Retail & Innovation

Lionel Richie's fragrances make perfect scents

For a guy in the love song business, Hello by Lionel Richie – now available at Walgreens – is a natural extension of his romantic brand.
Brittany Kruk, Walgreens News
He had us at Hello.
We’re talking about Lionel Richie, of course – one of the best-selling music artists of all time – and his hit song “Hello,” which shot to No. 1 on three Billboard music charts after its debut on Feb. 13, 1984. Now, 36 years later, Hello by Lionel Richie fragrances are adding new notes to the same melody.
Hello by Lionel Richie comes in an eau de parfum, a feminine scent with notes of pear, lemon, jasmine and honey; and an eau de toilette, a more masculine scent with notes of bergamot, grapefruit, lavender and musk. The fragrances are now available at more than 4,900 Walgreens stores and on (Don’t miss the Valentine’s Day promotion through this Saturday, Feb. 15: All fragrances are 20 percent off at Walgreens with Balance® Rewards.)
Richie considers Walgreens beauty experts to be part of his inner circle – after all, they’re the people helping customers buy his fragrances. Watch their reactions when he made a surprise appearance at a recent beauty training meeting in Chicago:


Along with our beauty experts, Walgreens News had the opportunity to meet with Richie to learn more about what inspired his foray into fragrance and what he learned along the way:
Walgreens News (WN): Hello …

Lionel Richie (LR): I get that a lot.
WN: We had to. So how does it feel to see your fragrance come to life, now at Walgreens?

LR: You know, it’s funny because at one point in my life, there were only two places I liked to hang out. The first was the record store. During my breaks on tour, I’d visit any record store I could find, in any town. The second place was Walgreens. Why? Because they sell everything. Everything I need and everything I don’t need – I buy it all. So the fact that I now have something in Walgreens … hallelujah.
WN: What inspired you to launch your own fragrance?

LR: The fragrance was inspired by my passion for love songs and the stories they tell. I’ve always had a love for romance, but I wasn’t always into fragrances. I had a hard time finding one I liked. And then someone said to me, “Why don't you do something about it?” And so I turned to my garden and the creative process began. I liked a little bit of citrus over here, a little orange over there, a little lavender. And we put all the things I liked into the fragrance. I didn't know you could do that.
WN: Let’s talk about the bottles – they’re beautiful. What inspired the design?

LR: I'm an antique collector, and I travel all over the world. And if I wasn’t in the music business, I'd be in the home design business. I have a cage behind the bar in my home that houses the cognacs and brandies, and it has this beautiful lattice design. So I went click – and took a picture of it. And I said, “This feels like my house. This is who I am.”
WN: What was it like going from making music to making fragrances?

LR: When we were discussing the fragrance, I kept hearing the word “notes,” and I was thinking the team was trying to relate to music and that it was good that I already had a song to go with it. And then I realized that, just like music, the fragrance had notes – its scents, its smells. And I put a list together with all my notes, and we started mixing from there. So really, there are a lot of similarities. It’s just some new notes. It’s Hello.
WN: What are the fans saying?

LR: Women keep telling me, “Oh, I like the men's.” And the men will walk up and say, “I like the women’s.” My answer is I don't care which one you like – just buy the thing. It’s very simple. [laughs]

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