In the US, celebrity fragrances comprised about 11% of the US fragrances market in 2013, down from 12% in 2012.
According to research analyst Virginia Lee, celeb scents are losing their stance as their main consumer continues to be tweens, teens, and young adults as they care more about their favorite actors and singers than their parents and grandparents.
However, young Americans have less disposable income to spend on discretionary items such as fragrances post-recession as unemployment remains high among youth. Fragrances are also now competing with other purchases such as smartphones and apps.
Celebrities still pushing for sales through social media
In terms of celebrity fragrances, Virginia says musicians generally fare better than actors.
While the late actress Elizabeth Taylor remains number one with sales of US$55 million in 2013, the number two and three positions are held by Jennifer Lopez and singer Justin Bieber. Singers Beyonce Knowles and Rihanna hold the number four and five positions.
Recording artists are still making efforts to parlay their huge fan base to create strong sales of fragrances. In the past, celebrities promoted their fragrances through television commercials, personal appearances at department stores, and appearances on TV shows.
Now, they simply turn to social media to reach their fan base. The research analyst gives Rihanna as an example, posting a picture on Instagram ahead of the launch for her 'Rogue' fragrance to 12.7 million followers.
Star power still popular across the pond
Meanwhile, across the pond market researcher NPD reveals fragrance brands to be increasingly leveraging star power by using celebrities to amplify the message themselves.
This is still said to be driving fragrance sales, particularly in the UK where perfumes by male and female stars are outperforming significantly more expensive prestige brands.
Its latest beauty report suggests that although the majority of licensee’s maintain fragrance-dedicated social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, increasingly brands are leveraging the celebrities to amplify messaging.
In fact, figures show that half of licensee sites are linking to the celebrities’ social pages rather than their own.
“On average the celebrity’s Facebook page is almost 260 times larger than the licensee-controlled, fragrance-dedicated page,” says L2.