2010 Celebrity Fragrance Announcement
Halle Berry rejuvinates spring with a new fragrance for women called Pure Orchid!
According to the press release, "When the world's largest fragrance company showed Halle Berry a prototype bottle for her debut perfume, Berry said no. The simple rectangular design failed to convey her personality."
She suggested an imprint of waves on the back of the bottle--to express a connection to nature--and added rugged copper-colored rings--which resembled a bangle she was wearing at the time--to the bottle's neck.
"My strategy was to present something to people that was honestly me," the Academy Award-winning actress told ForbesWoman of her collaboration with Coty. "If I don't like it, my name's not on it. If I haven't been in there dibbling and dabbling, giving my opinion on things, my name's not on it."
Berry's first fragrance, Halle, debuted in March 2009 after two years of development--just as the economy was tanking. On March 9, the Dow tumbled to 6,547.05, marking its lowest point in more than a decade. Berry had her doubts about the timing, wondering if "now is not the time to be asking consumers ... [to] buy something else."
In fact, the sudden success of Halle by Halle Berry was seen as an anomaly in the challenged beauty market: In the first half of 2009, while fragrance sales fell by 8.7%, Halle by Halle Berry debuted as the best-selling fragrance at stores including Target ( TGT - news - people ), CVS, Walgreen ( WAG - news - people ) and Kohl's ( KSS - news - people ).
"Because there was such a flood in the market of celebrity fragrances, we were worried that [Berry] would be one of many, but amazingly enough her fragrance rose to No. 1," says Stephen C. Mormoris, senior vice president of global marketing at Coty.
The decision to sell the line--which includes eau de parfum, shower gel, body lotion and natural deodorant spray--at lower-end retailers also helped boost its success.
And while sales for women's prestige fragrances fell 10% in the first half of this year, women's mass-market sales grew 1%.
The combination of an attractive price point--Halle products retail for $17 to $35--and a powerful name produced a retail winner.
The majority of A-list actresses, like Jennifer Lopez or Sarah Jessica Parker, start at the high end when they enter the fragrance market. But Coty's research prescribed a different approach for Berry: "What came through loud and clear is she was all about accessibility, authenticity. We just didn't see her as a celebrity that only [the] elite could purchase [from]," explains Marsha Brooks, a vice president for marketing at Coty.
Berry's multifaceted professional and personal record is part of her approachable appeal: She has played superheroes in Catwoman and X-Men, and the downtrodden wife of a convicted murder in Monster's Ball; she's a face of Revlon ( REV - news - people ) and a new mother at 43. But life has been more than red-carpet engagements: Berry has been through two public divorces and is a survivor of domestic abuse.
Coty's Mormoris says, "She's paradoxically very feminine, a very devoted, even traditional, mother but at the same time she's a woman who is very successful and applies herself and is driven. What's distinct about Halle is she's not a snob and she's worked her way up, and the consumer knows this."
For her part, Berry was thrilled that her product was presented to the mass market instead of high end. "My dream was to have this product be able to go to all women. No matter what economic class you [come] from, you should be able to buy these products," explains Berry.
NPD analyst Karen Grant says Berry's line could be a blockbuster given her consumer capital.
Indeed, in a 2006 NPD consumer survey, Berry was the celebrity name most associated with fragrances, despite her absence at the time from the fragrance market.
Still, looking ahead, Berry will have to prove her longevity in a market where it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain momentum for more than a year. "A fragrance may do really well for three to six months after its launch, but by the end of the year, the consumer may have moved on," Grant explains.
Halle is no longer No. 1 across the board, according to Coty, but remains in the top three in its mass-market accounts. Berry's line may also get a boost in February 2010 when she releases a new fragrance, Pure Orchid. And she's already working on a third.
But being prolific poses its own risk, warns Grant. "If you're [putting out products] in too rapid succession, it can become too commonplace. It's one of things you have to balance." Grant asks, "Can she do what Elizabeth Taylor did? Can there be a House of Halle Berry?"
Halle bashfully demures when asked about her greater ambitions, but she understands that the key to her success lies in the ability to sell authenticity. "As long as I stay true to it and I'm always honest ... then I think, in the long run, that just helps to validate my brand." (www.forbes.com)
What do you think Halle's new fragrance will smell like?
To watch an interview with Halle Berry about Pure Orchird Perfume, visit HERE.
You may also want to try:
-Halle by Halle Berry: The first signature fragrances inspired by the modern femininity and beauty of Halle Berry herself. The confident yet sensuous women of today not only are successful but remain the seductresses of humanity. Fragrance notes include Bergamot, Fig Leaves, Pear Blossom, Freesia, Hibiscus Flower, Mimosa, Sandalwood, Driftwood, Cashmere Wood, Musk, Olibanum, and Amber! (Save 27%)
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