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CELEBRITY PERFUMES

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 8, 2011

Shopping in drug stores has been a favorite pastime of mine since I was quite young. You never know what treasures or oddities you might run into simply by digging around, usually at bargain prices. I think my fascination began with an old Ben Franklin five and dime store my family frequented back in Connecticut, representing a veritable treasure trove of goodies for a youngster to discover at discounted prices. Today’s drug stores are the natural successors to Ben Franklins and I still find myself snooping around looking for the odd product here and there. Recently, I found myself in the women’s perfume aisle. I was, of course, familiar with the big brand names but I was surprised to discover a display of perfumes as touted by female celebrities of the day including Beyoncé, Faith Hill, and many more. This surprised me as I did not know their talents extended to the development of fragrances, or “parfumes” as they call it to denote an air of sophistication (try saying this with a southern twang and it sounds less than impressive).

I’m not sure who started the celebrity branding of perfumes, but I cannot help but believe Elizabeth Taylor was an early contributor with her “White Diamonds”, “Passion”, and “Passion for Men.” Her notoriety as both a major Hollywood star and sex symbol made her an effective pitchman for her products, most of which were reasonably priced to attract consumers who couldn’t afford the expensive perfumes. Since Taylor, there have been many other celebrities follow in her footsteps. To illustrate, in the local drug store I found the following:

Singer and actress Beyoncé offers “Heat,” “Pulse,” and “Heat-Rush.” I found her advertising interesting, “I want women to feel sexy, strong, empowered and I want them to feel like they can conquer anything. When they walk into a room, I want them to feel like they can leave a lasting impression on everyone they walk past.” Presumably, she wants people to exude confidence as a result of using her fragrances, perhaps even cockiness.

Actress Halle Berry features her “Reveal” perfume which is described as “Some mysterious. Some open. Some earthy. Some glamorous. In the spotlight. In twilight. In candlelight. Always seductive. Always natural.” I guess this last description was a pitch for people who think “green.” They forgot to add, “Sometimes a good buy. Always on sale.”

Country singer Faith Hill’s “Truth” perfume is, “An invigorating fresh new scent for a fresh new you. Embracing a tantalizing blend of exotic botanicals, you can enjoy this refreshingly light fragrance alongside our debut fragrance.” Frankly, this message sounded to me like a commercial for “Tide” laundry detergent.

Canadian singer Celine Dione offers a line of perfumes named, “Sensational,” “Brilliance,” and “Signature.” She describes it as, “I want my fragrance to bring joy and inspire us all to seize the day and live life to its fullest.” At first, I wasn’t sure if she was describing a perfume or a Tony Robbins motivational speech.

As I was to discover afterwards there were several other celebrity perfumes including those offered by Jennifer Lopez, Kate Moss, Sarah Jessica Parker, and many other talents I’m too old to recognize. Interestingly, all were manufactured by Coty, Inc. This leads me to believe the celebrities are only allowing the company to use their names to move product as opposed to them actively involved in the development of the perfume, and if the price is right, Why not? These may be fine singers and actresses, but you don’t seriously believe they were suddenly imbued with scientific knowledge to create an irresistible fragrance do you? Surely singer Susan Boyle or Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi are smart enough to create an alluring fragrance, but I do not see anyone clamoring for their scents. Maybe we should wait for the Hillary collection?

As we should all know, people do not buy these products as advertised, regardless of the verbosity of BS used. They buy them because it is a vain attempt to capture the essence of their favorite star, that maybe someone will confuse them for Halle Berry or Celine Dione. Sure. Wouldn’t it be amusing to discover the celebrities do not actually wear their own perfumes, that they wouldn’t be caught dead wearing that “cheap crap”? Well, in the end, it doesn’t matter. It’s all about image, it’s about perceptions, it’s about money.

As long as we have celebrity fan clubs and a tabloid media, there will always be a market for celebrity perfumes.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
http://www.phmainstreet.com/timbryce.htm

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Tune into Tim’s THE BRYCE IS RIGHT! podcast Mondays-Fridays, 7:30am (Eastern).

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Copyright © 2011 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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One Response to “CELEBRITY PERFUMES”

  1. Tim Bryce said

    A J.T. of Palm Harbor, Florida wrote…

    “You had me going back years as well, the old Ben Franklin’s and five and Dime’s the home of the 99 cent breakfast. Sure would be nice to find one of those again.”

    A J.P. of Ontario wrote…

    “Per fumare – ‘to fill with smoke’ or ‘suffused with smoke’.”

    A J.D. of Columbus, Ohio wrote…

    “LOL! When I walk up to the perfume counter at Macy’s I can’t remember for the life of me which celebrities promote which products. I just know that certain ones smell better on me than others–and I’m looking for just the right fit. That said–I’m not going to buy a bottle of perfume for $100.00.

    I hear there is food flavored perfume out there–and the men prefer pumpkin spice on their ladies. I think this concept is kind of weird–and haven’t tested the theory personally–not sure that I would–but wonder if a celebrity would want to endorse that?”

    A K.S. of Oklahoma wrote…

    “This was quite the unusual post Tim and one that gave me reason to stop and ponder a bit this morning. One thing comes to mind when reading this is that our olfactory plays quite an important role in many of our daily experiences that we often overlook. There are smells and scents wafting through the air at any given time at any given place; some alluring and some repulsive, and some just plain blah. After a quick trip through the mall or the deli section of our local grocer, we find it odd that we have become melancholy with our thoughts drifting into images of a loved one passed on, or memories of old friends. Hmm, this is odd, there was nothing in the mall or deli section that blatently reminded me of them, or was there? Scents seem to go directly to our memory banks melding with past experiences, good or dad. Maybe some Parfume in the mall or the smoked salmon in the deli reminded you of that past memory. I guess we all need to be cognizant of what we wear and how our scents affect those around us.”

    An S.S. of Boise, Idaho wrote…

    “Good article. Are you going to give equal time to the men’s fragrances? Love the marketing of men’s fragrances! As if a fragrance alone will transform the average Joe into the buff airbrushed speciman in the ads. Hope springs eternal. I am curious who does most of the buying of men’s fragrances? Men or women?”

    A J.S. of Skidway Lake, Michigan wrote…

    “Celebrities and professional athletes rent their names and images to companies as a marketing tool for profit. I think Wheaties was one of the first to use pictures of athletes on its boxes. It’s a steady income, unless the product is really bad. I can’t imagine Liz Taylor in a lab coat mixing fragrance oils.”

    Like

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