What is sexy? A coy smile? An unmistakable aura? An unwavering confidence or killer sense of style? Instead of pondering the feat that many of us try to effortlessly accomplish, we went to the man who could quite possibly offer us the best, definitive answer: Roberto Cavalli. The ageless fashion magnate has just released his eponymous label’s signature scent, Roberto Cavalli Parfum. It’s a spicy and sparkling balance of pink peppercorn, orange blossom, roasted Venezuelan tonka beans, vanilla absolute and ambery notes of benzoin resin. While each fragrant note is individually strong and distinct, the resulting aroma is an effortless, unmistakeable sexy.
The perfumier: Louise Turner of the “fragrance and flavour” leader Givaudan, who emphasized the scent’s use of “real raw materials.” The bottle designer: Eva Cavalli, the designer’s wife and business partner. The face: Italian-Egyptian beauty Elisa Sednaoui, who plays quite the convincing tigress - complementary to the perfume bottle’s subtle tiger print band - in its steamy 45-second video ad.
We got to tease our senses with the smokey scent at Cavalli’s plush, 27th floor showroom in the heart of Manhattan. Imagine plush furs, exotic animal prints, and opulent garments replete with barely-there bikinis, staggering stilettos, and daring dresses that screamed sex appeal and security, all at once. Packed away behind an arrangement of accessories with two handsome accomplices and leopard pillows lain on black swivel chairs, there he was. And for five minutes, Mr. Cavalli was all ours.
How were you able to narrow down the perfect scent?
When I got the approach from Coty. They gave me, I remember, 25 small bottles. In the beginning, I gave myself that question to choose the perfume, and it was complicated. I started to travel a lot: Paris, London, New York… and everybody [on the team] was really involved with that kind of choice. When I went back to Coty, I had two small bottles. I chose one, and I said, “Ok, that is the winner!”
We know this scent was created for the woman who the Roberto Cavalli brand speaks to. Who is she?
When I created this fragrance, I thought to create a fragrance that went with my fashion. When I create one collection - in the end especially - when I see it all together, my collection should be sexy, should be aggressive, should be romantic.
And how would you define sexy?
Sexy is when a woman can speak with her eyes.
So for you, what qualities does a sexy woman have to possess?
Personality — it can be soft and delicate. Sometimes it’s a little bit enigmatic. Sometimes it’s charismatic. You know, it depends on knowing how to manage your personality.
Do you have any muses that encompass that sexy personality?
Yes, many. Many! But I cannot tell you; for today, everyone is one! [laughs]
So, you’ll have to keep that as your secret?
No, I’ll tell you. I have many. Because of course, when I start to think about one, I start to think about all them. My muses: Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Sharon Stone. The models, Cindy Crawford, Naomi [Campbell]. I remember, I gave this [parfum] to Naomi, she cried, she loved it so much. [laughs]
What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done?
The most romantic thing? Maybe it happened 2,000 years ago, I forgot it [laughs].
Want to see the Roberto Cavalli woman in action? Watch this saucy, steamy video featuring his fragrant femme fatale, Sednaoui.