For a decade, accessories whiz Clare Vivier has created the kind of simple, cool, flawlessly executed leather bags, wardrobe staples, and home accents for her label, Clare V., that have inspired fans to flock to her seven stand-alone stores in hopes that a little of her L.A.-meets-Paris vibe might rub off on them. (See: the label’s beloved “Masculin Féminin” statement tees; the immediately back-ordered weekender designed in collaboration with Beastie Boy Mike D.) Next up: conquering the beauty world, as Vivier debuts her first fragrance, Angie—a “little present” to her late father, who called her by that nickname (short for her middle name, Angela).
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How did you want Angie to smell?
Clare Vivier: I’m very inspired by my surroundings, and it’s a very personal scent. We started with the greenery of California, like the chaparral, and then geranium and vetiver. Then the green citrus of Italy. Of course, we make leather bags, so there’s cuir in it, and also Japanese hinoki cypress. It had to be suitable for men and women.
Why is that?
I never like anything too floral or too feminine, and often my husband and I will wear the same scent. When I met him about 20 years ago, when I lived in France, I was wearing the original Comme des Garçons—it’s really spicy—and I noticed immediately that he was wearing it, too. When one of us finds something that we like, we’ll bring it home for both of us. It doesn’t always work. There have definitely been scents we don’t agree on, which is always a real bummer because then neither of us can really wear it.
What’s your earliest perfume memory?
My aunt was very glamorous, and she always smelled like Cacharel’s Anaïs Anaïs—a clean scent centered around lily with a base of sandalwood and cedar incense. She had a beautiful aesthetic—she’d wear a lot of leather; she had a pool and a beautiful car. It felt exotic to me. Very fancy and interesting.
Traveling around the world for work, you have the opportunity for some great hauls. What do you stock up on?
A few years ago, I went to Korea for the first time and discovered K beauty. Now I use SU:M37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick face wash every day. And it’s always such a treat to go to a French pharmacy. My husband and I stockpile soaps and shower gel, like Roger & Gallet. We love the smell of the cédrat [citron]—I’d buy it by the caseload if I could. And every time I’m home in Minnesota, I buy grapefruit toning mist from this wonderful place called Garden of Eden.
When you’re immersed in a new collection, do you find yourself dressing differently to match it?
That happens. I’m having a real love affair with the color lilac right now because it reminds me of the jacaranda flower. It’s a beautiful light purple, and I’m working with it in leather. I’d been searching and searching for that color eyeliner and finally saw a random girl wearing it—she said it was Marc Jacobs. I just wear it on the top lid. It’s perfect.
What do you think of the eternal comparison of Parisian versus American style?
There’s this thing with people in America becoming a little too lackadaisical about what they’re wearing. We’ve become a lot more accepting of people not getting dressed properly. I don’t think that’s happened in Paris, and that’s why we still find it so beautiful when you walk the streets and see people who are dressed really gorgeously.
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Among Vivier’s international beauty finds are Le Petit Marseillais soap bars (1) from Paris, which are “good and mild, simple and clean”; the sandalwood-and-neroli– enhanced The CAPtivator Love Bath with epsom salt (2) from CAP Beauty in New York, “perfect for after a long run or particularly fren- etic day”; and Korean-brand Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream EX Light (5): “Ginseng is a tiny miracle,” she says, “so I get it where I can.” For the ultimate lilac, Marc Jacobs Matte Highliner Eye Pencil in Mist Me (3) “really stays put.” To replicate a natural flush, Vivier works RMS Lip2Cheek in Smile (4) across the apples of her cheeks.
- Le Petit Marseillais Bath and Body 4 Soaps, $13; amazon.com SHOP
- CAPtivator Love Bath, $12; lotuswei.com SHOP
- Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner, $25; sephora.com SHOP
- RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek, $36; sephora.com SHOP
- Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream, $240; neimanmarcus.com SHOP
This article originally appears in the December 2017 issue of ELLE.