Eau no! More celebrity scents!

Updated: 2006-11-16 16:19

TORONTO - If it looks like celebrities are crowding the perfume counter at department stores this holiday season -- that's because they are, with 2006 shaping up as a record year for celebrity scents.

The rich and famous have turned the public obsession with their lives into a highly profitable industry, with 37 celebrity scents flooding onto the market in the past 3 years and no sign of the trend coming to an end.

This year, in the run-up to 2006's big spending season, another 23 new celebrity scents have so far joined the pack, launched by the likes of actresses Hilary Swank, Jennifer Lopez, English footballer David Beckham and even television's Desperate Housewives.

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"It seems to be what the consumer wants," said Mary Ellen Lapsansky, executive director with the Fragrance Foundation, which tracks fragrances in the United States.

"Celebrities drive everything today. They endorse everything from wrist watches to you name it."

Out of 205 new fragrances launched in 2005, there were 23 celebrity scents, according to the Fragrance Foundation.

That is up dramatically from 2004, when eight celebrity scents were launched, and 2003, when six launched.

"It's definitely becoming more mainstream. We do see that the celebrity fragrances do seem to resonate more with the young consumers," said Karen Grant, senior beauty industry analyst with market research firm NPD Group.

"(We are) definitely seeing that the brands that have had a strong celebrity alliance have done extremely well in the marketplace, whether it is to get initial awareness or revitalizing a brand."

Last year, celebrity fragrances represented almost a quarter of the top 100 women's fragrance brands, up from 10 percent in 2003, according to the NPD group.


Elizabeth Taylor is said to have been the first celebrity to successfully put her scent in a bottle, in 1991, when she launched her "White Diamonds" perfume.

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