Multi-hyphenate powerhouse Liza Minnelli is releasing a new perfume in honor of her late mother, the critically acclaimed Wizard of Oz star Judy Garland. As Minnelli opens up about her journey making the fragrance, the EGOT winner talks about her own signature scent, and how it reminds her of her close friend, the late fashion designer Halston.
The Cabaret star and her sister Lorna Luft are commemorating what would have been Garland’s 100th birthday on June 10 with the new limited-edition fragrance. When speaking with People, Minnelli recalls her mother’s signature scent. “I just remember that the last thing Mama always did before she walked out the door was to spray herself with fragrance,” said Minnelli.
While Garland was known to often reach for the Ma Griffe perfume by Carven, Minnelli has acquired a trademark scent of her own throughout the years. Her favorite fragrance was created by the inimitable fashion force Halston, and it serves as a walk down memory lane for the actress, singer, and dancer. “I wear it all the time,” she told the publication. “It reminds me of him and our friendship.”
Known for his disco-glam, sequin-clad, bias-cut, ensembles at the height of the 1970s, Halston released his eponymous perfume in 1975. His glass teardrop-shaped bottle conceived by Italian jewelry designer Elsa Peretti has cemented the eau de parfum as an iconic piece of his business. Without adding any branding to the bottle, the scent went on to become one of the best-selling perfumes in history.
Surrounding himself with a slew of statuesque models dubbed the “Halstonettes,” and muses like Bianca Jagger, Peretti, and Minnelli, the designer forged close and collaborative relationships with his inner-circle.
Minnelli famously performed during the Battle of Versailles fashion show, where American designers (including Halston) displayed their clothing against a brigade of European couturiers (where America came out on top). Minnelli wore her friend’s designs for her lively performance of “Bonjour, Paris” during the show.
Often frequenting Studio 54 with one another, Minnelli and Halston were known for being attached at the hip. “I met him when I was 20,” Minnelli told WWD in a 1990 interview. “From that time, I never did a show or went to a party — or threw one — without him guiding me. Every show I did, I performed in his living room first. In him there was tastefulness, style and simplicity.” Sadly, Halston passed away before his time in 1990 due to AIDS-related complications at the age of 57.
With their famous friendship recently immortalized in Ryan Murphy’s 2021 limited-series Halston, Ewan McGregor portrayed the fashion designer while Krysta Rodriguez transformed into a young Liza Minnelli.
They say scent trigger memories, and for Minnelli, hers bring back a loving friendship.