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Most of us like to smell nice, so it is no wonder that the luxury perfume business is worth around £20billion. And these days, celebrity perfumes are where big business is at.
You can’t go into a cosmetics shop or pharmacy without facing a wall of celebrity faces staring out at you, urging you to buy their scent and smell like them. Likewise, it’s hard to walk down the street without getting a strong waft of some celebrity-endorsed stench or other; perhaps people should be made aware that less really is more.
In fact, in 2012 there were over 70 celebrity scents launched and 31 of the top 100 perfumes were created or endorsed by a celebrity, prompting it to be called the ‘year of the megastar scent’, according to The Telegraph (catchy, eh?) Celebrity fragrances are reportedly worth £255 million in the UK alone.
This cult apparently started in 1989 when Elizabeth Taylor launched Passion, followed by White Diamonds – now the bestselling eau de toilette of all time.
How involved celebs actually are in the perfume-creation process varies, but it’s safe to say practically everyone is getting in on the game.
But what do consumers think? With a reputation among some for being cheap and tacky, do celebrity scents really excite the public?
We decided to take a look at some recent celebrity perfumes and see if online chatter reflects their huge sales, or if consumers are disappointed post-purchase.
From just looking at mentions during February, we can see that those celebrities with almost-obsessive fans present online, such as Lady Gaga and Beyonce, enjoy much higher levels of chatter about their perfumes. The peak for Lady Gaga in early Feb was due to reports that her fragrance sold over 30 million bottles.
Surprisingly, there didn’t seem to be an increase in scent conversation around Valentine’s Day – perhaps the age of fans meant that not many were receiving perfume gifts.
We included David Beckham to take a look at how male scents fare – it’s safe to say that it doesn’t get quite the same levels of excitement as female brands.
Britney Spears was discussed regularly, unsurprisingly given that her range of perfumes make up a third of the celebrity perfume market.
We were surprised to see relatively little conversation about JLS’s fragrances, though there was a lot of buzz around the launch at the beginning of the month.
Amy Childs’ offering was discussed even less. We’ll let you theorise about why that might be.
So what about the sentiment of that chatter?
Well, it seems that, in general, perfume conversation is more likely to be positive than negative. A large proportion is neutral, as it is for most topics on the internet.
It’s probably pretty obvious what the positive conversation is about (here’s a hint: it smells nice), but why do JLS have such a huge proportion in comparison to the other brands? Well, it seems their tweet about their launch being ‘GREAT’, which was retweeted hundreds of times, has pushed up that positive proportion.
But what about the negative conversation? None of the brands experienced particularly high levels of negative conversation, but it’s still important to understand what that negativity is driven by.
For example, less-than-positive conversation about Britney Spears’ fragrances tends to accuse them of smelling like ‘grandmas’ (not necessarily a bad thing – our grandmas smell lovely).
Criticisms of Lady Gaga’s perfume also focus on the smell, but seem to use slightly more, er, colourful language. We won’t repeat those comments here, for fear of offending, but use your imagination.
Let’s take a closer look at the topic of conversation. Using JLS as an example, we can see that despite the lack of a spike around Valentine’s day, much of the conversation did in fact discuss the romantic holiday.
Much of this conversation was again retweets of JLS’ own tweet about the launch (shown above), but some of it was just some (possibly deluded) fans talking about their plans for the perfume.
Similarly, the phrase ‘read my card’ features in the cloud due to one particularly persistent fan. Perhaps somebody should respond to her…
So, that’s just a little look at some basic analysis that can be done with a social media monitoring tool. It seems that celebrity perfumes are still exciting consumers enough to drive them to talk about them online.
Of course, much more in depth analysis would be possible with Brandwatch, but hopefully this little taster has given you some inspiration. Quick, go forth and start tracking all your favourite celebrity-endorsed products!