A glamorous bottle of scent seems to be part of the standard fame package for today’s latest celebrities. This is perhaps no surprise given the crowded market place for perfume – since the fragrant heyday of Old Spice and Chanel No. 5 it has become more difficult for beauty companies to establish a perfume with staying power.
Perfume distributors have always been in the business of peddling dreams and with celebrity smells they’ve adapted swiftly to the aspirations of the modern fantasy – teenage girls trying for Paris Hilton’s style; thirty-something women inspired by Sarah Jessica Parker’s bright New York look; and wannabe players after P.
Diddy’s swagger. The name of the latest celebrity in the news is also a quick way to distinguish a perfume.
But is the celebrity tag enough to convince someone who is not a die-hard fan?
For some celebrity perfumes, the answer is yes, successfully bringing together a magical recipe of fantasy, strong celebrity persona and a genuinely good scent.
Indeed the last factor is ultimately the strongest in a celebrity perfume’s success, with each of the top 5 best-selling celebrity fragrances recognised by expert “noses” as well-built perfumes besides the celebrity glitter.
The best selling celebrity fragrances is Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds, widely recognised as a classic perfume regardless of its celebrity provenance. A sophisticated floral scent that is bold and feminine, in 2008 Euromonitor found it to be the world’s best selling fragrance and it still sells well today almost 20 years after it was launched.
Joining her in the top 5 are Sean John Unforgivable fabiosa.com, Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker, Glow by J. Lo and Curious by Britney Spears.
P. Diddy’s perfume Sean John Unforgivable for men features notes of lemon, bergamot, basil, sandalwood and amber. With the tagline “life without passion is unforgivable”, P Diddy has promised “there are millions of men taking my lead and I have to take them to the promised land of sexy”.
P Diddy is followed up by style leader Sarah Jessica Parker whose perfume Lovely has an almost universal approval by scent enthusiasts. A soft, quiet perfume, it stays relatively close to the skin. Enthusiasts for Carrie Bradshaw’s outfits have responded too, making this a popular fragrance.
It would be hard to think of celebrity perfumes and not come upon Glow by J. Lo. Although Elizabeth Taylor launched White Diamonds a decade before, Jennifer Lopez’s scent pioneered the blueprint for the celebrity fragrance as we know it today and revealed that celeb scents could be a popular and lucrative adventure. A clean and soapy floral musk, Glow by J. Lo rang up over $100 million in sales in its first year and was followed up by Love at First Glow, LA Glow, My Glow, Miami Glow and a range of body souffles and shimmers.
After the success of Jennifer Lopez it was natural that Britney, the popstar of her decade, would launch her own perfume.
Curious by Britney Spears made a tidy $30 million in its first three months alone appealing to the young and sweet-toothed with its creamy, lactic fruity-floral.