Fragrance Wardrobe: Rachel Zoe on Her "Strong and Feminine" Perfume Debut

Plus, her power suit fragrance, favorite candle, and more.

Byrdie / Cristina Cianci

Your perfume isn’t just how you smell—it’s how you feel. Usually, it's an accessory to how you present yourself to the world, but these days, it can serve as a source of comfort and nostalgia during days spent at home. In the upcoming weeks, we're sharing a new version of Fragrance Wardrobe, our series in collaboration with The Fragrance Foundation that highlights the rotating perfume “wardrobes” of tastemakers through key points in their life. In this new take, we'll be asking them to share their favorite scents through the lens of comfort and their at-home routine. Get to know them better via the scents they choose to wear during this uncertain time.

Properly describing Rachel Zoe's far-reaching imprint on the fashion industry would take us hours. But to quickly recap her impressive credentials: Zoe is a fashion stylist, designer, and businesswoman. Your first introduction to her may have been through her hit reality series The Rachel Zoe Project, which chronicled her day-to-day life styling celebrity clients like Anne Hathaway and Cameron Diaz. Or, her name might ring bells through some of her other ventures, like her namesake clothing line, subscription service Curateur, and lifestyle platform The Zoe Report

But aside from her deeply-rooted affinity for fashion, Zoe has always had a longtime love affair with fragrance. This month, her passion for scent culminated in the release of her first-ever perfume collection, Rachel Zoe Fragrance. Featuring four distinct scents, Zoe aimed to create a lineup of empowering fragrances that help women feel their best. We recently caught up with the dynamic fashion icon to learn more about her perfume debut, her current fragrance philosophy, and the scents that bring her comfort. Keep scrolling to get to know Rachel Zoe through her Fragrance Wardrobe.

Rachel Zoe

Rachel Zoe

How would you describe your fragrance style? 

My fragrance style is always fresh—earthy, slightly floral with a hint of musk—and never overwhelming.

What was the first fragrance you ever bought? 

Chanel No. 5. I saved all of my allowance money to buy it. It was how I could have my very own piece of Chanel at the time.

Do you still wear fragrance even when you don't leave the house?

Always! It’s my final step before going into my home office for the day because it makes me feel whole and human. It’s that invisible accessory that always helps me feel my best. 

Your WFH fragrance:

Warrior from my brand new fragrance collection.  With notes of musk with tuberose, it’s a powerful scent that makes me feel motivated, and it's subtle enough to wear around the house. It has become my go-to scent for everything.

Your cozy sweatsuit fragrance:

Instinct. With notes of bergamot and jasmine, it's subtly sweet and feels a little bit more casual.

Your date night fragrance:

Fearless. With notes of cedarwood and coconut, it’s a little more alluring. And I love how the scent evolves after it dries on my skin. 

Your "power suit" fragrance and why:

Warrior, because it makes me feel my most confident. 

rachel zoe

Rachel Zoe

The fragrance that brings you comfort: 

Tom Ford Santal Blush has been a go-to signature scent for me. It has such familiarity and makes me feel like myself. 

The fragrance you spritz to bring back good memories:

Tom Ford Black Orchid brings me back to the most exciting time in my career. It reminds me of all of the glamorous moments, traveling all over the world, and working with extraordinary women. 

The candle you're currently burning right now:

Le Labo Santal 26. It’s a little smoky and leathery and creates such a cozy vibe.

What you smell when you want to unwind:

My nighttime face oils and serums create a spa-like scent that instantly relaxes me. It means the kids are in bed, and I can finally unwind. 

The scent you'll associate with this time: 

All of my new scents. My first ever fragrance collection just launched, and I couldn’t be more excited. My goal was to create a fragrance for every woman and to capture both the strong and feminine side of who we are. I hope everyone loves them as much as I do. 

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