- Associated Press - Monday, October 11, 2010

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. | Ah, there’s nothing like the sweet smell of success. That’s what this bastion of ostentatious wealth wants you to believe — quite literally.

The city of Beverly Hills is launching its own line of perfumes this week as the first products in a long-term quest to turn the city’s trademarked shield logo into a brand. You could call it, ahem, 9021-Eau.

“This is a center of fashion, sophistication, energy,” said Mayor Jimmy Delshad. “We decided this was the right product for us.”

The three-fragrance set, developed by Swiss perfumers specifically for the city, will be the initial products in a Beverly Hills beauty line that will roll out over the next year.

Beverly Hills being all about living la vida luxurious, items won’t come Costco cheap. The perfumes will retail in department stores for $120 each, starting in January. To be launched later next year, a men’s cologne will go for $75, while the hydration skin treatments will be priced from $50 to $100. Other cosmetics will follow.

The city, the local Chamber of Commerce and the marketing firm Bradford Licensing will split royalty proceeds. While sales are anyone’s guess, the city hopes to reap $500,000 over five years, said Dan Walsh, chief executive of the chamber. The cash will fund the city’s and chamber’s marketing budgets.

Branding consultants said they couldn’t recall another city with its own beauty products, but of course, not every city is Beverly Hills.

“When I think of Beverly Hills, I think of ground zero in conspicuous-consumption lifestyle,” said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, which studies the affluent consumer. “Every city has souvenirs, so for Beverly Hills, why not some perfume? It makes sense.”

Sandwiched in the middle of Los Angeles’ tony west side, Beverly Hills has long enjoyed fabled status as home to movie stars and magnates.

With palm-lined drives, mansion-dotted canyons and a shopping-chic business district that caters to the uber-rich, it has been featured prominently not only as the backdrop in countless TV shows and movies, but in the titles of several, from “Beverly Hillbillies” to “Beverly Hills Cops.” The TV show “Beverly Hills, 90210” made the city ZIP code probably the nation’s most recognized.

The city’s name also has been linked previously to a perfume, Giorgio by design house Giorgio Beverly Hills, a popular seller in the ‘80s.

Mr. Delshad said that’s why he started pushing the idea of licensing the municipal logo, featuring the city name on a brown shield with flourishes, when he was elected to the City Council eight years ago.

“Other people have used the brand for themselves. Why not us?” he said.

Typical take-home trinkets like key chains and mouse pads, however, would not do. The city turned down many offers,, including branded glassware and dishware, always mindful not only of the product, but where it would be sold. Retailers such as Target would not carry the city’s panache, Mr. Delshad said.

Several small, one-time uses have been granted for local businesses, such as a Beverly Hills charm sold by a jeweler and an edible shield decoration for a cupcake shop, but nothing on a scale more apropos to the city’s international breadth.

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