The amount of fragrance releases that pop into my inbox lead one to think Britain is enjoying a multitude of good weather and a sunny economic climate rather than the most depressing recessions we’ve had since the 50′s (though the current heat wave can’t be denied). Despite the rise of redundancies and doom and gloom the perfume gravy train rolls on, and a trend I’ve noticed is that there are more and more celebrity based scents launching, whilst the big perfumeries are keeping themselves content with one or two launches. So, the big houses are opting for quality rather than quantity (think ‘a scent by Issey Miyake’ and the new Dior fragrance) whilst cheap and cheerful rules the roost in the likes of Superdrug and Boots.
It may come a s a surprise to learn that the bestselling scent of 2008 was not one of the multitudes of scents that were created with a complex artistry of base notes blended with precision worthy to be dissected by Dexter’s scalpel ( my current fave show), but rather the unimpressive artificial candy coated scent that was Stunning by Katie Price (a.k.a Jordan). Yes, I was surprised too- but if that’s the market that has the spare cash (think saved up pocket money/guilt ridden gifts from divorced dads and mini-WAGS) then it’s no surprise that scents like these are being churned out.
In the last two months I’ve heard news of over five celeb scents that will be hitting out shores soon, and most of these are continuations in a franchise. Yes, Kate Moss is on her third/fourth scent now (Kate Moss/Kate Moss Summer/Velvet Hour and the new ‘Vintage’), Kylie is rolling out yet another scent-this time for MEN, and the latest Paris Hilton number, Siren, will be out in July. But it’s not just attention grabbing , hot pant wearing, Juicy Couture clad celebs that are targeting this market- semi respectable and B listers are also trying to get their piece of the perfume pie.
Rihanna is currently working on a scent (Working title: Chris’s last kiss?), Reese Withersppoon is now creating one (In Bloom) rather than just being the face of one, and Halle Berry has one as well! Add to that list Queen Latifah, Kim Kardashian, Leona Lewis, Avril Lavigne’s Black Star and the fact that Queen WAG Coleen Rooney is launching a third scent (time TBC) and we have a whole lot of uninspired insipid scents to look forward too. Oh yeah, and the Cheeky Girls now have their own fragrances as well (think bottled bubblegum and you get the idea of the sugar coated notes used).
There’s no denying that all these celeb-created bottles sell reasonably well, but do they need to be manufactured at this prolific rate?
Considering most smell pretty similar (strawberry and vanilla notes mixed with jasmine) the people who buy them are just buying into the branding/lifestyle and they aren’t necessarily folk you should want to emulate. After all for every little girl who loved Stunning, did they all want to grow up to be glamour models and wear itsy bitsy bikinis? I’m not sure I think the pink packaging and pr9incess motifs may have gone a long way to making the bottle sell- and the fact that it was affordable. Price after all is a key thing to note in this recession as whilst the new Dior or Chanel perfume may be of a much higher quality and have had a lot of R&D time spent in creating it, pricewise there’s no contest between something for £14.99 and something for £44.99.
After all, you can’t afford the clothes, you can’t afford the scent, but maybe just maybe, you CAN afford a hint of what it might be like to be Kate Moss or JLO. I think celeb scents are the new aspiration market products and ones that fit in well with the Primarni craze that has swept the nation. Even if cheap signifies poor quality, were talking east accessibility and lack of pretension- qualities which we need desperately nowadays.
I just wish that the celeb production line could slow down a little and that manufacturers would think a little more carefully about which celebs they’d like to represent- after all if we’re going to aspire to ‘be’ like someone perhaps they should pick suitable role models. After all- Cheeky Girls?! WTF.
What’s next- Susan Boyle, ‘Brave’ to be on the shelves? [Notes of shame, humiliation and Head and Shoulders expected] Well, if it sells…