Scent of a (Famous) Woman

Much has been written about the decline of celebrity fragrances over the past few years. But there are exceptions to the rule, and a number of high-profile personalities have recently expanded their licensed scent programs:

  • Ariana Grande is releasing “Cloud,” the newest in her line of fragrances with Luxe Brands. She introduced her first perfume in September 2015 and her scents have totaled more than $150 million at retail, a significant figure for a relatively short time on the market.
  • Paris Hilton just introduced her 24th fragrance, Platinum Rush, last month, working with her long-time licensee Parlux. Over her career she has sold an estimated $2.5 billion in this category at retail globally, according to a variety of sources.
  • Sofia Vergara released “Tempting Paradise,” her fourth scent since launching in 2014. Parlux is the licensee.
  • Kim Kardashian launched KKW Beauty last year and has added a number of scents to the line, including a body fragrance in April and a line of Kimoji fragrances, inspired by her branded emojis, in July of this year.
  • Jennifer Lopez signed in 2017 with Designer Parfums, after her previous licensee Coty ended its relationship with her as part of a broader reduction of its portfolio of licensed brands. She launched her first fragrance, Glow by JLo, in 2003 and had released a total of 24 different fragrances by the time she forged this new deal.
  • Britney Spears signed Revlon in July for Britney Spears Prerogative, a new gender-neutral scent. She has released 20 different fragrances since 2004, when she introduced Curious with Elizabeth Arden, accruing retail sales of more than $1.5 billion across all SKUs since 2012, according to estimates.

These recent introductions and extensions fit into a broader array of successful celebrity lines, with examples ranging from Rihanna and Beyoncé to Sarah Jessica Parker and Elizabeth Taylor. The last is widely considered a pioneer in this field, and her fragrance program, encompassing White Diamonds and many others, continues to be a top performer after more than 25 years.

Thus, even as the celebrity-scent bubble has popped over the past several years and as some turnover in licensees has occurred, celebrities can still drive strong-selling and long-lasting fragrance franchises. It is interesting to note that, while having a high level of fame matters, the most successful examples are typically those where the namesake celebrities maintain the most hands-on involvement with the development, packaging, and marketing of their signature products.

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