You grew up in Hawaii, one of the most fragrant places on earth. What was your favorite scent growing up?
We had a plumeria tree in our yard that my sister and I would climb in all the time. Whenever we wanted to feel pretty, we’d pick the plumeria blooms and put them in our hair. That intense floral scent and the scent of the sea in the countryside near Waikiki in Oahu, where I grew up and where all the big surf is, always gives me the chills.
Lucky Darling is founded on strong lily notes. You were showered in lilies at the shoot…you’ve got a lot of lilies in your life right now. What does the lily symbolize to you?
The flower itself is so beautiful and the scent is insanely amazing but I think it’s that rebellious streak of deep purple color I think of first…especially when I think of my sister, Lilli. She’s a mini me but more feisty. I don’t like confrontation. I just want to make people happy. She doesn’t care what people think and I love that about her.
How would you describe Lucky Darling?
Lucky Darling feels to me like stepping into a wild, lush flower field. I’ve been carrying a tiny sample bottle in my purse and when I dab it on in the morning, it’s almost like I’m back in one of flower the fields near my home in Hawaii. Then at night, it sparks a little thing in my brain that makes me want to go out and have fun.
The scent was inspired by the Beverly Hills hotel and the glamour of Hollywood. What does Hollywood symbolize to you?
When I think of Hollywood, I think of glamour and of dreams coming true. To me, it’s the place where a small town girl can turn into a star, with a little bit of luck. I love the old school glamour of Hollywood. The wavy hair. The red lips. The pearl earrings.
Style-wise, are you a full-on glamour girl?
My style switches every second. I’ll be watching Sex and the City and decide to wear high socks one day then a rocker shirt the next. I definitely go boho when I want to tap into my Hawaiian vibe. Right now, I’m all about that lily-streak purple color I wore on set. Even my nails are lily purple.
Which Hollywood star (past or present) most inspires you and why?
Lauren Bacall. She was so flirty and seductive but a little funny, too, especially with men. Bacall was 19 years old when she debuted her first big movie and I was 19 when I shot the big perfume campaign so there’s that element of serendipity too. She’s got this great quote I love: “Imagination is the highest kite that can fly.”
What inspiration did you take from working with Ellen Von Unwerth?
Ellen is so incredible because she sets a scene and then lets me run with a character. On set, I was a confident starlet who’s backstage and being showered with flowers and photographed, and who’s so content with herself and happy in the moment she’s spritzing herself all over with perfume. The whole time, Ellen kept encouraging me to express myself. She lightens up the room and it makes me feel like I can let my light shine on others, which is the best inspiration in the world.
Any superstitions or lucky habits and if so, how did you develop them?
In Hawaii, the tea leaf is a really sacred plant. I used to dance hula and my kumu, the leader of my halau, or hulu family, told me that tea leaves create a bubble around you that wards off bad spirits. So now, when I travel, I take a fresh tea leaf with me in a little baggie, sprinkled with sea salt. Each time I go home, I pick a new one.
Is there a place in the world you think of as lucky? A favorite street you walk down and suddenly always feel better?
The beach in front of my house in Oahu. It puts me right back home. It makes me feel so small. I think of my problems and I realize I’m just a speck of sand. The water will touch my feet and take my worries away and carry them out to the ocean.
Lucky Darling launches November 17th.
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