Celebrity Fragrances: Over It Or Up For It? Would You Wear A Celeb Scent?

Figures released by Elizabeth Arden in 2014 show a significant decline in their celebrity fragrance sales compared to the previous year – down some 30% when compared to the performance of 2013. Their reportoire includes everything from Elizabeth Taylor to Britney Spears, with Taylor Swift and Justin Beiber thrown in for good measure; they offer a huge selection of celeb scents that often shift millions of units and make them billions of pounds every year. However, the trend seems to be that we’re a little tired of celebs putting their name to a bottle of smelly stuff thanks to the pure saturation everyone from One Direction to Cheryl Cole and that blonde one off TOWIE having their own branded fragrance. I can remember when J.Lo launched her first fragrance ‘Glow’ in 2002 and it was deemed as somewhat revolutionary: sales were unsurprisingly astronomical and range extensions soon followed, making her portfolio one of the most successful in history. Britney Spears has also made a large fortune from her fragrance line, even launching a new variant this year called ‘Rocker Femme’ – there’s no sign of her slowing down. However, are we becoming a little more snobby when it comes to our fragrance choices? Are we turning our backs on our favourite musicians in favour of something more classic, unique and sophisticated?

Although many celebrities claim they’re involved in the development and creative process, picking out everything from the signature note to the bottle, the reality is this is rarely the case. Most celebrity fragrances are mixed to a brief and are often picked off the shelf from concoctions already in existence, which is why they smell quite similar – they’re inoffensive, often sickly sweet and targeted at a market that buys their scent based on who they want to ‘be like’ rather than what the fragrance says about them. There are a few instances of celebrity fragrances being unique, elegant and pushing the boundaries, but more often than not they fit into the teen market and are focused more on the bottle than what’s inside. I remember buying a bottle of J.Lo’s Glow and feeling like the most sophisticated student there ever was, following up with a selection of Kate Moss scents that evoked a feeling of effortless edginess – however, it wasn’t the wet stuff I was buying into, but the way it made me feel.

Celebrity scents were once big news, but now the shelves of Boots and The Perfume Shop are saturated with every Z-lister you can imagine; you can have a piece of their celebrity pie for the often affordable price point of lunch in Pret-A-Manger. Is the reason we appear to be over this trend simply because everyone who’s anyone has their own bottle of scent? From X Factor rejects and reality TV stars, to pop starlets and fashion designers, is there too much choice and not enough substance? Do we judge celebrity fragrances and assume they’re going to smell like a cake factory, rather than ignoring the bottle and focusing on what’s inside? Like the demand for designer handbags, do we now prefer to invest in something that will see us through the next decade rather than stocking up on ten affordable alternatives? Is it just that we just can’t keep up with the difference between the ten Britney scents or have bought enough One Direction to last us a lifetime?

I honestly can’t remember the last time I smelt a celeb fragrance and genuinely thought I’d wear it. Some are inoffensive and I can totally understand why many millions of people across the globe still spritz themselves with a touch of Taylor Swift of a morning, but for me they just don’t reflect who I am or what I want to smell like. I prefer my fragrances simple, elegant, timeless, fruity and woody – but if Chezza Cole knocked up anything that was a match for Jo Malone I’ve no doubt I’d be there in an instant. I’m not sure if I would hide the fact I was wearing an affordable scent developed by the Geordie queen, or vocalise it as a badge of honour – rather like that bargain Primark necklace everyone loves that shows you’re a savvy shopper. Whatever the reason, celebrity scents may need a little makeover if they’re to see success in the future, or they could be next weeks Poundland special offer.

What do you think of celebrity fragrances? Do you have a scent you adore but are ashamed to admit, or simply wear your Britney Spears like a badge of fandom? I’d love to know your thoughts.

Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.  




  1. Gillian: Eyeliner Flicks
    April 2, 2015 / 2:45 pm

    The only celeb fragrance I've ever repurchased is the Lady Gaga "Fame" but only as it was a serious bargain. I think I paid Β£9.99 for 100mls from B&M Bargains while I was picking up some dog food. Personally I think that says a lot for Celeb perfumes. I wear it to work as I prefer to save my more expensive scents for "non work" dates.I won't lie, I've purchased a fair few other celeb perfumes in my time but I've given each and every one away as they just don't seem to settle well.These days I do think I've become a bit of a scent snob but I'm savvy about it and use dutyfree/ online stores.Gill x EyelinerFlicks

    • London Beauty Queen
      April 13, 2015 / 7:28 pm

      I love the fact you picked up her scent while buying dog food! Brilliant.

  2. Sophie B
    April 2, 2015 / 4:24 pm

    I've never worn a celeb fragrance and don't think I ever would. Maybe I'm a snob, but there's something 'cheap' and tacky about them- not really something you'd be proud to display! Xx Sophie

  3. emmalcm
    April 2, 2015 / 5:02 pm

    I'm not generally a fan although I do love J Lo live. I bought it on holiday with my best friend and it's a really juicy smelling fruity perfume. It reminds me of that holiday so I think partly it's for nostalgic reasons. I've had a few others but generally not ones I've repurchased. Having said that, I quite like having a not too expensive perfume for using at work because it might sound silly but it feels like a waste to me using expensive ones. I work in education so spend most of the day with kids who probably don't care what I smell like! haha, Em xhttp://themusingsofem.blogspot.co.uk/

    • London Beauty Queen
      April 13, 2015 / 7:29 pm

      That seems to be a really popular scent – I'd never heard of it until writing this post and a lot of people have mentioned it.

  4. Jade B
    April 2, 2015 / 8:01 pm

    I've had my fair share of celeb fragrances in the past but now that I'm older I prefer more mature scents. I find celeb fragrances just smell very sweet and pretty and are perfect for young girls, the masses or for days you don't want to waste your expensive perfume. Everybody you meet smells of Britney Spears and I love smelling of something that makes people question it. It might sound snobby but I'm much more inclined to a bottle of Jo Malone or Tom Ford these days! x

    • London Beauty Queen
      April 13, 2015 / 7:30 pm

      I'm with you; I much prefer more understated scents rather than sickly sweet celeb numbers. I think it's an age thing definitely.

  5. Jenni Vento
    April 2, 2015 / 9:07 pm

    I've only ever had one celebrity fragrance (a Naomi Campbell Cat Deluxe the Night, oh the nostalgia!), but I grew out of it by the time I hit 18. I do find that there is a big difference between celebrity fragrances and "proper" perfumes. Or maybe I'm just picky. I got perfumes for birthdays and such quite often in my late teens (I didn't wear jewellery so it seemed to be 'the other option') so I think I just developed a(n expensive) taste for perfumes. I didn't care for them back in the day, but now I'm glad I saved them! A lot of people seem to mention 'saving' nice perfumes β€” I wonder if I'm the odd one out as I'll happily spritz on a little Chanel even if I'm just staying at home essay writing. I never feel like it's a 'waste', since it makes me feel nice. πŸ™‚

    • Bella Ng
      April 4, 2015 / 2:47 pm

      To those that feel like it would be waste, it would be. If it makes you feel special, job done! =D I love spritzing my perfume whenever I want a little pick me up, almost like a little spritz of me time and happiness

  6. Atima Bhatnagar
    April 3, 2015 / 10:28 am

    I've never worn or bought any celeb fragrances not sure why, but I've never even been tempted to try one πŸ™‚

  7. Anonymous
    April 3, 2015 / 7:40 pm

    I work in a fragrance hall and cannot abide celebrity fragrance. There are so many of them on the market that it requires 2 end-bay spaces to house them all, space which would normally be used as promotional sites.

  8. Sophie
    April 3, 2015 / 11:30 pm

    I got a Katy perry free sample which is alright but its the scent I'm interested in-nor the celebs name. Tho if it said justin beiber on it for instance and I liked it I would be hesitant to buy it as im a grown woman!It seems like most well known celebs have their own make up, perfume and even nail polish range!

  9. BeeGee
    April 4, 2015 / 10:38 am

    The only 'celebrity fragrance' I've ever bought and never regretted was Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely. But I've never repurchased it – there are too many beautiful new fragrances to try. None of the other celebrity fragrances have made me reach for my purse. The ones I've tried at Boots had the same fruity, 'cakey' smell to it. Just one look at some of the bottles make me shudder.

    • London Beauty Queen
      April 13, 2015 / 7:31 pm

      You make a good point – the celeb scents aren't unique enough to re-purchase, so we're quickly on to the next thing. I think that sums up the problem perfectly.

  10. Birdie
    April 4, 2015 / 10:32 pm

    I'm a hardcore perfumista, with many dozens of bottles in my collection and I wear Celebrity scents perfectly happily. My criteria are simple: it has to smell good. That's why I drop a little bottle of SJP's Lovely in my wash bag for travel, and why I wore Dita von Teese's Erotique earlier this week. On other days, I wore Guerlain Jicky, vintage Dioressence, and Andy Tauer's L'Air du Desert Marocain – a mixture of niche, mainstream, vintage, and classic. If you think about it, what do Yves Saint Laurent, Coco Chanel and Christian Dior know about perfume? They were celebrities just as much as actresses or singers. The same is true for jewellers like Bulgari and Cartier, or saddlers like Hermes and Gucci. We are encouraged to buy perfume that has been 'vetted' and approved by a name we know; just recently that has been the name of an actress, singer, sportsman or reality tv personality. I have tried many celebuscents that are hilariously vile (Paris Hilton, I'm looking at you!) but there are some that aren't dependent on candy floss and fruit punch. It's so much fun to discover a gem like Erotique that it's worth occasionally gagging on strawberry lolly-water. My general rule of thumb is to try fragrances released by creators who care about their brand. SJP is a case in point, as are the Beckhams, Dita, JLo and a few others – creators who care about their brand pay more for their ingredients, so you get better perfume. (It's a point to consider when you're buying perfume in general, actually.)But a few more to look out for are: Hilary Duff – With Love -Jessica Simpson – Fancy NightsJade Goody (her Shhh! gets cracking reviews)Madonna – Truth or Dare is basically Fracas LiteHalle – Halle – nice woody muskand I hear good things about Jennifer Anniston's perfume and VERY good things about one from Kate Walsh's Boyfriend (American actress).

    • London Beauty Queen
      April 13, 2015 / 7:32 pm

      You're most well versed in celeb fragrances! I should've had you as sub-editor on this post πŸ˜‰

  11. Lindsey
    April 6, 2015 / 11:09 am

    I'm a perfume snob & I don't mind spending good money on good perfume. I own Lady Gaga's perfume & it is nice. It's quite unique & stays on my skin for a long time. I won't rule them all out, I'll have a sniff if I see one, but they do have to offer sown thing quite special before I'll buy one – I won't just buy one because I like the celeb.

  12. Becky Smith
    April 6, 2015 / 1:23 pm

    I'm a reformed perfume addict (I couldn't afford to keep the habit up after being made redundant 5 years ago and I still have I think around 25 left) and although in general I think celebrity fragrances often look quite tacky I will buy one if I like the smell. I had one of the JLo fragrances and I've had 3/4 of Britney's ones, but I think they were some of the earliest ones to come out. I would also have have bought Lady Gaga's if I could have afford it as I actually think that one looks good and smells really nice. To be honest now though I think they've had their time. When I see an advert advertising a new perfume from some random from TOWIE the first thing I think is eugh naff! x Becky @ The Little Blog of Beauty

  13. Sabrina Jaine
    April 7, 2015 / 3:55 pm

    I don't personally own that many perfumes and I don't own any celebrity ones. I have smelt and quite liked Beyonce's Heat and a few of Britney Spears' fragrances but I haven't been taken by them enough to buy them, and also I love having a fragrance with beautiful packaging so that it looks nice on your dressing table, but both of those offerings just look a bit cheap and tacky to me especially compared to the likes of Chanel and Dior! I've also never been a big enough fan of a celebrity to want their fragrance, although I can understand how teenage girls who are obsessed with One Direction will want their perfume – for that reason I think celebrity fragrances might be preferable for young girls who are just getting into wearing perfume, whereas when you're in your twenties you're probably going to want to wear something a little more sophisticated (sorry if that sounds snobbish!) Lastly like you say the market is saturated with celebrity perfumes these days and if I'm browsing around the fragrance section of a shop I am much more likely to test designer fragrances as opposed to the overwhelming amount of celebrity ones.Sabrina xwww.sabrinajaine.blogspot.co.uk

  14. Ruth
    April 7, 2015 / 4:09 pm

    I wear whatever perfume I think suits me, whether that's a 5pound one from lidl, a 20 pound celeb one or a expensive designer one. I mix it up and don't wear the same each day!

  15. Amanda-Jaied Wathern
    April 8, 2015 / 3:44 pm

    I think the fact that every Tom, Dick and Harry now has their own scent, is enough to put anyone off. One look behind the counter at my local Savers store reads like a celebrity who's who (with added dead celebrities like Audrey, for good measure) HOWEVER I do have to agree with Emma who commented further up and pointed out the JLo Live is lovely. I have used it since it was released (and despite the fact I can no longer purchase it in my home city) I got far too excited when I found a bottle in the Dominican last year! In my opinion it is the perfect daytime scent as it is not as heavy as my go to night fragrance (Coco Mademoiselle FYI). I really think it is about time we all started focussing less on labels and what other people think of our choices, and more time choosing, wearing, and doing what we like. Much Love AJ XX

  16. Ash
    April 10, 2015 / 3:55 pm

    I think all my perfumes are all celebrity ones & I would never be ashamed about that. I don't see why anyone would be, if you like the scent then who cares if Britney Spears or Jo Malone made it? Some people can be so snobby about things like this & it honestly baffles me. I have tested quite a lot of the more expesive perfumes but I've never found any I like enough to justify the price. xx

    • London Beauty Queen
      April 13, 2015 / 7:33 pm

      I think as long as you love your scent, who cares who made it? I think many celeb scents are very sweet and not to everyones tastes though.

  17. Jessica Hatcher
    April 10, 2015 / 4:09 pm

    I own the Katy Perry fragrances Killery Queen and Oh So Sheer. I love Katy Perry which is the main reason I purchased them. The scents are lovely but I don't even use them anymore they're just sat in the drawer as I love my Daisy Dream perfume. It's hard for celebrities to bring something new to the table that isn't just a floral scented perfume in cheap bottle with their name on it. It's just a way for them to make money and I think people are getting bored of it.Colourful Stuff | Beauty and lifestyle.

  18. Paula
    April 11, 2015 / 8:58 pm

    Just like not judging a book by its cover, I don’t judge a perfume by the name of the celebrity on the bottle. If I like the fragrance, then I like the fragrance. My all time favourite perfume falls firmly in the celeb scent pile; it’s, the sadly now discontinued, Isabella by Isabella Rossellini.

  19. Unknown
    October 7, 2016 / 11:26 pm

    I like whatever appeals to me. I have Marc Jacobs and Burberry, but currently I'm proudly wearing Sofia by Sofia Vergara and I love it. I've been looking for a couple months for a new fragrance and everything smelled like a love/hate relationship. I love it in the store and hate it at home. I've tried Estee Laude, Dior to name a couple. What I got in Sofia perfume is Estee Lauder sensuous nude, Vera Wang Princess, and Lancome La Vie Est Belle all in this bottle and I love it! Don't let the fact that a celebrity name is on the bottle, value and appreciate what's in it.

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