“I wanted a scent that was like a tonic,” says Karen Walker when talking about the latest addition to her growing fragrance family. Described as the free-spirited younger sibling to her ABC eau de parfum trio, her new scent, Hi There, captures the designer’s love of contradiction: it’s neither male or female, it’s undeniably modern yet has traditional elements, and radiant fresh top notes of Italian lemon, green apple and green melon are contrasted with deep earthy undertones of cedar wood and amber. On the morning of the fragrance’s launch, Walker shared some of her thoughts on fragrance and the power of scent with MiNDFOOD Style.
What three words would you use to describe Hi There?
Fresh and sparkly.
Why did you decide to create a gender-neutral fragrance?
We didn’t set out to make a fragrance for men and women, we make fragrances we think are great, and we felt that Hi There would speak to both men and women.
What is your first memory of scent?
My grandmother’s rose garden.
Fragrance aside, what are some of your favourite scents?
Open fires, new paperbacks, gardenia, cats’ bellies, lemons, cedar wood and tuberose.
Can you share one of your fondest memories of perfume?
Whenever I smell Karen Walker B it takes me back to a courtyard in Paris that we were working in whilst developing it.
What was the first fragrance you bought?
I can’t remember for sure but it was most likely Lou Lou by Cacharel.
What is your experience with buying fragrance for others as a gift?
I’ve always found that the people who work in fragrance departments in premium stores are amazing at directing you to the right fragrance for the right person. Ask the expert!
Is there a particular person who you think would appreciate Hi There as a gift?
I think it’s a very happy fragrance so I’d start with introducing it to people who love to smile.
What is your own approach to owning and wearing fragrance?
I always match my fragrance for the day to the mood I’m in and the way I choose to dress or project myself for the day.
The notes of Hi There are very uplifting. Do you have a go-to scent you wear to lift your spirits?
As of now it’s Hi There!
We’ve heard you think that we should not only have a wardrobe of clothes, but a wardrobe of fragrance too. Can you elaborate on this idea?
Some people like to own a smell – have a signature fragrance and I love that. But other people like to have a selection of fragrances they love that they can choose from each day depending on their mood or look or schedule in the same way you choose your outfit, your bag or your sunglasses.
What fragrances would we find in your fragrance wardrobe?
Since I started working in the world of fragrance of course it’s only been KW on my fragrance shelf. So, at present, it’s A,B,C and Hi There but also, since we’re continuously creating new fragrances, I always have whatever’s next or whatever’s being developed on the shelf too – one of the perks of the job!
Hi There is available in-store and online from today.