That very alluring raven-haired beauty and world renowned burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese has launched her own perfume this week, so that us mere mortals can now smell as seductive and divine as she does. How considerate! We caught up with the star thanks to London’s chicest department store – Liberty’s – so she could tell us all about it…
GRAZIA DAILY: You said your mother's boyfriend wore the same fragrance as you...
DITA VON TEESE: Ha ha. It was three years ago, when he delivered that bombshell. It sparked my interest in creating a new one, because I couldn’t find anything else out there that I loved as much. I got in touch with my great friend and perfumer Kilian Hennessy, and he was like; ‘Well Dita you’ll either have to get rid of the perfume or get rid of the man!’ in the end I got rid of both but it was certainly the spark that got the fire burning to create my own scent.
GRAZIA DAILY: How would you describe the smell of Dita Von Teese?
DITA VON TEESE: It’s a voluptuous floral, with smoky elements in it. Then it also has very mysterious notes which come out as it dries on the skin.
GRAZIA DAILY: Sounds lovely! Onto other matters beautiful, you are also known for your signature red lips and perfect eyebrows – what are the essential beauty products you couldn’t do without?
DITA VON TEESE: Well yes, I see what you’re saying. It depends on my time clock, how long I need to get ready. Whether I have two minutes, or I have five minutes or if I have an hour. For example a quick day to day routine for five minutes would be mascara, powder and red lipstick and hair in a chignon.
GRAZIA DAILY: That’s quick!
DITA VON TEESE: Once a woman has established what her look is and her routine is – you can practice and then get very quick. I’ve been practicing for such a long time.
GRAZIA DAILY: Apparently Kate Moss can do her black liquid eyeliner with a flick without a mirror because she’s had so much practice. Is that something you identify with?
DITA VON TEESE: No mirror? I definitely need a mirror but mine is very precise style. steady hand I’ve been painting that eyeliner for 22 years. You certainly can’t do a cat eye with no mirror. And you can’t do it on the go either – it is too precise!
GRAZIA DAILY: You’re known for being inspired by various eras in the past... what decade are you most intrigued by at the moment?
DITA VON TEESE: Various eras. When I was establishing my look, I would be incredibly specific about things. So I might go for a Forties hairdo or Fifties eyeliner. You know, a particular hairstyle I had seen from the Thirties or the Fifties. Now I just take my favourite elements from any era and put them together.
I studied costume design and I looked at old photographs and watched old movies and those would be my reference points to try to recreate a specific look.
A good example of that is my trademark half moon manicure. I mean, they are quite popular now but when I started wearing them people had never seen one before! I think my inspiration for that was a photo of Carmen Miranda – a detail I picked up on and made it my own.
GRAZIA DAILY: Do you have a manicurist do them yourself?
DITA VON TEESE: My only beauty routines that I don’t do myself are my nails and my bikini wax! Everything else, including my dyeing my hair black, I do myself at home.
GRAZIA DAILY: We heard you like collecting vintage egg cups and tea sets? Is this true? What else have got in your collection?
DITA VON TEESE: Yes – I love fine china! I love beautiful tea sets – I’m the only person in LA who drinks tea rather than coffee. When I’m in Paris I buy my tea in a shop called Marriage Freres. My favourites are beautiful tea black violet tea and rose sented green tea.
Other things I collect are all kinds of likes lady head vases from the Forties, important letters and souvenirs from people in the past like I have a corset from Betty Grable, a Dorothy Lamour knitted shawl, letters from Sally Rand and Gypsy Rose Lee. I also collect art, like 1940’s pin up art and vintage men’s magazines called things like Eyeful and Titter!
GRAZIA DAILY: Wow! So when you get older and don’t feel like dancing any more you can retire and open a museum of burlesque memorabilia!
DITA VON TEESE: Yes. I think would be lovely!