Justin Bieber’s women’s perfume Someday is one of the top sellers in department and specialty stores, and White Diamonds, the scent launched 20 years ago by the late Elizabeth Taylor, tops in big box stores.
there seems like there’s an A-lister who fails to garner buzz when it comes to fragrance. Jennifer Aniston, anyone?
“The ones that do well have a strong following with a strong core audience,” explains Karen Grant, beauty industry analyst at market research firm The NPD Group. “Liz Taylor has almost a cult following, and Bieber is the same thing. He’s all about tweens and the moms getting it for the tweens.”
Celebrity fragrances also are particularly “giftable” items, Grant notes, because if the receiver is a fan, you’re going to get the “ooh,” at least when he or she opens the box.
Bieber was a bona fide hit and briefly bumped perennial favorite fragrances Chanel No. 5 and Coco Mademoiselle out of the top sales spots last year. Later this month he’ll be honored with the Elizabeth Taylor Fragrance Celebrity award from the Fragrance Foundation. With Taylor Swift and her perfume Wonderstruck, the two young stars revitalized the celebrity fragrance business, up 57 percent in sales in 2011.
One of the big new launches this spring is Madonna’s Truth or Dare, and Rihanna’s Reb’l Fleur has been a strong performer, too.
The successes, say experts, combine celebrity involvement, personal appeal, lively fans and a good “juice,” industry lingo for the actual smell.
Madonna, at an event to celebrate Truth or Dare at Macy’s last month, said she thought long and hard about what her signature scent would be, ending with a floral formula that includes a note of tuberose, which is also prominent in the perfume Fracas by Robert Piguet — a favorite of the pop star’s. “I wear Fracas myself and I’ve been wearing it for years and years and years, and I try other perfumes all the time, and I always come back to it. And I know the reason I always comes back to it is because it reminds me of my mom.”
She wears perfume all the time, Madonna added. “I spray perfume on me, myself like a crazy person. Nonstop. Never want to smell bad.”
Rafael Villoldo, Vice President of Perfumania, which has deals with Rihanna, 50 Cent and Kim Kardashian, says the celebrity has to buy into the product wholeheartedly. “You have to look at what they stand for. I won’t do a fragrance with someone who has said they hate fragrance or doesn’t look like someone who’d wear fragrance.”
Next, he thinks about potential customers and distribution, and he’ll check out how active the celebrity is on social media because, he explains, no one can get shoppers excited about a product like its namesake.