern women are very, very feminine. I’ve always thought that. And it’s a very feminine fragrance with touches of those interesting notes I was talking about that balance it out. It’s always a yin and yang."
You regularly visit the Middle East, especially Dubai. What are the highlights for you?
"I love the food! I always try everything. And the souks and malls. I have a great time. I’ve been to Dubai many, many times and it's a lot of fun. It’s very international. There’s a lot going on."
Carolina Herrera New York's Good Girl retails for Dhs415 for 50ml and Dhs540 for 80ml.