Entertainment News

  • 22 January 2014, 15:34

Celebrity Perfumes - Big Money, Low Risk

Die Hard fans can now smell like the films' lead character John McClane as Bruce Willis' new perfume hits the shelves.

After the successful release of a men's fragrance called Bruce Willis in 2010 and another aimed at women called Lovingly in 2012, Bruce Willis Personal Edition is now available.

But the question many people will be asking is why would Willis want his name to be put on a perfume?

Is it a clever way of ensuring his profile stays in the spotlight or a tactic used by people whose careers are on the wane?

Willis has not had a box office hit for a number of years and the most recent Die Hard film, A Good Day To Die Hard, was poorly received by audiences.

But the Hollywood star joins a whole range of celebrities who have put their names to products to boost their brand and, maybe more importantly, their bank balances.

Vanna Le, staff reporter at Forbes, told Sky News launching your own fragrance is "big money, low risk". The industry is worth around £3bn a year.

Carolyn Dailey, chief executive of strategy and branding boutique The Dailey Partnership, said some celebrities can get a return of around 5-10% of perfume sales, which can lead to huge amounts of money.

In 2011 alone Elizabeth Taylor's 20-year-old perfume, White Diamonds, made around £46m, according to Euromonitor.

The late actress's estate allegedly makes more money from that scent than she did for all of her film roles combined when she was alive.

Stylecaster.com said that in 2012 there were 85 celebrity perfume launches compared with only 10 a decade earlier.

Everyone from Justin Bieber to Paris Hilton and Michael Jordan have collaborated with scent-makers in recent years.

Beyonce can demand a fee of up to £2.4m when creating a personalised perfume.

But the idea of using a household name to sell a product is not new. In the 1950s Givenchy sold a fragrance created for Audrey Hepburn.

And it is not just perfume that celebrities are putting their names to - alcoholic drinks, clothing lines and luxury handbag firms have all used big (and small) stars to promote their products.

Ms Dailey said there is a risk with selling branded products that celebrities can look "over-exposed, cheapened or money-grabbing".

Brand psychology expert Jonathan Gabay told Sky News "ideally, a celebrity should stick with brands which are respected in their own rights" to avoid damaging their reputation.

But while some may see the industry as tacky, there is still huge demand for these fragrances.

Ms Le said owning one "gives the consumer the illusion of being intimate with their favourite celebrity".

Mr Gabay told Sky News: "Their status as success symbols creates a kind of halo effect - everyone wants to catch some of that starlight."

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