by Martin Mills
recently purchased Sarah Jessica Parker’s perfume Lovely, hoping in some small way the very essence of Carrie Bradshaw is stored in that 50ml bottle; dormant until Valentines night when it will transform my girlfriend into a sultry Sex and the City style temptress. But to what extent is Sarah Jessica Parker, indeed any celebrity, involved in the creative process of their own endorsed perfume? The worlds largest fragrance maker, Coty, has the widest range of celebrity clientele; a company whose perfume portfolio includes the Beckham’s, Jennifer Lopez and Celine Dion. Jennifer Lopez perfume earns Coty more than $100 million a year, and according to Catherine Walsh, a Coty executive, Lopez insisted on regular consultations. Coty competitors, UK based Starscents released a range of Ronan Keating colognes last year, hoping to emulate the success of its previous pop collaboration with Sir Cliff Richard. Sheila Pickles, Starscents creative director, talks to the celebrity first about the scents they or their family wear; the scents they like and dislike. She then constructs a formal written brief which documents the way the new scent should smell. This brief is then issued to ‘internationally renowned Perfume Noses’ who submit 10 or more samples. These are then presented to the celebrity; and are further refined, until the celebrity is happy to endorse the scent as their own. When asked about Sir Cliff Richard’s creative contribution Sheila explained: “He insisted on Night Scented Jasmine, and we used Sandalwood in his ‘Miss You Nights’ perfume. It reminded him of his childhood in India.” Actor Alan Cumming included the most bizarre scents in his endorsed perfume: “Black pepper, whiskey, cigar, rubber, and white truffle.” In partnership with perfumer Chris Bronsius, founder of Demeter Fragrances, and with their tongues firmly rooted in their cheeks they created – “Cumming: the Fragrance.” Now a range of cosmetic products which includes: “Cumming all over,” the body lotion; “Cumming in a bar,” the soap; and “Cumming in the air,” the scented candle.
Published on Aug 21, 2009