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An Interview with Kate Walsh & Her New Boyfriend

Ad featuring Kate Walsh and the perfume Boyfriend

EauMG interviews actress Kate Walsh:

Boyfriend is a perfume that is meant to capture the scent of a guy on a girl, a skin lingering scent, a rich man’s cologne mixed with feminine perfume. The memory of a boyfriend. Boyfriend is a woody amber with notes of dark plum, myrrh, night blooming jasmine, benzoin tears, skin musk, golden amber, and vanilla woods.

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview and discuss the fragrance, Boyfriend, with Kate Walsh, the creator of Boyfriend and the star of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. Walsh is very enthusiastic about her perfume and easy to talk with. I learned that  her first perfume experiences were with YSL Paris, Chanel Cristalle, and Jessica McClintock. (Some of my favorite florals). And I learned that she and I have the same Old Hollywood “boyfriends”/crushes 🙂

Walsh was inspired to create Boyfriend several years ago after breaking up with her then-boyfriend. She missed his scent and went on a hunt to buy a men’s cologne for herself. The masculine colognes sold at the department store weren’t exactly what she was looking for so she embarked on the journey of creating Boyfriend, a “non-traditional” celebrity perfume. Fast forward 6 years and now we can smell Boyfriend. Read more of the interview on  Perfume-Smellin’ Things and Scent Rebel.

EauMG: You’ve already answered my first question: what fragrance did your first boyfriend wear? Answer: Polo Ralph Lauren.

KW: I dated myself there: Polo. Drakaar. That was like the 80s and 90s.

EauMG: What smells do you like? Which fragrances have you always appreciated?

KW: It’s funny because that was part of the process for me — my little education with Givaudan, the perfumers. What I respond to with men’s cologne are these woods and amber and a little patchouli. Like with Polo, it was iconic, but it was pheromonal. You got an instant reaction. You want it and it makes you want to move closer. But what I wore day to day was a little more floral or had vanilla or some musks in it too. It wasn’t straight-up floral, but I do love night blooming jasmine. In California, we have these great flowers that bloom in the night and the spring like tuberose, trumpet flowers, trumpet vines, angel’s trumpet. They are these really pungent flowers that bloom. So what I realized is that I wanted to make this men’s cologne for a woman, but what I really like to wear as a steady diet is something more complex. That’s what I loved about the perfumers at Givaudan and the woman we worked with to develop Boyfriend. Her name is Marypierre Julien. She is so amazing that this fragrance really opens up. It’s like a great wine. The first part of it is juicy plum and a little bit of night blooming jasmine, which is an aphrodisiac so it just makes your eyes roll a little bit. And then it goes down to the woods and a little patchouli and then dries down to an amber vanilla.

EauMG: It sounds beautiful. It really does.

KW: It is really beautiful. I’m really proud of it. Not just the fragrance but the product. Part of the reason why I designed the train kit was that I was inspired by vintage train cases and makeup cases. It’s so romantic. When I grew up watching old movies and falling in love with all these movie stars like Clark Gable and Tyrone Power and all these people. The women all were so glamorous and well lit and they all had these great compacts and everybody had the perfect shade of red lipstick. There was such this ritual to beauty. So I wanted to encompass that. I live in LA and I’m in the business so people throw stuff at me all the time and I get lots of samples, which is great, but I really would love to have a whole line of things that aren’t fighting each other. Like it’s annoying to have my perfume fighting my body cream fighting, my body scrub fighting my deodorant. I’ve got 8 different things happening here, so I designed the components of the Boyfriend kit to not only be portable so you can take your Boyfriend with you wherever you go, but also that they work together. They’re all the same basic ingredients and same fragrance pyramid but they’re all a little different. The pulse point oil and dry body oil have a little more of the vanilla than the eau du parfum. The candle is a little smokier.

EauMG: It’s a beautiful idea and the train case is adorable. Was there a surprise or something unexpected in the perfume process?

KW: The biggest surprise to me was that – first of all- it was a wonderful experience in terms of just being an artist and being a collaborator. One of my favorite things about acting is you get to go on set and collaborate with 100 crew member every day. You can have that balance of having a really specific vision and knowing what you want and then letting reality inform you and other people who are experts in their fields inform you.

I felt really grateful to have that experience because the fragrance arena is obviously new – the whole business – is a totally new territory to me. So to have this idea that, yes, I want this men’s fragrance just softened up a bit. It’s like having his fragrance on your skin with your own floral notes. The biggest surprise was, ‘Oh, I don’t want to have a straight-up men’s fragrance for women. I want it softened up. I want to have the balance of masculine and feminine and, what in the fragrance industry they would describe as the woody and the amber notes and the floral notes balanced in there. I want to wear this all the time. I want people to be able to wear this all the time. I’ve always worn oils and one of the things that was important with Marypierre, who developed it was this idea of layering it. Not only being able to layer it within the Boyfriend products but with other fragrances. It’s palatable and malleable so if you are loyal to your other fragrance you can still work this in there.

Boyfriend is available at Sephora. Check out the videos that Walsh wrote and starred in on the official Boyfriend website.

I’ve also reviewed this fragrance. Here’s my review.

15 thoughts on “An Interview with Kate Walsh & Her New Boyfriend

  1. Great interview! I had to say when I initially saw that she was doing a fragrance… I rolled my eyes a bit, but it sounds like she is into fume. I am intrigued that it’s her take on a softened up men’s fragrance. I’m sick of berries and sweets.

    1. I’ll be writing a review of Boyfriend. I forewarn you of my not-so-funny puns.
      We’re all sick of celeb perfumes. Even Kate Walsh! That’s why with Sephora you search “Boyfriend” and not “Kate Walsh”. My impression is that she really started this fragrance because she wanted to, because she couldn’t shake the idea of a “mix of men’s cologne with women’s perfume”, like wearing your boyfriend’s sweater, instead of slapping a name & face on a pre-made unlabeled juice.

    1. Haha. I have never watched either show, shhh…..but I do remember her on the Drew Carey Show!
      She was really nice and I’m not just saying that. I’ve met celebs before, many without a personality. She’s passionate about fragrance and intelligent.

      I think the train case is adorable. I’ve always loved vintage train cases, used to collect them. The Boyfriend one even has a “lucite” handle. What attention to detail!

    1. Oh, dear. She didn’t say it was edible! 😉 Speaking of…do you remember Jessica Simpson’s edible perfume line? I was hoping that I wouldn’t remember it!
      I think you may like this one since you like EL Sensuous. I’ll post a review next week.

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