Lady Gaga refused to sign a fragrance deal with cosmetics firm Coty Beauty unless bosses could find a way to create the world's first-ever black perfume.
The pop star wanted to find a way to make her own fragrance, titled Fame, from a black liquid which, when sprayed, becomes clear - and she was determined to make a product that fans and critics alike would be in awe of.
"I raised an eyebrow. I didn't really want to do it at first. But I wanted to create a fragrance that somebody who makes fragrances says, 'Well, how did they do that?' And of course, once it smelled so good everyone said, 'Can't we just make it clear so we don't have to explain to people that it won't get on your clothes?' Gaga has told Vogue magazine.
"I said, 'No. The fragrance is called Fame; it must be black. It must smell enticing. You must want to lick and touch and feel it, but the look of it must terrify you."'
However, Gaga's innovative ideas caused headaches for the company's research and development team.
Yael Tuil, vice president of Coty Beauty's global marketing department, recalls, "I was pregnant at that time. I started to sweat on my forehead (when I heard the idea). I said, 'My God! That's impossible! How can we do that?"'
Gaga remained defiant and now Coty Beauty executives are in the process of patenting the technology to ban others from copying the remarkable achievement.
Tuil has credited the singer with encouraging them to think outside the box.
"She [Gaga] was really behind the most important innovation in the fragrance industry in the last 20 years. She is really pushing boundaries."
The accompanying promotional campaigns for Fame have been just as edgy as the fragrance itself - and the music superstar admits she never expected Coty Beauty officials to sign off on her risque black-and-white advertisements, which feature Gaga completely nude, with tiny men crawling over her body to preserve her modesty.
"We [myself and photographer Steven Klein] thought, 'Let's just make the most epic fragrance campaign of all time and let's not care at all about whether they can even print it or show it on TV. Let's just do everything we ever dreamed of,"' Gaga said.
"We basically did this purely for the pleasure of working together. We were just sort of sitting in the corner going, 'I can't believe they are letting us do this!"
The scent, which contains notes of incense, honey and apricot nectar, is expected to hit stores in the US in late August.