CELEBRITY PAYS OFF
The recent announcement of Angelina Jolie as “the new icon” of Guerlain has enraged most of the brand’s French Facebook followers. They note that (1) celebrity fragrances are bad taste, and (2) Angelina Jolie is American and extremely thin, all of which is seen as being un-Guerlain.
However, selling perfumes has since the very beginning involved what we'd today call celebrities. Perfume is essentially an elusive and useless product that requires quite a lot of skilful marketing to be worthy of any interest. Had it not been for the French Empress Eugénie, who in 1853 appointed Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain Imperial Purveyor, maybe Guerlain would not have been around today.
It definitely wouldn’t be wrong to call Eau de Cologne Impériale the celebrity fragrance of the day. Having a queen, emperor or princess associated with a product helped sales, and apart from the French Empress, Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain received credentials from the Queen of Belgium, Queen of England and Prince of Wales.
The investment in Angelina Jolie’s face has paid off: in just three days, Guerlain has received more international media coverage than in the past 188 years combined.
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