Expert's Opinion

Is There Only 'One Direction' for the Celebrity Fragrance Market?

By Nicole Desir, Vice President, Brand Management at Beanstalk | December 9, 2013

This segment is still going strong, says Beanstalk vice president.

One Direction recently launched their first fragrance with a huge amount of success, selling over 180,000 bottles of perfume in the first week. It is noted as being one of the fastest selling fragrances of all time. With their chart-topping songs and summer film launch, they’re nearing the pinnacle of pop star success, and it is the perfect time to extend their brand with a fragrance.
Celebrities have long had the option of not being simply the face of fragrances, and instead are actually participating in creating the products that bear their name and likeness. These fragrances can be a natural extension of a celebrity’s brand, giving them a new way to interact with fans and, ideally, creating a more sustainable brand name.
Although the fragrance market is an increasingly crowded one – 101 perfumes launched in 1992, compared with 1,330 in 2012 – the number of celebrities releasing fragrances is rapidly increasing.  In 1991, there were only three celebrity fragrances on the market. In 2001, there were nine. By 2011, there were 73.
Some of these are very successful and the best examples are very well known.  Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds has continuously been a best seller since its 1991 launch. Beyonce’s Heat has made over $400 million worldwide, since its launch in 2010, making it one of the best-selling celebrity fragrance lines of all time.
The recent One Direction fragrance launch captures several shifts in the celebrity fragrance category.  Celebrities are seeking creative and innovative partnerships so that they can be more in control of their own destiny.  When celebrities first began launching fragrances, they usually sought out partnerships with the big perfume houses such as Elizabeth Arden or Coty.  This hasn’t changed much: Elizabeth Arden remains the top supplier of celebrity fragrances, with stars like Britney Spears and Taylor Swift on its roster.
Younger celebrities are open to new routes to market and are opting to work with newer and sometimes smaller partners. One Direction, for example, worked with Eden Parfums to create their fragrance, retaining more control over the product and increasing their financial opportunity. Justin Bieber also set this trend by partnering with Give Back Brands.
The trend so far has been for female celebrities to predominantly produce fragrance for women. But that is changing -- stars such as Antonia Bandares, Usher, and now One Direction, have proven their ability to sell fragrance to women.
In addition, sales of men’s fragrances – whether in the form of aftershave or cologne – will naturally increase as men are putting more time and money into personal care. Derek Jeter, Sean Combs, and David Beckham are all among the celebrities who have put their names on cologne. I wouldn’t be surprised if the younger generation of stars join that list soon. 
Will celebrity brand extensions stop at fragrances?  The male grooming industry is on the rise and expected to exceed $33.2 billion worldwide by 2015. Shaving products are the largest group in the category, but toiletries are the fastest growing product category. Skincare, too, is booming.  These all represent great opportunities for brand extensions. I think the next step for celebrities wishing to extend their brand will be branching out further into the skincare and beauty categories. Salma Hayek created a complete beauty collection, Drew Barrymore created a cosmetics line, and Jennifer Aniston is owner of a hair care company.   Only time will tell if a One Direction facial scrub will be the next ‘must have’ in the quest for youthful male skin.

About the expert
In her role at Beanstalk, Nicole Desir has served as the lead on strategy development and program implementation for diverse clients such as Procter & Gamble, Salma Hayek, Mary-Kate and Ashley, Carmindy, among others.  For more information, contact