- For their first official product launch in September, Halo Heritage brought a celebrity partnership with Boity Pink Sapphire — a proudly South African, premium, first-of-its-kind eau de parfum.
- In October, Boity and Halo Heritage expanded the Pink Sapphhire range, introducing the Boity Haircare range.
- Afika Jadezweni chats to celebrated rapper Boity Thulo about her hallmark collaboration with Halo Heritage as well as all things work, fragrance and style.
There was a time when Hollywood celebrity fragrances had a moment in the early 2000s - from Kate Moss to Hillary Duff to Mariah Carey. Do you remember? Of course you do and probably wish we'd go back to such simpler times.
I guess Boity's Pink Sapphhire is a sweet taste of that dewy-eyed era amid a year that has been bitter for many. The 30-year-old star recalls how during the A-list perfume heydays, no one was willing to buy one of these charmingly packaged EDPs and EDTs for her as she was much younger.
"My parents maybe thought I was too young to have a perfume, but I remember smelling Paris Hilton's fragrance [Heiress] - it was so sweet it was almost edible and I enjoyed that smell so much. Then there was Britney's Curious - I just wanted to have it in my hand, but I never owned it (my mom didn't trust me with perfumes yet)," she says.
"I just remember smelling those and thinking 'this is incredible' ... and now ME! Can you actually imagine that?" she beams, taking in the full circle moment.
When Halo Heritage approached Boity to collaborate on a new fragrance with them, it was a no-brainer for the multi-hyphenate TV personality with a palpable zest for opportunity. "Absolutely" was her answer.
"It was an easy yes for me," she says after elaborating on why the partnership was not only an exciting proposition, but a meaningful one too.
"[Halo Heritage] is all about embracing, inspiring and uplifting African women and they felt like I would be the right person to start their journey with," Boity explains.
You might recall seeing (or purchasing) the Boity 'Own Your Throne' Impulse body spray circa 2018 - a lively animated range of deodorants appealing more so to the rapper's younger fans.
As one transitions from body spray to perfume in the period of financial enlightenment that happens perhaps in the mid-section of your 20s, so has Boity's career journey with scents who now stands as one of the first South African celebrities to have a namesake fragrance. And one would imagine she's taking a considerable amount of her 'Own Your Throne' buyers with her.
The "Wuz Dat?" hitmaker didn't imagine that her olfactory journey - in every sense - would happen "this soon", but nonetheless she's "grateful that the opportunity presented itself so early."
But the fact that the progression from body spray to perfume happened like the turn of a page, need not mean that the process was rushed. Quite the contrary. It's evident that Pink Sapphire was well considered - from the packaging to the way its notes settle on your skin.
In my brief time spent with Boity on a September afternoon when the sun kindly offered its warmth almost as if to mirror the lady of the moment's energy, she gave my arm a generous spritz of her perfume, which my nose had pleasantly caught wind of upon our greetings already.
This will be the kind of the fragrance that indeed announces your arrival, but hardly obnoxiously so, as the woman behind it also says, "I want it to speak for you when you've entered a room."
When I ask Boity if she incorporated her personal taste in the making of this Halo Heritage perfume, her effervescence leaps at me as she says "Hell yeah!"
"Because I had to add a personal touch, I felt it necessary to add things that encapsulate me as opposed to saying 'this is a perfume I like and I want it to smell like that'. I also had to figure out how I want to feel when I smell my own perfume," she continues.
And on that (fragrance) note, let's get into what else was revealed during our hearty afternoon conversation:
Describe your signature scent. What notes are you most attracted to when shopping for a scent?
I've always enjoyed the oud(y) smells [she chuckles before correcting herself to put emphasis on "oud"] with a hint of florals. I've never been a fan of extreme hectic sinusitis [inducing] scents. So oud with a touch of floral has always been my go-to.
A quick FYI on oud if you're not familiar with perfume jargon:
Oud has been a key ingredient of traditional Middle Eastern perfumes for thousands of years. The distinctive musky scent comes from the wood of the Indian and South American Agarwood tree.
You’re very close with your mom and moms have a signature scent that often rouses nostalgia. In the making of Pink Sapphire, was there a note you perhaps dedicated to your mom?
The scents that makes me think of my mom all the time are J'adore by Dior and Alien by Thierry Mugler . Those two are not super floral, fresh or citrusy - they're fresh enough, but they've got that powerful sense of smell. Very distinct and very memorable. And when someone is wearing one of these scents, I can immediately [tell]. It's something [my mom] had been wearing for gazillions of years, so my taste in perfumes comes from my mom because that's obviously where I learnt about perfume.
Is there a particular kind of woman you had in mind in the making of Pink Sapphire?
So it's not necessarily about the woman I had in mind, but how I want the woman who buys my perfume to feel. With Pink Sapphire I hope to evoke a feeling of confidence, sensuality, strength. It's about a feeling I want the women who wear my perfume to have - anyone can use it, but this is what I want you to feel like when you put it on.
One of your other long-standing partnerships was with a fashion brand and you’ve since established yourself as a luxury fashion woman - would you ever venture into fashion again now in the luxury space?
I've never thought of that. But I've now established myself as someone who is willing to try anything that I feel I want to try, so if an incredible comes around I doubt I'd say no. If it's something that works for my brand, I would definitely go for it also given the fact that [fashion] is a space I've learnt to understand and love.
Since you became a household name all those years ago, you’ve managed to successfully rebrand and pivot as you grow. What’s your lesson on the art of rebranding as a public figure?
Well, human beings in general are multifaceted. We love different things and it's okay to want to excel at those different things. Society forced us into a box of saying "this is who I am and this is the ONLY space I'm going to thrive in". There's a shame in doing a lot of things - they say "jack of all trades, master of none" - and that's a very limiting way of looking at life. You can love a lot of things and want to do a lot of things. And it's okay as long as you're capable.
For me, the idea of being multifaceted is fair because human beings are instinctively and naturally that. I've built my brand on exploring as much as I can and going with the flow of where my soul wants to take me.
Break the chains of what society says you should- or shouldn't do, and just go for it. Why not?
And given that you’re active on social media, how do you stay positive in the midst of the chaos, while also cementing a digital footprint to elevate career moves such as Pink Sapphire, for example, in that space?
I've always been a person that chooses positivity in every aspect [of my life] - outside of social media too. What you give your attention to, you take ownership of, so [I avoid] giving my energy to negativity - I don't deserve that and I don't want to be a part of it, so I choose to only dabble in positivity and give myself to that because that's what I want in return.
I know social media can be a horrible space, but it can also be a space of a lot of love and I want to contribute to that side.
Covid has delayed a lot of milestones and plans for many, but you've managed to have a moment like this to celebrate. Did you have any other goals you wanted to tick off your list?
To be quite honest, everything has gone according to plan by the grace of God and my ancestors. I think the period of silence for me was exactly what I needed, so I've chosen to see the positive of what Covid brought even with the horror, the heartache, and the loss.
Personally, for me, the journey has been one of silence, resting - real rest - waking up with no anxiety about what's next. That's a luxury you don't get to have (especially in our industry). You always feel you must be busy doing something, so I appreciate the 'me time' I managed to get in.
So for now you're just taking in this particular moment?
[We exchange laughs briefly about the usual "what's next" question]
In terms of what's next? This.
There'll be many nexts for Pink Sapphire. But I'm still doing more around music - it's fun, I'm enjoying it and I have time for it. I'm just grateful to be able to say it's still going to be a busy year, so there's more to look forward to.
Well, that "next" is finally here.
Boity Thulo has joined forces with Halo Heritage to create a luxurious range of hair care products specially formulated for women with hair types 3 and 4. The Boity Haircare range was launched on the Halo Heritage website on 16 October 2020.
Whether long or short, natural or weave, this exclusive collection of products was designed to give hair the royal treatment it deserves and leave you looking and feeling flawless. It includes six luxurious products perfectly and consciously formulated with natural black hair, and the environment, in mind. The products are all paraben, sulphate and cruelty-free, making it good for your hair and the planet as well. Being proudly South African products, this range is also 100% locally produced and packaged.
"Now more than ever, black African women have started embracing their natural hair. But it didn't come without struggle. Falling in love with our natural hair is a journey for many black women. Being a brand designed for powerful, modern African queens, a collaboration with Halo Heritage just felt like a natural fit,” Boity expresses.
Boity adds, “Your hair is your crown. Whether you prefer it all shaved off, wear a weave, opt for a protective style or rock an afro, taking care of your hair with products that are packed with goodness and most importantly made for your specific hair type is something you just cannot afford to compromise on. This range of products is exactly that.”
Images and additional information supplied by Eclipse Communications.