The celebrity fragrance may be primed for a comeback, with Dolly Parton announcing that her first-ever perfume, “Dolly — Scent From Above,” will launch Monday.
Having teased its release during her cameo in a Superbowl advertisement earlier this year, the singer has been ramping up her PR efforts ahead of the launch — and she went viral yesterday after recreating her iconic Playboy cover to mark her husband’s birthday.
The 75-year-old, who is also releasing a book later this year, donned a black strapless leotard layered over a crystal fishnet bodysuit, along with fingerless evening gloves, a pink and white bowtie and — naturally — a pair of black bunny ears.
She captioned the video, “It’s always #HotGirlSummer for my husband,” referencing Megan Thee Stallion’s hit song.
Some samples of Parton’s “Scent From Above” were made available in early February, but bottles will officially hit the shelves next week. Designed in collaboration with Scent Beauty, which also creates fragrances for Cher, the perfume has all the hallmarks of a classic celebrity scent: a kitsch pink bottle decorated with a crystal butterfly, the star’s signature engraved across the glass and a reportedly sweet, floral scent with notes of vanilla, peony blossoms and mandarin.
While celebrity-owned skincare brand launches appear to be more prolific than fragrances nowadays, Parton’s launch is a throwback to when the star-powered perfume reigned supreme. The likes of Jennifer Lopez’s “Glow” and Britney Spears’ “Curious” dominated the early 2000s markets, and noughties icons including Paris Hilton, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce and David Beckham followed suit — each eager for a piece of the pie.
A younger Britney Spears with her perfume Curious. Credit: Larry Busacca/WireImage/Getty Images
Elizabeth Taylor’s “White Diamonds” fragrance in 1991 was arguably the first successful celebrity scent — reportedly bringing in some $1.5 billion over 25 years. However, the space went quiet for a decade until Coty and Jennifer Lopez brought out “Glow” in 2002: a neroli, orange blossom and grapefruit-scented fragrance.
At the time, the singer promoted the fragrance — spritzed from a bottle in the shape of the female form featuring mini 2000s-esque body chains no less — as “clean and fresh, but still sexy and sensual.” The move paid off when it garnered sales of $100 million in the first year it was released, opening the floodgates for a wave of celebrity fragrances.
Elizabeth Taylor unveiling her fragrance “White Diamonds” In 1991. Credit: Raoul/Images Press/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Interest in celebrity scents may have dipped in recent years as young consumers gravitate towards a wealth of new independent beauty brands that emphasize “clean” products (makeup or perfume claiming to be made with less chemicals) no frills packaging and more earthy and natural sounding fragrance notes.
That said, one sugary sweet celebrity scent of the 2000s heyday might be making a comeback. According to perfumer retailer Fragrance Direct, this February saw a 335% increase in sales of Britney Spears’ “Fantasy” collection compared to 2019. The retailer linked it to the release of the documentary “Framing Britney Spears,” with fans purchasing it to “show their support” to the star.
Meanwhile, it’s too early to know if Parton’s new product will be a commercial success, but in the meantime the singer says she wants her customers to feel “as blessed and as pretty as I do when you wear it.”