Fragrance Wardrobe: Rebecca Minkoff on Her "Subtle and Memorable" Perfume Debut

Your perfume isn’t just how you smell—it’s how you feel when you get dressed in the morning, for a night out, for a boardroom meeting. It's just as much of an accessory to how you present yourself to the world as your clothing (and let's not forget its close ties to memory and emotion). With that in mind, we’ve launched Fragrance Wardrobe, a scent series in collaboration with The Fragrance Foundation that highlights the rotating perfume “wardrobes” of our favorite tastemakers through key points in their life. Get to know them better via the scents they choose to wear.

Rebecca Minkoff’s name certainly holds weight in the fashion industry. After she designed her first handbag in 2005 (the iconic Morning After Bag), the rest was history. Her namesake brand has solidified itself as a global leader in accessible luxury handbags, accessories, footwear and apparel for 15 years–selling in two domestic retail stores, eight international locations, and distributed in over 900 stores worldwide. 

Now, the renowned designer is expanding her empire by stepping into the fragrance world. Her first Eau de Parfum launched on August 4th, and it’s just as feminine and wearable as the designs she creates. “After I had my first kid, I stopped wearing fragrances because I didn’t want someone so virgin and clean to be so close to something that could be toxic,” Minkoff tells us. “When the opportunity to design my own fragrance was given to me, I jumped at the chance to create something with minimal impact on both our bodies and environment." The result? A cardamom, coriander seed, bergamot, tobacco, and jasmine-infused scent that Minkoff describes as "subtle and memorable," housed in a 100% recyclable glass jar. We chatted with Minkoff about her fragrance debut, the fragrances she associates with her favorite memories, and more ahead. Keep scrolling to get to know Minkoff through her Fragrance Wardrobe. 

rebecca minkoff
Rebecca Minkoff

How would you describe your fragrance style? 

I would say that my fragrance style is definitely minimal and earthy with a touch of tobacco.  

The fragrance you associate with your childhood:

Sunflower and CK One, it’s what I took from the magazines or got from the samples at the store. It was precious to me and even when I didn’t purchase a full bottle, I would put it on and felt more confident and powerful.

What was the first fragrance you ever bought?

It was Sunflower by Elizabeth Arden. I’ve always been drawn to the scent of jasmine, as it reminds me of my childhood home. The note of jasmine in this scent mixed with the musky sandalwood and bright, fresh scents was a combination that I really loved when I was younger. 

The fragrance you associate with falling in love:

Pantene Pro V. I fell in love for the first time at Summer camp, where all the girls came to camp with Pantene Pro V. When I came with nothing, and desperately wanted to fit in, I got to use some of their shampoo and conditioner. Then, my hair smelled like this for the rest of the summer. When it came time for me to spend some serious cuddle time with this boy, the smell of the Pantene is something I will never forget.

The fragrance you associate with your favorite travel memory: 

The tobacco and vanilla scent from Santa Maria Novella. After my wedding in Florence, I came upon this incredible brand and became obsessed with their products, the scents, the story, the romance of the Santa Maria Novella company, and their history.

rebecca minokff
 Rebecca Minkoff

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

Yes—I wear mine! Even while I stay home all day, I can’t stop wearing my fragrance. It has become a part of my morning routine, even during quarantine, so I feel confident and ready to tackle the day. 

The fragrance that brings you comfort: 

My fragrance is the one that brings me comfort during this time. With the combination of feminine accents of jasmine and coriander with a modernized tobacco accord, it delivers sensuality and warmth.

The candle you're currently burning right now and why (include what it smells like):

Tom Dixon because it smells like musk, tobacco, vanilla, and leather, which are my favorite scents.

What you smell when you want to unwind/destress: 

Tata Harper's face serum really helps me destress and unwind. The yummy scent mixed with the ritual of applying it each night gets me ready to decompress after a long day. 

Related Stories