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Celebrity-Licensed Perfumes Seek to Reinvigorate Slumping Market

The past 12 months have been less than sweet smelling for sales of celebrity-licensed fragrances, but that isn’t deterring companies from bringing new celebrity brands to the already crowded mass market.

New Celebrity Fragrances in the Pipeline

Parlux Fragrances, a division of specialty and online retailer Perfumania Holdings, is going all in this fall, when it will bring to market new brands from Sofia Vergara, Rhianna, Pitbull, Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson. Luxe Brands is bringing Ariana Grande’s Ari to market in North America and Europe in September. And last month, Katy Perry last month launched her fourth fragrance, Mad Potion, through a pop-up shop on Twitter before hitting retail.

“If you can detect a sign that there is renewed hope in the celebrity fragrance market this fall it’s through the intimacy trend promoted by divas using their nicknames to baptize their perfumes,” writes perfume blogger Chant Wagner of The Scented Salamander at, in reference to Grand’s Ari and Rhianna’s RiRi.

The celebrity fragrance market in the U.S. has been in decline for more than a year. Elizabeth Arden, the company that distributes fragrances from celebrities Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift and others, reported that sales for its fiscal 2014, ended June 30, 2014, fell 13.4%, on a steeper than expected decline in celebrity fragrances, particularly the Bieber and Swift brands. For the quarter ended March 31, sales of the company’s non-Elizabeth Arden brands continued to fall, by 17%, largely due to falling celebrity brand sales in North America.

Coty, which markets celebrity fragrances from Beyonce’, David Beckham and others, also has experienced falling sales: Fragrance revenue for the quarter ended March 31 was down 2%, as the company said that new launches failed to offset the decline from existing product lines. For its full fiscal 2014, Coty said that growth from emerging brands like Perry’s offset declines in products from Lady Gaga and others.

The Licensing Letter’s Annual Licensing Business Survey found that retail sales of licensed fragrances in the U.S. and Canada fell 4.5% in 2014, to $4.1 billion. That sum includes designer and corporate licenses as well as celebrities.

The decline in celebrity fragrances is also part of a larger move toward premium and super premium fragrances in the U.S., according to research concern Euromonitor International. It expects fragrance sales overall to grow slowly over the next five years, due to consumer apathy and confusion as more than 100 new fragrance launches a year glut the marketplace and fragrance becomes a more prominent part of marketing everything from laundry detergents to razor handles.

Despite the pretty stinky performance of celebrity fragrances overall recently, there was one rose in 2014: One Direction’s You & I, which reportedly successfully countered the downtrend. The band drops another new fragrance, Between Us, by early August in the U.S. and U.K., with a roll out in other territories through the end of the year.

New Celebrity Licensed Fragrances, 2015
Celebrity Fragrance Launch Date Licensee
One Direction Between Us August Elizabeth Arden
Katy Perry Mad Potion July Coty
Ariana Grande Ari September Luxe Brands
Paris Hilton Heiress Limited Edition Fall Parlux
Pitbull Miami Man/Miami Woman Fall Parlux
Rihanna RiRi Fall Parlux
Jessica Simpson Ten Fall Parlux
Sofia Vergara Love Fall Parlux


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