The Olsens Find Fragrance Nirvana in Bed


Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsenare adding to their empire as their transcendent Elizabeth and James line takes a turn towards the beauty counter with their first two scent since their tweens.

The two fragrances, which are slated to hit Sephora shelves in January, are named Nirvana to capture the choice moment between comfort, ease, and sex appeal for yourself…in bed, of course! The idea even seeped into the brand’s upcoming campaign that features a model snuggled in a cocoon of sheets with a dog sleeping nearby. “For us, we always came back to our beds,” Ashley explained to Women’s Wear Daily. “That’s where I love to spend my time off. No noise, no people trying to bug you. So it was about capturing that. And about there being no judgment, and how our generation is growing up with that intention. People are much more accepting of things and of people’s choices.”

The dual scents (one black, one white) were the result of two years of research and testing with the veteran perfumer Robin Burns. Nirvana Black took the most time with 50 different versions of the scent before the final formula that features notes of violet sandalwood and vanilla was picked, while its sister scent with notes of peony, muguet, and musk only took a few months, as they couldn’t fit all the notes they wanted into one bottle.

Mary-Kate explained further: “We didn’t want to do another very average commercial fragrance where it could be anybody’s name on the bottle and a visual, which would be a model with a bottle. We wanted to offer more than that and we wanted to offer a choice. It was fascinating to see how many different variations of ingredients there were, how many different types of sandalwood, for instance.”

The perfumes play with contrasts but complement each other as well. “We wanted to keep things as pure as we could,” she said. “They also layer very nicely,” Ashley noted. “It’s not necessarily meant to be either/or, but both [fragrances].”

With the two aromas under their belt, a fragrance for The Row isn’t too far off. “We’ve learned a lot through Sephora — why things work, why certain things don’t work and what’s new and exciting — and we think there are a lot of logical brand extensions,” Ashley said, but noted she was a little scared about jumping into back into beauty. “I kind of felt it today and I know it’s because I’m relatively new in this category. But I felt it in a good way — it was like, ‘I have so much to learn.’”