You are now the new face of Dahlia Divin. What does that mean to you?
We all remember that moment when we’re little girls and we put our mother’s perfume on for the first time— we felt beautiful and strong. To be the muse of Dahlia Divin is so synergistic because Givenchy and I have a lot in common— we have a dynamic relationship and it’s exciting to expand together. It’s also special because I still feel the same way I did as a little girl when I put on perfume today. It’s a physical reminder to let your inner beauty radiate on the outside.
Why did you accept to represent Parfums Givenchy? What is your relationship with the brand?
I’ve always admired the Givenchy brand for its magnetic beauty. I also love the way Givenchy mixes the masculine and the feminine with a sexy street appeal. To me, everything about Givenchy, even the musicality in the brand’s name, evokes such elegance and confidence. For so long we’ve been taught to think that beauty is a certain look and height and even scent. What I love about this collaboration with Givenchy is we begin to see different facets of beauty in all its complexity and natural diversity. I believe that’s the way it should be. The notes of Dahlia Divin are meant to represent the intricacies of a woman— she is a force to be reckoned with.
How would you describe the Dahlia Divin fragrance?
François Demachy created this timeless, chic, radiant scent, Dahlia Divin. It’s full and sensual with three distinct notes, mirabelle plum, jasmine and sandalwood. Sandalwood is one of my favorites! I even burn sandalwood incense when I write. The combinations of scents used to create Dahlia Divin are similar to the complexities of a woman and it underscores the idea that true beauty is full of diversity.
What does it evoke to you?
Dahlia Divin is a perfume that embodies today’s code of beauty— charisma, strength, confidence and more importantly, inner beauty that radiates on the outside. To me, the perfume represents the birth of a modern goddess… the idea that a woman’s true beauty lies in the way her inner elegance and soul shines on the outside. We are all goddesses!
How do you fit into the world of this new perfume?
As a woman, I know how important it is to take care of yourself by honoring your mind and body with things that fuel your soul. This is the essence of feeling truly beautiful in life. In my work, I try to inspire women to feel their inner and outer beauty and take time for themselves in a way that empowers them to be the best versions they can be of themselves. When a woman feels confident and balanced on the inside, she is truly beautiful to the world. And that’s why I was so excited to be a part of Dahlia Divin— to remind women that true beauty is full of diversity and that we all have a multitude of shades to us.
What is your favourite perfume memory?
I think every girl has that memory of her mother or grandmother wearing perfume and how certain scents evoke comfort and familiarity. My grandmother’s scent was the flower gardenia and my mother’s was white musk— even now they fill me with love and good memories because both my mother and grandmother are tremendous inspirations to me. As you grow up, those scents tend to come back to you in different ways. What we tried to do with Dahlia Divin is create something that empowers you to feel a certain way but is not too far removed from who you are.
How often do you wear fragrance and when?
I wear perfume often. It’s part of getting ready for the day. As a working mom, sometimes I am too busy to remember to take time for myself, but perfume can be a wonderful reminder to take a minute, breathe, and face the day. I love how Dahlia Divin is great for a meeting, the studio or a night out— it’s versatile.
What do you think of the visuals?
I love this collaboration! I think it really captures the balance between the essence of the fragrance and a real woman. The beauty of gold, the rawness of wood, the pureness of the natural beauty that radiates from a woman, and the idea that beauty is about being strong and shining from within. And I think that lives inside all of us. It’s powerful.
Could you tell us about this spectacular gown specially designed by Riccardo Tisci?
It’s such an exquisite gown by Riccardo Tisci. And quite heavy! You can see how much thought was put into every detail of the dress. It’s true artistry— from the gold lamé bustier to the crystal embroidery. It’s one of those pieces that transforms you, and I felt like a modern goddess in it. It’s timeless, it’s classic. It would be beautiful in the 1920’s and it remains beautiful today. Riccardo is truly gifted and this gown was a work of art.
How would you describe the ambiance of the TV shoot and working with Tim Walker on the campaign? Could you tell us about this collaboration?
I think Tim comes at it from all angles, with both the intimacy of an artist and a fashion photographer’s eye for detail. The story was about a woman being boxed in which is something I think a lot of women relate to in life. We’re told to be this, or that and we just want to be free to be who we are: beautiful, bold, passionate, sensual human beings. I was drawn to that concept and especially the part about breaking out of our boxes— which I find is what much of life is about. I think it’s really powerful and I was happy I got to express myself through music for the commercial as well.
Could you tell us about the music that you composed especially for the film?
Music is such an integral part of my identity and it’s important that everything I do is an extension of me. The music starts off gentle and delicate, almost dreamy and then builds into a powerful and soulful crescendo which matches up with the visuals. Most of all, it’s meant to be alive and radiant like Dahlia Divin and the mixture of delicate and strong that every woman is.
What is your vision of the Givenchy woman?
In my mind, a Givenchy woman is chic and classic, with an element of strength at her core. She’s not a wallflower… she’s magnetic. She connects to the child within her and balances that with the woman she’s become. She allows her emotions to guide her. She trusts her instincts. And she exudes femininity in the way she cares for the world around her. But most importantly, the woman who wears Dahlia Divin is proud of who she is.
What are your sources of inspiration?
My son, Egypt, and my family are my number one inspirations. When I look into my son’s eyes, I see so much joy and so many possibilities. I draw a lot of inspiration from my husband because of his electricity and creativity. Life is a huge inspiration for me— full of endless perspectives and lessons! As a musician, there are so many artists that have inspired me in so many different genres. Nina Simone, Prince, Patrice Rushen, Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Erik Satie, Chopin, Marian McPartland… I can go on and on. I feel very blessed to live in this time where we can connect to so many sources of inspiration.
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about a lot of things. My husband, my son, my family and friends. My music. I’ve been very fortunate throughout my life and career and I try where I can to give back so that all women can pursue their passions too. I’m really proud of the work I’ve done for over a decade with Keep A Child Alive to get women and children the treatment and education they need to fight HIV and live a full, happy life. Lastly, I’m very passionate about life. I’m genuinely a positive person and I make it a point to learn from every experience, whether good or bad. I’m a little restless and curious in that I want to constantly explore everything life has to offer. And through that exploration I’ve found the best life has to offer is right in front of me with my husband and child.
Beauty routine – Your best beauty habit?
My best beauty habit is taking time for myself when I need it. I’m a big believer in getting exercise to rejuvenate the mind and body. And I try to live a really healthy lifestyle. When I’m doing all these things, I feel my most beautiful. It sounds cliché, but I do believe beauty comes from within and if you take care of yourself, then your natural self is far better than anything else.
Your current future projects?
I’m so excited I’m working on a new album right now and that has captured a lot of my focus these days. I’m really looking forward to beginning to share this new music with the world in the coming months. It’s craazzzyy and my favorite yet!