What can we say about One Direction? They’re a pop phenomenon – and a perfume phenomenon, too: in 2013, its year of launch, Our Moment (the band’s debut scent) became the top-selling fragrance in the UK, pipping some Very Big Perfume Names to the post, and becoming a bestseller around the whole world.
This English/Irish ‘boy band’ is made up of Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik. They were signed by Simon Cowell’s Syco Records label after finishing third in the seventh series of the UK’s The X Factor, in 2010. With the release of their album ‘Midnight Memories’, One Direction (also referred to as 1D) became the first band in US Billboard history to have three albums which went straight into the charts at No. 1. Their first two albums? ‘Up All Night’, and ‘Take Me Home’. (Which is what half the teenage girls in the world seem to want to do. Mind you, so do their mothers…)
The band worked hand-in-hand with fragrance house Firmenich to choose their favourite scents and smells – and so in the playful fruity-floral fragrance, you’ll find wild berries and pink grapefruit, jasmine, freesia, frangipani, on a base of creamy musk, sheer woods and white patchouli. Commented Liam Payne: ‘We love the idea behind a fragrance as you mix individual scents to create something even better!’
‘We had 20,000 meetings about it,’ the band joked on TV show Access Hollywood. ‘No, probably 500… But we sat down smelling all these coffee beans, thinking what goes in…’ Added Liam: ‘Jasmine petals… I learned a lot about flowers – I could now become a part-time florist. This is like a complicated piece of art: a lot of love went into this. Funnily enough,’ the band explained, ‘it came about because there was a fan on Twitter who got up a petition for us to create a fragrance – and then we got really into it, and we decided we wouldn’t just get something and whack our name on it: we’d rather make it and actually have something to do with it. Rather than just saying, “Here’s One Direction‘s smell”.’ For Harry, the result ‘smells like a summer’s day…’
And it wasn’t just the scent itself that they became involved with: they were ‘hands-on’ with the bottle and the packaging (featuring black-and-white photos of the band) – with Twitter going into meltdown when the ‘fab five’ tweeted photos of the bottles at at the fan-packed launch, which took place at London’s iconic Gherkin. (Social media has been a vital element in the band’s success: One Direction’s Twitter account had amassed 18 million followers by April 2014.)
Each member is known for his identifying ‘feature’: Niall is ‘the cute one’, Zayn is ‘the quiet and mysterious one’, ‘Liam is ‘the sensible one’, Harry is ‘the charming one’ and Louis ‘the funny one’. As Niall Horan has commented about One Direction, ‘People think that a boy band is air-grabs and being dressed in all one colour. We’re boys in a band. We’re trying to do something different from what people would think is the typical type of boy band. We’re trying to do different kinds of music and we’re just trying to be ourselves, not squeaky clean’.
But along with that famous jokiness, there’s a more serious side to the band. Alongside making fortunes for themselves, One Direction has succeeded in raising a huge amount for charity, through Children in Need broadcasts, a Comic Relief single, one-off fundraising events – and even the offer of an evening out with the band which ended up raising $784,984 at auction, for the cancer charity Trekstock.
In 2014 they will be building on the success of Our Moment with a second fragrance by the name That Moment, which takes some of the original notes (think: pink grapefruit and jasmine), adding extra vibrancy and energy with violet and green apple.
And if you were ever in any doubt as to whether or not a band can hang onto its collective, playful sense of humour after such astonishing global success – and all the pressures that go with it – we suggest you watch the hilarious That Moment video they created for their fans, here.
If it doesn’t make you smile, your life’s probably headed in the wrong direction.
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