You might think that when a celebrity "makes" a signature perfume, all the celebrity does is slap his/her name on a perfume bottle. You probably think this because that's exactly what happens. Occasionally, a celebrity will take some pills, put on a lab coat, and sniff a bunch of fragrance sticks, but only if they're being filmed for their Bravo reality show.
For most celebrity perfumers, that's the extent of the process. But not for Jennifer Aniston. For her, it wasn't just about the perfume destination, it was about the scent journey.
“It’s been a year-and-a-half journey,” Aniston told WWD. “I’d been asked to do things before, and it never felt organic. But when Leon [Falic, president of the Falic Fashion Group] approached me to be involved with the process from inception to fruition, I thought, ‘This could be a creative expression.’”
"It wasn't just about showing up for a shoot and putting my name on a bottle. I felt like a little chemist," she says. "It's turned out to be an extension of myself as opposed to slapping my name on something."
Paula Abdul felt like "a little chemist" too, but Jennifer Aniston's perfume really means something, you know? It's more than just a bunch of smells in an expensive jar—it's a scentspression. And it took a lot for Jen to find her scentspression. In fact, when Jen got perfumer's block about six months into the scent-making process, the fragrance company arranged a sort of outward bound trip for her in the hope of reviving her inspiration. They hired a helicopter and dropped Jen, alone, onto a remote island off the coast of Mexico. For weeks, Jennifer Aniston scavenged food, scurried along the rocky coast like a beige sandcrab, and thought, deeply, about smells.
When the fragrance company sent out a team to pick her up from the beach about two months later, Jennifer Aniston was cold, starving, and covered in sandflea bites—but she knew exactly what she wanted her perfume to smell like:
"Most of all, I wanted it to smell natural."
So, beige then? Soon after, the fragrance company sent her back to the island to come up with a name for her perfume. Three months later, suffering from severe dehydration and exposure, Jen found a dead sea anemone washed up on the beach. She couldn't believe her luck. At the time, Jen was making a Friends tableaux out of dead sea creatures and all she needed was a sea anemone for Chandler. As she bent down to pick it up, Jen heard a soft voice giggling. It was the dead sea anemone! "Tee hee hee! I am Lolavie the sea anemone," it laughed. "Won't you laugh at life with me?"
Jen laughed. "Yes I will, Lolavie. Yes I will." Finally, she had her perfume's name:
Jennifer Aniston says there's "a long story" behind her perfume name, Lolavie, which roughly translates into "laughing at life."
"And, honestly, it's too personal to tell."