March 21 is not only the first day of spring, but it's National Fragrance Day. Fragrance is a 25 billion dollar a year industry. Just take a look at all the celebrities who have not just one, but two or more fragrances in their collections. From Justin Beiber to Beyoncé, from Sean P. Diddy Combs to Madonna—it seems like if you are a major "name" and you don't have a fragrance, you are on the late show.
Classic fragrances are still favorites and new fragrances are are quickly becoming classics. The marriage between fame and fragrance also goes back decades, to the 1930s, when the fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli designed a curvy perfume bottle modeled after the actress Mae West’s figure.
Elizabeth Taylor’s scent, White Diamonds, has been an Elizabeth Arden top seller since it launched in 1991, grossing more than $1 billion in sales and providing a nice revenue stream for an actress who was no longer spending much time in front of the cameras.
Through much of the 1990s, the fragrance aisles were dominated by fashion brands like Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein. But it wasn’t until Coty struck a deal with Jennifer Lopez that the celebrity fragrance renaissance truly began.
Coty’s success with Lopez inspired a rush to sign younger celebrities to fragrance deals. Elizabeth Arden signed Britney Spears. Her scent, Curious, launched in 2004 and achieved $100 million in sales in its first year alone. Estée Lauder signed Beyoncé Knowles and Enrique Iglesias to reposition its Tommy Hilfiger fragrances. In 2009, a grand total of sixty-two new celebrity fragrances were unleashed on the market, an increase from a mere ten fragrances just ten years earlier.
One of the most famous quotes about fragrance is from Marilyn Monroe who single handedly catapulted Chanel No. 5 into the spotlight, “What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel No. 5, of course.” Elizabeth Taylor said, "The beauty of fragrance is that it speaks to your heart…and hopefully someone else’s."
Editor's Picks for National Fragrance Day: