Usually, I’m thrilled to hear about a fragrance launch. I get a rush at the thought of having a new scent to add to my ever-growing collection. Lately, however, my feelings have slowly but surely began to change.
Why? Well, the beauty counter at my department store reads like a Who’s Who of Hollywood. Entertainers like Beyonce, Rihanna, Usher, Diddy, Jordin Sparks, Queen Latifah and more have each produced a signature scent. Leveraging their star power, these celebrities market their fragrances with elaborate campaigns, commercials that resemble music videos and glamorous photo shoots that have little to do with the bottom line: how the scent actually smells.
Don’t get me wrong. There are several celeb fragrances that I can’t keep my hands off like Goddess by Kimora Lee Simmons. This month she launches Baby Phat L♥V ME by Kimora which smells just as powerful and enticing. But unfortunately, there are also scents that have underwhelmed me like Rihanna’s Reb’l Fleur perfume.
Not only does this celebrity-driven type of campaigning undermine the intelligence and value of consumers but it is also an insult to the fragrance industry. It takes more than sniffing a few scented swatches on camera and smiling pretty for ads to fulfill the essence of a fragrancier title.
With an over-saturation of celebrity-endorsed perfumes, we sorted through the bunch and found a choice few that deserve to be mainstay on your vanity:
1. Kimora Lee Simmons, Baby Phat Love Me
Launching this month, Kimora’s new Baby Phat Love Me scent is powerful but still flirty and enticingly feminine. The fragrance opens with Apricot Blossom and Passion Fruit unfolds into Jasmine Petals and Tiger Orchid and ends with soft notes of Vanilla Blossom and Sandalwood. $28, select stores including Walgreens, Kohl’s, K-Mart.
2. Usher for Women
Usher’s perfume for women is sexy and sophisticated. It’s far from overpowering despite having a hint of musk and uses a nice balance of floral and fruit tones. $48, Target.
3. Beyonce, Heat
Beyonce is no newbie to the perfume industry. She was the muse for Tommy Hilfiger’s True Star as well as the face of Giorgio Armani’s Emporio Armani Diamonds in 2007. It was not until three years later that she decided to lend her star power to her own floral, fruity perfume, Heat which smells sweet and alluring. $48, Bluefly.
4. Diddy, I Am King
Diddy’s I Am King cologne is my Dad’s favorite and I share his sentiments. Diddy has a pretty boy swag that few can emulate so it’s not surprising that his fresh scent boasts tangerine, orange and sandalwood top notes. I Am King is a perfect option for women who enjoy wearing cologne. $51, Target.
5. Kim Kardashian
Don’t shoot the messenger but surprisingly Kim Kardashian’s self-titled debut scent has a soft, seductive smell. It’s light enough for daytime corporate settings but strong enough to get noticed in a crowd. $35, Kohl’s.
What are some of your favorite fragrances? Which scents by celebrities do you actually love?