We're always confounded by celebrity fragrances. We half-expected Britney Spears' "Fantasy Midnight" to smell like Cheetos and stale Marlboros and Jennifer Aniston's eponymous scent to reek of disdain for Angelina Jolie. Snooki Polizzi, everyone's favorite little "Jersey Shore" meatball, wanted to live up to all of our expectations when she curated her first fragrance, aptly named "Snooki."
"I wanted to create a sweet-smelling fragrance. I wanted something flirty and fun that would reflect my personality," Snooki told HuffPost Celeb. "I originally wanted something with a hint of pickle, but when the labs created a sample of a pickle scent I quickly changed my mind. It was gross."
Celebrity fragrances can be an ATM for the already rich and famous, as they can reap major rewards for very a small investment of time and money. Done well, they also cement brand loyalty and provide a national marketing platform from which to sell a celebrity brand to consumers outside its niche market.
The celebrity fragrance boom began in the mid-2000s.
"The celebrities saw it as a revenue stream without a lot of responsibility and the manufacturers saw it as a revenue stream to help their bottom line. They started signing people like crazy," Rochelle Bloom, president of the Fragrance Foundation, a nonprofit with the goal of educating consumers about the fragrance industry, told me when I was researching my book Celebrity Inc. "A celebrity can expect to make between five percent and 10 percent of the sales for licensing their name to a scent, in addition to [receiving] an upfront payment between $3 million and $5 million."
Bloom likens a celebrity signing a fragrance licensing deal to going to an ATM: "Low personal investment, high ROI [return on investment]."
Snooki claims her reasons for creating a scent were even more self-serving.
"I always wanted my own fragrance because I could never find the right scent for me. At home, I would always mix bottles of my favorite fragrance[s] to create a unique and different scent," Snooki told us.
Most celebs have very little input into how their signature scent actually gets put together -- they mainly just slap their name on something and wait for the checks to roll in. Snooki, however, says she was meticulously involved in her scent's creation.
"I was very hands-on in creating my fragrance," she said. "I wanted it to be perfect. I did everything from choose the fragrance notes to the bottle and packaging design. Have you seen it? I mean, it's seriously so me."