If the French admittedly love perfume (especially in Paris and the South of the country), they seem to be less inclined to partake of the pleasures of celebrity fragrancing as if those two terms didn't mesh well. It must be the emphasis of the art-for-art ethos and the normative influence of the cinéma d'art et d'essai versus the Hollywood sense of spectacle. I already wrote that while celebrity perfume in France might be less of a circus-ring phenomenon than in the US (no offense meant), it's been there for a while. But it looks like things are evolving. Cathy Guetta shook it at Sephora Champs-Elysées proposing disco-balls of fragrances. Christian Audigier who now lives in LA and has mastered the art of celebrity marketing asked Johnny to be present at a perfume introduction event at the same place. Johnny Halliday is a pop singer in France who is considered a national monument but he got fed up with the national tax system and went to live in Switzerland.
The new upcoming Le Tapis Rouge (The Red Carpet) by reality French TV celebrity Christophe Guillarmé seems to be also more American-style and is revelatory of a more democratic, grassroots approach to celebrity perfume...
It ties in for me intuitively with what the French describe colloquially as being "Bling-Bling", which affirms the supremacy of the values of showbizz over the traditional admiration for the State and the Republican brand of nobility. Some fear it, others embrace it. Right now politicians are making an alliance with it. It's got to do with everything too-much, trashy, showy and new but it also denotes a more mobile society where people get to the forefront of the news while not having the requisite or expected PC attitudes. It's not as genuinely street style and hip hop as in the United States, but it's a real sensitivity current.
So when I look at Le Tapis Rouge which will be launched and promoted during the 63rd edition of the Cannes Festival (12-23 May 2010) because it is reportedly inspired by the institution and because young stylist Guillarmé is channelling all that can be the French celebrity culture, I see not necessarily an innovative concept but certainly an inroad.
Le Tapis Rouge was composed by perfumer Jean Denis Saisse and is dedicated to who else but "ultra feminine" and "contemporary" women. The jus centers on blackcurrant and is said to be light and fruity. The bottle was designed by Pascal Derussit the artistic director of Ateliers Dinand.
It can be yours for 29€ for 50 ml.