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Vintage Perfumes For Sale

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Evil by Elvira c1990

Elvira, the Mistress of the Dark,  introduced a perfume in 1990 that boasted cruelty-free production.

The fragrance, Evil by Elvira, was developed by Florasynth, an essential oil supplier that uses no animal testing or animal ingredients. The fragrance is classified as a floral oriental with a note of calla lily.

The perfume was to be distributed in 15,000 chain drug stores. A portion of the sales for the $7.95 .8 oz and the $11.95 1.7 oz would be donated to PETA. Cassandra Peterson, who plays Elvira is a spokeswoman for PETA.

Click HERE to find Evil by Elvira 

 As for the perfumes strange name, Elvira reminded us that evil is “live” spelled backwards. The perfume's tagline was "a dreadfully serious fragrance."

"Elvira, Mistress of the Dark," was described by film critic Robert Ebert as a "cross between Mae West and Vampirella."

The company was at first mystified as to what to name the perfume, and a marketing exec mentioned that quirky names were tossed around like "Cleavage" and "Smells from the Crypt".

The box is marked "Cruelty Free-No Animal Testing-No Animal Ingredients."  Cologne Spray 1.7 fl ozs.

The perfume "is for the woman who wants a beautiful fragrance at a reasonable price and at the same time the knowledge that no animals were harmed in the making of the product," Elvira said in a press release.


From an interview with the AV Club in 2009:

AVC: What did Evil smell like?
CP: It actually smelled really good. The guys that did it for me worked on the really high-end perfume at the time, which I think was Black Diamond by Elizabeth Taylor? [White Diamonds.—ed.] Initially they wanted us to release it in high-end department stores, but I said, “No way. My audience is trailer-park trash. We need to put this in drugstores for five bucks a bottle.” It’s like, I got approached to do a wine one time. And I was like, “Mm-mm. Elvira’s not a wine-drinking gal. She drinks beer.” I know my audience, and it’s not that high-class. [Laughs.] If you like me, you’re either white trash or gay. Just kidding! Nope, not kidding."

The Elvira character has spun-off numerous merchandising including a line of cosmetics featuring black fingernail polish and lipstick.

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark's signature scent that was marketed/sold in 1990. The perfume comes with the original Promo kit/ordering folder that was sent to retail stores for promotion. This was purchased at Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson's moving sale in Hollywood on Friday the 13th of January 2006.

Here is an article from 1990 about the launch of the perfume:

"Evil by Elvira: a dreadfully serious fragrance. (interview with Elvira Perfumes president Bob Bauman and vice president David J. Kuff) (interview)

Drug & Cosmetic Industry | September 01, 1990 | Hoppe, Karen

Celebrity fragrances come and go, with few exceptions, but here's one with a twist: Evil by Elvira, from the self-proclaimed "Mistress of the Dark" personality (a.k.a. Cassandra Peterson). Other than the fact that this fragrance is from a character, though, there are two other striking differences about this product - it is positioned directly to the mass market consumer and it carries the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) seal of approval on its packaging, stating that it is cruelty-free." And, if her recent P.A. (Personal Appearance) at the NACDS (National Assn. of Chain Drug Stores) meeting is any indication of future sales, Elvira Perfumes (based in Santa Fe Springs, CA) will have a hard time keeping product on-shelf. The team of industry veteran Bob Bauman (president) and David J. Kuff (vp/marketing) discussed this unique entry with DCI. 
DCI: How did this venture come about? 
Bauman: Elvira enjoys extraordinary popularity. Her "Movie Macabre" series reaches millions of TV viewers, she's starred in her own feature film, makes numerous personal appearances, and is a hot-selling property in products ranging from videotapes, computer software, and comic books to pinball machines, T-shirts and more. We approached her because we felt that she was very open for a fragrance. She has specific likes in terms of fragrance - animal testing is something very, very significant for her. She is vehemently against animal testing, so from the beginning we've adopted a strong cruelty-free stance. As a company, we've joined PETA and on every display and on every package we have their symbol and the line "cruelty-free - no animal ingredients or testing." In addition, Elvira really felt that she had something to say in terms of a fragrance. She had some fragrances that she used, but she wasn't thrilled with any of them. So, she worked with Florasynth's perfumers, giving her input, to develop the fragrance. And there are two big truisms about this partnership from the very beginning. The first is that we knew and suspected that she'd be good, but the truth is, she's incredible! This is not based on our presumptions, but on feedback from the 23 salespersons who have been out in the field for the past four months, pounding the pavement. The feedback we've gotten about her is just uncanny. Wherever she's been, they remember her. They know her, and, as important as this fact is, they like her. Women love her! When we were at the NACDS, there were over 150 buyers, mostly women, who waited on line to have their picture taken with Elvira ! DCI: How would you characterize her appeal? 
Bauman: Elvira is at ease with herself. The whole message of "don't take it so seriously, life is short, you've gotta relax and take it easy" appeals to people. The other thing is that she talks to them on their own level. There is nothing condescending, nothing about her that talks down to people. She's self-depreciating, not intimidating. A typical line of hers when making a P.A. is " I said to Bob, you've gotta make a fragrance for me, and it's gotta be beautiful like me and it's gotta be cheap like me ... ! The other thing is that she's a very strong lady - and once you get past the titillation and all that other stuff, people sense that she's not a pushover or an easy mark. And she's got across-the-board appeal, from young to old.
Kuff: Elvira's very popular in Australia, the United Kingdom, and other foreign countries. She was signed last year as Pepsi spokesperson for two of its brands, a $7 million dollar promotion, and was renewed this year. 
DCI: So this fragrance won't suffer for lack of personal promotion. 
Bauman: The Pepsi association alone gives her enormous presence. And, of course, we will capitalize on her P.A.'s on talk shows and elsewhere - she's pretty much in demand for those sort of things. 
Kuff: We've already been featured in T.V. Guide and many regional newspapers, including Chicago and Miami, and we're not even on shelf ! 
DCI: How would you characterize Evil? 
Bauman: We really think that most of the fragrances out there, mass as well as the other market, are generally very serious. They take their position seriously, they come across in a way that's a little serious. We think that women are open to something a little bit different. it's tough out there! We felt that perhaps women are looking for something uplifting, a little bit of fun, flaky, off-the-wall ... a little bit of a lighter approach, not so dreadfully serious. Elvira represents that kind of a thing. 
Kuff: And for all her zaniness, campiness, and so forth, Elvira's fragrance is a really high-quality fragrance. it may be presented in what I would call a drugstore/mass market package, but it is dreadfully serious. Quite a contradiction. 
Bauman: It is an effusive, long-lasting floral/oriental, very pretty on top (which helps to minimize the alcohol note). This is not a novelty fragrance. 
DCI: So your pitch is off-the-wall, but your product is not. 
Bauman: That's right. 
DCI: Do you have plans for a big print ad push, or will you rely on P.A.s? 
Kuff: Personal appearances, definitely, with major chain stores. Elvira will of course be doing many public appearances on major television shows, The Tonight Show and others of that ilk, and will be promoting Evil by Elvira. Our first press conference generated tons of editorial, and we'll probably do another conference in the fourth quarter. We'll also launch a print campaign in the fourth quarter, targeting a number of women's specialty publications. We're a very, very marketing-driven company - we'll be doing some radio promotions in key markets, perhaps some outdoor promos - a very strategic mix of target marketing. 
Bauman: There'll be some national advertising, backed by target market promotion and very aggressive co-op with the chains. And because we feel so strongly about Evil, we're going to do fragrance vials, a lot of fragrance vials, and tie them into co-op programs. 
Kuff: The calendar is jammed up with personal appearances, including a big fundraiser for PETA at Carnegie Hall, and since Elvira does so well with them, they're something we're really looking forward to. The three or four we've done so far have been smashes, standing-room-only!
 DCI: So you've kept in mind that when the number of personal appearances slack off, so do sales. 
Bauman: Absolutely. We're also discussing bringing her in to speak at meetings that the various major chains have with their respective sales forces. We think she can create a lot of excitement and momentum there, as well as the in-store appearances. You also have to remember that most of the celebrity fragrances out there are department store; we are not. At our high-end, we're $11.95 for the 1.7 ounce spray. The buyers love our pricing, incidentally, and when we talk to them, we make the point that we feel times are tough, so it's not a time for us to go after higher prices. We're shipping an introductory teaser," which is a half ounce at $4.95. 
Kuff: We're taking a different tact. Obviously, we're not a department store fragrance, not a designer/ celebrity fragrance, and we're not going after the high-end department stores. We've carved our niche. 
DCI: You'll be on-counter mid-September - was this planned to coincide with the Halloween period? 
Bauman: We're obviously capitalizing on the fact that in October, which is her time, Pepsi is spending its $7 million. She's going to get maximum press, and we're going to be there. However, we're not talking about ourselves as Halloween because the last thing we want a buyer to think of us is strictly in that time-frame and wrap us up on November 1. October is also a good time to be on-counter because there's a little extra space there since it's the deadest time for fragrance, with everyone getting ready for Christmas.
DCI: What about the future?
Bauman: This is not a one-shot deal. The most probable line extension will be some kind of lotion, then perhaps a lighter, splash form of the fragrance. We feel strongly about cosmetics - carded products such as "Elvira Lips," Elvira Eyes," Elvira Nails" and we've gotten good preliminary feedback from some of the chains about doing a carded cosmetics line. There's another women's fragrance in the working stages and we think that there's very good potential for a men's fragrance.

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