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The Suprising Way Jordin Sparks's Grandma Influenced Her New Perfume

12/05/2012 at 10:30 AM ET

Jordin Sparks Ambition Courtesy Bon-Ton; Inset: WireImage

Most celebs who create fragrances are most focused on what notes go in the perfume, but when it came time for Jordin Sparks to concoct her newest scent, Ambition, she was more focused on what to leave out. Specifically, anything that would make her grandmother sneeze or break out in hives!

“My nana is allergic to everything!” Sparks tells PEOPLE. “So for me, one of my big things was that I wanted my nana to smell it and not have an allergic reaction.”

Ambition is Sparks’s third fragrance and it features notes of white tea, orange, lemon zest, mint, raspberry, vanilla and musk. So, did it pass the nana test? “So far, so good!” Sparks says.

While Sparks kept her grandmother in mind when creating the perfume, it was her mother who inspired the singer to get into the beauty business. “My mom used to have this pretty display with tons of perfume bottles and I’d always look at them. So I knew from a young age that I wanted to make my own fragrance one day.”

And while Sparks knows that a little goes a long way with her perfume (she does a few spritzes on the front and back of her neck before heading out the door), she jokes that her boyfriend, singer Jason Derulo, takes a more extreme approach. “Jason sprays like 30 sprays of his cologne. And I’m always like, ‘Babe you really do not need cloud of cologne!’” But she’s quick to add, “He smells good though, so I shouldn’t complain.”

Ambition is available exclusive at Bon-Ton department stores for $35. Tell us: How do you apply perfume? Are you more of a Sparks or a Derulo when it comes to spritzing it on?

–Jennifer Cress

PHOTOS: FIND YOUR FALL FRAGRANCE!

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