Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft Help Develop a Fragrance in Mom Judy Garland's Honor: 'It Smells Like Mama!'

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·4 min read
Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft Help Develop a Fragrance in Mom Judy Garland's Honor: 'It Smells Like Mama!'
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Judy Garland passed away 52 years ago, but thanks to the indelible mark she left on the entertainment industry and beyond, her legacy will live on forever — and now, she can be remembered in the form of a fragrance, too.

On June 9, the day before Garland would have turned 100, her children Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft and Joey Luft celebrate the release of Judy — A Garland Fragrance. Created by perfume developer and cosmetic chemist Vincenzo Spinnato, the all-gender fine fragrance pays homage to the Hollywood icon from the scent (which combines the Judy Garland Rose named in the star's honor with notes of dark orchid, pink pepper and tonka bean) to the bottle (its scarlet shade inspired by her Wizard of Oz character Dorothy's ruby red slippers and shape reminiscent of her memorable movements in her unforgettable dance number "Get Happy").

To commemorate the launch, which will be available in a limited-edition $140 bottle June 10 and in a permanent collection $160 bottle this fall on judygarlandfragrance.com, Spinnato and the icon's daughters spoke exclusively to PEOPLE about the making of this very special scent.

Lorna Luft and Vince Spinnato
Lorna Luft and Vince Spinnato

Courtesy of Jennifer Daigle: Capturing Heart Photography

What is your earliest scent memory of your mother?

Minnelli: "I just remember that the last thing Mama always did before she walked out the door was to spray herself with fragrance."

Luft: "At 5 years old I can actually remember what she smelled like! Her clothing and her bedroom stand out the most to me."

With this fragrance, what memory of your mother did you want to capture?

Luft: "First, I wanted the fragrance to be as inclusive as she was; this is why we made it unisex. I also wanted to capture what my mother wore so that every person wearing it would feel her warmth."

Judy Garland's iconic Get Happy routine
Judy Garland's iconic Get Happy routine

YouTube

What was the process of creating this fragrance like for you? Was it a special way to connect on another level with your mother?

Minnelli: "Actually, Lorna came up with the idea for creating a fragrance to honor my mom on what would have been her 100th birthday. I entrusted Lorna with the many details necessary but she kept me informed, and when the time came to smell the final unisex fine fragrance, it definitely smelled like Mama. Sometimes I feel like she continues to watch over and guide us. And she must have channeled her thoughts to Vince [Spinnato] as well, as he created the right fragrance for her. It is wonderful to celebrate our Mother's legacy in this special way. She would have been thrilled."

Luft: "The process was exciting and difficult and very quick! It flooded back memories of my mother each time I smelled the fragrance and brought me back to my childhood and feeling like my mom was close to me. It was an emotional rollercoaster."

86th Annual Academy Awards Oscars, Arrivals, Los Angeles, America - 02 Mar 2014
86th Annual Academy Awards Oscars, Arrivals, Los Angeles, America - 02 Mar 2014

Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock

What does having the opportunity to make this fragrance mean to you?

Spinnato: "I have always been a big personal fan of Judy Garland, and to develop a fragrance for her with her children is beyond the rainbow! My goal was to respect Judy Garland's memory, help preserve her legacy, and hopefully introduce her to a new generation of fans. It's been a wonderful, unique, collaborative effort between Ms. Garland's family, estate and myself. I am honored to be entrusted with this responsibility."

Judy-100-Birthday fragrance
Judy-100-Birthday fragrance

How long did it take for [Spinnato] to create the fragrance – and when did you know you got it right?

Spinnato: "It usually takes about 18 months to two years from concept to launch and dozens of trials to develop a product such as a fine fragrance. But because of Ms. Garland's 100th birthday tie-in, I had to escalate the product development to one year. When I found the proper balance of all the essential notes that both women and men love and enjoy, and when Liza Minnelli smelled it and stated 'It smells like Mama!' — that's when I really knew I got it right."

Now that this fragrance is complete, do you wear it or do you have a favorite place you like to spray it to evoke your mother's memory?

Luft: "I do wear it! My whole house smells of it! I spray it on my pillows."

Judy fragrance
Judy fragrance

Since the world will be thinking of your mother on her 100th birthday, is there a favorite memory of her that you can share?

Minnelli: "There are so many wonderful memories of Mama – for all three of us kids, Lorna, Joey and myself. It would be hard to pick just one memory as she was always interesting, engaging and so very funny. Humor was her secret weapon."

Luft: "I have 16 years of favorite memories! I have a lifetime of her legacy that I can watch and listen to of her work. I consider myself very lucky and am incredibly grateful to be her daughter."

Is there anything either of you would like to say to your mother as we approach her 100th birthday?

Minnelli: "Happy, happy birthday mama! I love you!"