Private Practice star Kate Walsh has a new love in her life–but it’s not what you might be thinking. The actress has created a new signature scent called Boyfriend, which gives a nod to her dating past. “I was inspired by my boyfriend’s scent many years ago,” Walsh told PEOPLE at the Piven Theatre Workshop Annual Awards Brunch, hosted by Moët Ice Imperial at Sunda in Chicago on Sunday. “I missed his scent after we broke up and I was shopping one day and I was like, ‘I don’t need my boyfriend to have a boyfriend scent!'” So Walsh decided to take matters into her own hands. “I literally went to the perfume counter and got kind of a masculine scent and then I thought –ding ding!– what a great idea for a fragrance, the Boyfriend!” But Walsh wasn’t looking to do the traditional celebrity endorsement deal, and instead wanted to do something a little different.
“For me it’s all about the story,” said Walsh, “and I wanted to tell a story with my perfume.” The vanilla, amber and floral fragrance also has some of the woody and musky notes that Walsh said reminded her of her very first boyfriend’s cologne, Ralph Lauren Polo. “I remember going out in high school and coming home and smelling our clothes because the boys wore so much of it that our clothes would smell like it,” she said. “We would come home and smell that scent on our clothes and talk about boys all night; when you associate a smell with something, you have an immediate memory.” As for her dating life now, Walsh says she’s completely content. “I’m happy where I’m at,” she said. “I’ve been seeing someone for a while.” But she says being happy in life is not contingent on a relationship. “That’s one of the messages of [my perfume],” she said. “Whether you have a boyfriend or not, it’s really that feeling of security, comfort and that good purr factor, whether he’s in the picture or not.” Walsh’s perfume, Boyfriend, will launch on HSN November 11 and be available in Sephora stores in February. –Kim Peiffer