Sooner or later, it happens to all celebrities when they’re hot property… They’re faced with the big question: why don’t you launch your own fragrance?
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And so we shouldn’t have been surprised when Billie Eilish Eilish EDP joined the ranks of celebrity scents in 2021.
And just in case, if you’re wondering why the American singer-songwriter is such hot property (timing is everything in the celeb scent market), here’s a reminder.
Since her emergence in 2015 but especially with the success of her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? and the single Bad Guy, Billie Eilish has bagged numerous Grammy, American Music, MTV Video Music, Billboard Music and Brit awards, among others. She’s also won a Best Original Song Oscar for the Bond tune, No Time To Die.
We can add her debut perfume, Billie Eilish Eilish EDP, to her list of achievements (it triumphed in The Fragrance Foundation’s 2022 Fragrance of Year – Popular category).
What do we think of it? And does it herald a revival in the celebrity fragrance market? What other celeb scents do we recommend?
Scent Notes (According to Billieeilishfragrances.com)
Sugared petals, mandarin, red berries (top); spices, cocoa, vanilla (heart); woods, musk (base).
Steve DeMercado is the man behind a whole bunch of fragrances, including Calvin Klein Escape For Men EDT (1993); Marc Jacobs EDP (2001); Escada Magnetism EDP (2003; Guess Man EDT (2006); and Vince Camuto EDP (2011).
The master perfumer is also the go-to-creator for celebrity fragrances.
He created Paris Hilton EDP (2005); Jennifer Lopez Love At First Glow EDT (2005); Harajuku Lovers G EDT (2008); Queen Latifah Queen EDP (2009); Jessica Simpson Fancy Nights EDP (2010); Nicole Richie Nicole EDP (2012); and Rihanna RiRi EDP (2015).
He launched his own niche perfume company, OK Fine Fragrances, with Michael Simpson in 2020.
“I wanted it to feel like a warm embrace. It’s a scent I’ve been chasing for years and years and years. It’s my favourite smell in the world.” – Billie Eilish
Packaging & Presentation
The bronze bust bottle is standout elegant stuff in a category that tends to be girlie-girl and sometimes, dare we say it, tacky.
“Sugared petals” may be listed in the official notes, but we reckon that’s a sugar accord at work. It enhances the notes of mandarin orange and red berries with a soft sprinkle of sweetness.
We enter gourmand territory with the combo of creamy vanilla and earthy cacao. Powdery cinnamon features in the general spiciness. And there’s a delicate floralcy in the background.
The warmth extends to the drydown where an amber accord is paired with lots of musk.
Billie Eilish wanted the olfactory equivalent of a warm embrace and this scent does just that in a cosy and comforting way.
While it adheres to the gourmand template common to many celebrity fragrances, it’s sensual, sophisticated and more grown-up than you might expect.
It’s sweet but not in an overpowering way.
Who Would Like It
It has broad and accessible appeal, even if you’re not a fan of the star’s music and aesthetic.
Kudos to Billie Eilish for asserting its unisex credentials by describing it as “a scent for everyone”.
Where To Wear It
When you want to feel warm and comfy.
Boom or Bust?
It was all going so well and then around 2016, the stats started to tell a different story. Celebrity fragrance sales had declined from 12% of the US market to 4%, according to Euromonitor. Things were equally grim in another key market, the UK.
So much so that analysts proclaimed the celebrity fragrance market to be dead. With the rise of niche brands and more demanding consumers, the category seemed out-dated and had a strong whiff of fakery.
Fast-forward to 2023 and the success of Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish and Rihanna with their emphasis on sophistication, authenticity and quality could see the sector back in business.
Other Celebrity Fragrances To Consider
As the budget shelves will tell you, there’s no shortage of celebrity fragrances. We sift the best from the rest.
Although she’s no longer with us, Elizabeth Taylor remains the grande dame of celebrity fragrances.
With its blend of aldehydes and florals, Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds EDT (1991) is the perfect example of why the genre has much to offer, contrary to the snobs who say otherwise.
The mega success of Jennifer Lopez JLo Glow EDT (2002) motivated other celebrities such as Britney Spears (2004), Sarah Jessica Parker (2005), Haller Berry (2009), Beyoncé (2010), Rihanna (2010), Madonna (2012) and Lady Gaga (2012) to launch their own perfumes.
We recently interviewed Glow’s creator, Louise Turner, and this is what she had to say about the fragrance:
“The licence was with Coty at that time and Jennifer Lopez was directly involved in its creation – she wanted the smell of clean and fresh skin, which was inspired by the smell of a particular soap she used.”
Britney Spears Fantasy EDP (2005) is a lot sweeter than we would normally go for, but our soft spot for the pop star means we’ll make an exception.
Her second fragrance (after Britney Spears Curious EDP) lays on the gourmand treats with a cupcake accord blended with notes of litchi, orchid and patchouli. Guilty pleasures without the associated weight gain.
Madonna took major inspiration from the 1948 classic Robert Piguet Fracas EDP for the creation of her rather good fragrance debut, Madonna Truth or Dare EDP (2012).
The Queen of Pop is the consummate control freak, so no doubt she was very much involved in the creation of this refined scent.
The black juice that turns invisible when applied to skin isn’t the only unusual thing about Lady Gaga Fame EDP (2012). It’s a rich and intriguing combo of honey, apricot, incense and floral notes.
Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely EDP (2005) and Sarah Jessica Parker Covet EDP (2007) are worthwhile options from the Sex and the City star.
But it’s Sarah Jessica Parker Stash SJP EDP (2016) that deserves a special mention. This complex woody and spicy composition has seduced even the most die-hard anti-celeb fragrance snob.
Ariana Grande Cloud EDP (2018) is one of the most popular scents, celeb or otherwise, in recent years.
That has a lot to do with the fact that many people reckon it’s a cheaper version of what is now apparently the world’s most complimented / sought-after / copied scent, Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge.
Rihanna released several scents between 2010 and 2018 as part of her deal with Parlux. But that was all before she launched her billionaire-making Fenty Beauty empire.
Her debut fragrance under that banner, Fenty EDP (2021), costs a lot more than your average celeb fragrance. She worked closely with top perfumer Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud to create an enticing mix of tangerine, Bulgarian rose, magnolia and musk notes.
And then there’s Billie Eilish Eilish No 2 EDP (2022), also created by Steve DeMercado. We love how it gathers depth with notes of black pepper, papyrus, palo santo and ebony after the initial fresh and floral opening of bergamot, apple blossom and poppy.
Richard Goller is a fragrance and grooming blogger. His blog is called Fragroom. A senior editor with 20 years' experience, his blog allows him to combine two of his passions: engaging content and the always-intriguing world of fragrances. When he isn't blogging, you'll find Richard indulging in his newly found passion for balcony gardening.