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Why Do Celebrities Join The Fragrance Business?

Did you know that the music business has been concentrating more and more on your olfactory sense? Yes, you read correctly, your nose not your ears. Just ripe for the holidays Jay-Z is releasing neither a new song nor an album, but a new scent for men called “Gold Jay Z,” collaboration with Ilias Ermenidis of Firmenich – the world’s second-largest perfume company. jayz-gold The cologne will debut at Barney’s New York on Nov. 20th as a part of “A New York Holiday,” the rapper’s collaboration with the store. There are three bottles priced from $39 to $70 depending on size.

On Nov. 29, Black Friday, 2000 other department stores will also carry it. But why do Jay-Z and other celebs, become part of the fragrance business? It’s not as if they even wear their own scents. The initial answer is quite simple. Forbes reports that although these fragrances might not reflect the aroma of choice of celebs, they do represent a profitable face to name connection. According to Euromonitor International, in 2010 the top 10 best-selling celeb fragrances raked in $215 million in the U.S. According to celebrities are so effective because they come with an established fan base. And so the $30 billion perfume industry has created spaces for whatever celeb is willing to put their brand on a bottle, never mind if they are an A or C lister. “[Jay-Z] has a natural cool that people want a piece of,” Ilias Ermenidis said in the press release. When it comes to music, venturing outside the business has become crucial to survival as album sales decrease.

In a fragrance deal a top celebrity can ask for “$3 million to $5 million as an upfront payment, plus a 6 percent or 7 percent royalty on sales,” insiders told The Hollywood Reporter. This is probably why after the success of JLo’s “Glow,” other musicians jumped on the bandwagon. Justin Bieber, Usher, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Katy Perry Christina Aguilera, and Adam Levine are some. But everything is never as good as it seems. Yes, perfume might be more lucrative than music, but once everyone wants in, it becomes hard to make a true profit.

The Hollywood Reporter explains that after the success of “Glow,” Lopez then released less expensive scents crowding out other new fragrances. The Daily Mail reports that the singer makes more money from her scents than her music. According to Forbes, back in 2010 when Beyoncé launched Heat, it came in third for top-selling celebrity fragrances with $21 million in sales. Although the fragrance market is oversaturated, judging from his wife’s success, I think it’s safe to say that Jay Z’s Gold has a good chance to thrive. It has been a good year for him with the release of his new album and his world tour, not to mention that he is a current figure which for many fans represents a version of swag and elegance that they look up to.

The only little thing that can really affect sales is Barney’s recent racial profiling stint which as a consequence the rapper was asked by numerous fans, celebrities and civil rights groups to end his partnership with the store. I guess we will have to wait until late November to find out if Jay-Z is as much of a mogul as many think he is.

On the comments below share your thoughts on celebrities being associated with fragrances and if you think Jay-Z’s “Gold” will be a win or a total flop. 

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