Microsoft is the latest player entering the fragrance game.
The Xbox maker has teamed up with Lynx, Unilever’s men’s fragrance brand, to launch a line of body spray, deodorant and shower gel, GameSpot first reported.
The “Lynx Xbox” scent debuting ahead of the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) video game conference in Los Angeles next week is described as, “a fresh scent of pulsing green citrus, featuring top notes of kaffir lime and winter lemon, aromatic herbal middle notes of mint and sage, and woody bottom notes of patchouli and clearwood.”
It will be sold in grocery stores and pharmacies across Australia and New Zealand in July, with no word yet on whether it will be sold in other parts of the world.
What does #Xbox smell like? #XboxBodyWash revealed; Xbox creator responds 🤔 https://t.co/OllGmEVxUq pic.twitter.com/qMitdcrfps
– GameSpot (@GameSpot) June 5, 2019
“Now, powering up can be as simple as a quick spray before you head out the door,” said Tania Chee, the business group lead for Xbox Australia/New Zealand in a statement to Gamespot. (Neither Microsoft nor Unilever responded to MarketWatch requests for comment.)
Social media users couldn’t resist using the news to invoke stereotypes of players being unwashed slackers sequestered in basements.
Xbox is dropping subtle hints that certain people who go to conventions should bathe more than once a month https://t.co/Tu9IlF6Brm
– Griffin Gaming (@Griffin_Gaming) June 4, 2019
Kudos to the @XboxANZ team for bringing fresh innovation and new IP (Intentional Persperation) to gaming! 🙌🏻💚🛁🙅🏻♂️🚿 https://t.co/S4os30qLgg
– Aaron Greenberg (@aarongreenberg) June 4, 2019
I’ve never taken a shower before but maybe now I will start! https://t.co/OlfX4yUaZY
– Trey Mitchell (@CrayTreyVids) June 4, 2019
Even Stephen Colbert weighed in.
Microsoft is releasing an Xbox shower gel, which is good because I’ve NEVER washed my Xbox.
– Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) June 6, 2019
The joke may be on the haters: the $140 billion video game industry led by companies such as Sony Microsoft and Nintendo for their PlayStation, Xbox and Switch consoles, respectively, is booming beyond the basement. In fact, more than 166 million U.S. adults play video games, and three-quarters of Americans have at least one gamer in the house, according to the Entertainment Software Association. What’s more, almost half (46%) of gamers are female, and the average player is in his or her 30s. Free mobile games like Niantic’s Pokemon Go and Fortnite from Tencent Holdings Ltd. have become cultural phenomenons.
Related: The ‘Fortnite’ effect slams videogame makers’ stocks
So it’s not surprising that Microsoft would be looking to level up its profits through personal products. While it may sound like just a marketing ploy, many celebrities looking to milk every ounce of their stardom into cash have found that fragrance makes “scents” as a lucrative side business.
Elizabeth Taylor set the stage with her White Diamonds perfume in 1991, which has made in $1.5 billion and counting in sales ever since.
The early 2000s saw Jennifer Lopez, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears leading the celebrity perfume craze. J Lo’s Glow fragrance made $100 million its first year. Hilton has 26 perfumes to her name in a fragrance empire worth $2.5 billion, while Spears is on fragrance number 24. The “Oops… I Did It Again” singer’s Fantasy In Bloom scent was named fragrance of the year at the Hollywood Beauty Awards in 2018. Shoppers have spent more than $1 billion on Spears’ scents, Revlon told InStyle. And Kim Kardashian made $5 million dollars in just five minutes when she launched her latest Kimoji fragrances in July 2018.
Shares of Microsoft have been up 25% this year to date and Unilever shares have gained 13%. That compares to a 10% increase for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and a 13% increase the S&P 500