Friday, December 15, 2006

Fragrant news: soon it might be Eau de Kate and Gwen

Coty Inc., that firm of an illustrious past and a perilous present, has signed a new deal for a fragrance licencing deal with the naughty super-model Kate Moss of innovative fashion sense and snow-sniffing affinities and another one with singer Gwen Stefani.
What is not-so-affectionately known among perfume-loving circles as a celebrity scent, that is.
Coty has under its belt fragrances either in the lower or the upper division (through the network of Lancaster cosmetics) that bear famous names and is in fact the leader in that specific market segment. Names of such famous people as Céline Dion (Céline Dion , Céline Dion Notes, Fever and Belong), Jennifer Lopez (Glow, Miami Glow, Glow in the dark, Still, Live), Sarah Jessica Parker (Lovely, Lovely liquid satin), Kimora Lee Simmons (Baby Phat), David and Victoria Beckham (Intimately for men and women respectively), Shania Twain (Shania Twain) and Kylie Minogue feature prominently on bottles of perfume under the Coty Inc. umbrella.
Another deal has also been signed with singer/rocker/sporadic actress/enterpreneur Gwen Stefani, whose favourite scents include many Victoria Secret's body lotions and the aromatic oeuvre of Vivien Westwood (Boudoir, Libertine). It will debut in fall 2007 and is said to represent her sense of style, as expressed in her own fashion label of clothing.

Whether the juice will be any good remains to be seen, but this celebrity trend has taken really outlandish proportions.
Only in 2006 a staggering number of 26 celebrity-endorsed perfumes have hit the market. According to, "The first celebrity to promote her own perfume was Elizabeth Taylor, back in 1991, when the actress launched the successful White Diamonds scent. The trend really gained momentum with the success of Jennifer Lopez's perfume Glow which was launched in 2002 and generated more than $80 million in sales in its first year."

In fact, and to put accuracy back in journalism, the Italian actress had already launched along with her eyewear collection an eponymous scent in the previous decade, in 1983 to be exact and, lest we forget, Catherine Deneuve also had in 1986. Those two however had been very good, quality scents (a chypre no less!) that met with an unjust demise. There was also the line of Alain Delon and Omar Sharif, both launched during the 80's. Few of them escaped unscathed.
Autres temps, autres moeurs!

The recent frantic pace of the market however made celebrity-endorsed products reach an all-time high, with every A-lister and plenty of D-listers as well, having launched lifestyle products (and eventually perfume, worse luck), beckoning us to wear them, eat them or smell like them! Why would anyone in their right minds want to smell like a dubious personality such as Paris Hilton is beyond me, but the fact remains.
You shalt not judge lest you be judged and all that, however and the verdict will come when I get to sniff the labour of Kate and Gwen (or more accurately, of the noses who will work for Coty on their behalf). Till then......

Info on the upcoming deals comes from Women's Wear Daily. Pic of Kate Moss courtesy of the Pirelli calendar

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