Are celebrity fragrances the Wham! posters of 2012?

I’ve opened my mail and landed in teenage heaven.

Sitting in front of me on my desk is a rather large pink, purple, gold and white box with the words “Justin Bieber’s Girlfriend” emblazoned across it.

Now, either JB’s girlfriend is very tiny or I’m being sold something … a concept, an idea, a feeling.

Nicki Minaj is also here with me. As is Taylor Swift.

Yes, welcome to the world of celebrity fragrances. A burgeoning industry that has me pondering the question: is owning and wearing your fave celeb’s fragrance the 2012 equivalent of pinning a poster of George Michael above your bed in 1984?

See, I know that my teenage daughter will go nutso for the Taylor Swift Wonderstruck Enchanted (it’s out next month). She’s already gone through a bottle of the original. She’ll love the cute charms hanging off the side of this bottle. It will be a case of love her music, love Taylor, I MUST love the fragrance too.

Then she’ll get around to actually smelling it.

I also know that she’ll think the Justin Bieber’s Girlfriend pink and purple spirals encasing a heart-shaped bottle is kind of clever but there is no way she’d be caught wearing it (she’s almost 16 and kind of missed the JB train when his hair do first arrived on the scene a few years ago).

Not sure what her reaction will be to the Nicki Minaj Pink Friday scent. It’s, well, very Nicki. Pink hair, bustier and a fragrance described as an “intoxicating floral musk”.

Not to be outdone, Lady Gaga also has a fragrance – is it wrong that when I first heard this, I thought of raw meat?

But if you thought the world of celebrity fragrance was squarely aimed at the next generation of fragrance lovers, you’d be wrong. JLo has been churning out fragrances for years; as has Britney Spears and Sarah Jessica Parker. All are big sellers.

And if celebrities aren’t actually putting out their own fragrances (with the help of the associated cosmetic houses), then they’re endorsing designer scents.

We have Twilight’s Kristen Stewart as the new face of Balenciaga’s Flora Botantica fragrance.

And then, of course, there is Chanel obscurely using Brad Pitt to sell more of its classic Chanel No. 5 fragrance. (I still don’t get that one … please explain it to me if you do?)

In fact, this part of fragrance marketing is completely lost on me.

The only celebrity who has influenced any fragrances around here is George Clooney and his damn fragrant coffee pods.

Choosing a fragrance because you’re a fan of a pop singer or movie star just seems to me like a round-about way to determine what you spray or dab on each day.

The romance of choosing a fragrance is something greater than an endorsement. It’s all in what you actually wrap your nostrils around.

Whenever you smell something for the first time, or repeatedly, it’s sending a lightening bolt of a message to the olfactory part of your brain.

And this can trigger all manner of responses in your nervous system.

Good and bad.

It could transport you right back to a favourite childhood memory of spending holidays with your Nan … or wasting too much of your life with a dodgy boyfriend.

If it’s a completely new scent to you and you find yourself smiling and nodding from the very first whiff.

Then that my fragrant friends is the best starting point to creating new and wonderful fragrance-based memories.


What memories do your favourite smells bring back?

What’s your favourite fragrance?




My Sunscreen Wardrobe

The Super Simple Smokey Eye

Cult Beauty Product: BB Creams

*Nikki Parkinson was never allowed a Barbie doll as a child. Her politically correct mum thought Lego and Tonka trucks were more fitting. Now the Queensland-based blogger advises women what to wear and put on their face for a living. The former journo and magazine editor manages an award-winning blog Styling You – offering real world fashion and beauty advice for busy women. Don’t tell anyone but she’s secretly a closet dag who likes nothing more than relaxing at home with her family… but open a champagne bottle and she can have her heels on and hair done in minutes. You can follow Nikki on Twitter @stylingyou and Facebook.


Follow us on


  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Jodie aka Mummaducka

    Oh Nikki, I am so with you in the George camp, he could sell anything! But the others just do nothing for me. They do however still get my cash as daughter likes a few of these. I know brad is with Chanel, but do the others pair up with fragrance houses or just go it on their own?.

    • Reply October 25, 2012

      Jodie aka Mummaducka

      Just re read and saw that some are paired up. Is it on the packaging? I just don’t think they make that very clear at all.

      • Reply October 25, 2012

        Nikki @ Styling You

        In the cases that the fragrance is actually named after the celebrity, the celebrity has worked with the cosmetic company to “create” it. So with the Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj fragrances, they’re with Elizabeth Arden. Lady Gaga’s fragrance is with Coty.

        … then you have the celebrity endorsement or ambassador like Brad Pitt for Chanel. They’ll just appear in their advertising.

    • Reply October 25, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      Love George 😉

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Melinda @ ShopMeChic

    That Chanel and Brad Pitt ad is the worst! Have you seen the parody version done by SNL? So funny!

    I love celebrity gossip and reading my dose of trashy magazines however I am not swayed by celebrities to purchase perfumes.

    • Reply October 25, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      So, so funny Melinda!

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    There are some fragrances like Chanel No 5 that don’t really need celebrity endorsement, as they’re so iconic! I usually stay away from the celebrity ‘created’ perfumes, mainly because as their celebrity wanes, the perfume is discontinued :).
    There are two fragrances which bring me back in time whenever I smell them- Yves Saint Laurent’s Paris and Jazz. Whenever I smell them, I’m reminded of my final year at school in 1988 and the boy upon whom I had the biggest crush!

    • Reply October 25, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      I’m right back there in 1988 with you! Except it was my dad with the Jazz!

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    I love Michael Kors by Michael kors and I do like Lovely By Sarah Jessica Parker,and most Estee lauder ones ,and I love Flowers By Kenzo,I am a perfume whore ,yep that is right I will admit it,anything floral is something I like as I hate green and woodsy fragrances,they just are not me and give me Chanel No19 I prefer that over No 5 and if a fragrance has tuberose in it I will try it.I do think Nikki that the celeb fragrances are marketed for the teenage wearer.
    I wore Dior’s Dorissimo on my wedding day and that brings back memories,it is like a bunch of white flowers and very intoxicating.

    • Reply October 25, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      Definitely the celebrity perfumes are aimed at the teenage market – my daughter who I thought would poo-poo them, loves them.

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    My aunt gave me Kate Moss’s perfume, which I wear on special occasions. I wore it on my first date, so that’s what I remember whenever I wear it.

    • Reply October 25, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      That’s the power of a fragrance – it can mark a moment in time forever.

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    I wear L’Eau d’Issey: “Lotus, Rose, Lily and Precious Woods. An aquatic floral with a woody trail.” – it’s just flipping heaven. But yes, I had Spice Girls Impulse body spray – and even though you can’t find it today, sometimes I will get a certain smell from something and the memories come flooding back. Mostly of the absolute mania I felt about those ladies (and kinda still do?)

    • Reply October 25, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      Haha Sarah … yes, as someone else said, the danger of falling for a celeb fragrance is that the celeb power might wane and so then the fragrance.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    anne louise

    Red Door reminds me of everything nasty that was ever invented. Ugh!!

    • Reply October 25, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      The good the bad and the ugly!

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    Something the Kardashians are good at its perfume.
    The perfume called Gold smells wonderful and I get alot of compliments when wearing it.

    • Reply October 25, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      Will have to check it out!

  • Reply October 25, 2012


    i have never bought celebrity fragrances. i am addicted to french perfume and my all time favourite is kenzo flower which was a limited edition. supposedly it is being rereleased as kenzo red soon. down to my last 3 bottles! bought as much of it as i could when i heard it was finishing.

  • Reply October 26, 2012


    I adore Diorissimo! The French have it all over the American companies for creating timeless, classic, sophisticated perfumes. Another favourite is Chloe Narcisse – apparently discontinued but available at the discount perfume places. I keep 3 backup bottles! (It is my everyday everywhere scent, and the one that wins me compliments). The one I can’t abide is Diesel; it is acrid and instant migrain material! Perfume is like wine – use a little, the best, every day.

  • Reply October 26, 2012


    My S-I-L gave me Ricci Ricci by Nina Ricci for my birthday. Not only is it beautifully bottled, but it smells divine. I love Brad Pitt but would not buy Chanel No 5 because of him. It is such an old lady scent, I suppose that is why they have enlisted him.

  • Reply October 26, 2012


    Fidji by Guy Larouche. Subtle and feminine. Apparently there’s a new version that isn’t nearly as nice though.

    Most of these modern celebrity perfumes are too strong and cloying to my nose.

  • Reply October 27, 2012


    I wear Chanel, not for its celebrity-ness… but because I first inhaled glorious Chanel No 5 when I was quite small and my now 99 year old aunt was wearing it. It reminds me of her – always will.

  • Reply October 28, 2012

    Mrs Woog

    I adore Christian Dior. And he never released a single x

Leave a Reply