NSFW WARNING – Rihanna pictures aren’t showing anything, but they could look bad if someone just walked by and glanced at your computer monitor!
Over the holiday weekend, I had to work, and I actually read a news article about a celebuscent release, Paris Hilton Dazzle. I could care less normally, but I was bored. Until…
I read this —
She has sold $1.5 BILLION worth of perfume
If I could figure out how to make that flash and do a kaleidoscope whirl, I would! Because that would be my reaction as my mind slowly digested that number into a flicker of caring.
I posted the article on the Surrender to Chance Facebook page, along with a news article about Rihanna posing in only a gold necklace for her newest perfume release, and we got into a great discussion about celebrity and licensing and how much money they make and for such utter, horrible, cheap crap. Most perfumistas will agree on the celebrity scents that have been good/great/interesting – Sarah Jessica Parker‘s Lovely, Kate Walsh’s Boyfriend, Alan Cumming’s Cumming, Tilda Swinton’s collaboration with Etat Libre for Like This (or is it Like That?).
Let’s study the photo of Rihanna on the right, taken during her performance on American Idol, I believe. Sexy and Fierce. I don’t really like her music, but I don’t hate it either. And she’s got her own unique style, and I’d be thinking maybe something leathery and musky, slightly shocking. Her first scent? Plum, strawberry, vanilla, cotton candy. Huh.
The nude shoot for her perfume? Really? Babe, this is your branding, which I thought was more like the right. Or is it naked and sorta sick-vulnerable like the left? You sold your brand to Parlux (now owned by Perfumania) under a licensing agreement for, what three or four perfumes? And this is what they want to make next? I couldn’t find an article listing the notes in the new perfume.
But they don’t have to for us all to assume it will be fruit, cotton candy, vanilla.
Fruity floral cheap celebdreck that bares (yeah, on purpose) no relationship at all to your brand.
Paris, you have no brand, but you have sold $1.5 billion more perfume with your name on it than I have, as well as a waning in popularity sex tape, so I should probably just shut up and say congratulations. You know, I think I will! Seriously, I am impressed beyond belief at that.
Then I went wandering into YouTube to see a great, funny Katie Puckrik video review. She does such a nice visual presentation, full of humor and charm, you should go watch them, and she gets betweek 10-20k views for each of her videos. I know Kerosene used to do perfume reviews there, before he started creating great scents, and he’d get 2-5k views. EauMG also does makeup and perfume reviews. All of these are well done, interesting, and cover mainstream and some niche scents. Masochist that I am, I meandered around outside the bounds of safety – and that included the guy that almost puked smelling Xerjoff Gao for the first time – clickety-clicking on perfume reviews in YouTube, wanting to find what video with perfume review in it had the most views. The winner, after I got past the perfume commercials? A young girl, high school age, talking about her favorite perfume, Brittney Spears’ perfume, Midnight Fantasy, 577,000 views.
Katie gets about 10-20k views per video, and she stays pretty mainstream on the fragrances she reviews. Oh, do not leave that video I linked to running in while you read this, the sound of that voice at 350 wpm will take 5 IQ points from you in 15 minutes and make you consider taking an awl to your eardrums if you can’t find the mute button. Not her fault, she’s young, has a high-pitched voice and talks fast. Further searching found hundreds of thousand of views for reviews of crap and laser-sharp insights like “it smells so sweet!” vs. thoughtful, charming reviews from Katie getting 10-20k.
But why shouldn’t celebrities license their name and get that sweet, sweet perfume cash? A part of me does, and I’d like to think I wouldn’t sell out for much under a million, but am pretty sure I’d peddle straight-up sugar water as perfume and strip nude on the corner of Colfax and Broadway for $1.5 BILLION. But that’s me, upper middle class person trying to pay a mortgage and one day do a kitchen and bathroom remodel. If I were already famous and financially set? No way. I think. I hope. Maybe. Probably.
The other part of me wishes for something better for them – not the celebrities, I’m pretty sure they buy their Amouages and Chanel Les Exclusifs, etc., just like we do, and would never let the stuff that has their name on it touch their skin. The young consumer, I wish for them some experience when they are young of what perfume really is, not be stuck in some fluffy sweet syrup smell as their reference point for scent at the beginning, not to mention how invasive it is to everyone around them. I loves my gourmands too, but they are a small part of what I wear on a regular basis. They are a bon mot I get hooked on every now and then for comfort, and none of them – except the once a year indulgence in Pink Sugar – are made with harsh ingredients that smell as cheap as they are. i don’t have a judgment on what people buy, and I’m sure they like it or wouldn’t buy it. But! Yeah, exactly, something you just have to let go of and go for a long walk.
Do these celebrities dilute their brand with selling their name on a perfume license? Once you have sold your brand on a license at a low price point like Paris has, your perceived value as a brand/career gets set at that low discount value. Brittney and J. Lo sold their brand at a price point aimed at the audience they had when they were licensing it and are now doing time on The X Factor and American Idol trying to drum up some interest in their musical career. Can a stint on Celebrity Apprentice or Dancing With the Stars be far off? They both have plenty of riches, I can’t imagine they need the perfume cash, especially if it dilutes their brand. They are stuck in branding that is geared for an audience they are leaving behind or have left behind or have left them because they grew up and found the Dior of Chanel counter. Kate Walsh, Sarah Jessica Parker, Tilda Swinton, Alan Cumming, what they did smells like they cared and wanted to create something they liked and reflected who they are as a brand and as a finished adult. Their careers and brand? All fine, the perfume extended the reach of their brand.
But what do I know? Would you sell out? I’m going to remove the middle ground that says you can do both. You have to choose one perfume path over another as a newly minted celebrity. Which?
Here’s something more fun! I gathered up all the images you guys submitted for sex toy perfume bottle entries, splashed them all together in a collage.
One word – pornographic
Vote in the comments for your most egregious example of oversexed perfume bottles or most awe-inspiring potential dual use of a perfume bottle. The top four vote-getters in comments will go to a poll vote next week! The commenter who submitted the winner will get, um, something! I haven’t figured that out yet, probably something good like some samples of new releases like the Amouage and Grand Bal and those new UAE Guerlain things.