The Key to Justin Bieber’s heart

The Key to Justin Bieber’s heart

By Deborah Fulsang

The wild success of Justin Bieber’s fragrance franchise fascinates—his first spritz, Someday, raked in US$39-million in its first year. It also took home The 2012 Elizabeth Taylor Fragrance Celebrity of the Year Award at the Fifi’s, the Oscars of the perfume industry.

When I asked my trusty 20something beauty consultant, Kara, at my local Shoppers Drug, about who is actually buying Bieber’s debut scent, she replied with an “everyone,” from tweens bringing in their stuffed piggy banks to 40-something moms.

So on the occasion of Canada Day, we decided to take a look at the third and the newest perfume being launched next month by this most famous Canadian. The name of the new women’s toilette: The Key. (And yes, we’re assuming that would be in reference to the key to Justin Bieber’s heart.)

Be still my heart.

Justin Bieber Someday
First impression: Sweet and licorice-y.
The bottle: An embarrassing knock-off of Marc Jacobs’ plastic-flower-capped Lola, with more Barbie-esque plastic than Jacobs’ original. But then, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?
After 30 minutes: The saccharine has subsided, and although there’s a defining sweetness remaining, a warmer musk note comes through.
Verdict: Not unlikeable, but definitely not distinguishable. 

Justin Bieber Girlfriend
First impression: Does pink have a smell? This is flowery and sweet with a fresh-fruit juiciness.
The bottle: Ick: Perhaps the tackiest we’ve seen in sometime. And yes, when you take the cap off and look down at the flask, bird’s-eye view, the inner bottle (inside the swirl of crazy Slinky-like plastic) is the shape of a purple heart set in shiny gold. Of course it is.
After 30 minutes: Very sweet with almost-sharp floral notes prevailing.
Verdict: It will be the perfect accessory to a tween wardrobe stocked with a range of iridescent lipngloss,  nail art and glittery iPhone cases.

Justin Bieber The Key
First impression: Light and flowery with a vanilla undercurrent and a slight powderiness.
The bottle: Definitely more sophisticated than Girlfriend and Someday: a rectangular, white lacquer tower with a rivet-detailed gold label and dangling key.
After 30 minutes: Floral but without distinction; quite—sorry Biebs—forgettable.
Verdict: We’re thinking JB is definitely appealing to an audience that is growing up with him and moving beyond the bubblegum mindset. No doubt the star, who Forbes magazine declared the third most-powerful celebrity in the world in 2012, will sell buckets of this stuff. After all, it’s very much like the multi-platinum star himself: reasonably likeable, pretty and not offensive. 

The Key EDP, $60 (50 ml); Touchable Body Lotion, $27.50 (200 ml); Swept Away Hair Mist, $22 (150 ml), at Shoppers Drug Mart in August 2013.

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Deborah Fulsang has spent the last two decades as a journalist covering news and trends in the worlds of style—in fashion and beauty, design and décor, food and entertaining. Her long-held love of fragrance led her to launch The Whale & The Rose, a destination for all things perfume-related. Now, when she indulges in a crazy-expensive bottle of fragrance, she can do so guilt-free. Well almost. It’s all in the name of research after all.