Beauty: The Scent of A. Celeb; Who Would You Rather Smell like - JLo or Britney? Both Are Launching Their Own Perfumes, but They're by No Means the first.(Features)

Sunday Mirror (London, England), May 19, 2002 | Go to article overview

Beauty: The Scent of A. Celeb; Who Would You Rather Smell like - JLo or Britney? Both Are Launching Their Own Perfumes, but They're by No Means the first.(Features)


Byline: Words: Liz Hoggard and Lynne Michelle

Last year Jennifer Lopez hit the headlines when she demanded her assistants spray ultra-exclusive perfume Route du The everywhere she went - no doubt cancelling out the scent of us lesser mortals. This year she's going one better and launching her own fragrance which, she says, embodies her `spirit, character, energy' and is `a true reflection of the modern, independent yet passionate woman'. And the Latin diva is not alone. This autumn, Cindy Crawford is also launching her own scent and is taking her role as perfume ambassador so seriously that she's rumoured to have registered it in her real name, Cynthia. `I want women throughout the world to experience this unique, feminine accessory,' she babbles, as if we really can't live without it.

We'll also be seeing new scents from designers Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney. Phew, do they think we smell bad or something?

The relationship between celebrities and perfume is actually nothing new - it dates back to 1921, when Chanel No5 was the first to carry the name of a fashion designer. A then-unknown Coco Chanel asked a young Russian perfumer to create a scent for modern women, declaring, `A woman should not smell of roses.' Today Chanel No5 is acknowledged as the smell of the 20th century - Marilyn Monroe wore nothing else in bed, while for Julie Burchill it smells like `rich mothers in furs'.

Sickly sweet

Today the trend is for ultra-feminine fragrances. `Everyone's producing these wretched, sickly pink perfumes,' complains top perfumer Arthur Burnham. And he has a point. Who really thinks the ultra-sweet whiff Miracle is right for its endorser Uma Thurman - a woman so chic Quentin Tarantino described her as `a long, cool drink of water'. `Ah well, she might have had nothing to do with it,' muses Burnham. `I don't mean to sound cynical, but all many celebs want to do is sign a contract and get a cheque. I only do fragrances where the person gets involved deeply,' adds Burnham, who recently created Paul Smith's top-selling fragrances for men and women, as well as a bubble gum-inspired scent for Patrick Cox. So are there any star scents Burnham admires? `Isabella Rossellini had a lot to do with creating Manifesto. It's beautiful, chosen with a lot of care, and I'm told she drove L'Oreal to distraction with her specifications. And Juliette Binoche was very involved with Poeme.' But then the French always do things differently. When Binoche became the face of Poeme in 1995, the launch was held at Le Moulin Rouge in Paris and she leapt on stage to recite poetry.

Perfume can make or break a star. In the early 90s Revlon transformed Claudia Schiffer from a frumpy German mouse into a Bardot babe for its Guess campaign. In 1993 Calvin Klein took Kate Moss into the super league when he cast the Croydon waif as the face (and naked body) of Obsession. And last year Sophie Dahl caused a furore, when she appeared naked on billboards as the voluptuous image of Opium. Her milky white body, legs splayed, one hand rumoured to be pleasuring herself was promptly banned. Dahl professed herself to be mortified, but her career went stratospheric. …

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