What do you get when one of Hollywood's most popular and powerful A-listers releases a fragrance? In Bloom ($34), the new Avon scent from Reese Witherspoon. Over the course of two years, the self-proclaimed girly-girl was involved in practically all aspects of the perfume-making experience, from helping to select the fragrance's notes to providing input on her inaugural scent's packaging, bottle design, and name. During a phone call earlier this week, Reese shared her thoughts on creating In Bloom. For the scoop, just keep reading.

On the scent's inspiration:
I didn’t realize how incredibly complicated the process was. We started with a set of ideas . . . about sensory memories: what it was like growing up in Tennessee, and what I remember of my mother [and] my grandmother wearing perfume-wise. That was the jumping-off point.

Regarding her scent and smell preferences:
I remember a large part of my childhood was spent in my yard with a gigantic magnolia tree, so I knew it had to have magnolia in it. Also, my mother always wore gardenia perfume, so I’ve always been attracted to white flowers, and we went from that to try to soften that a little bit — because sometimes that [white flowers] can be a little heavy. So we mixed it with peach tea leaves and it created something a little bit softer, but still very sophisticated.


Her favorite part of the fragrance-making process:
Probably my favorite part was developing the bottle. I remember being a little girl: When my grandmother was done with the perfume, she would give me the bottle so that there was just a little bit left. I remember thinking, "It’s so beautiful having these things sitting on your dresser." I thought about it as sort of a piece of art — something in your bathroom, something in your bedroom — that really is something beautiful that you feel inspired by. I wanted it to kind of look like a bouquet.

On the scent's wearability:
I wanted it go day-to-night, and not feel too heavy in either sort of environment . . . I wanted to make sure that it was something very easy to wear.

On choosing the scent's name:
When we came up with In Bloom it just sounded like a great name. We talked about using my name, but I thought it should evoke a feeling that was reflective of what was going on in my life. I think that In Bloom captures the idea that I’m at a time in my life where I feel very confident with my work, with my personal life — and that it’s really a time to really blossom.

Would she do it again?
Certainly, yeah . . . It’s nice to be part of something where you get to use your visual and aesthetic instincts.