Jeff Leatham on His ‘Most Personal Fragrance’ and His Melanie Griffith–Recommended Skin-Care Routine

Jeff Leatham is a man of many trades. He’s a well-renowned floral designer for the likes of the Kardashian clan, the artistic director of the Four Seasons and has helped develop a handful of entrancing scents, including a handful of KKW fragrances. Leatham is having a busy spring closing out his stunning Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden, launching his first personal fragrance and still trying to find time for himself. We caught up with the talented Mr. Leatham to learn more about the new fragrance Voodoo Rose with Scent Beauty and what goes on behind the scenes. The full-sized fragrance will be available in the fall, but you can pre-order the sample size now.

On Voodoo Rose…

“This is my most personal fragrance because Voodoo Rose has been in my life for probably 16 years. We created it years ago—it’s been in candle form before. What I’ve done the last year and a half is made fragrances with KKW. To have my first launch on my own be Voodoo Rose and have it be so personal for me is just so amazing.”

On the irresistible scent…

“It’s patchouli oil and it’s rose and it’s cinnamon. The heart of it is sandalwood and peppercorn and vanilla and musk. I have so many people who are so excited about this because when it was in candle form, the celebrities I’d given it to would literally hide the candles because they were so rare.

The only way to describe it is dark and sexy. This is the fragrance you want to put on at night when you want to get mischievous—and you want people to remember what you smell like. People will say they’ve never smelled anything like this, in a good way. I think that’s why the name is so fitting for it. It is honestly like voodoo—it captures you.”

On the inspiration behind the scent…

“I’ve always loved a dark rose. When we started creating Voodoo Rose, it was really based upon just a really dark, beautiful rose, like a red rose. I think that’s the classic part of it. There haven’t really been a lot of fragrances out there on the market, for years, with a base of a deep, red, sexy rose. Rose with my other fragrances, like KKW Desert Rose, is very rose feeling, but you spray Voodoo Rose on, and you don’t really smell the rose at all.”

On his skin-care routine…

“I have a friend, Melanie Griffith, she’s an actor, she was one of the original investors in Augustinus Bader. I’m obsessed with it. That’s my skin-care routine. I wear The Face Oil ($245), then I wear The Cream ($280) and then I wear The Rich Cream ($280). I do that everyday. I’m 51, can you tell? Everyone says, ‘You have such shine on your skin,’ and I’m like, ‘It’s not me it’s the skin-care routine.’ I don’t really wash my face. I just use those products.”

On self-care…

“I go on walks with this guy here [gestures to his dog napping beside him]. I think it’s super important to take time for yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s four times a year or a couple of times a year. I just got back from Florida because I just wanted to walk on the beach, not that we don’t have beaches in LA. I think it’s important to practice self-care, even if it’s sleeping in an extra 30 minutes. It’s all about self-care sitting outside, having a glass of wine, or even just taking a longer walk than usual and putting on some of your favorite music. Those are all things that don’t cost a lot of money.”

On other fragrances…

“I’ve only worn three fragrances my whole life. I’ve worn Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb ($118), which is obviously a women’s fragrance but I kind of made it mine. You know how fragrances change with the chemicals on your body. Recently, I’ve been wearing a lot of KKW Night Iris, and I mix that with Rare Fig ($24) and Caramel Orchid ($24). When people hug me, they’re like ‘Oh my God, you smell so good,’ and that’s my goal.

I’m a true believer in having different kinds of fragrances for different times of the day. In the morning, you might want something like citrus and jasmine and gardenia to wake you up, then something sexier at night.”

On why fragrances are so special…

“When I was approached by Scent Beauty to do a personal fragrance it was very exciting for me because I’d just been such a fan of fragrances in my life. You remember a flower, and it creates a memory, of your grandmother’s favorite flower, or you remember flowers someone gave to you, and I think that’s the same memory that fragrance has when you smell someone, or someone walks in a room, or you go on a date with someone. And fragrance lasts longer than a flower arrangement. My mother, unfortunately, passed away a couple of years ago. She wore Estée Lauder Youth-Dew ($42). I make sure I buy a bottle because, when I smell it, it makes me think of her.”

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