Among the many collaborations that Pharrell Williams is a part of for this year alone, the most recent news is surrounding his upcoming fragrance GIRL in collaboration with Comme des Garçons Parfum. It’s no doubt that Williams is a celebrity (and meme) these days, so the idea of releasing a famous-name fragrance almost always comes with the territory.
StyleCaster once reported that “celebrity fragrance sales are now pulling in over $1.3 billion a year — a huge chunk of the total $5.2 billion fragrance industry in the US.” But don’t pigeon-hole GIRL, which has top notes of neroli, lavender and white pepper, as just another celebrity fragrance. Let’s consider the differences:
1. Quality First
Adrian Joffe, chief executive officer of Comme des Garçons Parfum, made sure that Williams was all for teaming up with a high-end fragrance brand, rather than a huge beauty company like Coty, Avon, or Elizabeth Arden. Joffe said to WWD, “I told [Williams] the way we do it, how we do mostly prestige fragrances; it’s not going to be cheap; we use good quality ingredients, and we don’t have so-called, very commercial fragrances.” Unlike most celebrity fragrances, GIRL is offered at a somewhat higher price, starting at $100 for a 100-ml. bottle. (Taylor Swift‘s Wonderstruck fragrance in the same size retails at about $40.)
2. Packaging Design
At least with GIRL, you’ll have something beautiful to display on your vanity set, too. Let’s be real: celebrity perfume bottles are SO cheesy. Almost all of them come in an obnoxious color shaped like a cat, flower, or Nicki Minaj dangling with random charms, gems, and trinkets. The agency House + Holme in charge of GIRL’s packaging design commissioned the contemporary artist KAWS to apply his signature cartoons on the bottle, like a mini work of art.
3. Expected Sales
Joffe is hoping for GIRL to make about $10-million in sales for its first year. The number is a lot higher according to Comme des Garçons Parfum standards. But it’s actually pretty modest compared to most celebrity fragrances, which usually rake in close to double the amount.
4. Availability to Purchase
GIRL will be available at the high-end boutique Dover Street Market in London, New York, and Tokyo by the first week of September, as well as exclusively at the beauty retailer Sephora. This means chances are slim that you’ll find GIRL on the shelves of major department stores or big box retailers like Target or Wal-Mart. (Food for thought: Beyonce once sold $3-million of her own fragrance at the Macy’s in New York City in the very first month.)
5. And it’s unisex!
It’s a rarity for a celebrity fragrance to cater to both genders with just one scent. Only a handful of celebrities have offered this, including Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, RuPaul, and Khloe Kardashian with Lamar Odom. Titled Unbreakable, the fragrance was released by the then-married couple the day before Valentine’s Day.