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James Harden Pays Homage to Kobe Bryant with New Fragrance

Defy, James Harden’s new fragrance release, comes via the Art of Sport body care brand co-founded by the Black Mamba.

Brooklyn Nets superstar James Harden has released Defy, his first signature fragrance, with athlete body care brand Art of Sport, the company announced Tuesday.

Harden, an Art of Sport partner, named the fragrance as a homage to late AoS co-founder Kobe Bryant, who debuted the company’s only other fragrance made to date with 2019’s Victory. The 32-year-old Brooklyn Nets superstar worked throughout 2021 on the fragrance’s name, bold purple packaging, and notes that include sandalwood, fresh green, and musk — and it was inspired by his journey as an athlete and the desire to create a special ode to the Black Mamba.

“I named my signature fragrance Defy for every person chasing a dream,” Harden said. “I challenge you to keep going until your dreams come true. I picked fragrances to create a smell that’s bold, luxurious, and uplifting. For the packaging color, I wanted something that spoke to Kobe and LA. LA raised me, you can say it raised Kobe, and Art of Sport was born in LA. This one’s for you, Bean! This one’s for the city!”

Defy will be available in an aluminum-free deodorant, an aluminum-free body spray, antiperspirant, charcoal body wash, and sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. The product line is now available on Amazon and will later launch in a nationwide offline partnership with Target.

After taking Bryant’s advice and investing in BODY ARMOR, the sports drink brand that famously made Kobe’s estate $400 million when the company sold to Coca-Cola for $5.6 billion in November, Harden joined Kobe prior to Art of Sport’s founding in 2018 alongside Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster, skateboard legend Ryan Sheckler, and motocross champion Ken Roczen.

Last year, Art of Sport raised $6 million in a funding round that included Mark Cuban and saw their products distributed across 20,000 retail locations in the U.S.

“The Art of Sport playbook was simple,” Harden said, “take inspiration from athletes and serve them as our muse. We collaborate with the greatest athletes to inform our products and drive innovation.”

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About The Author
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung is a Senior Staff Writer at Boardroom. He has more than a decade of experience in journalism, with past work appearing in Forbes, MLB.com, Awful Announcing, and The Sporting News. He graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2011, and his Twitter and Spotify addictions are well under control. Just ask him.