Celebrity fragrances: here to stay?

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Celebrity endorsements have dominated the global fragrance market
over the last few years however Euromonitor suggests a counter
trend of speciality scents could capture the market.

The celebrity fragrance market currently shows little sign of abating despite repeated industry predictions to the contrary. In addition, manufacturers are currently looking to target new demographics in order to maximise on the trend, according to the report by the UK-based market research company. "By riding on an established image with a pre-existing consumer base, fragrance makers can cut back on marketing, an important saving in a launch-heavy sector that involves high innovation costs,"​ said Euromonitor senior analyst Diana Dodson. However, Dodson forecasts a possible backlash to the trend in the next few years driven by the increasingly sophisticated consumer who will be more persuaded by interesting scent combinations than marketing campaigns. Innovations within celebrity fragrances ​ The trend for celebrity fragrances has traditionally targeted young women and teenagers however Dodson notes a certain amount of innovation within the sector. A collection of scents are targeting the older age groups. Examples include Sarah Jessica Parker's Lovely fragrance which is aimed at the 30 plus age range and novelist Danielle Steele's scent, aimed at the more mature consumer. In addition, male celebrity fragrances are beginning to see a certain success with Sean John's Unforgivable getting into the top ten premium men's scents in 2006. Furthermore, the celebrities behind the scents appear to be becoming increasingly diverse. Even politicians are getting in on the act with Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of the Liberal Democrat Party of Russia, currently marketing Zhirinovsky for Men. Backlash against the celebrity scent ​ The market research company predicts a backlash against celebrity scents characterised by innovative delivery formats, interesting scent combinations and bespoke fragrances. An example of this trend is Le Labo which describes itself and its philosophy as a revolution against mass produced luxury perfumes that are sold in supermarkets and attempt to 'fool the consumer into thinking they are unique'. Le Labo mixes its fragrances on demand in the laboratory in front of the consumer, promising an 'olfactory sensation' that is far from the world of mass retail. Although this backlash is likely to be consumer led, Dodson suggests some manufacturers will support the move away from celebrity scents as they tend not to have the market longevity that could prove vital within a competitive sector. Furthermore, she notes that basing everything on a celebrity image may not be reliable as a long term strategy. "It can be risky to rely on a celebrity's image, too easily tarnished by today's ubiquitous media"​, she said.

Related topics: Market Trends

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