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The rap artist oddballs the perfume game seven times over thanks to her unconventionality and powerhouse personality.
On the set of each commercial for Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday, Pink Friday Special Edition, and Minajesty fragrances, there’s something outlandish: a Godzilla-sized Minaj sitting atop the Brooklyn Bridge dipping her feet in the East River; Minaj surrounded by black roses turned pink from the drop of her rose-toned blood; a galloping horse, castle, and a single flying dove set free from Minaj’s open hands.
With seven winning fragrances shelved and sold, Minaj’s oddball themes—combined with her thought-provoking lyrics and I-define-me mentality—wins out for buyers of celebrity perfume. Clearly, the people want more Nicki.
The Minaj perfume library
Minaj’s most recent fragrance release, The Pinkprint, is a tropical mix of grapefruit, nectarine, and coconut notes. While the queen of rap’s latest perfume comes at the height of her career, prior to that, in under four years Minaj leveraged her public image enough to generate six perfumes—almost two every year—at times totalling sales as high as 25,000 units sold in less than 24 hours.
In fact, the pop star has more perfumes than albums. This is where celebrity rules: The Minaj fragrance recipe isn’t just about creating a memorable scent that hits all the right notes, it’s about using a feminine product to build an empire. Men and women who buy these perfumes may certainly be interested in the sweet blend of caramel or floral aromas that make up the scent, but they’re more likely, first and foremost, to be buying into Nicki’s larger-than-life world.
The bottles: Ego reigns supreme
Minaj’s perfume bottles themselves take tokens of the star’s persona, namely, her changing hairstyles, propensity for cleavage-enhancing clothing, and her long-standing attachment to Barbie. They double as mini-busts of Minaj herself, an ode to her brash and independent sensibility.
While egocentric, the’re not unexpected: Minaj is first and foremost a brand, something for which she doesn’t apologize. The visual consistency has a stronghold for Minaj fans, some of whom are as much fans of the colour pink, brightly-hued locks and fruity scents as they are of the rap artist herself.
Honest and unconventional
In an interview at the launch of her debut perfume, Pink Friday, Minaj said that the fragrance was an extension of her, but also a tribute to women in business.
“Pink Friday has become synonymous with my brand, my fans, my image…As a woman, you want to step out and just continue to brand.”
Since hitting the spotlight in 2008, Minaj’s strength in selling herself has backbone in her honest commitment to being herself. The artist’s combination of being consistently unconventional and then selling it to the public unapologetically is no doubt one reason her mini busts fly off store shelves. As the rap star herself would say: “just do you and everyone else will get the picture.”
Pink Friday Eau de Parfum, launched in 2012, is a floral and fruity scent with top notes of mandarin, star fruit, blackberry, middle notes of lotus and jasmine and base notes of musk, caramelized pear and vanilla. $57 (50 mL), www.amazon.ca
Also in 2013, Pink Friday Deluxe Edition, launched and was marketed as a more luxurious take on the original. Featuring notes of star fruit, mandarin, boysenberry, lotus, jasmine, caramelized pear and musk. $54 (100 mL), www.amazon.ca
In September 2015, The Pinkprint was launched. Notes include bergamot, pink grapefruit, passion fruit, nectarine, heliotrope, rose, sandalwood, patchouli and musk. $47 (50 mL), www.houseofbeautyworld.com