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Beauty Byte: Madonna May Launch Her Own Fragrance. Or Not.


Now that Madonna has signed a $120 million record deal, people are talking about the possibility of creating a fragrance around the pop icon. This isn't the first time the idea has come up; more than a decade ago, there was talk of creating a scent called Holy Water—an idea that evaporated. But because this new contract allows Live Nation to create licensing deals, it might actually happen.

"When something is done, it'll be absolutely phenomenal and one of those rare [occurrences] that will turn the industry on its ear," Théo Spilka of perfume company Firmenich explained. (Madonna is said to have met with Firmenich execs within the last year). Industry insiders suspect that Madonna would likely go with an avant-garde scent, with sales doing at least $200 million dollars globally per year.

But it's all just speculation so far, and some experts think that Madonna's chance to market a large scent is gone. If she did launch an unusual scent, it might be too outre for mainstream consumers' tastes. And then there's the issue of her celebrity power. Although she remains a worldwide superstar, she's not the cutting-edge ingenue she once was. As an anonymous beauty executive told WWD: "I'm not sure whether it's a forward brand, or a nostalgia brand."

Right now, the idea of a Madonna fragrance is just that: an idea. But with the industry abuzz, I have a feeling it's only a matter of time before we see something more concrete. The question is, will people buy it?

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