Launching a fragrance is easy money for celebrities with the right star power.
So it's no surprise, following news that Mariah Carey dropped out of Tyler Perry's For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, that she's looking to boost her biz with a new trio of fragrances called Lollipop Bling. (Yes, that is really the name.)
"It means she needs an infusion of cash," says Jo Piazza, who writes the Celebenomics column for AOL's PopEater.
"Celebrity fragrance has the highest margins of any celebrity branded consumer product and they get paid an upfront of between $2 million and $5 million. If the fragrance sells well it can bring in revenues of $100 million a year, requiring a celebrity to do very little in promotions or marketing."
For Carey's latest set of fragrances (she's already got M by Mariah Carey, M by Mariah Carey Gold, Luscious Pink, and Forever), Elizabeth Arden, the company that holds Carey's fragrance license, partnered with Bazooka Candy Brands, a division of Topps Company, Inc. which also makes Ring Pops.
“The inspiration for Lollipop Bling was Nick’s marriage proposal to me...He first surprised me with a Ring Pop," Carey says in a release.
Mimi's always been a kid at heart (you'll recall her fondness for all things Hello Kitty), so it follows that she'd relish a Ring Pop proposal. But perfume that smells like candy?
"Hopefully it will be a more sophisticated interpretation of bubble gum," says Candace Corlett, President of WSL Strategic Retail. "But I'm sure it will make people open the bottle to smell it just to see."
Could Mimi be more biz-savvy than we give her credit for? Maybe "Lollipop Bling" is a bit of marketing genius.
"With a celebrity like Mariah Carey, a fragrance can be a winning option," says Karen Grant, vice president and global industry analyst, The NPD Group. "Based on NPD's Celebrity Influence study, she is ranked in the top 25 in terms of awareness among those age 13 and up, and among the top 20 that they see endorsing a fragrance."
Elizabeth Arden is planning on marketing the scents--Honey, Mine Again and Ribbon--using gumball machine gift sets and a lollipop rollerball fragrance set starting this Fall. (The scents sans gimmicky packaging are $35 a pop (pun intended), and will be available at department stores nationwide in July 2010.)
It's a smart move, says Grant.
"In recent years, fragrances with novelty and fun packaging like Gwen Stefani's Harujuku Lovers have been a big hit. As celebrity fragrances also tend to appeal more to a younger consumer, the affiliation with Topps Candy could, potentially, be a way to capitalize on the trend of a fun fragrance option," says Grant.
But if you're not a tween, would you wear it?