Everything You Need to Know About Ouai's New Fragrances - Straight From Jen Atkin
The hair expert is diving head first into the fragrance world
When you hear the name Jen Atkin, you most likely think of a perfect head of beach waves; or perhaps you’re already addicted to her haircare line, OUAI; or maybe you just envision pretty much any member of the Kardashian-Jenner family, her longtime clients. But as of today, you can also credit the pro for your soon-to-be favorite fragrance (or three). The hairstylist-to-the-stars has just launched a hat trick of limited-edition rollerball fragrances, pulled straight from the scents of her coveted hair products. Why? Because you asked her to.
“We asked our followers which products they wanted and a ton of people have been asking us to do perfume from day one, so this is super exciting,” Atkin tells PeopleStyle of the reason behind her foray into fragrance. “It’s our first venture outside of hair territory, and I’m so happy with how it turned out.”
For Atkin, who has launched nearly 30 hair products and supplements since 2015, the scent of each individual product was one of the most important — and challenging — details when creating OUAI. But judging by her fans’ requests, all of that perfecting has paid off. Which is why she’s bottled three of the most popular scents and packaged them into the limited edition OUAI Fragrance Set, which includes 3 rollerballs for $42, and launches today on TheOUAI.com.
“When I was formulating the hair products, I went to Givaudan, which is probably the most expensive place to go to for scents but I was so crazy about it. I feel like hair products can smell like a little girl or an old lady — there is no in-between — but they were the only ones who really understood the modern scent I wanted. I was inspired by the places I travel to a lot, which is Paris, and obviously New York and LA.”
That inspiration led her to the scents for her styling products, shampoos, and treatment products — and soon, they’ll be on your wrists. But first, they needed names — which she dreamt up based on streets in her favorite cities.
“We were thinking about what we wanted to call these scents and we came up with Rue St. Honore/Ouai No. 4 (it has notes of gardenia, violet and white musk), Mercer Street/Ouai No.1 (notes of Turkish rose, lily and lemon), and Melrose Place/Ouai No.5 (notes of rose, lychee and cedar wood). They’re inspired by Le Labo, Byredo and Diptyque, and the packaging is inspired by classic Chanel. No.1 is in our shampoos, No.4 is in our hair oils, No.5 is our rose hair and body oil scent. Those were the top three products we were getting requests for,” she explains.
Atkin adds that each individual scent has a its own different vibe that’s a little hard to describe, so she used influencers to “illustrate” them for us. “When I think of the aesthetic of a girl in Paris, I’m obsessed with Lila Cardona, I love her. For Mercer Street girls I love Hannah Bronfman, Natalie Off-Duty and NYC Bambi. And for Melrose Place I’m obsessed with Marianna Hewitt and Rocky Barnes.”
And it hasn’t just been her fans sliding into her DMs with scent requests. Atkin shares that her friends have had a major influence on the launch as well.
“My friends are my guinea pigs; they have been wearing all of these forever,” she says. “I think most of my girlfriends have asked me for the shampoo scent, which is my number one because it’s such a staple and also what it comes down to. We had shampoo before hair oil, so it’s now going on three years for them so they’re obsessed with that scent.”
And yes, she has of course consulted with one of her most famous friends — Kim Kardashian West — about their simultaneous leaps into the fragrance world.
“I just went to Kim’s launch party and Emily Weiss was there and we were all talking about how none of us actually knew we were doing fragrance, and we’re like all launching fragrance for fall. I think it makes sense,” she says. “Kim’s smells so amazing. I’m obsessed with the citrus gardenia—it’s so good. I’m gonna have all of them on my bathroom shelves.”
Will you buy Atkin’s fragrances? Sound off in the comments below.