Ariana Grande bottled up her favorite personality traits into her first fragrance, Ari. "It's sexy, playful, and sweet, just like me," the 22-year-old pop star says of her scent, now available for $49 for 1.7 fl. Oz. at ulta.com. "I thought was going to be hard to mix sweet and sexy, but this all came together. I really wanted to give my fans a piece of me—my own favorite smell." Here she explains the ingredients that make her spritz full of life.
So is it cool to call you Ari now?
"My family calls me that. I wanted that to be the name because the fragrance is so personal. I wanted to give people a piece of me. This is really a statement that says, 'Here I am!'"
You said you wanted this scent to be sexy, hence the notes of creamy musk and blonde woods. When do you feel your sexiest?
"Right before I do a show, when I'm getting into my costume and when I'm in it."
More so than when you're on the red carpet?
"Well, I did feel so pretty in the white Versace dress I wore to the Grammys this year. But honestly? I feel my sexiest when I smell good. [Laughs.]"
How convenient! Though, you have so many tattoos. Don't you think those are sexy, too?
"Those are more personal. I have a bunch that I feel like people haven’t seen yet because they’re secretive and small. I have 10 total, but you can only see six of them. One of my favorites is the crescent moon on the side of my neck. I never really share the meanings behind my tattoos because tattoos are so personal."
Also, you've made your cat-eye liner pretty much your signature sexy look. How did you become such a beauty pro?
"It took forever but I think I’m there. I think I mastered it by practice and prayer. I use the Smashbox black liner ($22, sephora.com) and the Chanel eyeliner in liquid brown and black ($35, chanel.com). Those are my two favorites."
You represent your playful side in Ari with aromas like grapefruit and raspberry. IRL, where do you have the most fun?
"Snapchat! [Her username is Moonlightbae.] I love taking candid, funny videos. There is no time to filter or edit—it's a way for me to directly connect to my fans. Though, I have to admit, I feel so hilariously awkward taking selfies. I pray people aren't watching."
What about relaxing? Do you ever get a chance to do that?
"Meditation like clears my mind but I feel like it’s also hard work because it’s hard for me to clear my mind. I do get to relax. I love snuggling up and watching movies, writing in my journal, and watching something good on TV. I used to love Gossip Girl. I love America’s Next Top Model and American Horror Story. I’m a big Scream Queens fan, for the obvious reasons. I also love reading a good book. I just re-read God Wears Lipstick for the billionth time. I feel my coziest when I’m wearing yoga leggings and slippers and a crop top and a hoodie with my fragrance on because it smells really good [laughs]."
Of course, always the fragrance! You also wanted your scent to be sweet. The pear and marshmallow do the trick. What's the sweetest thing about you?
"That's such a tough one. I guess that I'm such a romantic. I'm so traditional when it comes to that stuff. Love, for me, is laughter, respect, good conversation, genuine support, and more laughter."
Has anyone come close?
"The last time someone did something sweet for me was when I received a lavender flower arrangement and a cryptic card. I eventually figured out what the message meant, and it was so rewarding."
Well, what did it mean, Ari?!?
"I'm not telling. It's a secret."
This interview has been adapted from the October issue of InStyle magazine (on newsstands now and available for digital download) to include more information.