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Mar 20, 2024

Why have celebrity fragrances made a comeback?

Celebrity fragrances are making a comeback, but there’s a new scent in the air. Gone are the days when Hollywood A-listers dominated the market; now, it’s the era of Millennial social media stars, influencers, and Gen Z content creators stepping into the spotlight.

What’s changed? The industry has witnessed a shift in how these new stars leverage their image for profit. Once synonymous with affordable luxury, celebrity-branded perfumes have become high-end products thanks to collaborations with top perfumers and the incorporation of exclusive, high-tech, and rare ingredients. 

The evolution is driven by Gen Zers and young consumers who increasingly prioritise quality over quantity, opting to invest in fewer fragrances per year, aligning with their preference for premium products. But this transformation is just the tip of the iceberg. Are you eager to explore how celebrity fragrances are reshaping the perfume industry and the economic impact they hold within the sector? Keep reading.


The Origin of Celebrity Fragrances

In 1987, Elizabeth Taylor started the celebrity fragrance trend by launching her first branded fragrance, Passion, in collaboration with Elizabeth Arden. 

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Un post condiviso da Elizabeth Taylor (@elizabethtaylor)

It was a huge success, which led to the introduction of a male version. Four years later, in 1991, White Diamonds was launched.

Since then, about twenty new fragrances have been introduced, and they continue to be available in the market today. It’s not surprising that the American actress earned more from her fragrance collection than her entire acting career, according to her biographers.


The Rise of Celebrity-Branded Perfume Empires

Undoubtedly, this unparalleled success played a pivotal role in cementing the trend of celebrity fragrances in subsequent years. 

Over recent decades, numerous icons in the entertainment industry drew inspiration from this entrepreneurial endeavour and have chosen to create their own signature scents for self-promotion.

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Un post condiviso da CR7 (@cr7cristianoronaldo)

From Paris Hilton to Naomi Campbell, Lady Gaga to Kim Kardashian, Madonna to Beyoncé, and even Cristiano Ronaldo, Justin Bieber, and Michael Jordan, the list spans across the spectrum of fame.


The Evolution towards High-End Celebrity Scents

But now, the landscape is evolving. The celebrity fragrance industry, a robust and serious business since its inception, saw a boom in the mid-to-late 2000s. During this time, movie and pop stars recognised the potential of associating their name with a scent, as well as the value of using their face on the packaging and in promotional campaigns to create affordable marketing ventures. The resulting fragrances were to be sold at a low price, primarily to build a sense of identification among consumers.

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Un post condiviso da Lady Gaga Daily (@gagadaily)

These fragrances served as more than mere promotional tools, offering fans a tangible connection during artists’ off-seasons or hiatuses between projects. They became gateways into celebrities’ lifestyles.

As Allure once noted, there’s something seductive about owning a part of celebrities, with their perfumes allowing consumers to emulate their scent and feel a sense of commonality. The idea is simple: if you can smell like they do, you have something in common.

Today, this sentiment remains unchanged, albeit with an evolution to meet the shifting habits of consumers who purchase higher-end fragrances less frequently. That’s why celebrity fragrances have transitioned into more valuable and luxurious essences, driven by the expertise of master perfumers and the sophistication of exquisite packaging.


The Success Stories: Rihanna’s Fenty Perfume, Ariana Grande’s Cloud Fragrance, and Billie Eilish’s Signature Scents

One of the most recent and successful forays into the art of perfumery is exemplified by Rihanna. The Barbadian pop star ventured into the sector in 2012, but it wasn’t until 2021, with the debut of Fenty Eau de Parfum, that she truly made her mark. Behind this pivotal moment lies the hand of investor LVMH. 

Crafted by the renowned nose Jacques Cavallier Belletrud, known for creating some of Louis Vuitton’s signature scents, Fenty Eau de Parfum is a unisex fragrance characterised by its elegance, softness, and warmth. With notes of magnolia, musk, mandarin, blueberry, Bulgarian rose, geranium, and patchouli, it embodies a sophisticated blend that captivates the senses.

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Un post condiviso da Ariana Grande (@arianagrande)

However, the ultimate winner in this arena is Ariana Grande’s Cloud. Since its introduction in 2018, the fragrance has held the title of best-selling celebrity-branded scent across various beauty platforms, with a bottle purchased every 11 seconds in 2022. Crafted by perfumer Clement Gavarry, the scent unfolds with a burst of lavender and juicy pear, offering a delightful combination of sweetness and freshness before transitioning into a delicate blend of sweet coconut and creamy praline.

Highly acclaimed among Gen Z are also Billie Eilish’s eponymous fragrances. Launched in 2021, the first fragrance, Eilish Eau de Parfum, features a sweet and gourmand composition with sugary notes of vanilla, caramel, spices, and cocoa, complemented by hints of woods and musk. In 2022, a second perfume, Eilish N°2, was introduced in collaboration with perfumer Steve DeMercado. This woody, floral, and musky unisex fragrance boasts top notes of apple blossom and bergamot, accented by black pepper, papyrus, and poppy, with a base of palo santo, ebony, and vanilla. Now, a new limited edition Eilish No. 3 Eau de Parfum is also available, with a one-item limit per cart for this product.

And what about the pricing? On, Rihanna’s Fenty Eau de Parfum is listed at $140 for 75 mL. Ariana Grande’s Cloud, on the other hand, offers 100 mL for approximately $68.00, making it a more affordable option. Billie Eilish’s fragrance collection, comprising three scents, is slightly pricier, retailing at $72 for 100 mL on These contemporary icons have certainly raised the bar in terms of quality, packaging, and pricing compared to their renowned predecessors. However, all three have managed to keep their pricing within reasonable bounds, particularly catering to the budgets of younger generations.


The Not-So-Young Stars in the Celebrity Fragrance Market: Jennifer Lopez and Antonio Banderas Continue to Launch Affordable Perfumes

Continuing to delve into the realm of pop stars, Jennifer Lopez has introduced an impressive 32 fragrances over the years. Her debut fragrance, Glow by JLo, launched in 2003, has been one of the most successful fragrance debuts to date and is credited with sparking a trend of celebrity fragrances. 

After collaborating with Coty for several years, she parted ways with the company but continued to release perfumes. Her latest creation, ‘One,’ debuted in 2021. It is a gourmand fragrance crafted by perfumer Frank Voelkl and features rich woody undertones of cedar and sandalwood, accented by notes of jasmine, pink pepper, and peach blossoms. The superstar seems to remain committed to offering the concept of ‘luxe-for-less’ fragrances, which are notably priced competitively, particularly when compared to the scents of younger stars. 

@javiperfumes Perfume Icon Elixir de Antonio Banderas #perfumeseconomicos #chileperfumes #perfumeadictos #antoniobanderas #perfumetiktok #bajopresupuesto #iconantoniobanderas ♬ SAL QUE TE PASO A BUSCAL by FLOWGPT - FlowGPT

In the realm of celebrity fragrances outside of Gen Z, there’s a noteworthy and enduring partnership between Antonio Banderas and the Spanish powerhouse Puig. Puig’s extensive portfolio boasts renowned brands such as Rabanne, Carolina Herrera, Charlotte Tilbury, Jean Paul Gaultier, Nina Ricci, Dries Van Noten, Byredo, Dr. Barbara Sturm, and Kama Ayurveda, alongside the coveted beauty license of Christian Louboutin. The actor has ventured into the world of fragrances, introducing a line for both women and men. Their latest creation, unveiled in 2022, is Blue Seduction Wave. This fragrance is characterised by a blend of bergamot, lemon, green apple, cedar, musk, and patchouli, resulting in an aromatic and woody scent. Even within Antonio Banderas’ fragrance portfolio, the focus remains on accessibility within the mass fragrance industry, with products priced affordably to appeal to a broad audience.


My Dad Had a Rolls-Royce: Victoria Beckham’s Debut in Fragrances is Luxurious yet Most-Wanted

Last but not least, in late 2023, fashion maven Victoria Beckham made headlines with the launch of her inaugural fragrances, each symbolising a chapter in her iconic marriage to football legend David Beckham. However, these three scents—Portofino ‘97, Suite 302, and San Ysidro Drive—are more than just a tribute to Posh Spice’s love story; they are the result of an eight-year collaboration with perfumer Jérôme Epinette.

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Un post condiviso da Victoria Beckham (@victoriabeckham)

Available on, these luxurious fragrances command a price tag of $290 for 100 mL. While not budget-friendly, Beckham’s reputation for luxury, as evidenced by her high-end ready-to-wear line showcased in Paris, demands nothing less than luxury and refinement. As she humorously depicted on a T-shirt following the release of the Netflix series ‘Beckham,’ proclaiming “My Dad Had a Rolls-Royce,” luxury isn’t just an option—it’s a way of life(style) for her.


The Future of Celebrity Fragrances

In the ever-evolving world of fragrances, the allure of celebrity remains unwavering. However, it is becoming apparent that perfumery is changing and moving towards a new chapter—one characterised by high quality and higher prices—and celebrities are likely to play a pivotal role in shaping or challenging it. The question on everyone’s mind now is who will be the next to make their mark on the industry, and how will they do it?



Clementina Bianchi