Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is out for dollars with his new scent, Power.
With industry sources’ sales estimates running at $30 million to $40 million at retail worldwide for the first year, it could make quite an impact in his circle.
“My new friends are all completely aware of the business and excited about it,” said the entertainer, who wore Creed’s Imperial before formulating his own scent. “Some of my old friends look at this and say, ‘Why would you want a fragrance?’ Because to them, fragrance is a whole lot of Right Guard — they put a whole bunch under there and you start to smell it because they put so much on,” referring to boyhood neighbors in his native South Jamaica in Queens, N.Y.
On the other hand, Power by 50 Cent is intended to be a sophisticated scent with global appeal.
“In its simplicity, it also has complex aspects to it,” said Theo Spilka, vice president, new business development and licensing worldwide at Firmenich. The product was designed to be universal. “It’s not supposed to be a U.S.-only type of product,” he said.
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Of the name, Jackson said, “I think, generally, people have an interest in power.” Originally, the group wanted to call it Relentless, but it didn’t translate well to foreign markets.
The juice, which Jackson concocted with Firmenich’s Harry Fremont, has top notes of lemon leaves, black pepper and artemisia; a heart of dark woods (which Spilka said was inspired by the wood panels used in Bentleys), coriander and nutmeg, and a drydown of patchouli, musk and oakmoss.
“It smells like success,” said Jackson, who poked fun at himself. “I’m saying notes like I’m a professional, like I do this all the time,” he added with a laugh. “It’s my first time — got my training wheels on. But I’m going to get them off and I’m going to be riding like a big boy soon.”
Two eaux de toilette will be offered: a 1.7 oz. for $50.50 and a 3.4 oz. for $68.50.
Thomas Butkiewicz, chief executive officer of Maesa Packaging/Beauty Brands, oversaw the development of the striking bottle. Rendered in smoky glass topped by a silver pillar top inspired by 50 Cent’s favorite Audemars Piguet watch, the top has an etched coinlike piece with the Fifty moniker in elegant script. One side of the outer box repeats the etching, with the name in a plain type on another.
National print advertising, shot by Carlos Serrao and featuring a shirtless Jackson, will begin running in November men’s and women’s publications.
Jackson also plans to do in-store appearances at Macy’s, which will have a three-month exclusive on the scent. “I love that it drums up the excitement of me being part of the actual project,” he said. “I’m excited about it. If it wasn’t up to standard, I wouldn’t want to stand next to it.”
The scent is expected to be launched internationally in 2010. “We will be touring [in Europe and Asia] and we will be able to promote the brand and push it to the distributors out there,” said Lighty. The Lighthouse Beauty team also plans to sample the fragrance at Jackson’s concerts.
Jackson, who will celebrate his 34th birthday on July 6, is putting the finishing touches on his fourth album, “Before I Self Destruct.” He is also producing a movie of the same name, which will be released with the album. “I created a screenplay that developed a story for the content on the record,” he said. “Sometime before the actual album is released, I’ll have it aired on a network, which allows me to air it in its entirety.” Jackson is also working on a plethora of movie projects, including “Jekyll and Hyde,” in which he will star with Forest Whitaker.
“Being a part of film projects is an opportunity to challenge myself creatively and be a part of stories that have more depth to them,” said Jackson. “The average song is about three minutes and 30 seconds, so there’s no real time to build cause and effect — there is only time to create descriptions and hope that the person listening can understand or connect with what you were trying to say. That’s why I have been recently been a part of more film projects — because it’s exciting.”