Hard Candy Perfume

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If one word could describe Hard Candy, it would be "unconventional." From the unusual way the company got started and its rapid rise to fame to the offbeat names it gives its products, Hard Candy is a lesson in how an unorthodox approach can be surprisingly successful.

Hard Candy got its start in 1995 when University of Southern California pre-med student Dineh Mohajer decided she wanted to wear baby-blue nail polish but couldn't find it anywhere. Determined to wear the color she wanted, Mohajer mixed blue and white nail polish to create the color she was looking for. Inspired by her friends' requests to have her blend nail polish colors for them — and a chance encounter with Sharon Segal of Fred Segal fame, who offered to retail her products if she brought them in — Mohajer started selling nail polish colors she'd make in her own kitchen to an enthusiastic upscale crowd.

Later that year, Alicia Silverstone wore Hard Candy nail polish to David Letterman's show while promoting the popular movie "Clueless." When the late night host complimented Silverstone on the polish, it turned the upstart brand into an overnight success.

In 1999, Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy acquired Hard Candy, helping it garner greater distribution and notoriety; it was later sold to duty-free market corporation Falic Fashion Group before partnering with Wal-Mart in 2009. Hard Candy entered the perfume market with a self-titled creation that opens to tart, fruity notes before easing into a sweet, rich vanilla-caramel base.

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