Rihanna Work, Work, Worked Her Way to a Billion Dollar Empire

The multi-hyphenate just dropped a fragrance for Fenty Beauty
Saturday 14 August 2021

At this point, Rihanna will practically drop everything except new music. The last album released was Anti, and it was in January of 2016. Sorry for fans of Rihanna the musician—it’s just not in the cards right now. 

If you’ve been a Rihanna devotee for a while now, you’d know how even Hollywood’s glitterati gush over how this lady smells like.


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Perhaps to put a stop to all the perfumed madness, the founder and CEO of Fenty Beauty launched her very own concoction, Fenty Eau de Parfum. The product was teased two weeks ago, inciting many thrilled responses, and as of the 10th of August, it’s been available exclusively on fentybeauty.com. However, the product is currently sold out after less than 24 hours’ availability—shocker. 

The nose behind this creation is none other than Jacques Cavallier, a master perfumer that has made over 80 fragrances for luxury fashion houses such as Tom Ford’s Noir de Noir, Issey Miyake’s L’eau d’Issey for Her, and a slew of perfumes for Louis Vuitton and Maison Margiela, so expect olfactory delicacy. 

As a champion of equality across the board, of course the first Fenty perfume is made for unisex use. The base notes consist of musk and patchouli, and it opens to notes of Bulgarian rose, geranium, and magnolia. To top things off, notes of tangerine and blueberry seals the deal. Compared to Reb’l Fleur, a 2011 Rihanna perfume, this creation promises a more bodied and mature fragrance. 

In other Rihanna-related news, the fashion and beauty mogul has joined the billionaire’s club.

Her Fenty fortune, as Forbes puts it, in her quest for inclusivity, has put her in the most exclusive list of all. Her eponymous beauty line has been lauded for bringing inclusivity to the masses, with the very first complexion product, the Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, introduced in 40 shades to match as many skin tones as possible. In 2019, the ‘Fenty 40’ has stretched to 50 tones to address the gaps in its colour spectrum. 

Going down the conscientious path of inclusivity has proven to be a fruitful endeavour for this Barbadian. Her message resonated extremely well, especially with people of colour, some of whom struggled to access and find their perfect shade match prior to this. Beauty beginners and cognoscenti alike embraced the brand from the get-go, so much so that in its first full year, Fenty Beauty has successfully brought in more than US$500,000 in annual revenue, according to its parent company, LVMH. 

With US$1.7 billion to her name, this makes her the wealthiest female entertainer, second only to Oprah Winfrey. If she keeps at this speed, she’ll blaze right past Ms Winfrey in no time. 

However, most of her riches come from Fenty Beauty. Forbes confirms that she owns a 50% stake at the company, and this brings her total to a resounding US$1.4 billion. Wild, because Fenty Beauty only launched in 2017! The rest of it lies in her stake in Savage x Fenty, her lingerie company, and her earnings as a chart-topping musician and actress. 

In her foray into the beauty world, she has quickly taken out major contenders like Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics, Kim Kardashian’s KKW Beauty (both of which geared up for rebranding), and even Jessica Alba’s Honest Co. 

And now that Rihanna has expanded into perfumery, what does that mean to her adoring fans? Though she may have us chanting “Please Don’t Stop the Music”, it seems the music is taking a break as she expands her namesake empire. We suspect it’s going to be a while for R9 to make its debut.


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