GETTING MORE TALE #522: Smells Like Tim McGraw
Music fans can buy just about anything with their favourite band’s name on it. While Elvis merchandise and the onslaught of Beatlemania stuff makes for fun collectibles, Kiss really blasted things into overdrive, for better or for worse. Growing up in the late 70s and early 80s, we were inundated with Kiss. Neighbors on our street had Kiss cards, the Kiss remote control van, Kiss comics, Kiss posters, books about Kiss and more. You could buy Kiss dolls. Kiss Your Face makeup. Everything! At the time Kiss were heavily criticized for their merchandising. Paul and Gene defended it by saying, ‘if our fans want to buy a Kiss hat, then why shouldn’t they be able to buy one?’ Turns out their fans wanted to buy a lot more including cars and coffins!
Now the merchandise door is wide open. Everybody has dolls; my sister had some wretched New Kids on the Block dolls. I have a friend who owns the Spice Girls. I myself own Johnny Cash, Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne. Today, music celebrities have their own alcohol, such as Motley Brue or The Trooper beer. Rock stars even have their own hot sauces. I was a proud owner of Joe Perry’s Boneyard Brew. (I’ve never been able to find Michael Anthony’s Mad Anthony sauce.) I often like to picture Joe Perry hard at work over a boiling pot, mixing specially selected peppers and spices until he finally came up with his own Boneyard Brew. It’s not impossible, although it is unlikely.
What is very highly unlikely is that Justin Bieber studied perfume chemistry to come up with his own scent, “Girlfriend”.
It seems perfumes and colognes are the latest hot trend in celebrity endorsements. We are not so naive to think that the stars have anything to all to do with their own perfumes, but look at the list below. (Courtesy once again of Uncle John’s calendar.) Taylor Swift and Beyoncé don’t surprise me, but I didn’t know Tim McGraw had his own scent (“Southern Blend”). Check out some of the interesting names below.
Who knew Carlos Santana had a scent called “Carlos Santana”? I wonder who came up with that clever name? (Whoever they are, they probably make more money than us.) Even Kiss have a cologne, called “KISS Him for Men”. Kiss sell aftershaves and deodorants too. But we can’t blame Kiss for this trend, can we? This one is on the shoulders of Hollywood.
The first celebrity scent was “Sophia” by Sophia Lauren, in 1981. The Italian film icon’s perfume was released by Coty who work with just about every major celebrity today. That’s not the interesting part. What is interesting is that we might be able to blame Gene Simmons just a little bit for the first music celebrity scent. After all, it was his ex-girlfriend Cher who was the first music star to enter the perfume world. Her scent “Uninhibited” was the first for a music performer. Did her ex-boyfriend’s merchandising ways have anything to do with this? The truth is, probably not — but it’s fun to blame Gene anyway.
With the reigning queens of pop like Katy (“Killer Queen” and “Purr”) and Gaga (“Fame for Women”), not to mention the boy-throbs like One Direction (“Our Moment for Women”), it is likely that music perfumes and colognes will remain big business for years to come.