In case you've been living under a rock, the 2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, which airs tonight, was shot in Paris for the first time ever. And because it's not just any old city—the understatement of the century, we know—the lingerie brand has marked the occasion by unveiling a fragrance in its honor, aptly named "Paris."
Having visited Givaudan, the fragrance house in Paris where it was created, we can personally attest that the intoxicating blend of French cypress, night blooming jasmine, and white cedarwood is as sexy and intriguing as Stella Maxwell, who fronts the the perfume's campaign.
Just before Maxwell hit the VS runway in jaw-dropping fashion, we caught up with the Angel to chat about becoming the face of the new fragrance, working on her fitness in advance of the show, Shake Shack (yes, that's right!), and more.
Marie Claire: Congrats on becoming the face of the "Paris" fragrance. It's kind of a big deal. How does this scent speak to you?
Stella Maxwell: It's a very fresh, young, and chic scent that isn't heavy. I love the beautiful, Parisian-styled bottle! It's something you can wear every day. It's not something you'll get sick of, which I always look for in a fragrance.
MC: If the fragrance were a song, what do you think it would be?
SM: You know, when we shot the actual commercial there was a cover of Rihanna's "Diamonds" by Josef Salvat. We had that playing when we shot the commercial with Michael Bay and it was just the most perfect song. We had it on repeat while we were shooting and it was just a really slow, beautiful romantic version. For me, whenever I hear that song I'll think of that moment when we shot it.
MC: That's amazing. So are you a one signature scent kind of woman or do you like having a fragrance wardrobe that caters to your mood?
SM: I go through phases with fragrances. When I find one I like, like Paris, I really wear it a lot. I want people to know that that's me. A signature is cool because then anytime anyone smells that smell, they think of a person. I love that. And I have that with other people with other fragrances, obviously. So I think it's nice to have your own signature.
"It's not like a boring, old-person smell. It's always young, fresh—what women want a fragrance to smell like."
MC: Victoria's Secret fragrances are nostalgic for many. What are your earliest memories of their scents?
SM: I've always been into the Bombshell fragrances. Like, always. I just think they're really sexy and flirty. And I think they're so memorable because they're always quite unique and fun smells, you know. It's not like a boring, old-person smell. It's always young, fresh—what women want a fragrance to smell like.
MC: You're also the new face of Max Factor, who created the beauty look for the VS show. How does it feel to front such an iconic brand?
SM: I mean, it was always a goal in my career to represent a beauty brand. I was super happy it was a brand that I love. I've used Max Factor products since I was really young. My parents are from the UK. Like, we know the brand really well. It's a household name! And obviously joining Candice [Swanepoel] just made it feel very like comfortable and right.
MC: Totally! And because it's that time of year, what's your go-to holiday makeup look?
SM: Hmmm…maybe like a nice little cat eye. A little smoky—but still fresh, not too heavy.
MC: Nice! Well we imagine you're a pro as you get to work with some of the greatest makeup artists in the world, like Pat McGrath who was tapped for Max Factor's stateside relaunch.
SM: I love Pat. I've worked with her a few times, mainly fashion week and a few shoots. She's amazing because she really understands every girl's face. So she'll look at me and know exactly what I like. Or not even what I like, but she just knows what works with my face, as well as how far she can push it for a look. She's one of the most amazing makeup artists I've ever worked with.
MC: In addition to beauty, fitness is also intrinsically linked to the VS show. You guys are like all muscle! Do you change up your routine prior to the show?
SM: I do. I've been working out way more. I'm in pain right now. [Laughs] I've been working with a trainer, weight training, stretching, and lengthening. I've been doing yoga everyday...Yoga's amazing for core strength. I never realized how much strength I would get from doing it, but I've become so strong. I've never been this athletic. Victoria's Secret has definitely turned me into more of like an athlete.
MC: Okay so while we can totally appreciate a healthy diet. We can't lie—we're most interested in what a cheat day looks like for you…
SM: Oh my God. I love Shake Shack.
MC: What's your go-to order?
SM: The Mushroom burger. I love that burger. Oh, and I like chocolate too. Last night one of the fans gave me a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolate. I hadn't had one in so long and when she gave it to me, I was like "Oh my God, I forgot how much I love these and I'm gonna cheat tonight."
Victoria's Secret Paris Eau de Parfum, $65; victoriassecret.com.