Celebrity fragrances don’t sell like they used to, but if that’s the case, then why is Kim Kardashian turning out “Kimoji” perfumes in threes?
Celebrity fragrances aren’t going anywhere, according to Kim Kardashian. She just announced a set of three new “Kimoji” perfumes dropping on July 14. The trio of scents will be modeled after Kim’s favorite emojis: the peach (because, well, duh), cherry (very cheeky), and “vibes” (not sure which one that is).
This isn’t Kim’s first time at the fragrance rodeo though. Last November, she released her cult favorite scent “Crystal Gardenia”. Then, around Valentine’s Day, she also dropped three perfumes called “Bae”, “BFF”, and “Ride Or Die”.
But what distinguishes the successful, from the unsuccessful celebrity fragrances? Maybe a more important question: are people even still wearing celebrity fragrances?
Kim’s hardly the first celebrity to see success with attaching her name to a fragrance. Countless others have profited off of the endorsement of their own names in the past.
Britney Spears had a long run with her “Curious” perfume, which has been relaunched umpteen times. J.Lo had “Glow”, which did gangbusters during it’s heyday. And we can’t forget “White Diamonds” by Elizabeth Taylor—the infamous fragrance that induces a gag reflex every time I smell it.
Elizabeth Taylor was actually one of the first celebrities to stamp her name on a perfume bottle. And it worked. It worked so well that people are still wearing her fragrance today.
“Glow changed everything,” Chandler Burr, former New York Times scent critic told BBC, referring to the the scent by J.Lo. Since the pop diva released the original scent in 2002, it was remade 18 (yes, 18) times as of 2012.
This recipe for success has been copied time and time again by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry, to name a few. Almost any major celebrity or musician you can think of probably has a fragrance, or has fronted a fragrance campaign, at some point.
But now there is such a saturation of non-traditional celebrities. A lot of the attention given to traditional celebrities has shifted towards these non-traditional “celebs,” like influencers and bloggers. As a result, celebrity perfumes simply don’t possess the same level of clout as they used to.
Now, people are buying more luxury fragrances, over those of the celebrity variety. Since 2000, sales of celebrity fragrances have dropped by half, while luxury frag sales have risen 16% over the years, reports the Washington Post.
With that said, Kim Kardashian somehow sold out her “Crystal Gardenia” fragrance the same day it was released in November. The floral fragrance reportedly made $13.5 million in sales within the first 24 hours of going live on the KKW site.
So who’s telling the truth? Are celebrity fragrances really dying? And if so, why is Kim’s doing so well?
Part of Kim’s allure might be tied to the fact that she isn’t a celebrity in the traditional sense. She’s not an actress by trade, or an artist. And she’s obviously not a singer, although her husband has made his mark as one which certainly helps boost her star power.
Kim has largely made her mark on the Internet, where most of her fan base lives, breathes, and—most importantly—shops. And obviously the demand is still there, otherwise the KKW brand wouldn’t keep turning out “Kimoji” perfumes in threes.
Kim is an influencer in every sense of the word. Love or hate her, she has completely redefined what it means to be a modern celebrity, with the clout to boot. And while singers and actresses fail to move perfumes like they used to, Kim continues to soar with her growing line of KKW scents.