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Jennifer Lopez Draws Sweet-Smelling Inspiration from the Past

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Courtesy Coty

Jennifer Lopez may influence women around the world, but as it turns out, PEOPLE’s Most Beautiful Woman turns to other iconic ladies (and her mom!) for insight into her own life — and for her perfumes. “I am inspired by iconic legendary women. Women that were pioneers in fashion and fragrance,” she tells about the force behind her 17th fragrance, Love & Light (which sold 51,000 units on HSN last weekend). “The Love & Light ad is a tribute to legends like Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Onassis and of course, Coco Chanel. We wanted to capture that chic Hollywood glamour and spirit.” But Hollywood’s former leading ladies aren’t the only figures of the past that drive the diva: she also gets nostalgic thinking of a particular scent from her childhood. “I remember when I was a little girl, my mom had this very special smell, that was unique to my mom. I loved that!” she shares. Her early years also influenced her perfume dreams: she tells StyleList that she worked in a perfume store as a teen. “This has been a passion of mine … so it’s a dream come true,” she says. “I never imagined when I launched Glow that fragrance would become such a big part of my life. Each fragrance is a reflection of what I am feeling in my life at that time.” But with every creation comes a bit of a learning curve, even for perfume pro Lopez. So what’s the biggest lesson she’s learned along the fragrance-making path? “Patience,” she says. “I never simply put my name on something. When it’s finished, I am 100 percent in love with it and I am excited about sharing it. All of my fragrances are a personal extension of myself.” Tell us: Who inspires you? –Kim Peiffer