Credit: Michael Kors

In theory, wearing fragrance is easy — just spritz and go. In practice, applying perfume requires a little more skill. For example, less is more when it comes to perfume application. “Stop over-spritzing! You want it to be subtle, not so overpowering that people can smell it a block away,” said American fashion designer Michael Kors. 

Inspired by all the amazing women in his life, Kors recently released a new fragrance Gorgeous! just in time for International Women’s Day “that celebrates women and makes them feel strong, confident and yes, gorgeous.” The scent is a blend of cheerful pink pepper, elegant bergamot, zesty mandarin oils, heady white florals and warm cedarwood.

Kors knew that Portuguese model and actress Sara Sampaio was the perfect face for his new fragrance, “she radiates joy, confidence and positivity, which is exactly what this fragrance is about,” he explained. 

For Sampaio — the scent smells like an “instant mood enhancer! And because the scent is so versatile, I wear it both casually and for special occasions.”

We sat down with the legend himself and his muse Sara Sampaio to talk about Gorgeous!, tips and tricks to make your perfume last longer, how to build confidence and more. 

Michael Kors Gorgeous! is a celebration of women and the confident female spirit. Could you tell us more about the women in your life who have inspired you? 

Michael Kors: There are countless women who inspire me, but I think the biggest inspiration in my life has been my mom. She’s always supported everything I do, and she’s the one who taught me to trust myself and stay true to who I am—which is advice I still follow to this day.

Do you think Gorgeous! will resonate with the Singapore customer? 

MK: I think our customers in Singapore (and all over the world) will love that Michael Kors Gorgeous! is a burst of optimism in a bottle. Now more than ever, we could all use a pick-me-up.

In your opinion, why are fragrances important especially at a time like this?

MK: There are a lot of challenges in the world right now, so it’s especially important to find ways to boost your mood. I think fragrances are a great way to do that. With one spritz, fragrance has the power to take you on a journey and transform your spirits. 

Could you walk us through the process of creating a fragrance? How similar or different is it to designing your clothing collections?

MK: My approach to designing a fragrance is very similar to how I design my collections. I start by asking myself, what’s glamorous, what’s timeless, what will transcend the seasons? Whether you’re designing ready-to-wear, a handbag or a fragrance, it’s all about figuring out the answers to those questions and designing something that your customers will love for years to come. 

What does confidence mean to you? How do you build confidence? 

MK: Confidence, to me, means feeling good in your own skin and not being afraid to show that. And one way to build your confidence is through fashion. Start by wearing something that makes you feel like your best self, like a great-fitting black pant suit, a cozy cashmere sweater or a spritz of Michael Kors Gorgeous!. Once you find what works for you, that inner confidence will come through naturally. 

Sara Sampaio: That has changed over the years, but I think ultimately I feel most confident, strong, and beautiful when I focus on prioritizing my happiness and needs, and not achieving someone else’s goals and standards for what they want from me.

What do you look for in a fragrance?

SS: I love a fragrance that is able to highlight the strength of femininity. For me, it’s all about balance and versatility, which is why I love Gorgeous!; it’s warm but also sleek, and makes me feel like I’m wearing confidence while simply being in my own skin.

What is your fondest scent memory?

SS: Because it was such an honor to be selected for this fragrance, the first memory that comes to mind was when I first smelt the Gorgeous! scent; the combination of cedar-wood, the hint of tobacco, and the presence of bright florals was so delightful, and impacting

Michael Kors and Sara Sampaio

You epitomise confidence, was there a time when you didn’t feel as confident? What did you do about it? 

SS: Thank you, I appreciate you saying that. I think it’s universally known that when it comes to topics of confidence, that can be a lifelong struggle that is comprised of daily mini struggles.I think for me, the way I combat any insecurities or uncertainty is to really look at the bigger picture, and realize what actually makes me happy. We spend too much time overlooking the best parts of ourselves because we’re so used to focusing on the flaws.

Any secret hacks to make your fragrance last longer? 

SS: Definitely applying it on your hair especially if you have long hair, cause every time you move it, everyone can smell it!

What is a tried-and-true beauty trick you’ve learned from the pros?

SS: When it comes to make up looks, less is always better, but my favorite trick is really using highlighter to make you feel alive again.

What has been your go-to beauty look these days?

SS: Thanks to quarantine it’s been a lot of natural, make-up free looks. But I also think it’s important to note that just because you aren’t applying any particular makeup, that doesn’t mean you aren’t doing a beauty look; a lot of the time less is more.

Michael Kors Gorgeous! retails for $155 (100ml), $120 (50ml) and $85 (30ml) at all Michael Kors stores, BHG and online