Lionel Richie Understands the Sweet Smell of Success

Lionel Richie just seems synonymous with seduction, doesn’t he? I’m reminded of the scene in “Election” in which Mr. Novotny sneaks young Tracy Flick into his house, gets her a can of root beer and what does he put on? You’re once… twice…  “Three Times a Lady.” 

So, it’s only natural that someone who’s been so integral in engineering intimate encounters would branch out into a different medium, but one ripe for his particular set of skills: fragrance. After all, we are animals, and as such, we are attracted by scent. 

International Superstar Lionel Richie Celebrates His Premiere Fragrance Line, HELLO By Lionel Richie, In LA, Inspired By His Passion For Love And Music
Lionel Richie singing about what makes for a great fragrance… not really. He’s talking about something and I think he was searching for a word. (Photo by Arnold Turner/Getty Images)

There’s an unusual disorder called synesthesia, in which stimuli may be perceived by a sense that has no business being involved. For example, some people see colors in letters or numbers, e.g., “A” is often perceived as being red. 

Where am I going with this? Imagine if music had a certain smell. Now imagine what “Stuck on You” smells like… notes of Tennessee Bourbon, cut grass, petrichor? How about “Lady?” Lavender, rose petals and a hint of some exotic spice? And “Easy Like Sunday Morning?” Come on, that one’s simple… pancake batter and weed. 

Tell me how to win your heart, for I haven’t got a clue. Oh, now I do. (Courtesy photo)

Well, you needn’t consume psychedelics to find out anymore, thanks to a new fragrance from Richie, HELLO, which definitively answers the question, “Is it me you’re looking for?” with a resounding, “Why, yes, I was looking for you.” 

Richie chose a fitting setting, the garden patio of West Hollywood’s Ysabel, to announce his new endeavor. Some of the most elegant, fashionable people — but, of course, I don’t need to tell you — were on hand… good champagne…  canapes… designer drugs… mid-afternoon orgy… yada, yada, yada. Okay, you got me, it was more like late afternoon… and more like a photo-op. 

There’s a women’s eau de parfum and men’s eau de toilette, each with three distinct aromatic layers. The eau de parfum is described as a fruity chypre with floral nuances. The top notes consist of pear, lemon, grapefruit and pink peppercorn flowers. It’s followed by floral notes of jasmine and tuberose, and has a base of sweet and spicy elements like honey, tonka flower, ambrox, and patchouli. 

This is more than a perfume, it’s an aura. And Lionel Richie is more than a pop star, he’s a fragrancier. He’s also a global icon and living legend, and he said he really liked my carnation-colored jacket, and I know I shouldn’t be as giddy about that as I am, but I am. 

Richie Cocktail
Ysabel, Mule, and carnation-pink Oscar de la Renta jacket. (Photo by Scot Bridges)

So, there you have it. We talked about statutory rape in a movie, a rare brain disorder, the smell of certain pop songs, and my pink sportcoat. And that Lionel Richie now has a fragrance for men and women. As always, you’re a more informed, enlighted — one might even say “better” — person for having read another one of my dispatches from the front lines of luxurious L.A. 



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