By Ashley Kowalewski James Franco is a man of many…
Britney Spears rhapsodizes about the power of fragrance in her single “Perfume.”
“Have you been thinking ’bout her or about me?
And while I wait I put on my perfume,
Yeah, I want it all over you
I’m gonna mark my territory.”
Eloquent? Not so much.
If you’re looking for inspired poetry or prose on the topic of perfume, you’re definitely better off reading something by any number of perfume personalities from Hermes’ in-house nose Jean-Claude Ellena to olfactory expert and scientist Luca Turin. But then again, Spears’ lyrics do illustrate the ever-broadening scent obsession of modern-day celebrities.
Perfume, after all, is to celebrity as chairs are to architects. When you have one, you’ve officially arrived.
These days, chart-topping recording artists are not only launching perfume, they’re singing about it too. Fragrance name-dropping is the latest tool being used to reinforce a brand’s lifestyle message—and its relative luxe quotient.
From Britney Spears’ Perfume single, to Drake, Rihanna and the Queen Beh herself, everyone’s singing about scent.
While Spears spills about marking her territory via perfume—with some serious Britney product placement in that video too btw—hip hop star Drake references a particular Tom Ford scent and likens its olfactory character to that of cocaine: “Yeah, Tom Ford Tuscan Leather smelling like a brick…” he sings of the spicy fragrance which is a mix of spice, fruit, leather and amberwood notes.
With the Tom Ford reference, Drake positions himself as a scent insider. High-end fragrance is the new Cristal. If you want to approach a certain level of cool and nouveau riche, you’d best start fragrance shopping now.
In Rihanna’s “Pour It Up,” the artist brags about her deep pockets, her endless stream of friends and how everyone loves her perfume—“My fragrance on and they love my smell…” Perfume is part and parcel of the star’s self-created, tequila-shooting, fast-money, gold-plated world.
Even when pop powerhouses don’t make direct mention of fragrance in their songs, they’re speaking about fragrance as another form of artistic expression, right alongside their discography—and using the same vocabulary. With her latest scent, Rise, Beyoncé worked with IFF perfumer Loc Dong to create what she refers to as a “duet” between two essences—Golden Symphony Orchid and Golden Apricot—to create “a luminous floral scent that invokes optimism in those that wear it.”
Of course, we must remember, fragrance has long been described as an entity composed of “notes,” whose interplay has famously inspired artists for centuries, from the likes of William Shakespeare to yes, Britney Spears. And yes, perhaps that is the only time you will see those two names appear together in a sentence.
—By Deborah Fulsang with files from Poonam Kaur Billing
Beyoncé Rise, EDP, $59 (50 ml), www.beyonceparfums.com
Britney Spears Fantasy, EDP, $20 (30 ml), http://www.sears.ca/product/britney-spears-fantasy-eau-de-parfum/608-000715797-BSTF40001]
Tom Ford Tuscan Leather, EDP, $225 (50 ml), www.tomford.com, at Holt Renfrew
Rihanna Rogue, EDP, $69 (125 ml), www.perfumesbyrihanna.com
Next Post: Cherry Blossom Season in full flower