NEW YORK — Thanks to Parlux, we’ll always have Paris. There are not many public acts left unexplored for 23-year-old Paris Hilton, and, come November, the hotel heiress can cross “fragrance launch” off her to-do list.
Hilton, who signed with Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Parlux Fragrances in May, is gearing up to debut her eponymous scent.
“I have been wanting to do my own fragrance for a long time,” said Hilton from a photo shoot in the Hollywood Hills. “I love perfume—all of my fans always ask me about doing one.”
The fragrance is yet another product category for the ubiquitous socialite, who just Wednesday unveiled her Paris Hilton Collection line of jewelry with Amazon.com. And Hilton—not to mention an endless array of partners—is eager to capitalize on her notoriety. She has future plans for clothing, shoes and cosmetics lines, although nothing has been confirmed.
“I want to work with companies that have the best quality and really listen to me and take on my views,” said Hilton.
After a soft launch in November in Proffitts, McRae’s, Macy’s West, Burdines-Macy’s and Ulta (a total of 300 doors), the scent will roll out to department and specialty stores in more than 50 countries in January, for a total of more than 1,200 doors. A line of gift sets and bath and body products will roll out in the spring.
Parlux saw Hilton as a good fit for the expanding company, which has enjoyed strong sales increases in the past year. “Parlux moves very fast and is very agile, and Paris is always moving,” said Parlux Fragrances Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Ilia Lekach. “She is American culture today — what every girl wants to be — a fun, famous party girl.”
The fragrance’s juice, a sexy, fruity floral, could bring in up to $15 million wholesale in its first year for the niche company, according to industry estimates. It features Hilton’s favorite notes: freesia, mimosa, jasmine and tuberose and, not surprisingly, pheromones, which Hilton specifically requested.
“We wanted something young, fresh and with a modern attitude,” said Kathleen Galvin, vice president of marketing for Parlux.
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Created by Steve De Mercado and James Krivda of Fragrance Resources, its top notes include frozen apple and peach nectar, middle notes of freesia and jasmine and skin musk, and sandalwood and pheromones in the base.
Designed by Ateliers Dinand, the bottle is emblazoned with Hilton’s name in black script. The color, of course, was a no-brainer—pink is Hilton’s favorite—and its dark, shapely lines are meant to capture her young, sexy, jetsetter persona.
“The whole idea was to create a concept of movement — move fast, move with life, move like Paris,” said Lekach. “You can feel the movement in the bottle.”
The launch will be supported by — what else? — glitzy parties in major metropolitan areas, including New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, London and Paris, a concept very similar to the starlet’s 21st birthday, which she celebrated with five parties in five different cities. A print advertising campaign, shot by Marc Baptiste, will appear in the January issues of major fashion books.
The fragrance will retail on the low end of the department store price range, from $39 for a 1.7-oz. bottle to $49 for a 3.4-oz. bottle. Galvin explained that the pricing is key, in order for the fragrance to be affordable to its main target: 15- to 25-year-olds.
“It was important to make this accessible for all of the young girls who want to be like her, not so much in a role model sense, but, visually — she is the picture of what everybody imagines as the ideal American girl,” said Galvin.
As the star of Fox’s “The Simple Life,” and a now-infamous sex video, Hilton has even found the time to appear in Guess’ fall ad campaign.
But if there is any doubt that the Hilton name can extend far beyond hotels if there’s enough scandal and publicity surrounding it, consider that a Google search for Hilton brought up 3,720,000 hits. That should please Parlux, which is clearly hoping it’s got a mega-hit on its hands.
— Bryn Kenny