It turns out that celebrity perfume isn’t dead

It’s the 2000s: the Spice Girls are on hiatus, The simple life is on TV, Carrie has been downloaded from Post-It Sex and the city, and everyone wants to smell like Britney, Paris, J Lo or P Diddy. Because this is the celebrity fragrance era, when Jennifer Lopez launched a thousand celebrity fragrances with that first spritz of Glow, a citrusy scent in an ombré hourglass bottle that was released at its peak “Jenny From The Block”, when he was one half of Bennifer the first time.

Britney, J Lo, Beyoncé and co are behind some of the best-selling fragrances of all time, their signature scents being featured as heroes on Christmas gift lists, lining the shelves of Boots every November, spreading across the counters of department stores until December and, in the case of certain flashes of straw, marked in the pharmacy by January. These mid-range gift sets were as much a 2000s beauty staple as Lancôme’s Juicy tubes or hair mascara, and they sold in the millions.

In the years following its release in 2004, a bottle of Britney’s first perfume, Curious, created in collaboration with Elizabeth Arden, was sold every 15 seconds during the pre-Christmas sales peaks, and the perfume reportedly enjoyed a recovery in sales last year after the release of the Frame Britney Spears documentary and her engagement announcement. Not that he ever really left. Curious’s aqua-colored gemstone bottle, with dangling pink heart charms and the slogan “Do you ose?” racked up 500 million in sales between 2004 and 2013, demonstrating serious staying power even when the Spears herself had drifted away from the public eye.

Lopez’s Glow, meanwhile, had sales of $100 million in its first year; Beyoncé’s first fragrance, Heat, broke sales records at Macy’s department stores (moving 72,000 bottles in the first hour since its 2010 release), and when Nicki Minaj launched her debut, Pink Friday, it quickly it became the best selling fragrance in the UK.

These sales figures – similarly enjoyed by stars including Sarah Jessica Parker and Mariah Carey (butterfly cap bottles, of course), Christina Aguilera (now in her 20th fragrance), Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift, who released Wonderstruck in 2011 – they represent genuinely desirable scents that have come to rival the classics, thanks to the noses of the industry’s top perfumers and the selling power of the celebrities who have collaborated with them.

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