I suppose the least sensible way to begin a write up of the launch of Steps’ new ‘Steptacular fragrance that would be a Tragedy not to be wearing’ would be to start by thinking of the number of Steps tracks which I could shamelessly shoehorn into it. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if I can think of more than... I don’t know - 5, 6, 7, 8....
Yes, Steps, the ultimate cheesy nineties pop group, are making a comeback (well, I suppose it’s better the devil you know), with a number one greatest hits album and a sell out tour, a new album due out and, inevitably, the now obligatory celebrity fragrance to complete the package.
On Thursday 18th October, the band (that’s Lee Latchford-Evans, Claire Richards, Lisa Scott-Lee, Faye Tozer, and Ian ‘H’ Watkins) launched their first fragrance, the aptly-named Guilty Pleasure
, at a rather glitzy V.I.P event at the Café de Paris in London, to which were invited family, friends, and the ladies and gentlemen of the press (that’ll be me, then).
We tucked into miniature food and bubbly, before an informal Q&A session, in which the group explained to their enthusiastic audience that Steps’ music is for ‘people who love life’, and that their fragrance is like ‘loving life in a bottle’ - and it’s life in a mirror ball-shaped bottle too. They were keen to stress their personal input in the creation of the fragrance (described as being ‘like Refreshers
’), which they are wise enough to approach with a sense of fun, rather than attempting to sell us a concept that the juice itself can never live up to (see Gaga – or perhaps that attempt would be better best forgotten).
The band also used the opportunity to premier their first single in eleven years (eleven years - and it seems just a heartbeat ago) called Light Up The World (released 22nd October), which is the first track to be taken from their forthcoming Christmas collection of the same name (out on 12th November). This was sandwiched between performances of ‘Deeper Shade of Blue’ and ‘Tragedy’, which got us all - oh yes, me included - singing along, and even some die-hard fans joining in with all the actions; once it started, it became an unstoppable chain reaction.
Words are not enough to describe the fragrance; it’s fairly loud, fruity and sweet - which, I’ll be honest, came in useful after several hours stomping around London on what turned out to be a surprisingly warm day. Guilty Pleasure is available in 100ml eau de toilette, and as a gift set for £18.49. Inside your very own mirror ball bottle is a blend of bergamot, cassis and raspberry ripple, with middle notes of peony petals, geranium and an aquatic accord, and base notes of musk crystals, patchouli and vanilla cream. Launching in all good selected fragrance retailers, from November. Surely a Christmas must-buy for all Steps fans - you’ll be sorry if you don't.
Just like Steps’ music, it might not be the most sophisticated example of its kind, but it’s upbeat and good for parties, so who cares - and besides which, they all seemed lovely. Although I missed the last dance as I had to catch a train home, I did manage to meet them - well, that is, I kept bumping into them in the Ladies, ‘H’ included; I now feel I know him so well.
I took plenty of photos - which you’ll notice were all taken from slightly behind the stage, as I was having such a good time that worrying about where I was positioned turned out to be the last thing on my mind, and I spent most of the evening, appropriately, on the steps.