Britney became a pop icon straight after launching her recording career: Rolling Stone magazine called her ‘One of the most controversial and successful female vocalists of the 21st Century’. It was her debut album, ‘Baby One More Time’ – which sold over 13 million copies, in the US alone – which put Britney on the map, and earned Britney a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the ‘Bestselling Teenage Album of All Time’.
Britney was born in Kentwood, Louisiana, in 1981, and began her career early, performing on TV’s ‘The all New Mickey Mouse Club’ when she was just 11 years old, appearing alongside other up-and-coming child talents, including Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera. As Britney told The Hollywood Reporter, she developed an interest in performing at a young age. ‘Ever since I was 7 or 8 years old, my mom would have company over, and I was always performing for everybody in front of the TV. Even when I went to school, I was always the weird child: I would go outside and instead of playing, I wanted to have “Star Search” competitions.’
Building on the meteoric fame from ‘Baby’, Britney Spears rocketed right to the top of the charts with ‘Oops! I Did It Again’, in 2000 – an instant No. 1, selling more than one million copies in its first week. (Incidentally, did you know that ‘Britney Spears’ was Yahoo’s most popular search term between 2005 and 2008, and has been that for seven different years…?)
Madonna, she recalls, was an influence: ‘I remember being in my living room and watching her on TV. I’d dance around in my short tops and sing and dream about being her,’ Britney later told Newsweek. And famously, the pair got to perform together on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards. After some roller coaster years, Britney Spears proved that she can still make powerful pop music, with the 2011 launch of Femme Fatale, which climbed to the top of the charts and became her sixth No. 1 album.
Behind the headlines, and less well-known, perhaps, is her mission to ‘give back’. She founded The Britney Spears Foundation, reflecting her belief that music and entertainment have a healing quality that can benefit children. In April 2002, through the efforts of Britney and The Britney Spears Foundation, a grant of $1million was made to the children of uniformed service heroes affected by the attack on the Twin Towers. She’s also supported the cancer charity Gilda’s Club Worldwide, and United Way, which focuses on giving families from disadvantaged situations stable foundations, and new hope for the future.
Alongside her music career, Britney’s had acting roles – and in 2012, took on a new challenge, joining the judging panel of The X Factor. Her eighth studio album appeared in November 2013, her first project in two years: ‘Britney Jean’ – which happened to feature a track called ‘Perfume’. And that’s a whole other chapter, in this extraordinary life…
Britney Spears‘s debut fragrance, Curious (in partnership with Elizabeth Arden) became a phenomenal success, breaking the company’s all-time first-week record for a perfume. By 2009, she had earned recognition as the best-selling ‘celebrity’ scents on the market. Each and every one has enjoyed a success to rival that of her albums, seducing millions of women worldwide. (Singer Jessie J has been quoted as saying she won’t go on stage without her Britney Spears perfume on…)
Fantasy remains, enduringly, one of her biggest successes, ‘about love’s ability to overwhelm you when you least expect it.’ It’s an unusual example of how a beautiful bottle design- in this case, featuring Swarovski crystals – can itself be the springboard for a fragrance. Givaudan perfumer Jim Krivda was inspired to create a fragrance that was itself a sensual sphere, with a warm gourmand heart and hints of sparkling green, throughout: elements of red lychee, golden quince and exotic kiwi, laced with jasmine petals, white chocolate orchid and – wait for it – a cupcake accord, before its finale of creamy musk, orris (iris) and sensual woods.
Then there’s Midnight Fantasy (pictured), which fuses luscious fruits of framboise, black cherries and exotic plum, with night-blooming orchid and freesia at its heart and an intriguing trail of amber, vanilla and musk, ‘a flirty fragrance that always leaves you wanting more.’
Of Cosmic Radiance, the musician says, ‘It’s very feminine and girly. It’s sweet and citrussy, with a hint of my favourite scent – night-blooming jasmine. The inspirations behind it are my ‘Femme Fatale’ album, and empowered women.’
We all, of course, have two sides. So within the Fantasy collection, notes have been reworked to create two completely different scents: BRITNEY SPEARS™ The Naughty Remix, and BRITNEY SPEARS™ The Nice Remix. The first emphasises Fantasy’s captivating white chocolate orchid, jasmine petals and that good-enough-to-eat cupcake element, humming with orris root, sensual woods and creamy musk, ‘to unleash the fiery fantasy within.’ And for those gingham-dress, pretty-as-a-peach ‘nice girl’ days? The counterpoint to ‘Naughty’ highlights the kiwi from Britney’s original Fantasy fragrance, retaining the core yumminess of cupcake and jasmine petals, underpinning them with a serene creamy musk.
Asked by Stylist why she thinks her fragrances have done so phenomenally well, Britney Spears simply replied, ‘Some of it’s down to taking things into my own hands. I love the process of finding all the combinations of oils and when you’ve spent so much time experimenting, it’s exciting to find “the special one…”‘
Or maybe two, if you’ve a naughty and a nice side yourself…
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