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The Bella Jar

bella hadid Orebella
Ôrəbella is whimsical and reasonably priced. Bella Hadid’s decision to go with fragrance—and not skin care or makeup—was perhaps the most retro move of all. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images/Orebella
Rachel Strugatz
May 15, 2024

Yes, on some level, Bella Hadid’s new beauty line, the pretentiously titled Ôrəbella, seems almost like a ChatGPT-generated conceit—all the way from the name (an Arabic mashup of iron ore and aura) to the promotional video of her lounging on a mountain range with a glowing flower. The brand uses vacuous marketing jargon of the moment like “bi-phase,” alleges that these scents boost both mood and aura, and the promotional copy notes that Hadid has been “inspired by all the powerful women in my family and their pure, eternal love that blossoms like an endless garden.” In other words, this might be pure genius.

After all, perfume is marketed as a quotidian fantasy, and Hadid’s shtick is very mood-and-aura-adjacent. And while conventional wisdom suggests that the beauty market is oversaturated with celebrities—Rihanna, Hailey, Kylie, etcetera—these sorts of fragrances have been fairly ballasty businesses since the dawn of time, circa Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds, all the way through to Billie Eilish’s Eilish. Ôrəbella is whimsical, reasonably priced, and even though the alcohol-free formula can stain clothes (all of the oil), it is differentiated from a formulaic perspective. It also feels really on brand for its founder. It’s reminiscent of Britney, J.Lo, and Paris’s fragrances from the early aughts, at a time when aughts nostalgia is bubbling. Hadid’s decision to go with fragrance—and not skin care or makeup—was perhaps the most retro move of all.