Pink and black and Avril all over

Monday, October 12, 2009

When Avril Lavigne picks up the phone, her voice is so girlie and youthful that I’m taken aback for a second. In the seven years since she burst through with “Complicated,” the pop-punk singer has become part of the old guard—she’s practically establishment. Her lineup of accomplishments includes three albums—a fourth is coming next year—a judging gig on American Idol that airs in January, and a juniors clothing line, Abbey Dawn, sold at Boathouse in Canada. And yet she just, just, turned 25.

Next on the ticket is her first fragrance, Black Star (from $39, at Shoppers Drug Mart). Lavigne wanted the scent to be “a rock ’n’ roll perfume,” and from the packaging on down it reflects her style: The box is decked out in silver studs, the star-shaped bottle is pink—like the streaks in her hair—and topped with a black cap and removable spiked metal ring.

A celebrity with a varied portfolio is no rare thing in the current era, and it would be easy to criticize Black Star as another rubber-stamped brand-building affair. But Lavigne seems genuinely engaged with her creation. Refreshingly, she doesn’t pretend to be a perfumer. There were no stories about a childhood flower garden or a lifelong interest in chypres and fougères. In fact, before P&G Prestige approached her about creating a signature scent, the singer confesses she would just wear “random, different things.”

So why create a fragrance? “It would be something new for me, and I knew it would be fun,” says Lavigne. “It was a really great experience to learn and to expand.”

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