The alignment between multitalented artist FKA Twigs and Dutch fashion label Viktor&Rolf is a natural one. Its newest fragrance, Good Fortune, is a celebration of self-empowered destiny, inspired by the brand's Spiritual Glamour haute couture collection. And teaming up with FKA Twigs was seamless—not only because of her ethereal style, but also because of her longtime interest in fragrance.
"Before I was an artist, I used to work in Selfridges in the fragrance department," she tells BAZAAR.com. "Because I used to sell [Viktor&Rolf fragrance], it's a really beautiful full-circle moment." Both the artist and the label know that great work can take patience; just as the dedicated pursuit of creativity brought her to this moment, it took 10 years of meticulous development to bring this fragrance to life.
"I love honing my craft, and I also believe that practice is love," she says, adding that "there's even that saying about [the 10,000-Hour Rule]," referencing Malcolm Gladwell's theory wherein it takes 10,000 hours to truly master a skill set. Twigs says she looks forward to waking up in the morning and practicing her vocal exercises and dancing. Through this devoted embodiment of love for her craft, her creativity becomes free to express itself. "Whether it's pole dancing or martial arts, [it's only] when I really feel confident that I can start experimenting. When you start experimenting, that's when the magic happens. I can't do that unless I feel confident in my practice."
This devotion to perfection helps her evolve as an artist. "I still feel like a baby," she says. "There's so much to learn and to discover, and that's what keeps me fresh, curious, and childlike about my art. It's about having a wonderful, playful nature."
Yet she remains aware of the pressures of this moment in time, in the wake of a global pandemic and as its residual stressors add to the complexity of contemporary life. Thus, the message behind the fragrance launch and its underlying "manifesto" resonates with her values. "I'm very much a spiritual person, and I think the messaging of the fragrance is to take control of your own destiny. That's something we need now more than ever," Twigs says of the mercurial flux of the "bizarre world" we find ourselves in.
She continues, "It does give me, personally, a lot of hope and a lot of confidence when I feel that I can make my own dreams come true and [to] focus on the good things in my life. It doesn't always work out, but to know that you can trick yourself into that positive state of mind … I do think there is something to that, even when circumstances can be so dire."
Then there is the fact that she is a passionate lover of fragrance, one of the most emotionally evocative forms of beauty. "Fragrance plays a massive role in my life, actually. I love smelling beautifully, and I love blending my own sorts of smells, from body creams to oils to fragrances. I've even made my own fragrance in the past," Twigs says. She describes herself as "fussy" about ingredients, drawn to natural oils and earthy scents, and appreciates that Good Fortune ticks off the boxes of what she values in brands. "It's vegan, the bottle is refillable so it's sustainable [in that it results in less waste]. These are things that I look for in my own products," she says. "I do believe in this day and age, we have a responsibility to be careful of what we're putting on our skin, in the environment, and that's why I'm drawn to [these particular scents.]"
In her world, perfume is not something that can be easily overdone. "My friends always say that my house smells like a head shop. Very incense-y," she says. As luck would have it, Good Fortune contains notes she is naturally fond of, including ethically sourced Madagascar vanilla and jasmine. "I always have perfume in my bag. Whenever I go to the ladies' [room], I always give myself a little spritz," she says. "Whenever I walk into a room and someone says, 'Wow, you smell amazing,' that makes me feel really good. Beyond being tired, having a bad hair day, breaking out … smelling really beautifully can transcend all those things that can be quite stressful."
From her time at Selfridges, Twigs advises on the ideal way to apply the fragrance. "The perfect way to apply perfume would be to spray it about two inches from the skin, and don't rub it [in]—dab it," she says. "For the first 50 seconds, it needs to set," she adds, noting that when you are impatient, you might get an alcohol-tinged whiff—and that's so not the vibe.