ELLE Exclusive: Tory Burch Talks About The Launch Of Her Eponymous Fragrances In India

Tory Burch

‘What does success smell like?’ was the first question I asked Tory Burch, the enigmatic, Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of her eponymous brand that has finally forayed into the Indian market with its fragrances. “The ocean in Antigua. I feel content when I’m on the beach, reflecting on what matters most — my family,” says Burch. According to Burch, for her fragrances, she has put her vision into a bottle – from fresh flowers to a garden in Paris, the range is created to bring back the feeling of nostalgia. Ahead of Tory Burch fragrance launch in India, we caught up with her to understand her plan for Tory Burch beauty, the role of fashion expertise in creating a beauty line, and her beauty routine.

Excerpts from the Interview with Tory Burch


ELLE: Tell us about the fragrances that are launching in India?

Tory Burch: We spent a lot of time thinking about the dreams and emotions each fragrance would evoke. Divine Moon represents peace; it transports me to my garden in Antigua, where I feel an overwhelming sense of tranquillity. Sublime Rose represents love and is a new, modern twist on a classic rose; it reminds me of the garden in Paris where my husband proposed. Electric Sky is energising and vibrant, channelling absolute freedom, while Mystic Geranium instils joy. It has this unexpected contrast of geranium leaf, bergamot, and rich cedarwood. Cosmic Wood feels optimistic and magical, with vetiver notes that remind me of my father; vetiver was his favourite scent.

My favourite changes constantly — I wear them all. Today, it’s Cosmic Wood, but I might add Electric Sky as the day goes on.

ELLE: The Tory Burch fragrance and beauty line are (almost) a decade old (launched in 2013). What are your future plans for it?

TB: Our partnership with Shiseido marks our official foray into the beauty space, starting with fragrance. My vision for Tory Burch Beauty is to create high-quality, innovative products that help people feel confident and beautiful. My philosophy is the same for both fashion and beauty; it is about self-expression and individuality.


ELLE: What are your thoughts about the Indian market?

TB: India is an important market for our company, and it is a very special place to me personally, so I knew I wanted to bring our Essence of Dreams collection there as soon as possible.

India has inspired me from the very beginning — the art, the craftsmanship, the people, the history. It is my favorite place to visit over and over; despite countless trips through the years, there is still so much more to see.

ELLE: Tory Burch – as the fashion label – has a specific design language – the monogram plays an integral role in it. How do you translate the same for the fragrance and beauty line?

TB: My approach to beauty reflects my design philosophy: reimagined classics, unexpected contrasts, and building confidence. I knew I wanted to design a full collection — not just one fragrance — so people could make the scents their own, just like our ready-to-wear and accessories. Fragrance is so personal, and I don’t see women wearing just one anymore; they’re collecting scents to alternate, mix, and layer.


ELLE: Being a fashion entrepreneur at first, how did the experience help you in creating and running a successful beauty business?

TB: It has been an incredible learning experience with the Shiseido team. I immediately knew they were the right partner for us. While I had a vision for applying our brand codes and values to beauty, I also knew a strong partner would be the key to our success. Designing a fragrance is entirely different from designing a dress or handbag, and it has been a dream to learn more about Shiseido’s expertise and cutting-edge technology.

ELLE: In developing these fragrances, what was the most interesting part of the process for you?

TB: I am fascinated by the way scent is connected to our memories and feelings. A few of the fragrances were inspired by loved ones — my father, my mother, my husband — and others include scents from my favorite places. I loved working through every iteration of the scents and nailing the perfect balance.


ELLE: For the fashion entrepreneur, businesswoman, and woman with multiple businesses, what is your beauty routine like?

TB: I have never been a big makeup person, so I usually run out the door with damp hair, a bit of mascara, and a swipe of eyeliner. If I have an event after work, I’ll add more throughout the day; a few dabs of blush and highlighter can instantly wake up your face. But I always have a light hand; I feel most like myself when my beauty look is a bit undone. If I do a bold lip or a smoky eye, I’ll just tie my hair back in a knot; alternately, if my hair is really polished, I’ll go for more natural makeup.

ELLE: Lastly, do you have a signature scent or layer your fragrances according to the mood of the day?

TB: For me, fragrance is intuitive and emotional; I choose one (or several) based on my mood, what I’m wearing, or how I want to feel.

ELLE: If we ask you, tell us what the following smells like to you:

 *Happiness smells like… 

Fresh flowers. I love to arrange them myself; the process is meditative for me.

 *Success smells like… 

The ocean in Antigua. I feel content when I’m on the beach, reflecting on what matters most — my family.

*Home smells like… 

Big weekend breakfasts with my boys.

*Love smells like… 

Roses. My husband proposed in a rose garden in Paris.

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