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10-13-09 | Posted by


Photo Credit: Macys.com

By Guest Bag Lady Jessica Schiffman


In 2001, Jennifer Lopez was already the talk of the town. She had recently released her first album “On the 6” and her film career was blossoming after an award winning performance in “Out of Sight.” Lopez had also received additional media publicity after her Grammy presentation in a scandalous green dress that left little to the imagination. Couple all this with a much-awaited appearance in the upcoming film “The Wedding Planner,” and JLo had paparazzi snapping her every move.  So it didn’t take much for her perfume or clothing line, first named “JLo By Jennifer Lopez,” to take off in 2003. [i]

Seemingly, this has been the case for almost all celebrities who wanted to try their hand in the fashion or beauty industry. Already equipped with a steady fan base, these stars could simply produce a perfume or makeup line and earn a quick buck to bolster their already booming acting or singing careers. Just two years ago, Forbes reported that sales for the top seven celebrity fragrances totaled $353.6 million, according to Euromonitor International. [ii] But now, amidst a gloomy economic climate, the scenario is no longer commonplace. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal revealed that U.S. sales of celebrity-licensed products fell to $2.9 billion last year after peaking at $3.5 billion in 2006, and celebrity fragrance sales are now down 10 percent. [iii][iv] Lopez’s six-year-old line was shut down this summer, along with many others. Fragrance peddler Parlux France, which relies heavily on celebrity scents, lost $4.3 million last year and $2.5 in the second quarter of this year alone.[v]

This decline may relate in part to buyer reluctance to align with the name behind the fragrance. Indeed, whenever a celebrity is associated with a film, album or perfume, consumers subconsciously associate that product with his or her character. Britney Spears, who has consistently received negative personal publicity over the last few years, might be considered at the top of the “do-not-wear list.” Yet, her fragrance line, which includes Fantasy Britney Spears, Britney Spears Believe, Curious Britney Spears and Curious in Control Britney Spears, is doing better than ever. At Parlux and other celebrity scent sellers, Britney Spear’s perfumes have remained popular even throughout the economic downturn. According to the New York Daily News, her fragrance sales rose 13% in the June quarter. Elizabeth Arden, the company behind the pop star’s perfumes, just unveiled Circus Fantasy, named after her latest tour and album.[vi]


Alongside more classic scents with proven staying power, Spear’s perfumes seem to be selling well because they actually smell good. So while celebs like Lopez or Spears might have an unfair advantage to begin with, in the end, it’s the quality of their products that matters. Keep an eye out for the most recent celebrity perfume releases—which include scents from Kim Kardashian, Sarah Jessica Parker and Mariah Carey.


[i] Stylelist.com

[ii] Glosslip.com

[iii] Glosslip.com

[iv] Wall Street Journal

[v] New York Daily News

[vi] New York Daily News


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