Re-Blogged: “The Making of a Celebrity Fragrance”

Utterly fantastic, incredibly insightful and just bloody funny at times. You really need to read this to understand the nature of the celebrity fragrances flooding your department stores: from the role of the marketing group; the almost non-existent role of the celebrity; the establishment of a price-point for the perfume as almost an initial starting point with people then working backwards; the recent perfume releases by Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj; and the power of Coty. A few of the more amusing tidbits:
– “Just go to the fragrance counter of any department store. Most of the fragrances there fall into two categories: citrus-aquatic and spicy-oriental. On top of that, they all smell like each other.”
– An example of the sort of brief given to perfumers: “’A dark fragrance that expresses the mystery and drama enveloping Lady Gaga in her video Fame.’”
-“Often, along with the brief, perfumers are directed what the cost of the formula should be. Nevertheless, there is always an opportunity to make a cheap formula even cheaper. The easiest way to do this is to use only synthetics and this is exactly what most celebrity scent developers do.”
-Take the recent releases by Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj. Both fragrances come in horrendous bottles that can easily turn into weapons. They do catch the attention of the 14-year-olds though, so we can give a check mark next to “successful packaging”.
-“staff hired by the fragrance company promotes the fragrance and creates awareness about it. These would usually be the friendly people pushing under your nose strips of stuff you don’t want to smell. They are also the ones who make you smell a spicy-oriental when you are really asking them to show you a citrus-aromatic.”

Read the full article. It’s hilarious, but also a sadly true reflection of the state of commercial, mass-market perfumery where celebrity scents are predominating by what seems to be a huge, massive amount.



If you believe that celebrity fragrances are squeezed out by fairies from the petals of flowers and you are under 12, you are forgiven.  If you believe this and you are past puberty, you need help.  Even though few would be as naive as to believe that fairies are involved in creating a fragrance, even fewer are familiar with the process of making one.  Fragrance companies have done a great job enshrouding in mystery the creative and technical process of creating their masterpieces and duds.  After all, the business of selling perfume is really the business of selling the dream of something we want to experience, whether it is sensuality, coolness or comfort.

I couldn’t allow myself to believe in the story about fairies and magic.

As I was curious about the process of making a fragrance, from its inception to its release on the market, I couldn’t allow myself…

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