Jinkx Monsoon’s ‘done her research’ on new fragrance Hera

Photo by Alec White.

Jinkx Monsoon’s done Broadway. She’s done RuPaul’s Drag Race. She’s done albums. She’s done tours. What’s left to do? Create her own fragrance, naturally.

Jinkx just released her first fragrance, Hera, a collaboration with Nashville-based perfumery OSM. The fragrance’s name will ring a bell for any mythology buffs: Hera is the ancient Greek goddess of women, marriage, and fertility. As queen of Olympus, she’s also Zeus’s wife, and the stories make it clear that it’s not a happy marriage. Jinkx, however, is convinced that there’s more to the story.

“Hera has kind of a weird reputation in modern culture. I say weird — she has a horrible reputation,” Jinkx tells INTO. “She’s depicted as this envious, rage-filled, naturally evil person, and that’s not actually who she was. She was a woman under a certain set of circumstances who did pretty well for herself, I think!”

“More than anything, I like to point out that she was the only god as powerful as Zeus,” she continues. “That’s actually why they married, because they knew if they didn’t form an alliance, they would spend eternity warring with each other. So Hera, she’s got a bad rap, and I want to start making it different, so I’ve named my perfume after it.”

But how does Hera actually smell? Like Jinkx herself, of course. With notes of Bulgarian rose, cardamom, dark cherry and sandalwood, Hera is “basically what I like to smell like, and so now I’m making it possible for other people to smell like me,” Jinkx says. It’s her updated take on what it means to smell “witchy.”

“Usually it’s patchouli, or it’s nag champa that you’re smelling, the incense soaked into their clothes,” she says of the stereotypical scent. “With me, I gravitate to the warm spices like cinnamon and cardamom. I also really, really love the deep red fruits, like cherry and pomegranate — and pomegranate is associated with Hera! It’s a sign of fertility, and she was a goddess of childbirth. I’ve done my research.”

The question remains: why not base the perfume on her viral Delusion perfume from Season 5 of Drag Race? The much-memed clip from a challenge where the queens had to create and promote their own fragrances is an iconic part of Jinkx’s history with the show. Bringing it to life seems like an obvious choice — almost too obvious, she says.

“I knew that people were going to expect it to be something related to that, because, you know, that’s smart. And I know that that meme went around,” Jinkx says. “I thought it was really smart and cool when Alaska did that years ago. But if there’s one thing I don’t want to do it’s just completely do what someone’s already done, you know? So I decided to just completely throw out any ideas of bringing you back to Season 5 Delusion.”

Instead, Jinkx is starting fresh with Hera, a fragrance she hopes anyone can enjoy.

“I think it’ll be appealing to people of any gender identity, and I think it’ll be appealing to people of multiple age ranges,” Jinkx says. “At least that’s my hope. If not, you know what? Maybe it’s not for you, but it might be for someone!”

Hera is priced at $142, and it’s already sold out in OSM’s store  — but we’re praying to the Greek gods for a restock soon. Fans can sign up for restock updates here.

Photo by Alec White.
Don't forget to share:
Read More in The INTO Interview
The Latest on INTO