The 'Power' of 50’s scent
A line of several hundred 50 Cent fans snaked around a corner of Lakewood Mall Wednesday afternoon, some having waited for over 6 hours. Miguel Raygoza, 23, was the first in line. He waited nearly eight hours before getting the chance to meet his favorite rap star and have his picture taken with him -- all part of the deal for anyone who purchased a bottle of Power By 50 and stood in line.
Raygoza, along with several other young men, liked the way the scent smelled (notes of dark wood and citrus in it), but their primary reason for buying it was the chance to meet 50 Cent and hand him their demo tapes. “I may not be the only guy here who has a demo, but I’m the best,” said Brandon Epps, who had worked an overnight shift in order to take time off and wait in line.
I caught up with 50 Cent in an upstairs office of the Macy’s store where he was greeting fans. His dapper, gray wool blazer and matching vest, worn with slim Louis Vuitton oxfords were a striking departure from the sporty style he generally rocks on stage. “I definitely wear a lot more suits," he says. “I’m going more places where this is the dress code.” He favors Tom Ford suits, but most of the time it’s Armani. “I wear a lot of Giorgio Armani.”
His new scent is another thing he’s been wearing a lot lately. But getting to the perfect blend was a learning experience for the rapper turned scent creator. “I was always a big fan of Imperial Creed. And I knew what I liked, but didn’t know anything about notes.” Through working with perfumer Harry Fremont, 50 Cent learned to recognize the notes he loved, like black pepper, dark woods, coriander and nutmeg. “I had a period where I was confused about what I wanted, because so many things had been presented to me," he says about narrowing down the scent options. “So I started wearing this [Power By 50] and I wore it until I started getting a lot of compliments and people asking me ‘what are you wearing?’ and telling me I smelled good.”
Thus Power By 50 was created and the finished product is something he sees as the culmination of his journey to fame and success. “I call it the smell of success, because these are the things I’ve become interested in after becoming successful," he says. And with success comes power. “Power translates the same in every country and every language and generally people are all interested in power.”
50 Cent isn’t stopping with the release of Power. He now owns part of Lighthouse Beauty, the company that manufactured his scent. He has tapped Kim Kardashian to be the next celebrity fragrance from Lighthouse, with an expected launch this Valentine’s Day.
“On many levels, fragrance is just like music,” he says. “It marks time. And it doesn’t just go away. It will be there for a long time.”Power By 50 is sold exclusively at Macy's.
-- Melissa Magsaysay
Photos: 50 Cent at his L.A. fragrance launch at Macy's in Lakewood, Jay Clendenin/Los Angeles Times, bottle of Power By 50/Lighthouse Beauty