Chloë Sevigny is a true cultural icon. An accomplished actress, she's been on the scene since 1995's Kids, building an impressive portfolio that includes films like American Psycho and Lizzie, two main roles on American Horror Story, a Golden Globe-winning performance on HBO's Big Love, and most recently, an incredibly on-brand performance as the smart and skeptical Mel on the inaugural season of Hulu's true-crime series, The Act. But while her film and TV experience is impressive, the talent has also built a reputation as a style icon, embodying New York's cool-kid culture since the moment she entered public life. Her downtown aesthetic and ability to pull off a range of high fashion looks have kept her a timeless industry favorite, and her '90s brand of undone glamour has reinvigorated her appeal as the world once again obsesses over all things end-of-the-millennium.
So it's no wonder that Sevigny has a close relationship with the multi-hyphenate creatives behind Los Angeles-based fragrance house Régime des Fleurs. After years of making short films with Alia Raza as Ezra Woods styled her for the red carpet, the eternal it girl was the first person to begin working with the duo on their olfactory endeavor. Sevigny has always loved wearing rose scents, so when Raza and Woods approached her to collaborate on making the first of that variety for the brand, it was a no-brainer. The timing was perfect since Comme des Garçons' Red Rose had recently gone off the market, and nothing seemed better for both the actress and the fragrance experts than to create something new to fill its place. The scent is expectedly floral, but it also has a clean and versatile air to it that makes it perfect for Sevigny's New York lifestyle. To celebrate the recent launch, Sevigny and Raza provided more insight into how the collaborative perfume came to be and where it fits in contemporary culture.
What first sparked your interest in fragrance?
Alia Raza: I think scented creams and lotions, shampoos, my mom’s perfumes, my dad’s aftershave. I loved all of it. My mother also planted gardens everywhere in our yard, with lilacs and honeysuckle and roses, and she had a greenhouse, so even though I grew up in New York state, I got very into tropical flowers.
Chloë Sevigny: I’ve always been interested in fragrance. My mother wore Arpege, and Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, and I was obsessed with the bottles. I started a perfume bottle collection when I was probably five years old, and my mom and my aunt, who both had impeccable taste, would find me all kinds of bottles, like old Chanel No. 5 or Shalimar. I wore a tea rose oil when I was in grade school.
How did you end up coming together for this collaboration?
AR: Chloë and my co-founder Ezra Woods and I have known each other for many years. I used to make short films with Chloë in New York, Ezra used to style her for the red carpet in LA, and we would all hang out together when we were in the same cities. She’s always been so supportive of emerging creative people, using her success to lift other people up. When we started Régime, she was the first person I asked to be involved because she’s always inspired me a lot.
CS: I’ve known Alia and Ezra for many years and had done different projects with both. I have always respected both of their tastes and aesthetics and when they approached me and suggested a rose perfume, it seemed like perfect timing as Comme des Garcons Rose had been discontinued and I had been on the hunt for that perfect rose scent.
How do each of your aesthetics come through in the new scent?
AR: Régime as a company is about art and history and nature, and this perfume is inspired by all three. It has a French Catholic vibe - we all read a lot about Thérèse de Lisieux, the patron saint of flowers, as research for the scent and the packaging. Chloë has always worn rose fragrances, while Régime had never actually worked with rose before, so this was a perfect match.
CS: Speaking for myself, I love a rose scent, but I didn’t want something that smelled too old fashioned. I wanted a really fresh smell, as if you were smelling a live rose. We added the pomelo and the black tea to give it more of a nuanced scent.
What color(s) does your fragrance smell like?
AR: Pale pink and baby blue, with nuances of bright green and optic white - and a dry-down that’s golden.
CS: The color of a lavender rose.
What city or place in the world does Little Flower encapsulate best?
AR: Even though it’s a romantic and fresh rose, we all think of this as a New York fragrance. It was developed in New York and is made in New York, and we love to wear it in the city to feel refreshed and relaxed at the same time.
CS: Well I live in New York and I spend a lot of time being in and of the city. I take the subway and walk around the streets a lot, so I wanted something that would really smell fresh and clean as I go about my daily life.
If you had to place Little Flower in an iconic decade past, which one would it be?
AR: The 1930s, because it’s that type of glamorous.
CS: I actually feel like it is a timeless scent.
What item from your wardrobe would you compare it to and why?
AR: I have a pale blue mohair and silk cropped sweater by Anna Sui that I got in 1994. That’s very Little Flower to me.
CS: The perfect black cocktail dress that you can wear anywhere, dress up or dress down, and use forever.
What genre of music do you think Little Flower most aligns with?
AR: Something that combines harp and acoustic guitar.
If your fragrance had a night out on the town, which drink would it order at the bar?
AR: An Aperol spritz with a splash of Turkish rosewater and ice cubes made with the juice of bergamot. Garnished with pink rose petals, of course.
CS: Either a martini or tequila on the rocks with lime.
If you were to relate Little Flower to a book, what would it be? Why?
AR: The Lily of the Valley by Honoré de Balzac.
CS: The autobiography of Thérèse de Lisieux, because she was the patron saint of flowers, and she was known as The Little Flower!
If your fragrance had a soundtrack, what three sounds would play once you spray the scent?
AR: "Frederick" by Patti Smith, "Ripple" by the Grateful Dead, and "Symphony No. 85" by Haydn.
CS: The flute, the harp, and some amazing drums.
If it wasn't called Little Flower, what would it be called?
AR: Reign of Roses.
CS: Régime is a very regal brand, so for a while, we played with the idea of calling it Reign of Roses.