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Celebrity Perfumes – the Sweet Smell of Money

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It seems that launching a signature scent has become the norm as celebs expand their options and it’s no wonder – who wouldn’t want a slice of this multi-billion dollar industry? But don’t be too quick to judge celebrity perfumes. While many fail to impress beyond the initial hype, some actually do stand the test of time. After all, the proof is in the smelling and if you like a particular fragrance, it doesn’t really matter whose name is attached to it. Or does it?

Let’s take Britney Spears and all her troubles as a perfect example. Now I wouldn’t normally go out of my way to try Britney’s perfume but working as I do in the industry means that I get to try perfumes irrespective of my personal preferences. And you know what, I actually quite like Britney’s Curious (although I am partial to almost any vanilla-based fragrance). I’ve tried introducing Curious to friends and although some of them have liked it, they would never admit to wearing a Britney perfume. So it just goes to show, celebrity endorsement doesn’t always guarantee a winner.

Nevertheless, celebs know a money-spinner when they see one and continue to jump on the fragrance bandwagon. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that all celebrity perfumes are just about making money without any real commitment to the product. I like to believe that some celebs do actually have an interest and in some cases, even a personal say in the creation of their fragrances. JLo for example (another of my favourite brands incidentally) makes quite a lot of the fact that each one of her fragrances represents an aspect of her own life and personality and I for one believe her. Let’s face it, in celeb fragrance terms, JLo is an experienced professional, having launched her first fragrance, Glow, back in 2002. But I think that she’s the exception rather than the rule and I think most celebs are happy to sprout the marketing blurb that’s been written for them.

I’m sure it’s the success of fragrances like JLo’s Miami Glow which has spurred celebrity perfumes on but these days, they seem to be churning them out at an alarming rate. Mariah Carey is about to launch the follow up to ‘M’ with Mariah Carey’s Luscious Pink and Jessica Simpson is releasing Fancy. In the UK, B-list celebrities are also getting in on the action. We’ve had Kerry Katona with Outrageous and Jade Goody has just announced a follow up to her previous fragrance, Shh… Jade Goody, with a new one called Controversial. Now is it just me or does it seem like fragrance manufacturers are simply working their way through the dictionary as they name these fragrances? To be fair though, as I said in the beginning, the proof is in the smelling so I guess I’ll just have to test these fragrances before passing judgement.

Similar to celebrity fragrance but slightly different is celebrity endorsement. This is where a celebrity lends his or her face (and very often body) to a particular fragrance brand. This is a win-win situation for both the brand (they retain branding of the product while still benefiting from the celebrity’s status and ability to sell) and the celebrity who gets money and much needed exposure. But this isn’t always a win for the consumer and you have to wonder how many manufacturers rely on celebrity endorsements to sell fragrances which would normally be seen as quite ordinary. A recent example would be Davidoff’s Adventure which used Ewan “Long Way” McGregor as its face but was panned by critics as being “anything but adventurous”. As with celebrity fragrances however, you can’t write off a fragrance simply because it has celebrity endorsement and I for one am looking forward to the release of Estée Lauder’s Sensuous which, although promoted by no less than four celebs (Elizabeth Hurley, Carolyn Murphy, Hilary Rhoda and Gwyneth Paltrow) promises to be Estée Lauder’s most exciting release in recent years.

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