Style Beauty

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Now you can smell like the stars – but do you really want to?

Published 15/11/2012 | 05:00

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Lady Gaga arrives for the UK launch of her new fragrance 'Fame' outside Harrods in London.
Katy Perry launches her perfume Purr.
Kim Kardashian promotes her perfume 'Gold'.

One-in-five of us is now wearing the fragrances of the famous, writes Deirdre Reynolds

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If you can't afford one of Victoria Beckham's frocks or Nicole Richie's necklaces, now at least you can waft of your favourite celebrity.

Almost one-in-five of us now spritz ourselves with a celebrity-endorsed scent in the morning, according to new figures.

Photos: Celebrity scents

Back in 2004, celebrity perfumes made up a paltry 1pc of the market; today, they account for nearly a fifth.

"Celebrity fragrances continue to be very popular with Irish shoppers," says Amanda Coleman, Fragrance Consultant at Boots, Stephen's Green Shopping Centre.

"Demand for celebrity fragrances is matched by the popularity of the celebrity. Currently, Lady Gaga's 'Fame' is our best-seller."

Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker, Tulisa Contostavlos and tennis player Maria Sharapova are just some of the stars to bottle their bouquet.

In fact, so far-reaching is the celeb scent trend that two of this year's top sellers are a teenage boy and a deceased Hollywood icon.

The now inescapable 'celeb fragrance' was first made famous by the late Elizabeth Taylor with the launch of 'Passion' in 1987.

Twenty years after its launch, and a year after her death, it's Taylor's signature 1991 fragrance 'White Diamonds' that's still the world's favourite – making $75m since her death.

Meanwhile, one bottle of Justin Bieber's second scent, 'Girlfriend', sold every minute when it went on sale at The Perfume Shop earlier this year.

"Anyone who is anyone in the celebrity world now has their own fragrance," says Shane Barron of PerfumeIreland.

"Our customers usually purchase the old reliables: J.Lo, Kylie and Sarah Jessica Parker for women and David Beckham for men.

"However, the popularity of a celebrity at any given time can result in a significant rise in sales of their fragrance.

"Generally, our celebrity perfumes are purchased by people 20-30 years old."

Despite the prolificacy of celebrity perfumes, such scents make just half of what they did at their peak in 2008, according to research by The Fragrance Foundation in New York.

At the launch of 'Fame' in London last month, Lady Gaga was booed by fans for turning up an hour late.

Meanwhile, curvy Christina Aguilera has caused a stink by using a two-year-old photo, in which she appears drastically slimmer, to flog her latest fragrance, 'Royal Desire'.

So does it still make sense to buy a celeb scent?

"I don't think celebrity perfumes will ever replace the designer fragrances," adds Barron.

"Celebrity perfumes are usually cheaper than designer ones and sell particularly well at Christmas and Valentine's Day, but designer perfumes sell all year round."

Famous FIVE: Big-name brands TESTED in DUBLIN

Here, Deirdre Reynolds puts five of the latest celebrity scents to the test on the streets of Dublin.

Katy Perry 'Purr' – €39 (50ml)

Developed by: Firminech fragrance house

What the celeb says: "I didn't want it to be a complete knock-off of my favourite scents, so that meant a year and a half of going into labs. I was like: 'Nope. Nope. Nope. Yes, finally!'"

What girls think: "Actually, this reminds me a bit of my favourite perfume, Vera Wang Princess – but it's a lot cheaper. I'd definitely buy it."

What guys think: "The perfume itself is nice, but the [cat-shaped] bottle is more like something I'd give my 12-year-old niece."

Closer by Halle Berry – €24.95 (50ml)

Developed by: Perfumer Jacques Cavallier

What the celeb says: "I wanted to create a fragrance for women that would also appeal to men. Scent is very closely linked with desire and I love the idea that a fragrance can bring a man and a woman together."

What girls think: "Even though it's meant to be unisex, I think it's a little bit too musky for me and my boyfriend would probably think it's too girly to wear."

What guys think: "It smells very sexy on a woman. I'm not sure if I'd wear it myself."

Kate Moss 'Lilabelle Truly Adorable' – €29.95 (50ml)

Developed by: Perfumer Alexis Dadier

What the celeb says: "My favourite time is spent relaxing in the country with friends and family and it's where the inspiration for this fragrance comes from. Happy memories of summers shared outside with my daughter Lila."

What girls think: "Although it smells quite flowery, it's not too strong like some other celeb perfumes."

What guys think: "It's nice and subtle – the problem is that most Irish women would probably douse themselves in it."

Kylie Minogue 'Music Box' – €29.95 (50ml)

Developed by: Perfumer Marie Salamagne

What the celeb says: "Ever since I was a little child, I've loved the magical quality of an old-fashioned music box. 'Music Box' is designed to evoke the same sense of surprise."

What girls think: "I love it – it's sweet, but not sickeningly so. I think it smells a lot more expensive than it is."

What guys think: "To be honest, they all smell the same to me."

Justin Bieber 'Girlfriend' – €39.95 (50ml)

Developed by: Batallure Beauty LLC

What the celeb says: "'Girlfriend' is kind of a more mature version of [his first fragrance] 'Someday'. It has some of the same scents."

What girls think: "The perfume is fine, but the bottle is far too fidgety for my liking."

What guys think: "As a 29-year-old man, I'm embarrassed to say that this is one of my favourites."

Irish Independent

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