Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry is set to deliver a new fragrance line in spring 2009 after inking a deal with the world’s largest fragrance company, Coty Inc. Under the fragrance partnership, she will work with the New York-based company’s marketing, creative, and product development teams to create the yet-to-be-named scent and packaging. The first of the Berry fragrance products will go on sale in “mid-tier” department stores, such as J.C. Penney, before moving into the mass market.
“We chose Halle Berry now as the creator of a Halle Berry fragrance because she has become an icon in American culture, maturing as an actress, model, and fashion symbol,” says Steve Mormoris, Coty’s senior vice president of global marketing. “Also, her amazing beauty that she has retained over the past 40 years has established her as a role model and as a woman who can mature, look sexy, beautiful, and be successful,” he adds. “Halle Berry’s fragrance will be a breakthrough in creating a natural olfactory structure that uses natural ingredients.”
Berry, who is one of Black Enterprise’s “Top 25 Moneymakers in Hollywood”, is a bankable star of note. While Coty won’t release monetary details, beauty fashion industry magazine Women’s Wear Daily reports that such celebrity deals are typically $3 million to $5 million up front, with a royalty of about 5%.
Berry’s fragrance will join Coty’s long list of celebrity scents. The Coty brand portfolio, which has annual net sales of $3.5 billion, includes: Baby Phat, Celine Dion, David and Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Moss, Gwen Stefani, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Shania Twain. The $1 billion celebrity-fragrance business, according to news reports, is the fastest-growing segment of the $25 billion global fragrance industry. In the United States alone, fragrance is a $6 billion industry, according to the Fragrance Foundation in New York.
With so many celebrity scents on the already cluttered perfume counter, Berry’s brand will have to stand out on her celebrity reputation, say industry insiders. “The public loves it when a celebrity endorses something because it makes us feel good about the products we purchase. If we cannot live Halle’s life, at least let us be able to purchase the same products she enjoys as well,” says Belinda Trotter-James, editor of Beauty By Referral, a New York-based online publication that rates beauty and haircare products. “With all the products on the market today, you need a referral. The general public loves Halle Berry, and if she likes it, it must be a good product,” she adds.
Being one of the most recognized faces in the world will help sales, says Cristina Hilsenrath, spokesperson for NPD Group, a market research company on consumer trends, sales, and marketing information. “Based on NPD’s most recent studies on celebrity influence, Halle Berry is among the top 10 most recognizable celebrities and 90% of people age 13-plus, are aware of her,” Hilsenrath says. “Although Halle Berry did not have a fragrance affiliation at the time of the studies, she was ranked No.1 by consumers as the celebrity