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What does it cost to smell rich?

Beverly Hills wants to capitalize on its reputation (and help the city budget) with its own line of perfume and cosmetics.

By Teresa Mears Oct 11, 2010 12:23PM

As cities struggle to raise revenue, Beverly Hills has come up with a unique strategy: sell its own branded perfume.

If everyone from Lady Gaga to Bruce Willis is marketing a signature scent, why not Beverly Hills, the symbol for all things rich?


Wouldn't you rather your city be identified with a perfume than a Chihuahua?


If you want to smell like someone who lives in the 90210 ZIP code, it will set you back a few dollars: The women's fragrance will start at $120, while the men's cologne will be $75. Cosmetics will come next, starting with hydration skin treatments at $50 to $100.


Without knowing the quantity, it's hard to compare the price with other fragrances, so we can't tell you just how rich you'll need to be to smell like Beverly Hills. City officials did say they lowered the price during the two-year planning phase because of the recession. Post continues after video.

The 9-0-2-1-eau (pun courtesy of Christina Hoag of The Associated Press) is just the first of many branded products the city hopes to produce. If others can capitalize on the city's famed name, why shouldn't the city itself benefit?


"This is a center of fashion, sophistication, energy," Mayor Jimmy Delshad told Hoag. "We decided this was the right product for us."

The fragrance is being developed for the city by a Swiss perfumier and includes flowers grown in the city, including wild rose, sweet pea, honeysuckle, peony and red cedar.


The women's scent will come in three varieties: "Must Have" for the "spontaneous, energetic day in the sunshine"; "Rodeo" (think the Rodeo Drive shopping district, not bulls and cowboys) for the red-carpet evening; and "Iconic" for the "sexy, soft, playfulness of the night." The first bottles will be available in January.


The city doesn't know how much it can make selling its own perfume and cosmetics, but hopes to earn $500,000 in five years, which will be split between the city and the Chamber of Commerce.


And all Miami Beach can come up with is higher parking fees.


Branding consultants interviewed by AP couldn't think of another city with its own beauty products but said Beverly Hills has the right cachet. As Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, told AP:

When I think of Beverly Hills, I think of ground zero in conspicuous consumption lifestyle. Every city has souvenirs, so for Beverly Hills, why not some perfume? It makes sense.

What does your city smell like? Is a perfume in its future? What other branded products would be a good fit for U.S. and international cities?


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