Tamara Mellon sat down with Derek Blasberg at a townhouse on 68th Street yesterday at lunchtime to discuss Jimmy Choo’s latest project, a fragrance, slated to hit Saks early next year. Blasberg asked Mellon questions like they were on Dateline, about why the scent? Why now? “We felt like the timing was right, because we’ve transformed from a shoe brand, which is our core, to a lifestyle luxury brand,” she explained to her friend. “Fragrance gives a woman identity. When a woman comes into the room, you might recognize her by smell. Or if she leaves her scarf behind and you pick it up, you smell her.” Mellon told us her favorite scent is Opium: “That still reminds me of my teenage years.” That’s Opium as in the YSL fragrance, not the drug you smoke. “Oh, God, no! I wasn’t smoking opium [as a teen]. I wasn’t smoking anything. But I love that scent,” she told us after the talk.
Anyway, Mellon, who stars in the fragrance’s ad campaign, said she has a keen sense of smell, but that making the perfume was a learning process: “[My sense of smell is] good! But I had to do a lot of smelling. Oh my God, a lot. You’re thrown into a world you’re not skilled at and you just have to go with what you like and you hope everyone else likes it.” The Jimmy Choo fragrance, we can report, is very girly and does not smell like shoes. “It’s sitting on the right side of sexy, because I think that’s a very fine line,” Mellon explained. So how do you know if you’ve crossed it, then? “It’s a fine line,” she admitted. “It’s a taste level.” Blasberg also asked Mellon about her recent OBE award. “It means order of the British Empire. There are different ranks, the highest being the Dame, and a Sir, like Sir Elton John,” she explained. “I got an OBE, which is like second to that. When a British person has kind of excelled or achieved they get OBE.” Mellon’s fellow OBEs include none other than Anna Wintour.