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Chloë Sevigny on Collecting Perfume Bottles, Her Favorite '90s Scents and CBD

We caught up with the actress and perennial It girl at the Los Angeles launch of her first fragrance, Little Flower.
Chloë Sevigny at Dover Street Market L.A. Photo: Courtesy of Dover Street Market

Chloë Sevigny at Dover Street Market L.A. Photo: Courtesy of Dover Street Market

Chloë Sevigny almost seemed destined to launch a rose fragrance of her own. The 44-year-old actress has been wearing rose fragrances for the past 20 years, and ever since one of her favorites, Comme des Garçons Rose, was discontinued, she had been searching for the right replacement.

Being longtime friends with Ezra Woods and Alia Raza of the fragrance house Régime des Fleurs came with a unique benefit: Sevigny got the chance to finally create her true, signature scent. Over the past year and a half, the trio collaborated on the brand’s first-ever rose fragrance, something that would also be, unequivocally, Chloë.

"We knew her for so long, and we always associated her with rose," Raza told me at the perfume's Los Angeles launch at Dover Street Market Los Angeles this past weekend. She and Woods were always attracted to more "esoteric, exotic flowers" and had never tackled a rose fragrance before. "We had this idea that they were a little bit conservative and a little bit one-note, like all rose perfumes smell the same. Once we delved into it, we realized we could really do our own interpretation," Raza explained. After Sevigny tested 33 different versions, they decided on a luxe Turkish rose scent with notes of pomelo and blackcurrant bud. They named it Little Flower, after the 19th century French nun Thérèse of Lisieux.

At the launch, Sevigny, who is between filming for Luca Guadagnino’s coming-of-age HBO miniseries "We Are Who We Are," wore an embellished, powder blue Miu Miu mini dress that matches the label on Little Flower’s bottle, accessorized by a multi-colored fabric rose bracelet from her friend, designer Sarah Aphrodite. The style icon is not one to shy away from a theme.

Ahead, Sevigny spoke to us about her long history with fragrance, how she decides on what brands to collab with, and what she thinks about the whole CBD craze.

Scent can be so attached to our memories. Are there any certain scents that always trigger something for you?

I grew up in the suburbs, so a lot of scents around nature, you know, like cut grass, dry leaves, summer thunderstorms, things that came with the change of the seasons. Those are all very embedded in my brain and I still crave them. That's why I've always lived in the northeast. There's such comfort in them.

Was perfume a big thing for you growing up?

Perfume was a big thing for me. 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 had this massive collection, but, of course, all the scents had turned and smelled like alcohol. It was more like a way into a world outside of the suburbs, through glamour and design. I had never seen a fashion magazine, so I didn’t know what it all was, but there was something about the design aspect and the names, and the glass and the gold.

Chloë Sevigny at Dover Street Market L.A. with Kim Gordon and Alia Raza. Photo: Courtesy of Dover Street Market

Chloë Sevigny at Dover Street Market L.A. with Kim Gordon and Alia Raza. Photo: Courtesy of Dover Street Market

Do you still collect fragrances?

I don't, I'm trying to keep my apartment more minimal. But a few years ago I had a big collection of perfume. It's difficult because I get sent perfumes. I work with so many different fashion companies and go to events and they give you bottles. I like to give them to my doorman [laughs]. But when my friends come over, I always have a box full of cosmetics and fragrances and my friends are always the first to [get them].

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What was the first signature fragrance you had? Were you ever into those ones from the '90s, like Sunflowers or CK One ?

I was probably a little before that. I wore Benetton Colors — that was my favorite. And then, of course, Drakkar Noir and that green [Ralph Lauren] Polo, I think it was called, with the green bottle and gold top. I thought wearing men's cologne was cool. Before that, I wore Tea Rose when I was in elementary school. And I would get my Chloé perfume every Christmas.

Is it true that you spray the perfume seven times in the morning?

At least. Around my neck, on my arms, my head, and a couple down my body, and that’s before I put clothes on, when you're still, like, wet out of the shower. And after I put my clothes on, I'll do like two, three more sometimes. I do that and kind of rub in and rub it around.

You’ve done so many great collaborations. How do you you choose which ones to do?

With [Régime], they were my friends and I just love their products. I love their philosophy, how they incorporate different artists, their bottles, everything. I was wearing their scents for a while before we started this. With La Bouche Rouge, they were trying to create a lipstick that was more environmentally-friendly and eliminate plastics and, even though it's more expensive, you're investing in that, instead of going through so many tubes of it. It's such a struggle with cosmetics, trying to buy things without plastic. And with Opening Ceremony, they were also my friends, and when I did a collaboration with them, they were kind of just starting off. So it's also like, we help each other out. And I really believed in how Opening Ceremony celebrates a new country every year to highlight new designers that wouldn't have a platform otherwise.

When you're filming, does your beauty routine change at all?

Well I'm wearing less makeup and not doing my own makeup, but not so much. It usually involves traveling, which is harder on the skin. But usually at the end of the day you get a hot towel in the makeup trailer and then you use whatever there is because you want to get out of there. Yeah, it’s pretty lazy when it comes to skin care.

What do you think about the CBD trend? Do you use it at all?

I haven't, I bought some that I got in New York so I don’t know if it has the same...It was a capsule. I took one, but it did the opposite and kind of kept me up instead of putting me to bed. They said people can be very sensitive to the dosage. So, I‘m not a proponent. And I've done salt baths and forgot to think about whether or not it made a difference afterwards, I’m just not that conscious.

Is there anything that you hope to do before you go back to filming in Italy?

I just like spending time with my friends and my family and my mother — she came out to the launch in New York. I don’t really want to accomplish much more than just being surrounded by people I love. It's very isolating, and can be very lonely in a foreign country, so I need to, like, fill up. Have a lot of sex with my boyfriend. Here, there, everywhere. Things like that [laughs].

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