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Jason Wu Talks Orchids, Collabs and Lana Del Rey at his NEST Candles Cocktail

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As if his Spring 2012 petal prints and navy florals for his upcoming Target collection didn't clue you in, designer Jason Wu really, really loves flowers. And now, he's joined with NEST Fragrances to create a one-of-a-kind candle that perfectly reflects his polished, luxe aesthetic.

Last night, we were invited to NEST Fragrances founder Laura Slatkin's gorgeous Upper East Side townhouse for an intimate cocktail fête in honor of the candle's launch. Dubbed "Orchid Rain," Wu's custom scent combines white orchid, nashi pear, pomegranate and goji berry notes with pink pepper and blonde birchwood undertones. "It's a mix of hard and soft—masculine and feminine, just like my work," the designer told me. "A smell is so personal and so important—it creates your environment. Especially in times of bad weather, a great scent just warms everything up." He added that a scented candle seemed like the perfect way to enter the beauty market. Does that mean he'll be expanding further into that industry in the months to come? "I mean, I think that's a given!" he laughed.

It's been a busy month for Wu; in addition to putting the finishing touches on his Fall 2012 collection, he's about to unveil that hugely-hyped Target collab. "I worked on the Target collection for a year and a half, but I didn't design it to emulate any part of my main collection. It was about creating something that was special on its own, which I think is a bit of a different approach than what most mass-collaborators take. Nothing came verbatim from my own collection."

He'll be celebrating the line's release later this month with a downtown bash—at which he's promised a top-secret musical performance. "We really wanted to get Lana Del Rey, who I'm obsessed with right now...but unfortunately it didn't work with her touring schedule," he said.

Above all, Wu said he wanted to steer clear of trendy one-off pieces that wouldn't stand the test of time. "I want to create something that people are not only excited to buy, but excited to keep." Judging by his beautifully-packaged candle for NEST, which rests in a porcelain vessel dotted with the designer's gray KAWS blossom print from last spring, Wu's pretty much mastered the art of making sweet keepsakes.

The Jason Wu Orchid Rain candle for NEST Fragrances will be available in mid-April at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and select luxury stores.

Full disclosure: I used to work for Jason Wu.

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