On June 12 Elizabeth Arden wowed the fragrance world with the news that it had acquired several global fragrance licenses, including Justin Bieber from Give Back Brands LLC. But Bieber, who broke sales records with his fragrance launch in spring 2011 with Someday, is just one half of fragrance royalty. Taylor Swift is arguably the other half, with her Wonderstruck fragrance—along with Someday—accounting for half of the U.S. growth in fragrance last season. So, what does it take to launch a successful celebrity fragrance? Elizabeth Arden’s Kathy Widmer, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, and Ron Rolleston, Executive Vice President, Creative and New Business Development, chatted with Beauty Insider on what’s to come on June 26 at CEW’s WMIBS, “Formula for Success,” which also features Givaudan’s Olivier Gillotin, Vice President Perfumer.

BI: How did you go about creating the visual expression for the Wonderstruck fragrance?
For one of our creative and visual meetings with Taylor we put together several concept boards—we tried to find pictures that matched with her sentiments. Through these concept boards we found that she genuinely loved one photographer, Tim Walker, who brings in a lot of elements of fantasy with his work. Then, when we went to her home in Nashville, we reviewed the things she collected; the patterns in her drapes, in her home furnishings; her birdcages. We asked what she liked, what smells she liked. We refined all of these elements and took this deep visual process and saw how it was all coming together and at the end we had a visual expression of the brand. She is a really good writer and creative individual, any document we put together she would add enormous value. She is a poet and a gifted musician. It was clear she had a great passion for her work; at a concert we went to, the girls knew the words to every song. There was a remarkable emotional connection. She is the voice of a generation. So I would say that we created a brand that captured all of these different dimensions of her personality.

BI: What unique marketing opportunities does a celebrity such as Taylor Swift present?

When it comes to Taylor we clearly understand teen girls and young women are the target. The difference is how she got her start: she was born out of digital media and she established herself that way. Girls get their information about her there so when it came to how we would approach marketing it was very clear: we would leverage the power of her digital fan base. At the time we launched she had 24 million followers between Facebook and Twitter and they are accustomed to hearing from her day in and day out. We had to leverage that platform and if we had 24 million devoted fans, that is a sweet spot for the marketing plan. That’s different than how we’ve done past launches, which usually start with traditional media then take on a digital approach.

BI: What’s crucial to making a celebrity fragrance a success?
The responsibility is mutually held between the business partner and the celebrity. A celebrity’s media savvy translates strongly into an aspirational category such as beauty. It’s our job to create the story with a fragrance proposition, and a trusting partnership. There’s a lot of collaboration and its ongoing every day dialogue to make this bigger and better.

RR: Whomever this person is they have to have the credibility to play in the beauty space and with a beauty company. On the one hand you can have an Elizabeth Taylor who had world-renowned fame and was a fashion icon. In turn, White Diamonds made a lot of sense. With Taylor [Swift] she is an exquisite beauty, fashion forward and understands what beauty is about. She really knows how to speak to women about internal and external beauty. Wonderstruck was one way she spoke to them about beauty.

Click here to register for the June 26th event!