Fame is the first perfume released by Lady Gaga, launched in August 2012. The fragrance was revealed in a press release on June 14, 2012. The perfume is produced in the Haus Laboratories in Paris. The tagline of the fragrance is "The First Ever Black Eau de Parfum".
- "Enjoy the first ever fragrance from Haus Laboratories. Fame, a beautiful prospect with a dark heart. X GAGA.” — Lady Gaga
After the deal was signed, Gaga collaborated with perfumers Honorine Blanc, Richard Herpin and Nathalie Lorson of Firmenich to create what would be later called "Fame".
In late 2010/early 2011, word spread that the fragrance would smell like blood and semen. The name "Monster" was also registered for fragrance and cosmetic use. In an interview with The Kyle & Jackie O Show in 2011, Lady Gaga dispelled the rumor that her first perfume will smell like blood and semen and that it would instead smell like an "expensive hooker." However, she also stated "that in the creation process of the perfume she wanted to extract the feeling and the sense of blood and semen from the molecular structures, so that's were that [the blood and semen scented perfume rumor] came from. That is in the perfume but it isn't the smell of it. You just get the after-feeling of sex from the semen, and then the blood is sort of primal. It was taken out of my own blood sample, so it's like a sense of having me on your skin."
Honorine Blanc revealed that given the concept, "it was quite difficult to know where to start. It was quickly agreed that blood and semen was not a good idea.” Richard Herpin further explained to Allure magazine that the blood note smelled like "raw steak" and that they had the molecules that smell like blood and semen "but it would have been disgusting." In an interview with WWD in 2012, Gaga revealed that she will “probably use that [blood note] at some point, because it actually smelled quite good — but ultimately, the concept of Fame with this black fragrance to me was the most important thing."
- "Then came the idea of using the berry Belladonna, which is very poisonous. We realised that this ingredient captured the essence of what Lady Gaga wanted, and she really liked it. She wanted provocation, and the Belladonna delivered that.” — Honorine Blanc
From there, the Belladonna inspired the concept of a black fragrance:
- "I wanted it to be black, so I started thinking about the duality of meaning, which is something I always toy with in my music, and I thought that the name Fame would be good, because people would recognize that it’s something that is associated with me. But it’s also quite funny because it’s quite Warhol-ian and I don’t really give a shit about perfume. That’s sort of the point of it."
Richard Herpin's company was selected by Gaga to create the fragrance in collaboration with herself and Nathalie Lorson and Honorine Blanc of Firmenich. While working on the fragrance, the team used the name "Dark Light" as the code name. In keeping with traditional perfumery, the scent is built around three main accords or "doses" as Gaga refers to them:
- Dose 1 Madness (also known as the dark accord): Atropa Belladonna, incense and saffron which represents Gaga’s dark, wild, dangerous side.
- Dose 2 Pleasure (Sensual accord): Honey and apricot to illustrate Lady Gaga’s velvet, ultra-sensual nature.
- Dose 3 Glory (Light Accord): Tiger Orchid and Jasmine Samac. Dose three is described as luminous and pure, which delivers an important contrast to the dark elements as this dose is fresh and dewy.
For some reason, the Jasmine Samac is the only ingredients ommitted on the package or the official website. The fragrance utilizes a "push-pull technology", rather than a pyramidal structure which is traditionally used in fragrance. Richard Herpin explained that “usually you have a pyramid: a top, middle, and heart or back note. But Fame has things happening all at the same time." Overall, the scent is very feminine. When asked by a fan if she would be developing a fragrance for men, Gaga explained, "My perfume was designed for women, but a lot of my gay friends wear it."
Richard Herpin revealed that his biggest challenge was to evolve the scent while keeping the original idea intact. He also noted that he never met Gaga in person. In an interview with Allure, he revealed that "one of the other notes she wanted was gummy worms. "Being French, I had to do my research about her American references," says Herpin. "I had to buy some gummy worms to figure out what they were. They smelled a bit like saffron and flowers to me."
- "This one in particular is very seductive. This is a very sexual fragrance. This is for the woman that wants to get laid, to be totally honest. That is what fame is, isn’t it? To get the world to fall in love with you. You want everyone to want to f--k you. Put it in a bottle, and I’m selling it.” — Lady Gaga
Black Fluid is the term used by the Haus Laboratories when they refer to the black fragrance liquid. The color has been compared, by Lady Gaga, to the soul of fame, which, like the perfume, is black. Inside of the bottle, the liquid is black and sprays clear as it become invisible once airborne. When working on the fragrance, people at Coty were worried that customers would think that the fragrance would stain and that the campaign should make it clear that it was safe to use. However, Gaga explained: "The fragrance is called Fame. It must be black. It must be enticing. You must want to lick and touch and feel it, but the look of it must terrify you." The black-to-clear technology had no impact on the notes chosen or the creative process. “This was not an issue, it did not limit us at all,” Honorine Blanc explained. “In fact, it made things easier, because sometimes you have the difficulty of colouration. With the black technology, this was not a problem, so we could use whatever ingredients we wanted to.”
- "Fame is an illusion. If you want it, anyone can have it.” — Lady Gaga
The bottle of the perfume, co-designed with Nick Knight, is an oval capsule with a metallic gold claw-shaped cover gripping the bottle. When removed, the cover also functions as a stand for the perfume. The claw inspiration could be from the Little Monsters' sign, the paw. The egg shape of the bottle was inspired by Lady Gaga's performance at the Grammy Awards in 2011.
- "This is not me in the bottle — it’s an expression of me and my relationship to fame as a performer. The darkness stays inside the bottle, and out comes only the beautiful parts of Fame.” — Lady Gaga
- The perfume is released in a "eau de parfum" (EDP) concentration with natural spray.
- Le Masterpiece (100ml) — Largest bottle with a cap made of metal.
- Regular (50ml)
- Small (30ml)
- Extra Small (15ml) — At Target or drugstore.com or boots when bought 50ml or 100ml bottles
- Minieture (7ml) — Exclusive to France.
- Roller Ball (10ml)
- Special Black Cap Edition — Released March 2014
- Black Soap (142g)
- Black Shower Gel (200ml)
- Black Body Lotion (200ml) — Released in November, 2012.
- Regular (50ml) — Special Edition with black lid.
Box and gift sets
Release schedule & stores
|Japan||August 1, 2012||Kawabe|
|Puerto Rico||August 19, 2012|
|United States||August 22, 2012|
|United Kingdom||Boots, Super Drug, The Perfume Shop, The Fragrance Shop|
|Romania||August 28, 2012||Sephora|
|Sweden||August 29, 2012||Ahlens, NK, Eleven, Nelly, Shopping4net, Kicks|
|Germany||September 1, 2012||Douglas, Pieper, Mueller|
|Canada||Shoppers Drug Mart, Pharmaprix, The Bay, Sears, Sephoa, Jean Coutu, London Drugs|
|Australia||September 3, 2012||50ml edition only|
|Turkey||September 17, 2012|
|Australia (full range)|
|Austria||Bipa, Marionnaud, Kastner|
|Estonia||October 1, 2012|
|Hong Kong||Lane Crawford, Lab Concept|
|Buenos Aires||October 2, 2012||Juleriaque|
|Thailand||October 4, 2012||Sim Paragon, Emporium, Central, Robinson|
|Singapore||October 5, 2012|
|Beligum||October 8, 2012|
|India||October 9, 2012||Shoppers Stop|
|Latvia||October 10, 2012|
|Philippines||October 15, 2012|
|Malta||October 27, 2012|
|Croatia||November 1, 2012|
|Indonesia||Metro Dept. Store|
|Tunisia||Sante Beaute, Fatales|
|Kuwait||November 15, 2012|
|Korea||November 29, 2012|
|Israel||January 1, 2013|
The promotional campaign for Fame began with media launch parties in June of 2012. This was followed by the first step of the print campagin in July with the web campaign following shorthly after that. In August, the first bottles of Fame were sold in a special pop-up shop located in Japan. In the same month, a series of trailer for "Fame" were released and revealed using various media.
On September 13, 2012, Gaga launched the fragrance in New York by doing a performance art piece and releasing the film for Fame. She then attended two launch parties in London and in France.
The first promo ads was released on July 14, 2012 exclusively on LittleMonsters.com. The ad campaign, which will begin running in September fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle, was shot by Steven Klein and includes double-page spreads and single pages. On August 1, Gaga revealed the second ad. Depending on the market, an edited version with more male covering Gaga's body was used on billboard and magazine ads.
- Ads on the first page, on the other side it include a scent strip
- Seen in "Cosmopolitan" (September 2012)
- Spreads with a scent strip
- "Vanity Fair" (September 2012)
On June 14, the official website was launched which included a gallery of photographs from the "Haus Laboratories", including shot of the flowers used in the fragrance and at SGD factory in Mers-les-Bains in France where the bottle is made.
On July 18th, Gaga released a two minute promotional film on Hauslaboratories Youtube account called "Formulation". The photographs previously used on the website were revealed to be stills from the film. On July 26, "The Source" was released as the second promotional video. For the two films, a narrator in French explains either the formulation or the source, subtitle are provided in both. The narrator used "The Haus Laboratories in Paris", "Fame" in English rather than a translation in French of these names.
On August 22, 2012, Sephora France uploaded a short teaser including the making of the bootle with unseen footage. The video did not have the filter on the footage and also had a fast beat unlike the previous two films.
Late in September of 2012, the website was officially launched in 6 languages with content including the origin of the fragrance, its ingredients, a presentation of the collection, related media such as photos and videos and the lastest news.
On February 14, 2012, Gaga tweeted: "Looking forward to this weekend. Shooting my parfum campaign and commercial with Steven Klein. Will be edited to a special song...shit." The shooting took place on February 19 and 20. Gaga's face with the two mirror with claws as sunglasses was added as projection on the left wall of the castle since May of 2012. They also added a closeup of Gaga's face shown on Gaga's pregnant belly props during the Born This Way Ball.
It was later revealed that Klein and Gaga created a three-minute feature film promoting the scent to the music of "Scheiße". The song was one of Gaga's choice of single from the album but was not selected by the label. She then decided to use it on the commercial.
On August 3, 2012, Gaga revealed the first promotional image from the film via Little Monsters. On August 17, 2012, Gaga revealed a second stills from the film as she announced that the worldwide fragrance campaign film would be released on September 13, 2012. Both stills were added a white frame and had a minor color correction applied.
On August 14, 2012, Gaga released the official trailer of the film to be released at on September 13. On August 22, Good Morning America and Access Hollywood premiered two trailers with unseen footage from the short film.
The "safe version" as described by Klein of the campaign film was released on September 13, 2012 . In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Klein revealed that he made a director's cut of the film which include the full scene where Gaga "kills all the boys, like a massacre." The scene is the one where Gaga is seen shooting bullets through the mirror.
The film with credits was uploaded on October 16, 2012. On November 6, 2012, Steven Klein posted on his website the following notice: "It has come to the studio’s attention that a uncut previously unseen version of Lady Gaga’s FAME has been stolen and we are asking if anyone sees it anywhere online to give us notice. This uncensored version is not meant for public consumption."
- Model: Headpiece by Rein Vollenga, pants by Perry Ellis, gloves by Skingraft
- Hat and mask by Philip Treacy, custom bodusyit by Jac Langheim, custom boots by Pleaser
- Custom black crown by Salvatore Salamone, custom liquid dress by Bart Hess
- Gaga: Custom outfit by Rachael Barrett, custom boots by Pleaser
- Model: Custom headpieces by Haas Brothers, underwear by Male Power
- Model: Custom headpieces by Jacob Roanhaus, custom capes by Diana Do
- Gaga: Custom outfit by Tex Saverio
- Gaga: Bodysuit by Mugler
- All models wear S & M ropes as top
- Model (left): Mask by Joji Kojima
- Model (bottom): Mask by Haas Brothers
- All models wear S & M ropes as top
- Custom neckpiece by Alexis Bittar
- Sunglasses by Mykita for Rad Hourani, cape by Adrienne Landau, custom lingerie by Marlies Dekkers, custom shoes by Giuseppe Zannoti
On selected location, Coty held launch parties at various locations around the world such as Brazil, Amsterdam and Australia. One of the parties was held in Australia on June 15, 2012, select media were invited on a bus decorated with "Haus Laboratories" stickers to a secret location. At the venue, shirtless males with testers of "Fame" were walking around while some dancers did a number around a bath tub. Black food was also served at the party, including black drinks to match the color of the perfume. A short video clip with Gaga talking about the fragrance was shown. The footage was shot in November of 2011. The media invited were required to sign a non-disclosure agreement until the launch of the fragrance a month later.
Pop-up shop in Tokyo
On August 1, the first pop-up store in Tokyo's Harajuku district in Japan opened. Gaga picked Japan for the first launch and was also involved in the creation of the pop-up shop. The pop-up shop is a recreation of the "Haus Laboratories" which included a bath tub, all the "Fame" products along with black food including a blackberry smoothie, black sesame sundae and a mojito made with Dr. Pepper. Shirtless men were also in the store, reminiscent of the ads for the fragrance. Gaga also recorded a video to be shown in loop during the opening hours. The store, located at Tokyo Plaza, Omotesando Harajuku was open until August 31.
Guggenheim Museum in New York
Lady Gaga invited select press and friends including Steven Klein, Lindsay Lohan and Yoko Ono to the launch of the fragrance in New York. The event was held at the Guggenheim Museum in New York on September 13, 2012. A livestream of inside the giant "Fame" bottle was given to Little Monsters members. The guests received the following note:
- The Haus Laboratories in Paris, Steven Klein & Nick Knight
- Invite you to the launch of the first ever black eau de parfum Lady Gaga Fame
- Thursday, September 13th, 2012, 7:30 PM
- Solomon R. Gugeinheim Museum, New York City
- With a performance art piece by the Lady herself, "Sleeping with Gaga"
- In the spirit of Gaga’s nostalgic aesthetic, we inspire you to honor her dedication to this fragrance and celebrate your shared passion for fashion.
- Dress code: Black tie Masquerade
- Head accessory required for the ladies: mask, hat, tiara, crown or lobster.
- Optional for men, but preferred
The short film created for Fame was shown both on the room and on the livestream before Gaga began her performance art piece, Sleeping with Gaga". Gaga slept on the bed inside the bottle, while people from the audience were allowed to try to wake her up without entering the bottle. Edith Piaf was played during the performance with the following songs: Milord, "T'es beau, tu sais", Bleu de tes yeux, L'accordeoniste, Les Croix, "L'Hymne a l'amour
Mon Dieu, Sous Le Ciel de Paris, L'effet que tu me fais, Toujours Aimer, Padam Padam and "Le Vieux Piano". DJ White Shadow was the DJ for the event. Gaga asked him to preview "Ratchet", which was played as an instrumental and msot likely remixed from the original with a male voice saying "Ratchet" once.
After the piece, Gaga got a tattoo of a cherub head on the back of her head which was taken from F. S. Meyer, Handbook of Ornament (New York: The Bruno Hessling Company, 1917) on page 108.
Sephora in Paris
Harrods in London
She attended the launch of Fame at Harrods in London which was broadcasted live on Little Monsters.
On November 22, 2012, a form was uploaded where people could submit information in order to be the first to know when the "Lady Gaga Fame App" will be available. After the submission, a link to an exclusive video named "Black Every Day: Japan" was given.
- Executive producer, creative consultant for Coty — Victoria Brynner
- Print campaign
- Photographer (bottle) — Anthony Cotsifas
- Creative Director — Eric Hoffman (Hoffman Creative, STARDUST brands)
- Creative/art direction, graphic design — Tracy Engelhardtse & Jonathan Lee (Hoffman Creative)
- Copywriter — Thierry Massée (Coty)
- Agency — Stardust Visions
- Web film campaign
- Directors — Todd Tourso (Haus of Gaga, The Glyph Set), Reggie Know, Rob English, Kenneth Robin (Shhive)
- Short film
- Producers — Jules Daly, Todd Shemarya, Coleen Haynes
- Executive producers — Troy Carter, Vincent Herbert, Bobby Campbell, Natalie Hill
- Sound designers — Leslie Shatz & Christopher Knight for Wildfire Studios
- Production Supervisor — Matt Wersinger
- Production company — Black Dog USA / Ridley Scott Associates (RSA) Films in association with Coty
- Stunt coordinator — Sean Graham
- Assistant production supervisor
- Communication coordinator
- Direction — Steven Klein
- First Assistant Director — Peter Kohn
- Second Assistant Director — Tim Price
- Production designer — Nathan Crowley
- Lady Gaga's crew
- Streamline Records — Vincent Herbert
- Lady Gaga Management — Troy Carter (Haus of Gaga, Atom Factory)
- Marketing — Bobby Campbell (Haus of Gaga, Atom Factory)
- Day-to-day Management — Lane Bentley (Haus of Gaga, Atom Factory)
- Choreography — Richard Jackson (Haus of Gaga)
- Creative Assistant to Lady Gaga — Lacee Franks (Haus of Gaga)
- Personal assistant to Lady Gaga — Sonja Durham (Haus of Gaga)
- Lady Gaga publicist — Amanda Silverman
- Security for Lady Gaga by Rad — Ed Majcina
- Security — Adam Lewis, Peter van der Veen
- Stylists — Nicola Formichetti, Brandon Maxwell (Haus of Gaga)
- Styling assistants — Hayley Pisaturo, Julien Alleyne, Sandra Amador, Sophia Phonsavahn
- Tailor — Perry Meek (Haus of Gaga)
- Makeup artist — Stephane Marais
- Lady Gaga Assistant Makeup artist — Mia Yang
- Hair for Lady Gaga — Frederic Aspiras (Haus of Gaga)
- Manicurist for Lady Gaga — Aya Fukuda
- Steven Klein Studio
- Assistants to Steven Klein — Adam Sherman, Dominick Sheldon
- Creative consultant — Joseph Lally
- Personal assistant — Chris Mac Aoidh
- Digital assistants — Sebastian Mader, Justin Farkas, Neco Kern, Charles Lu, Patrick Racheff, Mark McClanahan
- Director of photography — Jeff Cronenweth
- Colorist — Dave Hussey (Company 3)
- Editors — David Brodie, Skip Chaisson (Skip Film), Angus Wall
- Visual effects supervisor — Greg Teegarden
- Visual effects producer — Kait Boehm
- Post production sound — Wildfire Studios
Lady Gaga Fame · Eau de Gaga