13 Years of Pee-Ew-ney

The fragrance tree of the brand Britney Spears Fragrances is proof of its star’s storied 13 year conservatorship under her father and family. Instead of a tracing of its artist’s evolution, it became just another aspect of Britney taken away from her, and sullied.

SIDENOTE: Aptly said by Britney herself in a 2006 interview during the launch of Curious: In Control about her fragrance line: “As I get older, the names go with my age. It’s [Curious: In Control] more demanding, it’s more sensual, it’s black, it’s about being in control. That’s cool and inspirational … girls need that.” A year later her iconic Blackout album was released—and In Control defintely echoes that time before her fall from grace later that same year.

But as the wider public learned last year, Britney has not been in control of her empire—and the lack of her creative direction explains so many things now, doesn’t it? Here’s what you may not know and here are where things stand today in the most bankable celebrity fragrance brand of this century thus far.

Reputation

To summarize the timeline of the brand succinctly: her first Curious, which was also a perfume, was a smash! Then came Fantasy, and then came Britney’s breakdown.

The number of spinoffs on the Fantasy fragrance is evidence enough of the lack of evolution and the staleness of the brand—there are over a dozen varieties. Suffice it to say, the brand is sorely due for a refresh.

Part of what earned the once cool celebrity fragrance brand a reputation for being low-key cheap toiletries was the reiteration after reiteration of Fantasy (2005). The original fragrances, pre-conservateurship, are still household names with a solid fanbase and reputation.

As a Britney fan, I am happy that the brand has a chance to change its reputation in part to the whirlwind of the Free Britney Movement, which confirmed why the creativity and quality of the bottles and fragrances never shattered records like the early ones had done. As Britney fans suspected, it was never Britney’s fault.

Britney fragrances may have became a bit of joke, but then again celebrity fragrances lost their caché over a decade ago. Now it’s de rigeur for a celebrity to try their hand at becoming the next juggernaut in the fragrance arena. Few touch the reputations of celebrity fragrances like Elizabeth Taylor and so on though. And most are not highend perfumes either, so everyone is trying to be as accessible to the masses as Britney.

You may find it interesting to know that the new subscription service that’s getting popular, called Scentbird, only lists perfumes—not fragrances. Perfumes are higher end because they use less synthetic ingredients—and the only one of Britney’s fragrances that qualifies to be listed there is her first: Curious (2004). But you know what? Britney has always stood for everybody, and to be affordable to everyone you have to meet them half way without putting your brand under.

Britney’s fragrances however have always had obscure and irregular releases, and interestingly always seemed to pop up more and often way before outside the U.S. Then again, Britney is more appreciated outside the U.S.

Revlon Owns Britney Spears Fragrances

Revlon owns the Britney Spears Fragrances brand, and a small percentage of profits goes towards Britney—how much actually went to Britney is a legal matter that will eventually become public.

Britney’s Finances — Diverted Commissions, Racketeering, and “Sneaky and Underhanded” Dealings : A Research Thread Posted on January 31, 2021.

How Are There So Many?

I learned quickly back in 2008, to always sample Britney fragrances at stores and to never blindly buy them. And yet with that kind of low brand trust, 30 fragrances deep, the line must be making good profit if new ones continue to be released, no? It has always surprised me though how little proper campaigning has been done for the fragrances, because to make production profitable, thousands of pieces of each would have to be produced.

Investors.Revlon.com reported in May that Revlon is seeing the Highest First Quarter Operating Income in Six Years! “Driven primarily by higher net sales of Britney Spears.”—and that’s inspite of the macroeconomic headwinds.

Where Blissful Fantasy Fits

Last month I reviewed the new Britney Spears fragrance Blissful Fantasy—the first since being set free from her conservatorship…and possibly the last.

Its release came so out of left field, but almost all of her fragrances since her comeback in 2008 have been random.

Early on there was much skepticism about Britney’s consent of Blissful Fantasy and if any of the sales would still go to the toxic conservatorship team. From what I’ve gleamed, Britney is now in control of her money, but the fragrance domain of her brand might have some loose contracts that need to expire completely.

A Hint?: Britney Spears Channels Honeymoon Beach ‘Bliss’ In Colorful Bikini – by Kristin Myers Posted on July 4, 2022

Back?

After almost 2 full years dormant, the social media accounts for the official Facebook page and Instagram account for Britney Spears Fragrances are revived, after being inactive since December 2020.

The accounts promote the more recent iterations of Fantasy exclusively thus far, but no mention of the newest. I can only assume that the lack of acknowledgement and full promotional campaign means Britney wasn’t behind Blissful Fantasy.

Blissful Fantasy may be the last of the 13 year conservatorship era fragrances. Or, maybe Blissful Fantasy is her first technical comeback to being creatively in control of her fragrance line. If not, then I am surprised because it has been a long time since a bottle has been this wearable and pleasant. Try to get it if you can.

What Happens Now

No matter how poorly her former conservatorship team was handling her branding and promotions, her fanbase stayed strong and burns even brighter now.

Having given up on Britney Spears fragrances over a decade ago, I am hopeful that the brand will be restored with Britney in control again. Ironically my favorite Britney Spears fragrance is 2006’s Curious: In Control.

Recommendation: Fragrantica

Fragrantica is a my go-to for learning more about fragrances and bonafide perfumes—which is especially valuable to avoid buying one that is definitely not your scent personality. It’s Wikipedia for everything perfume, fragrances, colognes, and body sprays—and a community of reviews with private discussion boards.

If you sign up for an account, you’ll be able to read many, many reviews by others. And if you want to discover perfumes, the Fragrantica site is unbelievably helpful.

My favorite feature is towards the bottom of every scent where you can see votes on which alternative scents smell close to the one you’re reading about. For instance, Curious: In Control isn’t really sold in stores anymore, except like an ebay marketplace. But through Fragrantica I found a perfume that smells almost exactly like it, thanks to reviewers: Prada Candy. You’re welcome! 😉

It also has a wonderful search engine that gives you filter controls to find scents with the notes that make up your signature scent.

Britney Spears perfumes and colognes on Fragrantica.

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