Scent List: Top 5 Spring Florals

It is said that April showers bring May flowers. So, as these rainy days begin to give way to spring, let’s take a look at my five favorite celebrity scents named after flowers.

1. Elizabeth Taylor’s Gardenia. Presented as Elizabeth Taylor’s most personal fragrance, Gardenia was reportedly “designed to mimic the fresh life and new beginnings inspired from her own garden.” Added to the legendary star’s line of bestselling perfumes in 2003, the feminine scent that “stirs the senses and inspires new possibilities” blends the titular Gardenia with a bouquet that includes Lily of the Valley, White Peony, White Orchid and Sweet William (Dianthus).

2. Stefanie Powers’ Rare Orchid. Inspired by the lovely “Hart to Hart” star’s love of nature and eco-consciousness, Rare Orchid was developed exclusively for QVC in 1998 using ScentTrek, a process that gathers the scent of the Brassavola Glauca (a wild Nicaraguan orchid) without damaging the flower. Today, the fragrance is available on Ms. Powers’ website [], with proceeds going to the William Holden Wildlife Foundation.

3. Victoria Principal’s White Violet. “Dallas” beauty Victoria Principal launched Principal Secret, a line of skin-care products distributed by Guthy-Renker, in 1991. Soon after, she added two fragrances to the collection: Principal Secret Classic and White Violet. Named after the perennial Viola striata, the latter scent was “inspired by Victoria’s garden and the timeless beauty of the White Violet” and developed to “celebrate all things floral, intimate, delicate and beautiful.”

4. Priscilla Presley’s Roses and More. Introduced in 1998, this sophisticated fragrance was developed by another “Dallas” beauty — actress, businesswoman, “Dancing with the Stars” contestant (and ex-wife of Elvis Presley) Priscilla Presley. Predominately rose-scented (as its name Roses and More suggests), the evening scent blends other floral notes to create a garden of olfactory delights.

5. Halle Berry’s Halle Pure Orchid. Oscar winning-actress Halle Berry’s second fragrance, Halle Pure Orchid, launched in early 2010, promising wearers “a seductive, sensual experience.” Developed by perfumers Rodrigo Flores-Roux and Christophe Raynaud for Coty, the voluptuous, fruity floral blends Masdevallia Orchid and Jungle Cactus Flower with Lemon, Blackberry Creme, Star Anise, Giant Sequoia and Patchouli in a lavender-colored bottle.

Honorable mentions: Avril Lavigne’s Forbidden Rose, Joan Rivers’ Pink Flowers, and Shelbie Bruce’s Florecita.

Scent List: 5 Scents Named After Songs

Take That

A pop star in search of a fragrance name needs to look no further than his or her greatest hits. So, as I ponder the possibility of Justin Bieber’s “Baby” or Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” or maybe even JLo’s “On the Floor Glow,” here are my  Top 5 hits spinning on my perfume playlist.

5 Perfumes Named After Songs:

1). Take That’s Pray. Boyband Take That released “Pray” (the song) in 1993, taking the tune to No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart where it remained for four consecutive weeks. “Pray” (the fragrance) followed in 1995. On the box was a note from band members Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange and Mark Owen (minus Robbie Williams who had left the group): “Here is our official perfume, Pray, chosen by us to be another Number One hit.”

2). Selena’s Bidi Bidi Bom Bom. The second Billboard Hot Latin Track chart-topper from late Tejano superstar Selena’s multi-platinum 1994 album Amor Prohibido (which is also a fragrance!), “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” was named “Song of the Year” at the 1995 Tejano Music Awards. Bidi Bidi Bom Bom (the fragrance) was released posthumously in 1997.

3). Cliff Richard’s Miss You Nights. In early 1976, Cliff Richard reached Top 20 on the UK charts with “Miss You Nights.” Almost thirty years later, he released sandalwood-scented fragrance named after the ballad. He has commented that he chose Miss You Nights as the name of his first fragrance because “the song is a particular favorite” and “has personal memories.”

4). Peter Andre’s Insania. Written while participating in the British reality series “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here,” Peter Andre’s “Insania” was a UK pop hit in 2004, peaking at No. 3. In September of that year, he released a men’s fragrance name after the hit track. Ladies would have to wait until 2009 to get their own Peter Andre fragrance – Unconditional – named after another one of the recording artist’s hit songs.

5). Wicked’s Popular. Even showtunes play the name game. In 2009, Ascent Aromatics created Popular, a sweet-smelling perfume named after “Popular,” a showstopper in the hugely popular musical “Wicked,” sung by the bubbly Good Witch of the South (and originally performed by actress Kristin Chenoweth). Available in select Wicked gift shops, the fragrance comes in a pink, bubble-shaped bottle, natch.

Honorable mentions: Debbie Gibson’s Electric Youth and Mariah Carey’s Mine Again.

Scent List: 5 Video Product Placements

Britney's "Hold It Against Me" video

Landing in the Top 5 of this week’s VH1 Top Video Countdown are Britney Spear’s “Hold It Against Me” (at no. 1) and Avril Lavigne’s “What the Hell” (at no. 5). Both videos are noteworthy to celebrity fragrance aficionados for featuring each singer enjoying a spritz of her latest scent.

5 favorite celebrity perfume product placements in music videos:

1). Mariah Carey’s Forever. Directed by her husband, Nick Cannon, the video for “Angels Cry” shows Mariah in the recording studio where her Forever eau de parfum, the bottle and its box, are prominently displayed. In the video, Mariah dabs herself with Forever, then shares the fragrance with a woman who appears to be the girlfriend of R&B star Ne-Yo, who duets with Mariah on the ballad. “Angels Cry” peaked at #26 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in 2010.

2). Hilary Duff With Love. Hilary Duff launched her first fragrance, With Love, along with a hit single of the same title. Directed by Matthew Rolston, the pop song’s video was also a bit of a commercial for its namesake’s perfume. In the full-length video, actor Kellan Lutz (of Twilight) is lured by the scent of With Love to follow Hilary through a hotel lobby and onto an elevator where the couple shares a kiss and passionate embrace. “With Love” reached #1 on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in 2007.

3). Christina Aguilera’s By Night and Christina Aguilera (2007). Among Christina Aguilera’s accessories in the highly stylized video for “Not Myself Tonight,” are bottles of her eponymous 2007 fragrance and its 2009 flanker By Night. As directed by Hype Williams, naughty girl Christina, sprays herself with By Night before jumping into bed with a sweaty young man. The implication: good girls wear Christina Aguilera; bad girls wear By Night. “Not Myself Tonight” peaked at #27 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2010.

4.) Avril Lavigne’s Black Star and Forbidden Rose. While Christina Aguilera chooses one fragrance over another, pop star Avril Lavigne wears both of her signature scents, Black Star and Forbidden Rose, in her “What the Hell” video, directed by Marcus Raboy. After getting out of bed, Avril takes a quick spritz of Forbidden Rose, kicks her boyfriend out her room, then layers on a second fragrance, her debut scent Black Star. “What the Hell” is currently #22 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

5). Britney Spears Circus, Curious and Believe. Although Britney Spear’s latest fragrance, Radiance, takes center stage in the video for her most recent chart-topper “Hold It Against Me,” (see top photo) it is the product placement of three perfumes that puts the video for “Circus” on my chart. Directed Francis Lawrence, the “Circus” video opens with a close-up of Britney’s dressing table – adorned with bottles of Fantasy, Believe and Curious, which she sprays on herself before accessorizing with another product placement: Bulgari earrings. Curiously, Britney does not wear Circus Fantasy in the video. “Circus” debuted at #3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in December 2008.

Scent List: 5 Best Pop Diva Bottles

As the celebrity scent field gets more and more crowded,  a perfume with a good name, a nice package and pleasing notes just doesn’t cut it anymore. The bottle itself seems to have become more important than ever. And designers seem to be coming up with more interesting bottles lately.

5 of my favorite bottles from pop music divas follow:

1). Katy Perry’s Purr. In photos, this one looks a bit suspect. But the execution is fantastic. Great color and great materials. It is very heavy and extremely well weighted. The face on the bottle is cleverly designed — even the spray nozzle inside becomes a mouth. The faux gem stone eyes arent just  glued on; they have an actual shape and are very well inset. The tail also creates an interesting design. Not elegant or glamorous, but it sure is a lot of fun. I do wish that Katy Perry’s name was on the charm and Purr was on the bottle, but that is a very small quibble.


2). Christina Aquilera, from P&G Prestige in 2007, her 2nd eponymous fragrance  (not to be confused with her 2006 LR Health & Beauty fragrance). This one is simple and chic. An elegant lace pattern is silkscreened onto a silhouette-like bottle that is very flat and well-weighted. Not a big fan of the bow — which looks a bit cheap — but you can easily throw that part away.

Christina Aguilera

3). Britney Spears’ Radiance. A fairly “normal” bottle gets the bling treatment. One can imagine Britney bedazzling a bottle herself as a prototype. The bottle is actually clear glass and the gems are actually painted on. It would rank a bit higher if the execution were just a bit better. The name on the narrow side of the bottle is also a nice touch.


4). Reb’l fleur by Rihanna.  Like Purr, I wasn’t sure what to make of this bottle when I first saw photos.  I love the late 1960’s – early 1970’s vibe but it felt a little delicate for hard-edged Rihanna. But my concerns faded away once I picked up the bottle. It is quite sturdy. The black and gold bands are actually embedded right into the glass, so it is very smooth and fluid.  I vacillate between loving and hating the heavily-textured, entwined black and gold bands on the lid — seems to me that a single, flat gold band would be a bit more elegant, but perhaps that would be less interesting. This one loses a point for not having the name of the perfume or Rihanna’s name on it anywhere.

Reb't fleur

5). Beyonce Heat. This one is also simple and elegant, but slightly different than your average perfume bottle. Love the Middle East influence. Love the graduated color, though I wish it were a bit redder and a bit more graduated.  In fact, the more tangerine version used for the Heat Rush flanker is even better. The slightly darker bottle for the flanker Heat Ultimate Elixir is far less appealing, though I do love the atomiser.


Ultimate Elixir

Honorable mention: Britney Spears’ Believe.  Impossible to capture in a photograph the angular bottle is pretty spectacular. It is just a little bit too harsh; you could really hurt someone with those sharp edges!