Times might be tough, but you can still smell like money.
The city of Beverly Hills and its partners plan to unveil three city-licensed perfumes Tuesday at a coming-out gala. With names like "Must Have" and "Iconic," the $120-a-bottle fragrances will feature the city's name and famous brown shield logo.
Retail sales will begin in department stores in January, and if all goes well, an entire line of Beverly Hills-themed scents and skin care products will roll out in the next year or so.
But don't worry. The land of high-end boutiques, celebrity sightings and five-star eateries isn't going bankrupt. An estimated $100,000 a year in royalties raised by the unusual licensing partnership will be pumped into the city's marketing department.
The goal, said Dan Walsh, executive director of the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, is to promote Beverly Hills as the "epitome of luxury and high-style living."
"It's really not about making money on a product," Walsh said. "It's about elevating Beverly Hills as a product overall."
Chamber and city officials have long wanted to "brand" Beverly Hills as a luxury shopping and recreation destination, Walsh said. The six-square-mile city constitutes one-third of Southern California's "platinum triangle," known for having the region's priciest real estate, and boasts a $20-billion economy, he said. Bel-Air and Holmby Hills complete the triangle.
The idea came about after Mayor Jimmy Delshad noticed the city's name and distinctive brown shield logo were frequently shown on TV shows, such as "Beverly Hills Housewives" and "Beverly Hills Chefs."
They also were used in all three "Shrek" movies to symbolize a well-off populace.
Three years ago, Delshad asked why the city could not cash in on its reputation. The city of Beverly Hills contracted with the Chamber of Commerce and Bradford Licensing in New Jersey to find a suitable product.
Perfumes, along with skin lotions and men's colognes, seemed a perfect fit for the glamour-minded city, Walsh said. They will be distributed by JT Brands in Long Beach.
"We've been very discriminating as to who may use the shield logo," he said. "We're willing to have fun with it, but we are also very protective of it."
The perfumes were formulated in Switzerland, each characterizing an aspect of the Beverly Hills lifestyle, Walsh said.
He demurred when asked to describe the scents, hoping not to spoil the launch party at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.
Another perfume, Giorgo Beverly Hills, has been available since the 1980s. But now, Walsh said, people can dab on the real thing.
"We think it will be recognized around the world," he said.