From “The Mountain” to Monroe – The wide range of celebrity perfume endorsements

It is interesting how particular people are associated with specific cosmetics and fashion houses and perfumes. Often, regardless of how unusual the pairing is, the association is instantaneous in the minds of consumers:

  • Charlize Theron – Christian Dior’s J’Adore
  • Natalie Portman – Christian Dior’s Miss Dior
  • Kristen Stewart  – Chanel’s Gabrielle
  • Angelina Jolie – Guerlain’s Mon Guerlain Eau de Parfum Florale
  • Kirsten Dunst – Bulgari’s Mon Jasmin Noir – and so on.

The list is long, since, as long as there have been famous people, fragrances and advertising,  there have been endorsements. In fact, in Nov. 2012, Chanel released a new Chanel No. 5 perfume commercial featuring Marilyn Monroe, who died in 1962. Glamour never dies, it seems.

“The iconic brand and actress are showcased in a chronological catalog of interactions between Monroe and the perfume. It commences with the first recorded mention of Marilyn’s relation to the brand in 1952, when she shared with Life Magazine that she regularly wore Chanel No.5 to bed.” (Katie Pagnotta – Nov 19, 2012, on

Male celebrities are also popular faces of perfumes, to mention a few:

  • James Franco – Gucci by Gucci
  • Brad Pitt –  Chanel’s Chanel No.5
  • Iggy Pop – Paco Rabanne Black XS L’Exès
  • Jon Bon Jovi – Avon’s Unplugged for Her and Unplugged for Him

There are many more – Antonio Banderas, Sean Coombs, Michael Jordan, Christiano Ronaldo, etc. There are even perfumes endorsed by celebrities who are not actors, models or sports stars, like the cult Sci-Fi writer Neil Gaiman.  A blog post by Gaiman about a bat that had got stuck inspired Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s Neil Gaiman’s Lemon-Scented Sticky Bat perfume oil.

Neil Gaiman – Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s Lemon-Scented Sticky Bat perfume oil

It is a limited edition fragrance and proceeds from the sale of the perfume go to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. How does it smell? Like sticky-sweet iced lemon sugar probably.

Another unusual example is the endorsement of the man currently (2018) holding the title of the World’s Strongest Man, Hafthor Julius Bjornsson, from Iceland, of the Icelandic perfume house Gyðja Collection’s VJK Vatnajökull Eau de Parfum. Bjornsson played the role of “Ser Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane for seasons four to seven of the HBO series Game of Thrones.

Hafthor Bjornsson – Gidja Collection’s  VJK Vatnajökull Eau de Parfum

Gyðja (pronounced: “gith-e-ya”), meaning “goddess” in Icelandic, was created by Sigrun Lilja. The perfume is a classic, spicy, light and fresh fragrance with hints of citrus, jasmine, white musk and cashmere wood. The perfume, launched in Dec. 2018, is made with pure glacial water from Iceland’s Vatnajökull, an ice cap, glacier and volcano, and with every bottle comes a piece of lava from the volcano. Considering that Bjornsson is a mighty 2.06 m tall and 180 kg of solid muscle, it seems a suitable match of attributes. (At June 20, 2020, the website of Gyðja Collection is no longer active.)

Endorsements by celebrities come and go, but the popularity of this marketing tactic endures in part because some celebrities pay perfume houses to develop perfumes for them or in collaboration with them (too many to mention.)

“There will always be products for celebrities to attach their name to, create brand extensions with, and most importantly — profit from. Perhaps fragrances are swinging back around to a marker of a certain echelon of celebrity, a product only given to those at the very top of their game, much like a Nike deal, a Superbowl Half Time Show, or a really great tabloid scandal.” (Tynan Sinkstynanbuck,  Oct. 3, 2017, on


%d bloggers like this: