Gap’s new scent.

When designer Patrick Robinson took the helm at Gap nearly two years ago, he reviewed every pocket T-shirt, every pair of jeans, every bra and every baby bib to ensure that each item reflected the company’s ethos. Fragrance, his most recent undertaking, was no exception. “The brand is all about these great classics that you can bring your personality to,” said Robinson. “That’s what the fragrance had to have also—it had to be a cool classic that changes on each person.”


Patrick Robinson.

The result is Close, a light, wearable women’s scent that combines watery notes with white flowers, musk, vanilla and fruit. “It’s not too feminine, and it’s not too masculine,” said Robinson. “That back-and-forth play is what Gap is all about.”

Even the name had to be Gap-worthy. “They gave it this two-word working name,” he said. “And I immediately said, ‘Nuh-uh. Gap’s not about two names.’”

Robinson worked with professional nose Gary McNatton, a longtime Gap collaborator, and, from the sound of it, the experience was enough to make Robinson reconsider his profession. “It was a lot easier than I thought it would be,” he said of creating Close. “A lot easier than my normal day job!”

Close: Courtesy of Gentl & Hyers; Robinson: Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage