What does Arizona Muse have in common with the newest Stella McCartney eau? Well, aside from the fact that the 29-year-old super stars in the steamy new campaign for the peony-laced fragrance, which was inspired by the lush gardens in England, where Muse resides, they’ve both recently hit the scene again after taking hiatuses. In Muse’s case, a few seasons away from the chaotic nature of the runway was in order. “I just found it really stressful,” she said. “A break was worthwhile—I started to remember how fun it was.” Now, the Arizona native—and recent bride—enjoys watching from the front row just as much as she likes stomping down the catwalk. “You get to witness the creativity in a totally different way,” she mused, citing Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s recent debut for Chloé as one of the most moving runway shows she’s ever seen. As for McCartney’s Peony, which was initially called Two Peony when it launched in 2006, the scent is officially back by popular demand after being discontinued six years ago. (For the record, Muse hasn’t yet experienced the horror of a beloved product being discontinued—when asked, she rolled her freshly manicured fingers into a fist and knocked on the wooden table.) While the rosy-pink flower is still at the heart of the aroma, the new, reworked version is considerably more floral, with top notes of mandarin, freesia, and lotus flower, and base notes of patchouli, black pepper, and amber. The hot pink bottle won’t hit Sephora.com until January (and for one day on Cyber Monday), but for those of us who want to cop the fresh, feminine scent pronto, it’s now available exclusively in Stella McCartney stores and online. (Consider it an early Christmas present.) In the spirit of the holidays, we sat down with Muse, who flew in from London for the 14th annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund awards, to play a little round of 20 questions. Hours before she hit the red carpet (in a red dress care of Stella McCartney, of course), we chatted with the super about everything from her favorite Thanksgiving dish to why she opted to do her wedding day hair and makeup herself (yes, really) to what it was like shooting her first-ever nude campaign.
1. Hilary Shepherd: Stella Peony officially launches in January, but it’s going to be available for one day on Cyber Monday. You live in London now, but do you still participate in American holiday shopping traditions like Black Friday or Cyber Monday?
Arizona Muse: I don’t. No, I’m not very American like that. I grew up here, but I live in England now, and I feel so English. Black Friday is such an American thing. I’m not a big fan of massive crowds, rushing in, and consumerism. That’s consumerism at its height, and it’s a little bit…it’s not quite tuned to my values. But please buy this perfume!
2. HS: Fair enough. So, what are some of your other favorite holiday traditions?
AM: I love spending time with family. I think that’s the most special thing about the holiday season—people are brought back to their families. They’re given time off work, and I think that is so important in our busy lives. We forget that. The other thing is light. In winter, in the dark months, we celebrate candlelight and tiny, little lights. Oh my—when I think of the holiday season, I think of tiny, flickering, yellow lights that are warm and cozy and make you feel all twinkly.
3. HS: What’s one American tradition you’ve continued with your family in London?
AM: Thanksgiving. I think it’s a really great holiday tradition, and it’s a family thing. Cooking beautiful food together and eating it—I love it.
4. HS: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
AM: I love Brussels sprouts, and they don’t go wrong so often. They’re just delicious and such a wintry food. And so good for you.
5. HS: Do you like prefer them a certain way? Brussels sprouts are pretty versatile.
AM: Mmm, with a lot of onions, kind of caramelized…ohhh, delicious.