According to a WWD report, actress Halle Berry has signed a
fragrance deal with Paris-based Coty, that will include
several scents, as well as the actress playing an (obvious) role in the forthcoming ad campaign.
"Halle is an iconic actress and symbolizes beauty to many generations," Steve Mormoris, senior vice president of global marketing at Coty Beauty US, told WWD. "She adds another dimension to the celebrity fragrance market. Halle has always been a little more mysterious, not quite as open with her personal life as some other stars. Her fragrances will allow her to present another facet of her personality to her fans."
Um, ok. I guess we'll buy it. Except for the fact that senior NPD beauty analyst Karen Grant told us a short while ago that the celeb fragrance industry was not such a hot spot, and definitely taking a back seat to the designer business. And we quote:
"We have not seen any increases in the women's celebrity business, which had double-digit declines in 2006, and, while not as much, declined somewhat in 2007," Grant told us. "It's hard to say whether [that trend] is over yet or not—it depends on who the celebrity is. There are still celebs with a lot of power, for example, in our apparel studies, we see tremendous success for Sarah Jessica Parker's "Bitten" [collection for Steve & Barry's] and Jessica Simpson's [eponymous] footwear line. Right now it's soft in the fragrance industry, but that doesn't mean it can't pick up."
So it sounds like developers should be less than bullish, and we have to wonder what kind of buzz factor Halle Berry actually offers to the fragrance counter. On the plus side, she's an Oscar nominated and awarded (for Monster's Ball, 2001) actress, but we don't get the sense that consumers see her as much of a style-leader or trend-setter, versus contemporaries such as Angelina Jolie (currently repping St. John), Scarlett Johannson (who repped for Louis Vuitton), or even Queen Latifah (who repped CoverGirl before—Why God? Why!?—switching duties to become the new celeb face of Jenny Craig).
WWD said that the scent is will debut in spring 2009.