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September 19, 2006

Sarah Jessica Parker: Putting on the Spritz

Sarah Jessica Parker is letting her entrepreneurial genius out of the bottle.

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"I wore black on my wedding day, and I really regret that," Sarah Jessica Parker says. "I was too embarrassed to get married in white, and both Matthew [Broderick, her husband of nine years] and I were reluctant to have people pay so much attention to us. Which is ridiculous, because that's when you can relish the attention, when it's natural. We treated it like it was a big party on a Monday night, and I regret it."

Parker is someone who sweats the details — who has a lot invested in getting things right. Describing the occasional challenges of being a wife and the mother of a 3-year-old son, she says, "I fall short of being good at both, not infrequently, but I assume it's like golf: You can never master it, and you're in competition with yourself. With my son, it's constantly learning, failing, triumphing, being befuddled and totally in love." She's been a celebrity since she was 14 years old, starring first in Annie on Broadway, and later in movies like L.A. Story and Honeymoon in Vegas, before finding herself enshrined on America's TiVos as the fashionably conflicted girl-about-town Carrie Bradshaw on HBO's Sex and the City. Of course, once a gig like that instantly bumps you up to icon-o-class, finding a worthy next act isn't always easy. But Parker, now 41, knew it when she...well, smelled it.

"I always, always, always thought about creating my own scent," she says. "After 20 years of having it in my head, I got brave enough to talk to my agent, Peter Hess, about it." After feeling out the market, Parker finally found a partner: Fragrance company Coty Prestige agreed to work with her — but only after extensive research had been conducted to "validate her appeal outside the U.S.," says Carlos Timiraos, VP of marketing. "You have to make sure the star is global. If you choose the wrong celebrity, you'll burn millions of dollars for no return. A launch can cost $2 to $3 million at a minimum, and annual advertising and marketing costs tens of millions. In the end, it's all a big crapshoot."


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